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May 2019

Cidco MailStation as a Z80 Development Platform

posted to writings on may 3rd, 2019 with tags hardware, nerd, retro, and z80 and commented on three times

The Cidco MailStation is a series of dedicated e-mail terminals sold in the 2000s as simple, standalone devices for people to use to send and receive e-mail over dialup modem. While their POP3 e-mail functionality is of little use today, the hardware is a neat Z80 development platform that integrates a 320x128 LCD, full QWERTY keyboard, and an internal modem.

After purchasing one (ok, four) on eBay some months ago, I've learned enough about the platform to write my own software that allows it to be a terminal for accessing BBSes via its modem or as a terminal for a Unix machine connected over parallel cable.

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March 2018

Dolch PAC 64

posted to writings on mar 20th, 2018 with tags hardware, nerd, and retro

The Dolch PAC 64 is a portable, rugged Pentium-powered PC from the mid 1990s. It was usually used (and can usually be found on eBay) as a "portable network sniffer" complete with multiple network cards supporting multiple media types.

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June 2017

WiFi232 with a Macintosh 512ke

posted to writings on jun 23rd, 2017 with tags hardware, mac, nerd, and retro, last updated on jun 18th, 2017

Back in 2015, I created a BBS for Lobsters that worked in a web browser via WebSockets. After getting an old Mac earlier this year, I wanted a way to access the BBS from the Mac as natively as I could. Adding telnet and SSH frontends to the BBS was not too difficult, but being able to login from my Mac took a bit of work.

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