showcasing pets

Happy Mother’s Day / Miss Fisher Random Thoughts (275)

Today (May 14) is Mother’s Day. I wish all mothers a wonderful day with your loved ones.

There are several episodes in the three seasons that celebrate the mother-daughter/son relationships (see my Mother’s Day post from last year, link here), and Queen of the Flowers is one of them. I must admit that at the beginning, I did not like the concept of flower maidens (“The festival will culminate in a supper dance hosted by the Town Hall at which these young unfortunates will blossom into flower maidens and demonstrate the grace and poise acquired under Miss Fisher’s expert tutelage”). With their social and financial status, how often would these girls actually get to use the “skills” they acquired? They were merely used as a tool to showcase the mayor’s pet project. Even though Miss Fisher was not aware of the evil mayor’s sinister ulterior motive at first, I still wonder why she agreed to take on the tutor role in the first place.

Of course, as the episode progressed, Miss Fisher did not disappoint. She decided to teach these girls more valuable lessons instead, like self-defense techniques and the courage to demand justice for themselves. She might have claimed that “I don’t do children”, but her influence on these “wayward teenage girls” went far beyond what many mothers (both on the show and in real life) could provide to their children.

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p.s. I once did a post on Miss Fisher and Rose with similar sentiment, in case you missed it (on 15-Aug-2016, link here).

(Posted 14-May-2017)

10

Commodorians Part 1

This was one of the three mega exhibits for the 40th anniversary of the big three appliance computers launched in 1977.   Anthony Becker, Jeffrey Brace, Chris Fala, Todd George (captain), & Bill Winters combined their skills, collection, and love for Commodore equipment to showcase the PET-2001′s family tree.

Before Commodore Business Machines was making computers, they were making office equipment, namely typewriters.  They got into the game of manufacturing adding machines, followed by calculators which were constantly decreasing in size while improving their capabilities.  During the calculator wars, Texas Instruments had an upper hand in the market by being a main source of calculator integrated circuits.  In an attempt to subvert TI’s control, Commodore purchased MOS Technology so they could produce their own semiconductors in house. 

It just so happened that MOS had a microprocessor, the now famous 6502, which they were using in the KIM-1 trainer./demonstrator. Commodore continued selling the KIM-1 with their own branding, and one was on display acting as a clock.

However, the 6502 really shined in their first home computer, the PET-2001, available initially in an 8K version and a short lived 4K version.  The PET was unique compared to its contemporary appliance home computers (the Apple II and TRS-80 Model I) in that it included a monitor and tape drive all in the same chassis.  You’ll also note that the case of the 2001 is made from metal, not plastic like the competition.  In true Commodore fashion, this was a money saving move – they re-purposed their file cabinet manufacturing arm to make cases for the PET line resulting in very sturdy cases.  The keyboards were re-purposed from cash registers, resulting in an incredibly clunky and uncomfortable design that didn’t last long. 

I made it a personal mission to sit down at the PET-2001-8, just as I had at my first VCF East a decade ago, and program something.  I tweaked the existing random character generator program on screen to use different PETSCII graphics than the demonstrator they had set up.  This is an early blue bezel model, which makes up for the terrible chiclet keyboard.

The PET-2001 was succeeded by the 4000 and 8000 series machines, boasting larger screen options, a proper full travel QWERTY keyboard, more memory, better external interfaces, and more advanced versions of Microsoft BASIC.  The IEEE-488 interface was fully implemented by this point, and was used with larger storage mediums like the 4040 and 8050 dual floppy drives, and rare CBM D9090 hard disk drive.  The real oddity here is the very late SFD1001 drive, which uses the IEEE-488 parallel interface, but crams it into the case of a later 1541 drive more synonymous with the C64.

Are you a spoonie? Do you have a pet/s?

Are you a spoonie? Do you have a pet/s? Submit a picture of your pet or you with you.

  • Submit a picture with you and your pet’s name.
  • Whatever you want to say about your pet hero.

Lets showcase the pets who help us everyday. They are our heros! They are my motivation to get up in the morning. They makes me smile.

You can also tag #spooniepets and I’ll reblog them.