Fail of the Week: Teddy Top and Fourteen Fails

Last summer, [Quinn] made the trip out to KansasFest, the annual Apple II convention in Kansas City, MO. There, she picked up the most modern Apple II system that wasn’t an architecturally weird IIGS: she lugged home an Apple IIc+, a weird little machine that looks like an old-school laptop without a screen.

Not content with letting an old computer just sit on a shelf looking pretty, [Quinn] is working on a project called the Teddy Top. ‘Teddy’ was one of the code names for the Apple IIc, and although add-ons to turn this book-sized computer into something like a laptop existed in the 80s, these solutions have not withstood the test of time. [Quinn] is building her own clamshell addition to her IIc+, and somehow failing at something she’s done hundreds of times before.

While the IIc+ has an NTSC composite output, the super-special video add-ons for the IIc+ used a DB15 expansion connector. Here, any add-on could access video sync signals, the a sound signal from the audio circuit, and even a +12V line that could drive loads up to 300 mA. It just so happened the display [Quinn] is using for this project runs at 12V, 200 mA. Everything was great, but as a worthy trustee of this computer’s Earthly existence, [Quinn] thought a bit of current limiting should be included in her addon. She designed a circuit around an NPN power transistor, that would allow the display to draw power until the load was around 250mA. After that, the transistor would start dumping excess power as heat. Yes, a fuse would be better. [Quinn] calls this Fail #1. There are thirteen more to go.

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Hackaday retro submission: Browsing with an Apple IIc

We’ve had the retro edition of Hackaday up for about a week now, and already a few people have sent in a few neat builds that use an ancient computer to pull this page up. The latest comes from [RetroAppleFanToday] who used an Apple IIc to browse the Internet.

To load our humble retro edition, [RetroAppleFan] used a serial connection between the Apple and a Mac Mini to get a terminal running on the 30-year-old computer. From there, it was a simple matter of running lynx to browse the Internet.

There are a few more retro submissions cataloged on our retro successes page including a NEXT cube. If you have an old computer lying around that can pull up our retro site, don’t feel shy about sending it in; it’s pretty much guaranteed to get a mention.

As far as the development of the retro site is going, we’re posting 5 random stories every day. There’s a script to generate the front page every day, but if we get enough complaints or compliments we may just generate a new front page for every visitor.