I am a diagnostic genius

I finally decided to open up and deal with the problem I’ve been having with the Bell & Howell power supply. Let’s recap where we are so far. I tested the power supply in the machine by plugging it in directly. It works fine. I tested the backpack’s auxiliary outlets. […]

Isolating the power problem to the backpack

I did some testing of the power situation with the Bell & Howell ][+. As it stood, the machine would not power up when I turned it on using the backpack, but did respond when I connected a different power supply, so I initially thought the power supply needed replacement. […]


The terrarium and IIgs have been moved upstairs now. I don’t think this is the final position for any of these, but at least they’re up in view and out of the lab downstairs now.

Short robot seeks dog with jet pack

I used ADTpro to make a bunch of diagnostic disks (this time using one of my Apple //cs over a serial cable I’d gotten for the purpose, and which also will allow the //c to connect to the ImageWriter II). I also made one other disk. I didn’t really play […]

The terrarium ][+ and its RAM of many card slots

Upon brief reflection, I realized that, indeed there was a problem with the terrarium ][+’s RAM. Here’s the picture from before. Zooming way in on the circles, you may see what the problem with the RAM is. It’s not there. Of course, this is because the terrarium ][+ originally had […]

Terrarium ][+ powers on

After quite a while of having the terrarium ][+ disassembled, waiting for new standoffs, I decided that I’d just take the pretty similar standoffs out of a different ][+ and put them in. Two of my other ][+ machines had black standoffs instead of white ones, but one other machine […]

Bell & Howell: Power test, and the outlines of a crazy plan

On the Bell & Howell front, I have now cleaned it all up, and reassembled it. In the process, I found this stamped under the keyboard, which pretty definitively indicates that I was right about this being an August, 1981, machine. (Further evidence that the “8138” really does mean “38th […]


Oddly enough, although I’ve collected quite a lot of Apples II by this point, all of the activity relating to them has really been in the disassembly, cleaning, testing, and reassembly process. Only just today, however, I have put a working Apple II in my office. Here it is, platinum […]

Bell & Howell Apple ][+

Today, the current king of my collection arrived, a Bell & Howell Apple ][+, notable both because it’s quite rare, and because it was really “my first” computer. I never owned one, although this is what I started using at school when I was in 6th grade, and they even […]