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December 2012

November 2012 - Memotech Developments

Website "optimisation"

As those of you using larger size screens will know, these pages were not optimised for viewing at anything over 800x600 and the pages were left justified, which leads to a lot of lost "real estate" on many of today's screens. I am starting to work through this, but, unfortunately, due the way the web site has evolved, rather than being designed, I am not using anything fancy like Cascading Style Sheets, so it will take a while for the changes to permeate through the whole of the site. I am looking to change my web page editor, so will that that opportunity to make the website easier to maintain - but that may take a while too.

At this point, I will not be making the pages completely fill large screens, rather, I will going for a look similar to some of the "big players" like Amazon and Facebook who use screen widths of around 960-980 pixels, centred on the screen. A line of text the full width of, say, a 24" screen is just too hard to read - whatever the size!

Unofficial Survey ! - I have been advised that the font size that I use on these pages makes them harder to read than need be. I am considering taking them up from 12 to 14 point. Please let me know if you have an opinion on this!

Some Possible Options For Fonts And Sizes  - Other Suggestions Welcome

12 Point Times New Roman - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Times New Roman - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point Times New Roman - The quick brown
14 Point Times New Roman - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 14 Point Times New Roman - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog14 Point Times
10 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 10 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10 Point Arial - The quick brown fox
12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy
14 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 14 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog14 Point Arial - The quick brown
12 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox
12 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point
14 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 14 Point Tahoma - 12 Point Arial - The quick brown fox jumps over the
10 Point Verdana - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 10 Point Verdana - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10 Point Verdana - The quick brown fox jumps over
12 Point Verdana - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Verdana - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point Verdana -
10 Point Courier New - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 10 Point Courier New - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10 Point Courier New
12 Point Courier New - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Courier New - The quick brown fox jumps over the
10 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 10 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog10
12 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 12 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog12 Point Trebuchet MS -
14 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 14 Point Trebuchet MS - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog14 Point

 

[Given that there was a resounding silence on this subject, I did not see the need]

[to make changes to the formatting of the web page, so they remain as they were] 

 

October 2012 - Memotech Developments

MTX RAM Upgrade - Completed √

 

- Though not in the way intended - read the details here.

Various updates to the Memotech site, including :-

September 2012 - Memotech Developments

My REMEMOTECH was completed last month and is working very well.

My attempt to increase the RAM on my MTX-500 from 32kB to 64 kB has stalled. The old RAM has been removed, new DIL sockets soldered in and 64kb ram chips fitted. Unfortunately, the modified machine doesn't work! I have not given up hope though, and will be trying to see if I can find and repair the fault.

Installed the GameBase from Paul Daniels - this works with MEMU and makes selection and running of MTX software a snip.

 

July 2012 - Memotech Developments

Following on from my notes on the main pages, since the growth in popularity of eBay, I have spent a bit more time searching for stuff and eventually picked up a second FDX and MTX computer in 2009.

The MTX was inside an MTX512 case and was sold as such, however, the machine was actually an MTX500 which does not have the RAM required (64k) to run the FDX CP/M 2.2 system (more later).

The good news was that I now had a second, supposedly working FDX system. As it turned out, both floppy drives on this unit appeared to be faulty and would not boot the CP/M operating system. Still, I hoped that it would allow me to swap parts with my faulty unit to isolate the fault to board level. I'd speculated that the fault with my original FDX was probably on the 80 Column card in the FDX which was losing the display synch.

At this point though, I managed to seriously break things!. The FDX unit was pretty well built, but unfortunately, not "maintenance friendly"..... To get to the 8" card frame, you pretty much have to disassemble the FDX. So, there I was, both FDX units in pieces, but powering them on/off as required while I swapped out parts, when, all of a sudden...... what's that smell?........  Aaaargh, I'd shorted out something on the good 80 column card with a piece of the case....... result - TWO useless FDX units. At this point, my enthusiasm waned a bit and the need to get my computer room in some semblance of order, resulted in me consigning my Memotech kit to the loft, but still with the aim of going back and getting it working at some point. Sadly, that's where things had stalled, until now ........

Fast forward to 2012...........

As a result of an accident, I now have a lot of time on my hands as I consider my future and may be heading towards an early retirement. The positive side to this is that I do now have the time and motivation to get back to my Memotech gear. Having been fired up again, whilst "Googling" for all things Memotech, I discovered Andy Key's excellent website (www.nyangau.org/memotech/memotech.htm) which, amongst other things, describes his MTX/FDX software emulator (MEMU). Incidentally, Andy's site contains a wealth of technical information on the Memotech range and is well worth a look.

In itself, MEMU is a great piece of work, allowing the majority of MTX software to be run on modern PCs under Linux or Windows. What really appealed to me though, was Andy's REMEMOTECH Project, in Andy's words, "REMEMOTECH is a modern-day re-implementation of a Memotech MTX/FDX/SDX compatible computer". The system runs on an Altera DE1 Development and Education FPGA board and offers the exciting prospect of running MTX / CP/M software on real, non-Memotech hardware.

About the same time as I discovered Andy's site, I also saw an advert on eBay for a RAM upgrade kit to increase the RAM in my phoney MTX512 (above) from 32k to 64k to create a true MTX512 capable of running the FDX system.

So, now I have two Projects on the go, well, actually three :-

1. My REMEMOTECH - Completed

2. Refurbish my Memotech hardware

2a. Get at least 1 FDX back in operation - Completed

2b. Upgrade my MTX500 to a MTX512 - Completed

I plan on each of the three projects listed above having its own sub-site that documents the progress (or lack of) as each project develops (or not!). Click on the links to go there.

In addition, I also plan on making the Memotech information that I have available on-line. There are a number of great Memotech sites still around where most, if not all, of this information is already hosted, but as I already have a small website available, I thought that I'd just as well host this stuff too. My repository of Memotech information can be found here.

 

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