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About Jo22

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About Jo22
Here are "few" words about myself (mainly the early days):
I grew up with electronics and tinkering since I was little, mostly with leftovers from the 70s and 80s.
Which included my father's old Hi-Fi set, phones with rotary dial,
B/W television sets, green monitors, old HAM gear (FT-101) and early VCRs/CD players.

One of my favorite shows was "Curiosity Show", an Australian kids show from the 1980s.
I also liked to watch Sci-Fi series like Space 1999, Star Trek (TOS), Battle Star Galactica (original)
and fantasy series (Never Ending Story), as well as various kids shows (Mission Top Secret, Ducktales, etc).

When I was aprox. 5 years old, I got several electronic construction sets by my father.
He was a radio amateur at the time already, so it made sense that he tried to err.. inspire me to get into that. ;)
It didn't took long, when I assembled my first Crystal Radio set (it was a special offer in a shop at the time).
In case you wonder, it was that blue model with the big coil and a pearl in the middle).

One of the things he was very proud of, was that I built an electro motor all by myself when he was at work.
When he came home, he was surprised that it worked (he still speaks about that old story, haha. ^^).

I started computing with my father's Sharp MZ-700,which was an 8-Bit machine with a datasette deck.
We had lots of datasettes from the earlier MZ-80K series and I did my first steps in programming there.
Super BASIC and BASIC 5510 were among my favorites.

At the time, I was also playing a lot with RC cars and remote controls. When one of the cars broke by -err- accident, I "saved" the internals for other purposes.
I connected lamps to the pins where to motors where and such things. Well, I had a lot of fun with the "unboxing" of things. ;)

Oh and when I was playing outside, I also kept my walkie-talkie (CB radio) with me. My best friend and me where often
driving with our bicyc.. -I mean, *riding* our bikes-, while exploring the neighbourhood.
Last, but not least, I had a pet, a hamster, which I loved and cared for a lot.

Later (?), I got an used 286 PC which my father repaired for me.
It was a 12Mhz machine which got 4 Megabytes of RAM, an 80MB Conner fixed disk and a 1.44MB floppy drive.
Among other things it had built-in VGA and a dedicated mouse port.
Beeing sensible, he saw the need for a CD-ROM drive.
So we went to Computer Schmidt, a long gone computer shop, and got me a CD-ROM starter's kit.
It included a Sony SCSI drive and a PAS16.

For many years to come, I never really noticed the Sound Blaster Standard.
Thinking back, I'm very grateful for his decision.
The card was very compatible with my 286 and Windows 3.1 even.
Years later, I found out, that some of my Windows games used (by accident ?) 16-Bit samples, which -thanks to the PAS16- where no issue for my 286.
That computer was my main computer throughout the 90s.

Games.. I loved to play games on my GameBoy.
Ducktales 2, Warioland, Kirby's Dreamdland, etc.
On my NES, which I got used (I wasn't a wealthily kid), I often played SMB2.
The game was unique in that it had an adventurous character. Lot's of things to explore..
When I got my SNES, I loved to play Super Mario World, F-Zero and StarWing.

On the PC side, I loved to play those little Windows 2./3.x games. Sounds strange, doesn't it ? ;)
Among my favorites where Stellar, Wintrek (both), Space Exploration Mission Alpha, Jiji and the mysterious forest,
Lander 3, Taipei, Klotz, Wormworld, Fortress, and many more.

I also enjoyed playing games on DOS, like for example Digger (VGA version), Asteroid and Last Half of Darkness.
For the latter, I even built myself a Covox Speech Thing thingy.
This was before we had Internet access as we have now (at the time, there where multiple online-services).

At the tiime, we occasionally went online using CompuSeve and BTX, both via dial-up.
Countless times, I watched MeteoSat pictures at CompuServe (GO Weather).
It was amazing to see these interlaced GIF pictures to materalize line by line.

As you may remember, going online was quite expensive then.
So I got most of my stuff via Shareware/Public Domain discs we bought at Wertkauf (became Walmart) or in other places.
Some of these discs came with a catalogue, so it wasn't hard to find what you're looking for.
I spent nights (literally!) to explore the contents of these discs. When I got the archive of MODPlay, I also saw the schematics of a generic Speech Thing.
I was very happy to finally be able to build a sound device for my favorite horror game, The Last Half of Darkness.

About the same time (or was it before ?), me and my dad also did experiments with the Kosmos Hi-Tec PC interface.
It was an add-on for my (our) electronic construction set.
The box essentially was an A/D converter box with a parallel port interface.
We connected it to my 286 and it included several sample programme (w/ sources) written in Visual Basic.
It was a lot of fun (esp. for my father) to watch the virtual gauge to move when we did things on the set. :)

Speaking of Visual Basic, I got a copy of the original VB (v1.0) and QB45,
which I wrote a lot of programs on in the years to come.

Especially tinkering with the game port was fun, since it was like an A/D converter built straight into my computer!
In Visual Basic (and Quick Basic), it was easy to implement.

To name an example, I once soldered a button to a long cable, which was connected to a DE15 connector.
When I pressed a button, my VB program displayed a message or played a sound effect.
Back then, this was really cool. :D

Drawing. When I was young (about 7 ?), I enjoyed drawing (to dot) a lot (but colouring not so much).
When I got my PC, I spent quite some times drawing in Paintbrush and AutoSketch (DOS).
The coolest memory I've got, is when my father re-discovered his old PenMan plotter from the 80s.

Penman was a turtle-like thing (remember LOGO ?) what moved on wheels.
Using a conversion program, it was possible to translate HPGL drawings into a code the on-board computer would understand.
In order to do that, I configured good ol' AutoSketch for an HP Laserjet.
Upon printing, it would "print" the drawing into a file.
After conversion by the Penman program, I copied the file to the serial port and the little robot started moving..

Phew! Lot's of text finally comes to an end (I'm sorry). (^_^;)
Maybe this give you a sketchy impression about me. :)
There's lots more I could tell you (non-techy stuff also), but somewhen a line has to be drawn..

Currently, I do put together a little YT channel with various topics that interests me at
Electronics, amateur radio, drawing, chip tunes


"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." -The Minstrel


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September 13th, 2019 06:14 AM
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