Retro Challenge 2019/03

The Retro Challenge is a one-month long excuse to do cool stuff with old computers and blog about it (vaguely wrapped up as a competition).

In 2017 I created the RetroMatic 2000 as my entry.

In 2018 I tried to restore two Osborne 1 portable computers.  One restoration was completely successful, but with the other I couldn’t narrow down the problem in the disk controller as I lacked sufficient test equipment.

This March I’ll be doing a light-weight entry to the Retro Challenge as I don’t have too much time available.  I have just acquired a logic probe and a 16 channel USB logic analyser.

My plan is:

  1. Install the logic analyser software on my netbook and learn how to use it, and also how to use the logic probe.
  2. Warm up with a couple of dead Video Genie computers (that are quite easy to work on) and see if I can bring them back to life.
  3. If time allows, I’ll move on to the disk controller on the Osborne 1.

My updates will probably be a mix of blog posts and videos, but I’ll index them all below:


RC2019/03 update 1: Hobby Components 16 channel logic analyser
RC2019/03 update 2: Video Genie back from the dead!
RC2019/03 update 3: Another Video Genie (mostly) repaired
RC2019/03 update 4: Video Genie cassette interface repair attempt
RC2019/03 update 5: Video Genie cassette interface fixed!
RC2019/03 update 6: Video Genie cassette deck diagnosis
Retro Challenge 2019/03 conclusion