Hot off the heels of their musical debut 6502 song the good folk at the Taylor and Amy Show are at it again. This time instead of assaulting our auditory senses, they play with our perception of color all while keeping the spirit of retro computing alive.
To back up a bit, I had the pleasure of witnessing the discovery of the Avon Beauty Vision Computer while at the Vintage Computer Festival Mid-West (VCFMW) this past September. We had visited the home of our friend [Jim W] from VCFMW who nonchalantly pulled down from the shelf the reddest computer I have ever seen.
A crowd quickly gathered at this newfound treat, designed and built before the invention of the Blue LED, was fallen upon and the process of prying out its secrets began. I was not privy to the negotiations, but I did notice a brightly colored red suitcase being exfiltrated by highly trained operatives later that night.
Continue reading “The Avon Computer Goth Challenge”
In a wonderful ode to tech nostalgia, The Taylor and Amy Show, comprised of YouTubers [Taylor] and [Amy], have released a new video “THE 6502 SONG”. This song had me singing along in roughly six clock cycles, possibly a little dancing around may have occurred as well. This isn’t just any chip they’re singing about; it’s the venerable 6502 microprocessor, the silicon heart behind iconic machines like the Apple II, Commodore 64/128, and the Atari 2600.
Their lyrics reminds me of when I lived for assembly language mnemonics and counting clock cycles, the “feeling” of a processor coming out of tristate to pronounce what it had learned in the last 500ns, and the undulations of the DRAMs like speed bumps. To top it off, portions of the song were actually recorded live at the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 2023, where fans and computing history aficionados alike were treated to an impressive display of vintage tech.
What sets “THE 6502 SONG” apart isn’t just its catchy, melodic tune; it’s the expert blend of historical detail and genuine enthusiasm that resonates with everyone from grizzled assembly-language programmers to youngsters newly fascinated by the allure of 8-bit computing. With guest appearances from other female tech YouTubers like [Veronica Explains] and [Evie’s Revue], [AJ], [Jeri and Amy- Tilt5] and [FuzzyBad].
I believe [Chuck Peddle] father of the 6502, would be proud to see his creation live on and be appreciated so.
Continue reading “Celebrating The 6502 With Song”
[Taylor and Amy] love taking on retro computer projects. This week they’re building a MiniPET from Tynemouth and The Future is 8 Bit. It’s a pretty awesome kit which sadly isn’t available anymore. Taylor bought one of the last ones as part of a charity sale at the 2023 Vintage Computer Festival Southwest.
If you haven’t seen their YouTube channel yet, check it out! The two have been best friends since 1984. Their channel has just the right mix of education and comedy, with pacing fast enough to keep things interesting. It’s really refreshing to see two people enjoying a project together.
The MiniPET is of course a reproduction of the hardware in the Commodore PET, the machine which predated the VIC-20 and of course the Commodore 64. The kit starts with installing a few discrete parts — resistors, capacitors, and diodes. Then come the IC sockets. [Taylor and Amy] ran into a bit of trouble when it came time to install the chips. While installing the 40-pin 65C21 Peripheral Interface Adapter (PIA), one pin bent under the socket. [Taylor] popped the chip back out, and replaced it — which resulted in 3 bent pins!
Anyone who’s installed new DIP parts has been through this. The pins are always bent out a bit from the factory. The old “Bend it in using a table” method usually works — but if you want perfect pins, try a pin straightener. These versatile tools can even be 3D printed.
Once the pin problems are solved, it’s time to power up the kit and see if it will work. That’s when we get to see that magic moment when a project first comes to life. Check out the video – you’ll see what we mean.
Continue reading “Building A MiniPET Is Better With Friends”