It works!

I haven’t been able to log into my WP admin page and, thus, have been unable to post to my MOTD blog for months. Until today!

All it took was a visit to maint in my SDF shell and bang! I’m in.

Now that I’m able to post again, I gotta document my MSX and Amiga projects…

New Year, New Post

Well, it’s 2019.

It’s the sixth day of the new year, and I have a pretty good idea of how this year is going to play out. My wife and daughter were in a car accident on the 2nd (they’re fine), and we’re likely to be in the market for a replacement car in short order.

If it were just me, I’d forego buying another car altogether. I bike everywhere in warmer months, and take the bus other times. We live close enough to our necessities that we can theoretically live without a car, if we don’t mind a bit of a walk.

Unfortunately, as a family we are not ready to be car-free. My wife is terrified of bikes and gets motion-sick on public transportation. Our daughter is Autistic and can’t handle being on a bus due to crowding and sensory issues. Then, there are the medical appointments… both my wife and daughter have several medical appointments per month, at several locations throughout the city (and, of course, none nearby). Suffice it to say, a car-free lifestyle is not for us at present.

We’ve considered moving, but our daughter’s elementary school is the best in the city for neuro-atypical (Is that a word? It is now, I guess) children, and she’s adapting well and growing as a person without being forced into a neurotypical box…

If our public insurance provider (no private insurance in our province) opts not to repair our car, we’re going to have to bite the bullet and replace it. It’s not a huge problem, as we have enough in savings to buy a decent car outright (no car loan!), but we’d already had that money earmarked for new kitchen appliances.

Ah well, first world problems.

Deja Vu..?

I’ve been neglecting my blogs (and phlog) these past few months.  What can I say?  I’m a busy guy with a full-time job, social life, and a family!  Having said that, I was sufficiently bored enough this afternoon to update Archaic Online and make sure WordPress and plugins were up to date.

Right after logging in, I was confronted with Gutenberg, the upcoming new WordPress editor.  While I preferred the old editor (which is still available), I thought I’d give Gutenberg a shot.

The Block concept looks familiar, Tripod used a similar system called Zeeblio or something… which I absolutely hated.

I disliked the clunky interface of Zeeblio so much, I went back to hand-coding static web pages in a text editor, which eventually turned me off web design altogether.  Which isn’t really a bad thing, per se… it led me to start my gopher site on SDF and in turn publishing a regular phlog!

So, how does Gutenberg compare, you may ask?

I hear you ask.  I usually hate change, but so far, I don’t hate this.  It’s easy to use, I don’t have to insert a new Paragraph Block when I start a new paragraph, and I like the unobtrusive style bar that only pops up when I need it.  I won’t switch back to the Classic Editor just yet, I’d like to see what I can make Gutenberg do.

Changing Things Up a Bit

I’m making a few changes around here.

I’ve scaled back my computer hobby over the last few years, and have been focused on cycling.  I’ve been teaching myself bicycle mechanics during this time, and am at a point where I can repair and maintain my own bikes.

I’ve also been going on longer and longer rides, taking pictures and mapping my progress using the Strava app on my iPhone.  But, as fun as Strava is, it’s not much fun from a retro-computing point of view.  So, I’ve decided to resurrect an old idea of mine – track my rides using my Handspring Visor Deluxe, the CotoGPS app, Magellan GPS Companion Springboard module, and upload the data to the GPSVisualizer site.  It’s a roundabout way of doing things, but I don’t care.  It lets me use my old hardware that would otherwise be sitting in a box.

I may also use my PalmOne Treo 650 and Palm Bluetooth GPS to do accomplish the same thing.  We’ll see how it goes.  It’d be nice to use OpenStreetMap as well, so I can skip Google Maps…

What does this mean for this blog, you might ask?

Well, I hear you ask.

The long and short of it is, there will be an equal focus on cycling and computing, and I’ll try to combine the two whenever possible.  In addition, I’ll be incorporating Mastodon and my Phlog as much as I can, maybe even T00bnix.  I’m trying to incorporate SDF more and more into my routine, as I value this community and what it wants to do.


Digging Deeper in the Dirt

I did a lot of digging this past week.

I was feeling nostalgic for our old user group/proto-hackerspace, The Thugs, so I meandered over to our old website.  It has been dormant for a number of years now, since the relative dissolution of our group.  After spending some time browsing, I decided that I needed to archive the site for posterity… after all, Tripod won’t be around forever, and with services like Geocities folding and taking user data with them, it made sense to save what I could while I could.

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the password to the site, and also which email address I had tied to the account.

No big deal,” I thought, “I can always rip each page manually.”

As my decision to archive the page was a spontaneous one, and the fact that I was at work and on my company laptop, I opted to save everything to my SDF account rather than storing everything locally.  A few wgets later, and the whole mess was in my SDF home folder…

… and what a mess it was!

Thankfully, The Thugs’ site wasn’t extensive, and the makeshift index page still made some degree of sense after all this time.  I figured I’d spend a bit of time planning a new, hierarchal layout for the site, to attempt to clean it up a bit.  In so doing, I decided to change formats… the Thugs’ site was written in basic HTML 3 in predominantly text format, so it could be viewed in ANY browser, optimized for quick loading on ancient computers.  With that in mind, rather than simply moving the HTML pages over to my SDF website, I rebuilt The Thugs’ site in gopher format and amalgamated it with my main gopher site, The Backroad to Civilization.

As I’d already resurrected two of my Thugs projects, The Model 4P and 100 Diaries, on the gopher site already, transitioning the rest of The Thug’s website to gopher just made sense.  It took me a few hours to make the change using html2text, then pico to strip the tracking/ad-server code (that Tripod inserted into our HTML code) and to re-justify the text.  It took me another hour or so to decide on a hierarchal structure and layout, and to write the intro blurb.  By Saturday morning, the transition was complete!

As I write this, the Thugs’ gopher archive has been up for a few days.  I finished writing the “About” page this morning and, while writing it, I began to feel as though we’d left so much undone… so many projects unfinished.

Thus, I’ve decided to continue on under The Thugs banner.  Back to my roots, as it were.



Welcome to the new home of my sporadically updated blog, Archaic Online.

I’ve manually imported all three of the posts from AO’s previous incarnation on Blogger, saving all links and original dates. Not that there was much to read, mind you, but it’s part of this blog’s history, so…

At any rate, I’ll be documenting most (if not all) my retrocomputing projects here. My first project will involve the rebuilding of my Mac Powerbook 5300. It crapped out on me last night, just as I was making a few final tweaks.

Join me this weekend, as I try to rebuild her!

An Underground Renaissance

(Imported from old blog on Oct 1st, 2013)

Last night, I did something I’ve been meaning to do since the mid 90s… I finally set up a gopher site.  (You’ll need the Overbite plug-in for Firefox in order to view it if you’re not Unix savvy.)

I’m nothing if not efficient!

It took me the better part of the evening to learn the basic syntax (now there’s a word I haven’t heard in ages!) in building a gophermap, but I got the hang of it after about an hour.  I honestly enjoyed setting the site up, and found it a great deal easier than HTML.

Dirt simple, if you ask me.

I also started a phlog (which is short for GoPHer Log, as blog is short for Web Log), which will serve to compliment this blog as far as detailing my various projects, etc.  Any spillover (or graphics-heavy content) will end up on my project webpage.

Trials and Tribulations

(Imported from old blog on Oct 1st, 2013)

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months…

Between moving my fiancée into my place, work, and general household drudgery, I haven’t had much time to do anything, let alone post.  However, the blogging bug has bit me again, and as I’ve been writing on my “other” blogs, I thought it only right to update this one, so I could share with you my latest projects and plans.

First and foremost, I have been trying to determine which of my systems is my ideal mobile blogging solution. Back in the day, I used my Powerbook G3 Lombard to blog on the go, but that had largely fallen by the wayside as she’s been broken so often that I stopped using her.  Since then, I have used a myriad of other devices, chiefly my TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer, but I have also used my shockingly well-equipped Handspring Visors (more on those in the future) with a good deal of success. More recently, I’ve been using my Palm Treo 650 smartphone to blog on the go, but its tiny keyboard isn’t particularily well-suited for anything more than a short text message or tweet… trying to blog with the Treo is a painful experience! Right now, I am considering using my Visors & foldout keyboard to blog, or buying a similar keyboard for my Treo.

Of course, I could simply use my Lombard again, but I find the Visor or Treo to be especially handy considering I don’t like lugging a laptop around with me everywhere I go.

Apart from my moblogging dilemma, I also have several computers, ranging from a couple of old Macs, an Amiga or two, and a few Sparc machines all requiring some degree of repair. I’ll be delving into each machine as I begin working on them. First up will probably be my namesake… my Sparc IPX workstation!

Finally, I’m in the process of rebuilding my lab after years of neglect. First order of the day will be to clean it out, make a bit of room, then start building the network rack. After that, I’ll need to track down a couple of pieces of equipment, work a bit of magic, and I’ll be back in action.

The next few months should prove to be interesting!

FIRST POST !!!!1!!!1

(Imported from old blog on Oct 1st, 2013)

So, it’s been nearly four years since I first set this blog up, and I’m only now writing my first entry…

You’re probably asking why I’d bother after so much time has passed..?  Truth told, I was asking myself that very question, as recently as this afternoon. I was going to hit the “Delete this Blog” button, but the Governor phoned in a last-minute “Stay of Execution”, and an idea was formed…

I’d recently bought a 56k modem for my Handspring Visor, and I have a dial-up account at, so why not download a telnet app and have some fun?

That’s exactly what I did. I’ve been all over the net, checking out my usual haunts on the web via lynx, pissing around on gopher, and visiting a couple of my favourite telnet BBSes… all on my archaic PDA from 1999!

I’ll post a few pictures in the next day or so, and hope to show off some of my other hardware too!