Archive for May, 2012

28th May
written by Todd Harrison

This is a two part video on my Apple II Plus.  In part one I do a teardown and cleanup then give a little history.  Part two shows some trouble shooting repair, video adjustment and some old 1982 computing demo action; A.K.A porn for those over 38. (Click photos for HI-RES).



I got this Apple II Plus off eBay for $200 but the shipping was $160 being the auction included two large boxes of Apple stuff including the computer, monitor, two disk drives, , modem, game controller, cables and lots of books, manuals, magazines and software. It was very well packaged which was nice but also added to the shipping cost. In the auction the drives were reported as “not working” but it turned out only one was having an issue but we get to the bottom of that later.

The very first computer I ever used was an Apple II Plus in high school and I couldn’t get enough time on this machine. I was more than fascinated by computers I was obsessed. Every minute learning on the Apple was a joy to me but later my parents got me a Commodore 64 home computer which consumed me for years. I still took every computer class I could in high school where all the assignments were on the Apple II Plus and I think we had Apple IIe computers by my senior year.

At the time, 30 years ago now, I learned that the BASIC for the Apple II Plus called “Applesoft” was very much like the BASIC on the Commodore 64 so I was able to do a lot of the homework at home on my Commodore and them make just a few alterations to convert it to Applesoft BASIC. What I didn’t know at the time was that Applesoft BASIC and Commodore BASIC were both written by Microsoft and base on the Microsoft BASIC interpreter with of course some differences to work on the target PC.

Well enough about me lets get on with the cleanup and teardown. To cleanup the 30 years of dirt and yellowing I stripped everything down to just plastic and metal frame. Then I used this Clorox kitchen cleaner with bleach. A good scrub brush and some hot water made the cases look like new.  I used 99.95% isopropyl alcohol to clean the monitor screen.


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6th May
written by Todd Harrison

My 8yr old son, Alex, practices his spelling words in Morse code every night. He gets 50 homework points for coding his spelling words in any way he likes so why not learn Morse code at the same time, right?

Until now he has been using my Fluke 87v multi meter with an old J-38 Morse key. When the Fluke is set to continuity it works great as the buzzer. I have many other meters with a continuity setting but only the Fluke 87v has a fast enough continuity tester to match my son’s practice speed.

I really wanted my Fluke back on my tech bench so we found a circuit he could build himself to use as the buzzer in place of my Fluke.

Alex is the host for this video and he seemed to have a lot of fun making the circuit and the video. GOOD JOB Alex!

This is the circuit Alex builds in his video to replace the beeping my meter was doing in his old setup.

He started off with a great introduction on why he was learning Morse code.


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