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1  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / Re: Next SCCAN meeting - July 10, 2021 (tentative) on: April 08, 2021, 10:52:31 AM
     A few weekends ago I was in the L.A. area, looking for a new venue for the Commodore Los Angeles Super Show.  I passed by our SCCAN meeting place, the Panera Bread Restaurant in Northridge.  The restaurant is still there (it survived the pandemic!), and I saw a few people sitting in the patio.  Unfortunately, yes, the patio is still in direct sunlight, Panera not having bought a patio cover as other restaurants have done.  So, our July meeting will definitely have to be indoors in Panera, because direct sunlight would wash out our monitor screen(s).

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
2  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / Re: Next SCCAN meeting - July 10, 2021 (tentative) on: March 22, 2021, 10:26:51 AM
     Goodies for our next meeting!  See http://retro-link.com/smf/index.php?topic=277.msg4306#msg4306

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
3  Retro Computing / Commodore 64 General Topics / Re: Another rescue to do! on: March 22, 2021, 10:24:56 AM
     Oy!  Another rescue to do!  This time I had to go to Los Angeles and pick up C64 and Amiga hardware... more Amiga than C=.  There was an Amiga 3000, an A1010 floppy drive, a high-density floppy drive mech for an A2000/3000/4000, boxed GVP Spectrum video card, boxed Amiga 500, giant external Amiga power supply which seemed homemade, boxed C64, 1571 disk drive, and six LCD VGA monitors (one of which was a multi-scan Dell).

          To be distributed at the July SCCAN meeting and November Commodore L.A. Super Show,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
4  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: March 15, 2021, 12:14:16 AM
     Well, the Crown Vic konked out once with that minimal keychain, but it restarted easily.  However, the car was low on fuel, enough to pop on the Low Fuel light but there should have been a reserve of 3 to 4 gallons.  So, I've been driving with the minimal keychain and have been keeping the gas tank more full of fuel.
     I also sprayed half a can of Gumout down the throat of the MAF and wiped away any gumminess around that throat and flapper.

          No engine dying so far,
          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 / General Discussion / Commodores in Wonder Woman 1984 on: March 02, 2021, 02:27:20 AM
    The filmmaker(s) didn't even try to hide the labels!  Commodores are definitely seen in medium shots of the new movie, Wonder Woman 1984.  There appears to be a Commodore PET 8096SK, seen in the office of Barbara Minerva.  That 8096SK is shown at least twice, because the movie comes back to her office at least twice.  Later in the movie, a very squarish Commodore PET 8032 is seen running a spreadsheet
program on its monitor.

          Couldn't figure out what was running on the 8096SK,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group -
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
6  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / Next SCCAN meeting - July 10, 2021 (tentative) on: February 13, 2021, 02:05:46 AM
Happy New Year and Happy Valentine's Day, SCCANers!
     It has been a long time since we've had a meeting... way too long.  However, with about 200K people a day being vaccinated against Covid here in California, there is a time frame in which we can have meetings again!!!!  Smiley  If the vaccination quota is maintained, then by late June, 80% of Californians should have a second shot.  So, I am tentatively scheduling a SCCAN meeting for July 10 at Panera Bread, Northridge.  We may be outside in the patio, but I can bring in a battery to power our 120v devices!  Smiley
     Watch this thread for further updates.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
7  Retro Computing / Commodore 64 Programming / Bible Games and Bible Scramble on: February 04, 2021, 11:32:54 AM
     A few weeks ago FCUG member and newsletter editor Lenard Roach sent a program disk for me to examine.  He had keyed in the BASIC 2.0 games from program listings found in a 1984 book.  The games were Bible Games and Bible Scramble, originally written in Basic for MS-DOS machines but modified for the C64.  Lenard wanted me to look over the games, because they were crashing on him, even after he checked and rechecked the lines of code.  I warned him that I was not an expert programmer and that I'd have to get help from those more knowledgeable on the Commodore mailing lists and forums.
     When I received the disk with photocopies from the book and hardcopies of the Basic listings, I waited a few days before I got into them.  But when I got into them, I couldn't stop!

          To be continued,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
8  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: February 04, 2021, 11:18:03 AM
     The Crown Vic went into the shop in January, but the mechanics couldn't find anything wrong with it.  I picked it up and drove it for less than a week, but as I turned a corner in town, the engine cut off again!  I restarted, but while idling by the curb, I called the owner of the shop and told him about that recurring problem.  Once again I returned the car to the shop.  Several days later I picked up the car again.  Verdict - nothing found!  Oy!  However, the owner did have a theory that something was wrong in the steering column, in other words, an electrical problem.
     Hmm, an electrical problem that happens to me when I'm driving the car but never when the mechanics are driving the car for several days.  Then I remembered years and years ago that a clerk at Orchard Supply Hardware (I was there to have duplicate keys made) warned me never to use a heavy keychain on a car's ignition lock.  He said that it would destroy the switch.  I also remembered that Chevrolet Cobalts had been recalled, because a heavy keychain on the ignition switch would turn off the engine.
     I'd drive the Crown Vic with a heavy keychain loaded with various keys and store reward cards.  However, when I gave the car to the mechanics, I would give them a minimal set of keys - just the ignition, trunk, and gas cap keys.  The car would never fail on them, but it would fail with me...  My deduction - the heavy keychain I was using turned off the ignition of the car!
     So far, I'm testing that theory of the keychain.  I've driven to Stockton 165 miles north of Visalia, and the car ran fine with a minimal keychain.  I need to drive it some more before I can conclude that the problem is solved with that minimal keychain.  If the problem is the ignition switch, the complete solution would be to open up the steering column and replace the switch.  That would give me a new ignition key to use.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
9  Retro Culture / Retro Literature / Re: Face It: A Memoir by Debbie Harry on: January 16, 2021, 06:01:52 AM
From Andy Warhol's diary of those days' events --

Friday, June 14, 1985

During this morning I went down to the Seagram's building for that "How to Paint" video thing that the computer company, Commodore, wants me to be a spokesman for. And I guess I got the job. I was afraid that they were going to put a spotlight on me and have me draw in front of 700 people, but it was okay. It's a $3,000 machine that's like the Apple thing but can do a hundred times more.

Monday, July 22, 1985

Went up to the Kiss of the Spider Woman screening (cab $5). This is the movie Jane Holzer produced with that David Weisman, the Ciao Manhattan person. I can't stand him so I hate to say it, but I liked the movie. And I guess people are wanting arty movies now, or something, it's the right time. I had to get home early and dye my hair because of my public appearance at Lincoln Center for Commodore Computers the next day. Dyed my eyebrows, too. Black. I always dye it black first, and then leave some white and everything. I'm artistic, sweetheart.

Tuesday, July 23, 1985

The day started off with dread as I woke up from my dreams and thought about my live appearance and how nothing is worth all this worrying, to wake up and feel so terrified. Had to be over at Lincoln Center at 9:00, so I was up at 7:30 (cab $4). Debbie Harry got there before I did. She's a blonde again and she's lost another ten pounds. And she was wearing the outfit from Stephen Sprouse that I've never seen anybody else wear yet - the shoes glued into the leg stocking. We ran through it, and the easiest part is running through our thing for the press, that's so easy. They said we had to be back there at 5:30.

The whole day was spent being nervous and telling myself that if I could just get good at stuff like this then I could make money that way and I wouldn't have to paint.

Then when I went back there at 5:30 we went on and I thought I was going to pass out. I forced myself to think about the next job I could get if I didn't. Went along and the drawing came out terrible and I called it "a masterpiece." It was a real mess. I said I wanted to be Walt Disney and that if I'd had this machine ten years ago, I could have made it. Then afterwards people saw the portraits of Debbie and thought those were (laughs) the Xeroxes.

And the news is full of Rock Hudson having AIDS in Paris. And now I guess people will finally believe Rock Hudson's gay. When you'd tell them before, they wouldn't believe it.
10  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: January 02, 2021, 11:22:47 AM
     Aw, in its first big test of freeway driving, the Chevy C30 failed!  I was to drive the truck from Stockton to Lodi round-trip, a distance of 31 miles.  I prepped the truck for any eventuality, carrying jumper cables, a floor jack, etc..  I checked and then inflated all the tires to their proper pressure.  My friend in Lodi was warned that he might have to rescue me if the truck didn't make it.
     I jumped in the truck and started it.  The engine ran smoothly.  So far, so good.  I headed off to the freeway on-ramp about 2 miles away.  There was a stop light that had turned red at the intersection just before the ramp.  I waited at the light, and when it turned green, I stomped on the accelerator to climb up the ramp.  Huge amount of off and on hesitation in the acceleration!  So much so, that I was being jerked back and forth in the truck seat.  O.K., this is not the way the truck is supposed to accelerate.  I aimed for the nearest off-ramp, got onto it, and drove back onto city streets.  I went back home and had to call my friend that I would not be visiting.  Diagnosis off the top of my head... fuel filter clogging (a problem which the truck has had in the past).  Because it was Jan. 1, none of the auto stores were open.  I'd have to wait until the next day in order to buy a filter, and hopefully it won't be raining down on me when I install that filter.
     My Lodi friend will be out of town for awhile.  Next opportunity to test drive the truck to Lodi... this Sunday when my friend returns.

          Happy New Year!
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. A while later on a road leading out of the city, I was able to get the truck up to 55 mph without any troubles.  However, in this short drive, I did not stomp hard on the accelerator but just slowly pushed slowly and had the truck gather speed gradually.
11  Retro Culture / Retro Literature / Re: Face It: A Memoir by Debbie Harry on: December 26, 2020, 11:14:42 AM
    I've just received the book as a Christmas present!  Here is what I wrote for the FCUG newsletter and an excerpt from Debbie Harry's book.

--------

(Debbie Harry, was a singer, songwriter, and actress who had the lead vocals in the band, Blondie.  Some of her famous songs were "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "The Tide Is High."  Andy Warhol was an artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.  Both of them appeared together on stage for the unveiling of the Commodore Amiga 1000 in 1985.  Below is what Debbie recalled from that event.)

Later, Andy called and asked me to model for a portrait he was going to create live, at Lincoln Center, as a promotion for the Commodore Amiga computer.  It was a pretty amazing event.  They had a full orchestra and a large board set up with a bunch of technicians in lab coats.  The techs programmed away with all the Warhol colors, as Andy designed and painted my portrait.  I hammed it up some for the cameras, turning toward Andy, running my hand through my hair, and asking in a suggestive Marilyn voice, ?Are you ready to paint me??  Andy was pretty hilarious in his flat-affect way, as he sparred with the Commodore host.

I think there are only two copies of this computer-generated Warhol in existence and I have one of them.  Commodore also gave me a free computer, which I passed on to Chris [Stein].

----

Harry, Debbie, "Face It: a Memoir," Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow, p. 196, c. 2019.

         Truly,
         Robert Bernardo
         Fresno Commodore User Group -
         http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
         Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network -
         http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
12  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / November 2020 SCCAN meeting... kind of... on: December 21, 2020, 01:49:14 PM
     Due to the pandemic, no SCCAN meetings have been held at our usual Panera Bread Restaurant in Northridge, CA.  In mid-November, outdoor dining at the restaurant was available, but there was no electrical outlet nor shade for our monitors.  Also Panera had instituted a 2-hour time limit on dining.
     SCCAN member Jeff R. wanted to meet so that he could pick up his 2 monitors which had been repaired by Ray Carlsen.  Well, I didn't want to drive the 3 hours down from Visalia to Northridge, and so, we compromised.  He would drive up from his area, and I would drive down 1 hour, 20 minutes to the Bakersfield Panera Bread Restaurant.
     We met on Saturday, November 19, at the noon hour, and he treated me to lunch at the restaurant.  We ate in the outdoor patio which was shaded and had one electrical outlet!  Of course, we tried to be socially-distant, him eating at one side of the table and me at the other side of table.  We talked a lot about computers, a little bit about Commodore (like the Mega65) but a lot about new news in the Amiga world (like new add-on's for the A1000).  It was like having a SCCAN meeting but without the computers to look at!  I speculated that with that electrical outlet in the patio, we would be able to have official SCCAN meetings.  However, we realized that few if any would come from the Los Angeles area all the way to Bakersfield for a meeting.
     We reached our 2-hour limit, though no one really came to shove us out of the patio.  Being the good people, we left anyway.  Jeff and I transferred the monitors out of my station wagon and into his car.  We said good-bye to each other, both of us wondering when we would meet again.
     Later that month, all outdoor dining was closed, due to the pandemic.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
13  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: December 21, 2020, 12:58:11 PM
     The fuel pump was replaced on the Crown Vic, and I drove it around for 7 days... in town only.  Once as I was coming into a parking spot, the engine cut off.  I was able to restart.  I thought to myself, "Cold engine?"  Then on the sixth day, as I was turning a corner, the engine cut off again!  Speed about 15 m.p.h..  Well, I was able to restart and got home, but something was definitely wrong.  Back in the station wagon, I went to Mooney Shell and explained the problem.  The owner of the shop told me to bring the Crown Vic back, and they could check it out again.  I said that Christmas was coming up, and I had to travel.  The Crown Vic would have to go in after Christmas.

          Driving the Mercury Colony Park station wagon right now,
          Robert Bernardo

P.S. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search of my 1988 Mercury CP, and the latest sell prices were $9,500 and $14,500!!!  The value of that old wagon is going up!
14  Retro Computing / Commodore 128 / Re: Volley for Two - new C128 game on: December 04, 2020, 05:57:13 AM
     I missed this short review of the game. See

http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/10/volley-for-two-enjoyable-volley-ball.html#more

     Truly,
     Robert Bernardo
     Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
     Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
15  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / SCCAN website updated on: December 01, 2020, 09:39:29 AM
    The website for the Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network has been rearranged with the addition of a News page.  Check it out!

         Truly
         Robert Bernardo
         Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
         http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
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