Thursday, March 19, 2009

Practical Retromoblogging

(Article originally written 03/16/09)
My old TRS-80 Model 100 (aka "Gibraltar") just became more useful.

Today, after a week of edge-of-my-seat anticipation, my latest peripheral arrived, one that will make my mobile blogging life a lot easier.

My NADSBox arrived.

"What the Hell is a NADSBox?" you may ask, "What does it do, apart from invite puerile comments as to its name?" (Including, I might add, an officially sanctioned one...)



So good of you to ask! The NADSBox, or New Age Digital Storage Box, is a modern replacement for the aging Tandy Portable Disk Drive. It basically emulates the TPDD, using SD, MMC, SDHC cards in place of floppy disks.



The main benefit is storage capacity - my old TPDD2 could store 200K on a single floppy. The NADSBox can handle memory cards up to 16 Gigabytes! Not that I'd ever need that kind of storage, mind you, but it's nice to know that the capability is there. Heh, I doubt that I'll ever fill the 512Mb card that came with the unit...



Another added benefit (and this was the deciding factor for me) is that the cards used in the NADSBox can be read in any old card reader, so I can blog with my Model 100 to my heart's content, save my work to the NADSBox, pull the SD card, pop it into my USB2 card reader and transfer all my work onto my Linux box (or iMac) for uploading to Blogger.

Of course, this works both ways, too. I can download a bunch of Model 100 apps online using my Linux box (etc) and simply write everything to the SD card for transfer to my Model 100!

No more fighting with null-modem cables or slooooowwww modem transfers anymore! Wooohoooo!

My heartfelt thanks to Ken Pettit for designing the singularily most useful computing product I've bought in the past decade or so, and a special "Thank You" goes to Rick Hanson of Club 100 for being the sole distributor and all-around nice guy.

I'd also like to extend a big "Hello" to all who have come to my little corner of the blogosphere via the link on the Club 100 site. Welcome!


EDIT 3/19/09
So far, the NADSBox has paid for itself with an increase in productivity. I've been writing a lot more than usual, and I've been transferring a bunch of my other work from my old TPDD disks onto the NADSBox, so I can upload them to my Linux box for later archiving onto CD or DVD.

I've also been poring over some of the Model 100's technical documents online, so I can have a better understanding of the machine and how it works - but more on that later. I have twenty more disks worth of material to archive, tomorrow's blog post to finish, and a spreadsheet to update.

Gonna be a late night...

UPDATE 12/01/13:  There's now a second part to this article!  You can find it here.