02/20/06 - 02/26/06: RTFM!

02/23/2006:  Starting fresh

I've decided to start programming again!

I've wanted to for a LONG time, ever since my Commodore CDTV became my "main machine" back in 1993.  I bought myself a modem and was connecting to the net with the CDTV via shell account, and had all these grandiose ideas of developing killer apps for the CDTV (internet, games, multimedia stuff)!  But, somehow, life kept interfering.  Work, girlfriends, cars, moving out, Windows machines, other Amigas, and the world wide web kept distracting me.  I never learned to program for the CDTV (well, Amiga, since it was basically an Amiga 500 with a CDROM drive).

Ever since my Model 4P arrived last year (2005), I've been itching to do SOMETHING with it.  I mean, text editing is fine and dandy, but I want to see what this little 30lb thing can really do in capable hands.  Apart from massive head trauma.

I figure, either this machine or my 128K Coco 3 would be the ideal platforms for developing.  I've had the most programming experience in Extended Colour Basic and Super Extended Colour BASIC on my Cocos, so why not start there?  I thought about it for a while, and came to the conclusion that it'd be far too easy given the Coco's superior graphic and sound capabilities to do something meaningful.  No, I have something different in mind for my Coco 3.  Instead, I decided to learn BASIC on my Model 4P.

Why BASIC?  Simple.  It's what I know.

I'll start out learning the ins and outs of Model 4 BASIC, then start adding in more machine calls and instructions, then onto BASIC compilers, then assembler.  Why assembler?  'Cause it's FAST!

I've ordered a book titled "Graphics and Animation on the TRS-80" from eBay, and that'll give me a start.  I think I have a book on Model 4 BASIC somewhere here, too...

Anyhow, gotta get cracking.

See ya!


I can print! Woo-hoo!

Finally got the DMP-130 printer working with my Model 4P.  The 4P wasn't adding linefeeds after each carriage return, so, after digging through three separate manuals, I found the answer (the "forms filter") and am now printing out scores of my writing.

Unfortunately for me, I need a new ribbon.  The one that came with the printer is dry, and the WD40 trick didn't work, in case anyone feels they need to tell me to "try a bit of WD40 to loosen up the ink".

"What you need is Jig-a-loo!"
(Sorry, couldn't resist!)


Off to the net to see if I can't find a supplier for new DMP-130 ribbons.

02/26/06:  Ribbons Aplenty!

Found a lot of three DMP-130 ribbons on eBay, and won the lot for 99 cents US.  They're apparently a third-party brand that is still available, so it looks like I'll be printing for a LONG time to come!  Gotta pick up some more fanfold paper though.  I only have one box of about 2000 sheets (held over from my dad's first computer, a 386 Slam and I built for him)...

Man, I've been using my 4P a lot lately... even played a game or two...

I've also discovered a PDF I'd forgotten... I must have downloaded it after my 4P arrived and never really looked at it.  It's all about JCL, the Job Control Language, and it likely bears some looking into...

That's pretty much it for this week, unless I do something meaningful in the six hours before I go to bed...