Purging old paperwork
@ Adrian Tritschler · Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 · 4 minute read · Update at Mar 29, 2020 ·

Over the years I accumulated printouts and scans and photocopies of hardware and software, things of interest at the time, inspiration for projects… often projects that never occurred. Loathe to throw them out as they still give me joy, not so much for the content as for the memory of a time and my pursuits at that time. I can convince myself to discard them now… sometimes… if I can find an online copy and have a little think about where or when each one came from.

Every few months I make some time and sift through what’s there, winnowing where I can.

What folder of miscellaneous treasures do I focus on today? How about this manilla folder labelled PC - Disk Drive Guff, in it we find printouts with dates when they were printed. From a time when I battled with hard drives, being able to afford – and attach – them for the first time:

  • [1992-10-09 Fri]: printouts from theref42 – disk controller information
  • [1994-08-02 Tue]: fax of Maxtor 7546A Installation Guide
  • [1994-08-02 Tue]: fax of IDE/AT Disk Drives page from a magazine
  • [1994-10-25 Tue]: ST3144A Seagate drive information
  • [1994-10-25 Tue]: ST5660A Seagate drive information
  • [1994-10-31 Mon]: ST3120A Seagate drive information

Last of all is an almost totally illegible six page thermal fax that I think is the configuration information for the Connor SCSI HD that was in my Amiga 1000.

Then a second manilla folder of mostly network-related printouts, with one large Java document, mostly early 1990s when I was working at ADFA; NetWare and IPX and getting it to play nicely with TCP/IP:

  • Brewing Java: A Tutorial: 94 pages, printed two-up but only single sided

  • [1993-04-21 Wed]: All 48 pages of PKTMUX.DOCPKTMUX Packet Driver Multiplexor

  • The ISOLAN netware.txt documents for Installing drivers for NetWare

  • WinQVT/Net TCP/IP Services for Microsoft Windows, Version 2.6

Assorted articles from Usenet that look to be work-related:


Subject: [comp.dcom.lans.novell] Re: IPX and TCP/IP simultaneous/packet drivers
Subject: [comp.dcom.lans.novell] Re: Request for explaination of NETX and PDIPX


Subject: Re: Need help with NDIS + Is it better than ODI?
Subject: IDPKT with NCSA Telnet

Next is a big spring-bound folder of photocopies from magazines; articles on hardware and programs, most of the hardware I never built, most of the programs I at least tried to get running, often having to fix typos or port them to the CoCo or Amiga as I went.

I’ve had a little plastic set of Polyominoes since some time in high school, I can’t remember if I got them before or after reading about them in a Heinlein novell or Martin Gardner magazine article. I probably found this article some time later and I can remember that for years I was trying to translate it from the 6502 assembler into 6809 – without success – so I could run it on my CoCo.

Solving Soma Cube and Polyomino Puzzles Using a Microcomputer
Douglas A Macdonald
Byte Magazine, November 1979, pp26-50

A couple of programs that I’m fairly sure I did get running:

Try This! The world finder: Searching for Earth’s twin
Edward H. Carlson
Creative Computing, November 1985, pp12-16

Molecules in Color A program that displays molecules on an RGB monitor
John J. Farrell
Byte Magazine, February 1986, pp149-152

Henon Mapping With Pascal A window on the world’s endless complexity
Gordon Hughes
Byte Magazine, December 1986, pp161-178

On to hardware, I’d always felt a bit disappointed that we only had a Tandy CoCo as a home computer and felt it would be cool to have an expandable multi-card bus computer system, not the S100 but something more modern or smaller. I never did build one, but I can remember poring over endless designs and articles.

A little bit of networking:

Ultra-Low-Cost Network for Personal Computers
Ken Clements and Dave Daugherty
Byte Magazine, October 1981, pp50-66

A three part series on a bus-based system:

The BCC180 Multitasking Controller Part 1: The Hardware
Steve Ciarcia
Byte Magazine, January 1988, pp271-280

The BCC180 Multitasking Controller Part 2: The EPROMs and Compilers
Steve Ciarcia
Byte Magazine, February 1988, pp259-266

The BCC180 Multitasking Controller Part 3: Memory Management and Windowing
Steve Ciarcia
Byte Magazine, March 1988, pp243-248

That’s enough for today, one or two of the smaller folders have gone entirely, the contents of another diminished in size. Until next time….

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I experiment. I play. I write and I take pictures. Some of the site is organised around topics, other parts are organized by date, then there’s always the cross-references between them.

Its all been here a fairly long time. Like the papers on my desk, or the books on the bedside table, the pile just grew… and it all grew without much plan or structure. I try not to break URLs, so historical oddities abound.

Long ago it started as a learning experiment with a few static HTML pages, then I added a bit of server-side includes and some very ugly PHP. A hand-built journal/blog on top of that PHP, then a few experiments in moving to various static publishing systems. I’ve never wanted a database-based blogging engine, so over the years I’ve tried PHP, nanoblogger, emacs-muse, silkpage and docbook before settling on Emacs Org mode for writing and jekyll for publishing. But the itch remained… I never really liked jekyll and the ruby underneath always seemed so much black magic. So now the latest incarnation is Org mode and hugo.

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