About

I go by the moniker of Cheshire Noir, and I’m a retrocomputing enthusiast

 I currently have:

  1. A Commodore Vic 20 (5k RAM, 1MHz 6502)
  2. A Sinclair Spectrum (48k RAM, 4MHz Z80)
  3. An Apple II europlus (48k upgraded to 64k, 1MHz 6502) This one is unwell, but I’m slowly getting it more and more stable.
  4. A Clone Europlus. (48k upgraded to 64k, 1MHz 6502) Someone has stolen all the ROMs so I need to burn these again. It does help me with the genuine beastie.
  5. An Apple IIe (64k, upgraded to 128k, 80 column card, 1MHz 6502 ) This one works fine. It’s got a DuoDisk and a serial card, which allows me to transfer files off PC. I plan to slowly buy upgrades for this over the next few years. Debating whether to get a Z80 card for CP/M compatibility or a soundcard next.
  6. A Clone IIe (64k,  1MHz 6502) This one works fine but has no peripherals. I have spare disk drives and even a second duodrive, but no controller cards.
  7. 4 x Commodore 64 (64k RAM, 1MHz 6510) + an assortment of peripherals, such as disk drives, printers and such. One of these has died, but I’m fairly sure I can resurrect it. (Bad trace under a ROM socket). The key peripheral for these is a “1541 Ultimate II+”, which emulates a disk drive, a cartridge slot, a memory expansion, a serial modem and a second SID chip. It’s awesome! I also have a Raspberry Pi based 1541 emulator I can use if I need. This one has an excellent level of compatibility, but is a bit ugly. I probably should get a nice case printed for it.
  8. A Commodore 128D (128k RAM, 2MHz 8502, 4MHz Z80, Integrated FDD) – I’ve rebuilt the PSU on this recently and it’s booting fine. I want to upgrade the VRAM to 64k, and the onboard 1571 isn’t working right so I need to work on that next.
  9. A BBC Master System (128k RAM, 2MHz 65SC12) – This is stuck in the UK, awaiting delivery by some friends. (Damn you Covid!) I’ve purchased a ROM upgrade kit for compatibility, a storage device for fastloading directly from SD into RAM, a “Tube Port” CoProcessor board, allowing me to use a Raspberry Pi 0/W as a super fast second processor and a Gotek Floppy disk emulator, a nifty gadget that allows you to use a USB stick to pretend to be a floppy drive.
  10. An Atari 800XL (64k RAM, 1.7MHz 6502) Also stuck with my friends in the UK. I’m in the process of building a FDD emulator for this based on an Arduino with new firmware flashed on board.
  11. An Atari 1040 STfm (1M RAM, 7MHz 68000) – Upgraded with a Gotek Floppy disk emulator. possibly my favourite computer at the moment. It’s just so “all in one” and easy to use! I’ve made a nice external video adapter so I can switch between the two video modes the STs support.
  12. A Commodore Amiga 1200 (2M RAM, 14MHz 68EC020, AGA Graphics) – This one is waiting for me to get a chance to laser cut the case. I have extensively customised this one, as it had been “hacked” before I got it. This taught me a lot about circuit board design as I designed and ordered my first commercially manufactured PCBs for this system. This also has a Gotek.

I am also building up some “classic” consoles too:

  1. 2 x Nintendo Entertainment Systems – Neither work currently but I know why. I just need to actually buy the part to fix it.
  2. A Dick Smith Wizzard – AKA the Creativision. Working on building a multiROM cart for this. Early stages tho. I need the BASIC cart so I can close a bug report on MAMETesters
  3. A Sega Megadrive – I’ve been trying to get decent RGB Video out on this for MONTHS, but it’s managed to elude me so far. I’m not giving up yet though. A new week, a new version of an RGB cable.
  4. A Commodore Amiga CD32 – Oddly this one can be very easily upgraded to be a full blown computer far more powerful than the Amiga 1200 above. So far I’ve resisted the urge. I built a new PSU for this.
  5. A Sony Playstation 2 “Phat” with an added hard disk and network card.
  6. An original XBox. (Dear Microsoft, calling your THIRD XBox console the “XBox One” was a d*ck move. Seriously. Do you know how hard it makes getting info about the original?)  HDD has been upgraded to 500GB and it’s been softmodded. The process involves swapping over IDE HDDs while the machine was on. Brown trousers time I can assure you.
  7. 2 x Nintendo 64. Mmm. Tetrisphere was such a masterpiece.
  8. A Nintendo Wii. The optical drive has died so I use an external HDD instead. Much more convenient.
  9. An XBox 360. Eh. It was cheap.
  10. A Playstation 3. I bought this new. It was shiney when I got it. A particularly nasty weekend doing far too much overtime payed for it.
  11. A Wii U. Kids got it as a Christmas present, when they were no longer very new. I like Breath of the Wild on it.
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