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1  Retro Culture / Retro Music / The Go-Go's return! on: August 03, 2020, 08:05:31 PM
     The Go-Go's have released their first new song in years!  It is entitled, "Club Zero", and it's very go-goey!  Smiley  Belinda Carlisle is the lead, and she sounds the same!  The group also has a new Showtime documentary.

          Very interesting,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
2  Retro Computing / Amiga General Topics / Re: Kickstarter for From Vultures to Vampires (stretch goal for Viva Amiga film) on: July 18, 2020, 07:36:05 PM
Gooooalll! The Viva Amiga stretch goal has been attained! Smiley


Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
3  Retro Computing / Amiga General Topics / Kickstarter for From Vultures to Vampires (stretch goal for Viva Amiga film) on: July 17, 2020, 08:58:40 PM
Though the David Pleasance/Trevor Dickinson book, "From Vultures to Vampires" has been fully funded, there is a stretch goal to have a longer-version of the Viva Amiga film (the original being 1-hour long and the proposed new version being 2 1/2 hours long).  More interview time with the CBM/Amiga engineers! See https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/469255657/from-vultures-to-vampires/description

With about 49 hours on the Kickstarter to go, the Viva Amiga stretch goal is about 1,812 pounds ($2,278) from being fulfilled!

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
4  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: July 16, 2020, 06:53:48 PM
...I received a new, 4-row, shiny aluminum radiator from BrothersTrucks.com.  What a thing of beauty (in a machine sense)!
    Installing the new radiator was not easy.  Everything was going smoothly in the removal of the 41-year old original radiator until I got to the automatic transmission fittings.  The steel nuts which were screwed into the radiator tank were frozen.  Even after squirting them with WD-40, I couldn't budge them.  I couldn't get enough leverage on the nuts to remove them with a regular, open-end wrench.  I finally had to resort to vice-grips and brute force.  The nuts groaned noisily under the pressure, but they finally started turning.  Whew... no damage to the transmission lines.  I got the nuts removed, moved the lines out of the way, and pulled out the old radiator.  I slid the new, oversize radiator into its location.  The rubber, mounting pads, which were meant for the narrower, old radiator, were now not large enough to stretch over the new radiator.  But they'll have to do.  The radiator mounting panel had to have a piece cut out of it in order to accommodate the filler neck of the new radiator.  The problem again was the nuts on the old transmission lines.  They did not want to screw easily into the new radiator.  I had to be careful to thread them in, i.e., I didn't want to cross-thread them.  Even when I thought they were in, it took a few forceful tries on the vice-grips to tighten them enough so they wouldn't leak any trans fluid.  But they finally were in.
     The new radiator works well.  The big test is when I have Vintage Air a.c. installed next year.  Then I'll see how well the radiator deals with the increased heat load during a California hot summer.
 
          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
5  Retro Computing / News and Events / Next FCUG meeting - Sunday, July 19 (cancelled) on: July 16, 2020, 06:37:16 PM
Dear C= and Ami aficionados,
     Happy July!  Our usual third-Sunday-of-the-month meeting is cancelled, due to the Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions placed at our venue, Panera Bread Restaurant in Fresno.
     Meanwhile, I still intend to visit C= repairperson Ray Carlsen in southern Washington state (now delayed until Sept. or Oct.) and make a big order from AmigaKit.com (gotta keep the classic Amigas happy).

          Staying busy with Commodore and Amiga,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
6  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / Next SCCAN meeting - Saturday, July 11 (cancelled) on: July 06, 2020, 09:38:30 AM
Happy summer, C= and Ami comrades,
     The July 11 meeting of the Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network is cancelled, due to the on-going pandemic and restrictions at our venue, Panera Bread Restaurant in Northridge, CA.
     In the meantime, I encourage all to check out the the Kickstarter for a new book from David Pleasance and Trevor Dickinson, entitled "From Vultures to Vampires".  This book will fill in the period from the demise of Commodore Business Machines to today's Next Generation Amiga computers.  The deadline for the Kickstarter is July 19, and you can find it at

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/469255657/from-vultures-to-vampires

          Sincerely,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
7  Retro Computing / News and Events / Lenard Roach Commodore books on sale (fwd) on: June 29, 2020, 06:16:13 PM
------ Forwarded message ------
From: Lenard Roach <lenardroach(at)yahoo.com>

Greetings to all super heroes and various super criminals out there in cyberspace,

I want to thank those of you who responded to my "whining" about no book sales and literally went bananas in buying my first Commodore book, "Run/Stop-Restore: 10 Anniversary Edition." This copy, as you probably found out, was full of flaws and even had a PC2 on the front cover. This is why in the back of my book I included a pictures of my kids and I holding a read Commodore 64 so, for those who don't don't know, you could see what a real machine looks like. You all are great are I appreciate your support.

However, please don't stop there. If you go to the Amazon Bookstore you'll find the rest of my books that are on sale and for a much cheaper price than what you spent on the first book. All 3 of my skit books and my next Commodore book, "Shift-Clr/Home: More 8 Bit Thoughts In A Gigabit World" will be found. These books took a small team of one heckuva cover artist in middle Missouri and my great sister-in-law to do the interior editing. These books are more professionally done and have a lot more chuckles in them and maybe a guffaw or two.

So if you're still locked down by this crazy COVID-19 thing and are looking for something to do, then please support me and your local UPS affiliate by getting these books from Amazon.com.

If you're ever in the Kansas CIty, KS area and have my books with you, then please post something and we can set up a meeting place where I will personally sign your copy for you. I'm more than happy to meet someone who supported me and my efforts to become a great and successful writer.

Great Caesar's Palace! Before I forget, also check out some videos starring me demonstrating some BASIC programs that I have written over the last 28 years. As usual, I try to demonstrate my work with a slight hand of humor, but most of the time I don't make it and just stick with the facts. I want to thank BIOSjerbil for making these videos while I was in Las Vegas doing Commodore shows. You can find these videos on YouTube.

If you can ever find a copy, my very first ever published work to be released in a magazine was in November 1992, the very month and year my youngest son was born. Timing could not have been better. The title of the work was called "Check Printer 64/128" and could be found in an old issue of RUN magazine on page 22. If anyone wants to follow my Commodore shenanigans, then please find copies of "The Interface" Commodore newsletter and "Reset" international magazine coming out of Australia. "The Interface" can be found by Googling "Fresno Commodore User Group." I don't think "Reset" can be found on the Internet, but those of you with great search skills should be able to find it.

As you can tell by my avatar, I still think I'm a superhero. I'm just more of a trainer for future superheroes since most of my powers and skills have waned over the years due to age and slowly crippling conditions like arthritis, but nothing I do will ever take place of those men and women who are really heroes like our armed forces, law enforcement, and those who are on the front lines during these trying times. I take what's left of my hair off to them. They are fantastic. God bless.

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post. You all are number one in my book.

John 20:31,
"In Brightest Day"

Lenard
8  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: June 25, 2020, 06:10:03 PM
     The 1990 Ford LTD Crown Vic was brought in to Hewitt Alignment for its yearly alignment.  The power steering had been leaking fluid, though its low-pressure return line had been replaced a few months earlier at Mooney Shell, so I asked that the pump be looked into.  Hewitt found a leak between the pump and the fluid reservoir.  That required a rebuilt pump (no problem to get) and a new, plastic reservoir (harder to find).  After I waited a few days, they finally had all the parts gathered, installed them, and cleaned out and flushed the p.s. system.  They also found a crack in the alternator/p.s. aluminum bracket and a bent alternator main mounting bolt.  The bolt can be replaced with a similar one; however, the bracket is very custom.  I would have to yank a used one from a Vic in a pick-and-pull yard (not an easy job), or I could have the old one re-welded at a shop.  Well, the local welding shop was too busy at the time, so the repair will have to wait.  Tires were rotated, and the front ones balanced.  Total = about $490.
     Perhaps in late July, I will have Mooney Shell disassemble the p.s. hardware so I can get that bracket re-welded.

          Thinking I must have this done before my next trip to the Pacific NW,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. The mechanics at Hewitt must have reconnected a vacuum hose or electrical connection, because the engine is now running very, very smoothly.  How come I didn't catch that?  Smiley
9  Retro Computing / News and Events / Next FCUG meeting - Sunday, June 28 (cancelled) on: June 20, 2020, 05:22:39 PM
Greetings, C= and Ami aficionados!
     Happy Father's Day!  Our usual Sunday after Father's Day meeting is cancelled, due to the Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions placed at our venue, Panera Bread Restaurant.

          Staying busy with Commodore and Amiga,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
10  Retro Computing / Commodore 64 General Topics / Re: Another load from Ray Carlsen on: June 16, 2020, 10:46:02 AM
     I'm considering another visit to Ray Carlsen in July or August.  I have a club member's 3 SX-64's for repair, and I could pick up some Amiga 500/1200 and C64/128 power supplies from Ray at the same time.
     However, in this time of pandemic, my car journey would be restricted.  No visiting the inside of restaurants for me, only the drive-thru's.  No seeing other sights (gotta stay away from crowds).  And when I get to Ray's house, I'd leave the goods on his front porch, I'd walk back and stand by my car, and then he could come out to retrieve the items and drop off any goods.  We would be able to carry on a conversation, him on his front porch, me by the car.  Smiley

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
11  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: June 16, 2020, 10:33:27 AM
...I'll dig under the hood, haul out the old, 3-row radiator, and install the new one along with a new thermostat.
    I started small... that is, I started with installing the thermostat.  I thought it was going to be a quick job.  Wrong!  The thermostat housing has been bolted to the block for 41 years, and the bolts did not want to budge!  I finally got a 25-inch breaker bar and began with the left bolt.  After a lot of pushing, the bolt finally gave, and I got it out.  The right bolt was a different matter.  Attached to that bolt was a bracket with a housing that had vacuum and electrical lines going into it.  When I connected the breaker bar to that bolt and started turning, the bracket started turning, too.  So much so that the housing would make contact with the carburetor.  I heard cracking noises; those were coming from the plastic housing!  Not good!  In order to prevent the bracket/housing from moving, I had to wedge a crowbar between it and the cast iron intake manifold.  So, when I would turn counter-clockwise on the bolt, I had to also pull on the crowbar so that the bracket wouldn't move!   After several tries, the bolt started moving ever slowly.  Patience was the key.  Turn the bolt, pull the crowbar.  Repeat.  Thank goodness the breaker bar gave me the leverage.  Finally in the last threads of the bolt, I got a socket wrench onto it and got the rest of it removed relatively easy.
     I examined the bolt.  It was not a bolt but a stud!  The stud had gone through the bracket and had a nut attached.  I had been wrenching on a nut that wouldn't give.  I disassembled the nut from the stud, and the bracket/housing was free.
     The bracket/housing was damaged.  The plastic nipples for the vacuum hoses had sheared off cleanly.  Maybe I could reglue them together temporarily.  For that, I bought some silicone gasket maker (silicone caulking).  I cleaned off the area to be glued together (even after that, it was not perfectly clean), and I applied the silicone.  I held everything together with masking tape so that pressure was applied to the connection as the silicone dried.  It took 24 hours for the silicone to cure to full strength.
     In the meantime, I looked on-line to find a new unit, thinking that the temporary fix was just that... temporary.  But what was this unit called!  I looked under carburetion.  No.  I looked under pollution controls.  No.  I consulted smog control diagrams on Google.  I looked at top-of-the-engine photos on Google.  Finally, I spotted the unit!  It was called a TCS solenoid!  Throttle-controlled spark solenoid.  No regular automotive parts outlet carried it.  Howver, it was new and shiny on eBay.  I've ordered it.  $75!
     I've reassembled everything for the time being as I await the new TCS solenoid.  The new thermostat was inserted, the thermostat housing cleaned of the old gasket, new gasket mounted with gasket sealent, the housing mounted on top, left bolt torqued to 30 foot-pounds, right stud inserted and torqued to 30 foot-pounds, the old , silicone-glued TCS remounted along with a new nut and lock washer torqued to a few foot-pounds (so that it can be removed easily without the stud moving out with it), and vacuum hoses and electrical connection reattached to the TCS solenoid.
     I also got a new, upper radiator hose (the old one looked tatty at one end).  I refilled the cooling system.  Now it's off for a drive to test out the new thermostat!  

          That took a long time,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
12  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: May 22, 2020, 06:55:39 AM
So, to be safe, all u-joints and that bearing will be replaced.
     That was a big $770 for all the repairs in May.  Now a pause in the truck spending until late June.  Smiley

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
13  Retro Computing / News and Events / Pacific Commodore Expo NW 2020 - postponed on: May 22, 2020, 06:52:36 AM
     Due to the on-going pandemic and the unavailability of our venue, the Living Computers: Museum + Labs, this year's Pacific Commodore Expo 2020 has been postponed.  Sad  Watch the PaCommEx website at http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex for any further updates.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Bernardo
          organizer - Pacific Commodore Expo NW
14  Retro Computing / News and Events / Next FCUG meeting - Sunday, May 17 (cancelled) on: May 12, 2020, 10:29:38 AM
Dear C= and Ami aficionados,
     Due to the Covid-19 crisis and the unavailability of our venue, Panera Bread Restaurant, our May 17 meeting is cancelled.

          Hope you are staying well,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
15  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: May 11, 2020, 08:46:18 AM
...u-joints being inspected and replaced if necessary...
     The two in-line driveshafts were checked, and out of 3 universal joints, one was questionable, and the center carrier bearing between the driveshafts needed to be replaced.  So, to be safe, all u-joints and that bearing will be replaced.
     Last week I received a new, 4-row, shiny aluminum radiator from BrothersTrucks.com.  What a thing of beauty (in a machine sense)!  As soon as I can get some time, I'll dig under the hood, haul out the old, 3-row radiator, and install the new one along with a new thermostat.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
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