Since things have been a little quiet after finishing Battle Eagle (partly because I “burnt out” a little and didn’t fancy much more than a little tinkering with code for a few days) I decided to spend the weekend tinkering with hardware projects; this is, as anybody who knows me, probably not a brilliant idea because, although I consider myself to be a reasonably competent software bunny after the decades of practise, hardware has never really been something I could do. But part of me wanted to learn and took the rest to Maplins to buy a reasonably cheap soldering iron and some parts a couple of months back, so eventually I had to sit down and try something.
And yesterday saw me dismantling a breadbin C64 that recently shared a coach journey back from my parents’ place and going at some of the less sensitive innards with the soldering iron to desolder the shift lock key to strip and clean the keyboard, resolder it after the cleaning work had been done and replace the case’s missing power LED with a rather bright white one. Things went pretty much to plan… well okay, I melted a hole in the underside of the shift lock mechanism but this was a first go and it wasn’t damaged as such! Here’s how the machine looks after surgery:
With that success under my belt, Sunday was put aside to see if the GBS-8220 VGA upscaler purchased for my Spectrum +2 would work on the Amstrad CPC464 as well, but instead I spent the entire morning and some of the afternoon completely engrossed in the book I read from cover to cover! It’s Behind You – The Making Of A Computer Game was written by Bob Pape and documents the time he spent developing R-Type on the Spectrum; the book covers some of the technical details of the game’s code (which are fascinating for the technically minded) as well as detailing the sometimes ludicrous company politics going on in the background. The book title above is a link to Bob Pape’s website and the book itself is a free download.