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Target-Earth Blog!

Here's the TargetEarth blog, it's mostly useless information with a few extremely niche tech posts…

Some useful shortcuts:

  • Tech stuff - network installers for Unix-like systems, old hardware
  • Car stuff - rebuilds and projects

Recent Posts

Here are the 5 most recent blog posts…

Interesting or Cool Looking PC-98 Games

Stuff that looks really cool or things that interest me… may even try my hand at English translation work if I can get to grips with them.

  • Dangel
  • Alpha Dyne
  • Dead Force
  • Amaranth
  • Holy Girl Squadron Lakers
  • Farland Story 2 through 7 (English patches)
  • CRW (English patch)
  • CRW 2
  • Cyber Illusions
  • Branmarker
  • Illusion City
  • Macross (English patch)
  • Briganty
  • Advanced Power Dolls
  • Bible Master 2
  • Power Slave
  • Graystone Saga
  • Last Guardian
  • The Last Crusader
2019/05/07 23:39 · john

Adding Modern Storage to Retro Computers

Old computers are cool, but hundreds and hundreds of cassette tapes, floppy discs, cartridges and cd-roms is most definitely not. They also take up a huge amount of room.

Most of my retro systems have at least one type of more modern mass-storage device, some more useable than others.


Acorn RiscPC 700

The RiscPC has standard IDE headers and can use industry standard IDE hard drives, Compact Flash adaptors and optical drives.

Currently fitted: Internal IDE to Compact Flash adapter + 8GB CF card.


Acorn A7000

As per RiscPC, the A7000 has standard IDE.

Currently fitted: Internal IDE to Compact Flash adapter + 8GB CF card.


Amiga 500

No mass-storage provision as standard.


Amiga 1200

On board 44pin 2.5“ IDE header was fitted as standard.

Currently fitted: 3.5” drive bay with Compact Flash reader to IDE. SCSI CD reader attached to Blizzard SCSI IV.


Amstrad CPC

No mass storage as standard


Apple Macintosh IICi

Came with SCSI 1 onboard controller.

Currently fitted: Aztec CF Monster, SCSI to IDE/CF bridge card and Compact Flash card.

Supplier: http://www.artmix.com/CF_AztecMonster.html

Price: No longer available


  • Atari Jaguar
  • Atari ST
  • MSX
  • NEC PC-9801 / PC-9821
  • NEC PC-Engine / Duo
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo Gameboy Advance
  • Nintendo Gamecube
  • Nintendo SNES
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Sega MasterSystem
  • Sega Megadrive
  • Sega Saturn
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum
  • Sony Playstation
  • Sony PS2
  • Vectrex
2019/05/07 11:56 · john

Modern Keyboards & Mice for old computers

I have lots of old computers… ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amiga, BBC, MSX and more. One of the problems I have with them all is getting enough desk space to use them. Not a problem with old consoles; they can typically be put on a shelf with power and video and they'll just work, of course with a computer you generally need enough space to have the keyboard in front of your.

To show the complexity of just how much stuff I have to fit together, here's a diagram I had to make when mapping out the connectivity…

There's just no way I can afford to have 10 or more keyboards on the desk, so they have to be put on shelves out of the way.

This is a problem you need to solve when you are being kicked out of your man cave in order to make room for children.

So, one option is to add a remote keyboard, either PS/2 or USB, and switch them all through a KVM switch or similar. Fortunately most systems seem to have something like that available.


→ Read more...

2019/01/07 08:27 · john

Netboot Linux

Linux flavours vary slightly when netbooting, here are the two most common versions I use.


→ Read more...

2018/11/28 08:53 · john

DOS / Windows PXE booting

I don't often need to do this, but once in a while it's handy to boot to a MSDOS boot floppy (either 6.22 or 7.00) from a machine that has PXE support.

Here's the pxelinux.cfg menu entry that will boot either a DOS or Win 98 SE boot floppy image:

default syslinux/menu.c32
prompt 0

MENU TITLE MS-DOS/Windows Installer Menu
menu separator

LABEL DOS - MS-DOS 6.22 Setup Floppy i386/amd64
KERNEL syslinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=dos/MS-DOS_6.22_Disk_1_Setup.IMA
TEXT HELP
Boot MS-DOS from DOS 6.22 setup floppy image. NO FAT32 large disk support.
ENDTEXT

LABEL DOS - MS-Windows 98 SE Floppy i386/amd64
KERNEL syslinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=dos/Windows98_SE.img
TEXT HELP
Boot MS-DOS from a Windows 98 SE floppy image. With FAT32 support for large disks.
ENDTEXT

LABEL Return
MENU LABEL ^Return to Main Menu
KERNEL menu.c32
APPEND pxelinux.cfg/default

You need the following files:

  • memdisk - Part of the syslinux distribution (find it inside /usr/lib/syslinux/)
  • menu.c32 - Part of the syslinux distribution
  • MS-DOS_6.22_Disk_1_Setup.IMA - MSDOS 6.22 boot floppy, https://www.bootdisk.com/.
  • Windows98_SE.img - Win98SE boot floppy (DOS mode), sourced from https://www.bootdisk.com/.

This can be quite a handy setup for systems without a floppy drive, or those that need to boot to a DOS prompt in order to flash a BIOS or similar.

2018/11/27 16:58 · john
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  • Last modified: 2018/11/28 14:17
  • by john