Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day 24 - FINAL DAY

This is my finial entry for the 2017/04 Retro Cjallenge.

My goal was to completely set up a working VIC-20 system and I have done that.My system includes a working VIC-20, MPS 803 printer, CN2 tape drive, 1541 floppy drive, 1541-II floppy drive, and a SD2IEC drive.  I recapped all the electrolytic caps in the VIC and 1541s.I worked out a great video display option.  I have retrieved all the files that were salvageable from 45 cassette tapes and 20 floppies. I am able to download files from the Internet and use them on the VIC-20 and I can run files from the VIC-20 on my home PC via VICE. I have leaned how to blog and share my experience.
I am very happy I took on this challenge and look forward to years of reliving the past and discovering new uses in the future!
Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day21-23

Time for a better monitor!

My neck was taking a toll having the TV on top of my desk.  There is no room to have it lower so another option was needed.  I had an under the counter LCD TV/DVD in the kitchen that we no longer used so I re-purposed it to the computer room..  It is awesome!  The screen is sharp and clear.  The position is perfect!  I am very pleased with this change!

The disk copying was not going well.  In desperation I tried changing my 1541 to the "UI-" setting and instantly unreadable disks were coming over without any issues!  The "UI-" speeds the drive up a bit to match a 1540 and it has made all the difference in the world!  Now I can copy over entire disks to the SD2IEC with virtually no errors.  The few files that seem to be problem files copy fine when I move them separately. I had to @0: save the files but there were only a few to copy.

I was able to get through all the disks and now on the SD2IED card I have …
Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day20

The Printer Prints!

The ribbon went in like a champ and now I have the beautiful sound of dot matrix filling the house!
I am amazed at the hoops needed to just print a listing but back in the day I would have LOVED a printer like this!  I used an old Teletype Model 33 as my printer.  It had only upper case and sounded like gun shots.  The smell from the oil is still in my memory.  I don't miss that machine but I wish I still had it for the paper tape.  I could have saved my programs to tape and reloaded them.  Real off line storage!

I now have my storage tower built.  I still have to switch between the SC2IEC and the CN2 but if I really wanted access to both I could modify the CN2 cable.  I thought about adding a 5Vpower jack to the 1541s and CN2 but for now it works just fine.  I am very happy with the setup

I am continuing the slow process of extracting the files from my old floppies.  I might add JiffyDos to one of the drives someday but for now I …
Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day 19

Time for a cable mod...

I was not happy with the short cable supplied with the SD2IEC.  The serial cable had to be added as the last device in the chain.  I have two disk drive and a printer but they all were too far away from my cassette port.  I added about 36 inches to the power cable.  This will allow me to have the SD2IEC with the 1541s and dress the cable area better..  I think the set up will be nice.  I did not care for the SD2IEC just sitting on top of the VIC.  The flow is better..

Now if there was only some way to replace the TV with a small LCD display...

Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day 18

Oh My ... oh my ... OH MY! (Chatter chatter grind grind Thump Thump!)

Well, my hope to be able to just COPY/ALL the floppies to the SD2IEC has faded away.  These floppies are old - 1984/85.  They have not been stored in the most ideal conditions for the past few decades.  The COPY/ALL or UNI-COPY works great when it is able to read a newly formatted floppy but time has taken its toll on my collection.

Some files copied just fine but others caused the drive to chatter and reset.  When it was done with the copy process, there was no listing of what made it and what did not.  I can't trust that anything really copied error free so I will have to resort to a one-by-one LOAD-VERIFY-SAVE.  There are both custom files we created as well as magazines programs so I really want  to save these.  There are many.

I will look into the VIC-WEDGE to see if that will cut down on the OPEN-PRINT# hoops.  Also, I need to get the printer ribbons installed so I can print …
Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day 17

The Art of Moving Files

I would have been at a loss without this disk.  There is a program on it, UNI-COPY, that seems to be  a far but slow way to copy files from a floppy to the SC2IEC.  I could have loaded and saved each file but that would be very labor intensive.  I did see a reference in a 1541 manual about COPY/ALL and UNI-COPY seemed to be about the same thing.  It allowed me to copy from my 1541-II on #9 to my SD2IEC on #10 and select each file that I wanted to copy.  The real trick was jumping through the hoops to make directories on the SD2IEC.  I can really see why I was so excited with the IBM-PC and their DOS after living with 1541s.  I am getting a hang of it again but oh my the speed is really that slow!

The ribbons have come in for the printer so that will be on the list as soon as the floppies are transferred to the SD2IEC.
Retro Challenge 2017/04 Day 14-16

The Struggle Is REAL!

The long weekend has come and gone and I have made it to the end of the cassette tapes that I have.  After many hours of rewinding, reading, and fast forwarding, I have a total of 24 tapes with VIC programs now recovered.  Some of the tapes not included were saves from the Scott Adams games.  Other tapes had data that might have been old checkbook info or address book data.  I had some trouble, as shown above, but many of the cassettes of that day were made with screws and the ability to take apart, repair, and reassemble.  Usually, the data was still retrievable.  I have a good cassette cleaner that helped keep the CN2 happy.  I listened to some of the tapes to verify if they had any data on them.  They were very old tapes that must have been a part of a business dictation course.  In between the different saves, I could hear the course instructor dictating letters.  Interesting.

Several of the tapes had recordings of data on th…