Category Archives: Wonderful World of the Internet

Things found from the Internet that I consider to be interesting.

SIPPONEN.COM has moved!

I have physically moved the SIPPONEN.COM to a new service provider. Virtually it is still at the same location as it has been, meaning the address

My earlier service provider Nebula was really good and stable, but after I quickly made a benchmark about the prices it became clear to me that I’m paying too much. With my new service provider Domainmaailma the cost level is one third and as a really nice bonus they use cPanel which means I can configure by myself pretty much what I want to related to my web hotel services. Also adjusting capacities like disk space, network transfer quotas, number of email boxes, databases etc. is really simple and real-time change. This kind of things of course affect to the price of the service, but it is rather “affordable” and scaling is possible up and downwards without any notification periods. This I would call as a cloud service. 🙂

So far it seems that I have found good+cheap+fancy SP for my site. As everybody knows this kind of equation usually “does not compute”, but let’s see. So far so good and since I’m quite DIY type of a person who knows if this really is the perfect service for me. 🙂

At the same time I needed to change my domain registrar from Joker to Enom (to get all the benefits hanging at this SP transition) and seems that this change has now been replicated pretty much all over the globe. Also it seems that there were not any kind of downtime for my site while committing the transition, so this really seems to be too good of being true.

Integrations Ready

Seems that about all the features are working which I wanted to get to SIPPONEN.COM:

  • Blog with many publishing features
  • Photo gallery
  • Temperature measurements more or less nicely incorporated to WordPress page template. A bit quick & dirty solution, but good enough. 🙂
  • Facebook integration – blog posts will be automatically published to my Facebook wall without any extra steps
  • Social media integration for easy sharing and commenting
  • Rather nice Android application to publish new content

There still are some things I will try to improve at the future, but now I declare this as a “production ready” web site. If I have enough time & motivation I will try to re-post some content currently in Facebook photo galleries to my new blog, but that remains to be seen.

Biggest challenge was to find from a zillions of different plugins the ones that fit to my purposes and also are trustworthy. I also needed to familiarize myself to WordPress, but from installing point of view this has been very easy process. Currently I only have 3 plugins: Akismet, Eazyest Gallery and JetPack.

SIPPONEN.COM is under upgrade

I have installed WordPress to power my SIPPONEN.COM web site. This is mainly because my old homemade web publishing engine starts to be so old that it is not able to meet all today’s needs. And since I’m not willing to consume my time to rewrite it I have decided to use some open source tool instead.

This site is still rather incomplete and hopefully I have time & motivation to get it properly running some near future.

Commodore 128 video/scart

I found this at year 2003 when I was searching such solution:

I hooked my C128 to my television set. The same cable can be used
for both 40 and 80 column screen, as I have a switch in it.

This cable is based on an article in C=Lehti 2/89. It had some inaccuracies,
and it is in Finnish. So I'll describe the cable here.

The RGBI connector looks like following, when looking to the machine's rear
side from outside:

	5   4   3   2   1

	  9   8   7   6

(The User's guide and the C=Lehti article used the mirror image of this,
which confused at least me.)

The pins are as follows:

	1 GND	ground
	2 GND	ground
	3 R	red
	4 G	green
	5 B	blue
	6 I	intensity
	7 VIDEO	composite video
	8 HSYNC	horizontal sync
	9 VSYNC	vertical sync

My television has a 21-pin Scart connector, which is used in Europe. It is
a special type of connector that has rectangular plates as pins. The pins
are surrounded by a pentagonal metal frame. It looks like the following:

	|                                       |
	| 1   3   5   7   9  11  13  15  17  19 |
	|                                       |
	|   2   4   6   8  10  12  14  16  18  20 

The needed pins are:

	4, 5, 9, 13, 17	ground
	2		audio, right channel
	6		audio, left channel
	7		blue
	11		green
	15		red
	20		video
	16		fast blank

The Scart connector does not allow use of HSYNC and VSYNC signals, so it
uses a video signal to synchronize the RGB picture. As the video signal
can be used also without RGB, the "fast blank" signal is needed to enable
RGB signal, unless you have a switch in your television to enable RGB.

When the television or monitor gets a positive voltage to the "fast blank" pin,
RGB will be enabled. The C=lehti article instructed to tie VSYNC to this
pin through a 220 ohm resistor to provide the voltage, but it was too weak for
my TV. So I temporarily used a 9 V battery to get some color on the screen.
Finally I hooked that pin to the cassette port's +5V output.

The television expects analog RGB, but the C128 outputs digital RGB. The
signals can be converted to analog using six resistors:

digital              analog
	R ---- R1 ---- R ---- R4 ---+
	G ---- R2 ---- G ---- R5 ---+
	B ---- R3 ---- B ---- R6 ---+
	I --------------------------+

The article suggested R1, R2 and R3 to be 470 ohms and R4, R5 and R6 to be
680 ohms. You can experiment with other values to get good-looking colors
on the screen.

On some C128's, the RGBI connector's VIDEO signal might be actually 40 column
screen's video signal, or the C=Lehti article is simply wrong when claiming
that you can get the 40 column screen via the RGBI connector. In any case,
you get sound and 40 column screen from the 8-pin VIDEO connector. You can
plug a 180 degree 5-pin DIN connector to it. The pin 2 is ground, 4 is video
signal and 3 is audio output.

Finally you have to add a 2*ON-ON switch to switch between 8563 and 8566
screen. Connect it as follows:

  RGBI Video (7)-----o/  80 column screen
Scart Video (20)----/ |
   VIC Video (4)-----o|  40 column screen
  voltage supply-----o/
 Fast blank (16)-R7-/    R7=220 ohms


As mentioned above, you might be able to use VSYNC as voltage supply. If
the cassette port's +5V pin is not enough for your TV or monitor, use a
9 V battery or take a +9V or +12V lead from your computer.

Be careful with the 80 column mode. If you reset the computer to 64 mode,
the VDC screen will be out of syncronization, and your monitor may start
to smoke if you leave the cable in 80 column mode for several seconds.

Part list:

	Quantity	Quality
	========	=======
	   3		470 ohm resistors
	   3		680 ohm resistors
	   1		220 ohm resistor
	   1		Scart connector
	   1		D9S connector
	   1		5-pin 180-degree DIN plug
	   1		2*ON-ON switch

To connect your C128's 80 column screen to a CGA monitor, simply connect all

Have fun connecting!

	Marko Mäkelä