Monthly Archives: May 2014

Of things new, old and somewhere in between

I felt it important to post something, if just to remind myself that 6502lane is still here and only mostly dead.  The latest lack of updates can be attributed to any number of things, but here are a few thoughts, just off the top of my head.

I started this with another Apple /// user (fan? user? is there really a difference when it comes to this particular Apple?):

Yep, that’s an Apple /// podcast.  I have an unnecessarily long blog post mostly written up for that.  I think it will be up soon over at that web page.  It explains why we started it and what we hope to get out of a podcast about a very (*very*) small corner of our hobby.

And this changed:


I’ll be recording the next episode this weekend, actually.  Yep, you heard it here first, folks.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about it this very minute.  I may not have much more to offer once the mic is hot.  I know I have a few points I need to address and then maybe I’ll catch us up on the Apple II news.  Of which, there’s a lot…

I bought one of these:

BrickPi for LEGO and Raspberry Pi

Essentially, it lets you interface one of these:


with this:


I’m hoping to plug this:


into one of these:


… at the other end of the chain, the result being an Apple II that (eventually) talks to the LEGO NXT set at the other end.  Way back when, LEGO made a robotics set designed to interface directly with the Apple II.


Today, these sets are hard to find and command a premium price on the rare occasion they are offered for sale.  My little Frankenstein’s Monster project is probably as close as I’ll ever get to owning my own Technic set.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll lug it with me to KansasFest this year and we can have some fun in the dorm hallways.

Next, a Facebook thread on the MicroSci A143 drive for the Apple /// prompted me to install a trio I acquired a while back and test them out.  According to the old articles in TauTales, ON THREE and other resources from that era, the A143s are notoriously tricky to configure properly.  I didn’t run into any of the problems noted by those authors, but that may be because the driver disk had already been configured for that set of drives, so it was mostly plug and play.

I did run into the dreaded “I/O Error” bomb when I tried to format a disk in any of the three A143s, but I think that’s probably a speed adjustment or alignment that needs to happen and not due to the vagaries of drive set up and installation.  The Apple /// was able to identify and communicate with the MicroSci’s, at any rate.  I attempted to document the process by making a video with this new thing I received for my birthday:


The Zi12 was designed by Kodak and was about to go to market when they went out of business.  When Kodak’s assets went up for auction, JK Imaging bought the unsold stock and licensed the designs and the rights to continue making them (and other cameras) using the Kodak name.  More on that here:

It’s a neat camera, earning high marks on most reviews and comparing favorably with the latest GoPro models.  I suspect that the Zi12’s uncanny resemblance to a circa-2005 BlackBerry dampens the “cool” factor that the GoPro enjoys, but it’s every bit as capable.

Anyway, my awfulness at making a video was really displayed nicely in the footage I captured.  I messed around with camera settings and watched a bunch of tutorials, but I couldn’t get anything decent, other than a new-found respect for anyone able to create watchable videos with home equipment.

And finally, my ongoing battle to learn 6502 assembly language continues unabated.  I’ve been trying to absorb the lessons of the Easy6502 guide found at:

I really enjoy the interactive simulator and it has made a big difference in my learning process.  Of course, completely skipping the binary and hex math at the outset of the process is a big plus, as well.  For those keeping count (just me, I’m quite certain), my current obstacle is to understand how the carry flag works.  Admittedly, I am not making much headway, but hope springs eternal, and I’m not ready to give up just yet.

So that’s mostly what’s been happening.  6502Lane still has a pulse… sort of.