2021 Wrap Up

A couple of months have passed. You might remember me talking about a MacBook Pro that has a 16-inch screen and an M1 processor that I was planning on getting, but unfortunately, that dream didn’t work out because the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips tend to have overheating problems, even though the chip is used on a laptop rather than on a desktop computer.

While my 2009 El Capitan MacBook Pro is still out of commission (in fact I haven’t even turned it on at all since 2019, probably something went wrong while I was installing and upgrading things…), an old friend of my blog from Alberta decided to send a 2012-2013 Retina MacBook Pro running macOS Catalina to me in the mail! I’m really happy with the features I am used to on Intel Macs, with the improvements over to my previous MacBook Pro including a Core i7 compared to a Core 2 Duo, and 16 GB of RAM compared to 8 GB of RAM, and boasts a solid state drive that appears to be more reliable for many many years to come compared to conventional hard drives which have mechanical components.

I’ve also upgraded my 4K Home Theatre with a Laserdisc player, and it came as a bundle with five Academy Award winning films: Fantasia (Disney, 1940, early 90s, with the original Deems Taylor narration that I prefer, not the reissue version with Corey Burton), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney, 1937, early 90s), The English Patient (Miramax, 1996), Gone with the Wind (MGM, 1939, early 90s), and the Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939, early 90s). The model that I have is a Sony MDP-333. This Sony model is in excellent condition, and it was lightly used before, however, unlike the Pioneer laserdisc players which are built to last, this Sony model has some quality control issues, with some people online reported that a small batch of the model in particular have been wildly misbehaving, such as not getting the door to open properly, discs getting stuck in the machine, discs having a tendency to slip on smaller discs, and some laser skipping issues. Mine doesn’t have those problems although I’ll have to monitor it the next time I play a Laserdisc. Did you know that I played through the whole Fantasia movie in a couple of days? (including breaks working on my computers?) It was an outstanding but different movie when I watched it on my 4k Home Theatre, and I strongly recommend that if anyone is out second-hand shopping to find the Laserdisc version of Fantasia with the original Deems Taylor narration and not a reissue DVD or Blu-ray with Corey Burton, that would be a rare collector’s item for sure! I was originally planning on putting my Sanyo Hi-fi Betamax VCR in my setup, but due to the technical difficulties of getting that machine to work (with a bundle of tapes that are in varying conditions), I decided to use a more capable Laserdisc player, and the rest is history! For the new year onwards, a proper Sony MDP-333 Laserdisc player should definitely deserve a place in my 4K Home Theatre!

I was busy having fun using an IOMEGA USB ZIP drive that I recently got as an early Christmas gift, and Windows 10 recognized the ZIP drive without any problems! The next time I bring out the Performa 6400, it should make my life easier rather than using a Parallel port ZIP Drive on an HP DX5150 SFF running Windows Vista.

Also, the Cassette to MP3 converter collection strikes again with a Rybozen that’s better built than my ION Tape Express Plus that I currently have, and it all comes down to not one, but two of the Cassette to MP3 converters that I have in the collection!

So, everything’s going well here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection, especially during a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic called the Omicron. Luckily, I’m going to get a booster vaccine sometime in the new year. And I now have a new computer history book in the collection by the MIT, so that would keep me occupied during 2022!

Stay tuned for more blog posts here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection, and before I sign off, I recently signed up to the LDDB Laserdisc Database now that I have a Laserdisc player in the collection, but you might be in for a challenge to find me in order to see my Laserdisc collection! For now, take care, and stay safe!

It’s been a while yet again! Talking about finds, experiments and more during the month of October!

I’ve been busy during the month of October, I forgot to write about what I did during my thrift store hunt!

I’m going to start off by taking a look at what I’ve contributed to the Internet Archive and the Macintosh Garden, from thrift store finds to existing collections when they were bought on the day they came out. Here are all of the downloads for some older software which I believe they are around 15 to 25 years old and are no longer sold and forgotten about… until now:

  1. Rembrandt and Kids (as seen on LGR Thrifts)
  2. Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Explorer – Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden
  3. Montreal Canadiens 1909-1995 – Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden
  4. The Digital Field Trip to the Wetlands – Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden
  5. Just a Chemical Reaction – Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden
  6. Type Through Time – Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden
  7. The Dinosaurs 3D
  8. Bird Watcher (with Peter Dunne)
  9. Multimedia Music Games (Voyetra, now a Turtle Beach company)
  10. Compel PE 2.0 (Windows 95 only, incompatible with later systems)
  11. Picture Publisher 10 Professional (Micrografx, dissolved to Corel)
  12. iF-22 Persian Gulf Version 5.0
  13. Bruce Jenner’s World Class Decathlon (Bruce became Caitlyn in 2015)
  14. PowerCD (Zane) Merriam Webster Dictionary with Sampler
  15. Panasonic Digital Palmcorder Software circa 2004
  16. Key Home Gardener
  17. Last but not least, an interactive CD-ROM about healthy eating from a local pharmacy in Canada.

I also got my 80s stereo system an overhaul with a new Nakamichi CR-1A cassette deck! It replaces the Harman Kardon CD-91 cassette deck that was currently in my setup. The Harman Kardon CD-91 has a rougher sound than the Nakamichi CR-1A, but the latter sounds more natural when I play my existing prerecorded cassettes and my custom Chrome (Type II) mixtapes with my new deck, and also gained the ability to record cassettes with Dolby C!

Now onto the PlayStation One games that I found from my local thrift stores and flea markets:

  1. Dora The Explorer: Barnyard Buddies
  2. Sabrina The Teenage Witch: A Twitch in Time
  3. Turbo Prop Racing

As well as the Game Boy Advance games:

  1. Hot Wheels Stunt Track Challenge
  2. Shrek 2
  3. Finding Nemo
  4. Pong, Asteroids, and Yar’s Revenge
  5. The Fairly Odd Parents Enter the Cleft

I also got Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution for the Xbox 360, as well as Windows PC titles such as the 2011 remake of You Don’t Know Jack, Angry Birds Rio, Bad Piggies, Jurassic Park III Danger Zone, Math Blaster for 5th Grade (1999), Space Quest 6, Chess Master 5500, as well as a couple more Encyclopedia CD-ROMs.

I brought out my HP Pavilion a6010n Windows 10 32-bit PC to test out two DualDisc titles for the Sound Blaster Audigy 2’s Media Source DVD-Audio Player: Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day, and Rob Thomas’ Something to Be, both released in 2005. It appears that the Rob Thomas DualDisc has the best sound quality which is done at 96 kHz 24-bit, both multichannel on the DVD-Audio portion, and stereo on the DVD-Video portion with a backup Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The Bon Jovi DualDisc is capped at around 48 kHz. I then played the two DualDiscs on my Toshiba DVR630 DVD VCR Combo Recorder which also counts as a backup DVD player along with my Sony PlayStations and the Xbox 360, then played the CD portion of the two on my Sony CDP-C515 5-disc changer of the 80s stereo system. Quite an unusual piece of technology which was sadly eclipsed in the 2010s.

I also found some more music CD’s with an enhanced portion for computers, and I also came across an unusual title that combines 24-bit audio while retaining the ability to play bonus features on a computer, which is from the Danish Eurodance group Aqua with their 2000 album “Aquarius”. The 24-bit audio was encoded in the HDCD format, and we have a couple of HDCD discs in the house already found during a couple of our thrift store hunts!

I’ve updated my 2017 iMac 4K to macOS Monterey, and my two iPads (a 2015 Pro and a 2020 Air) to iOS 15. This was done in preparation of a new MacBook Pro that I’ll be getting with an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip and a 16-inch screen.

Last but not least, I found an original white Xbox 360 from the mid-2000s as a backup to my main black Xbox 360 S that the latter is being used in the 4K home theatre setup of my office. I used the black and white pattern to differentiate between the main black Xbox 360 and the white backup Xbox 360. If only I could find a spare monitor for the backup…

Well, that was a long blog post! I wanted to catch up on what I have forgotten in the history of Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection! You can check out my music collection on Discogs, check out my software uploads on the Internet Archive, Macintosh Garden, and Vetusware, my video game contributions on MobyGames, and, of course, I also hang out on DeviantArt where I occasionally draw some art (I’m probably an amateur when it comes to drawing and painting, but who cares?)! More blog posts coming your way! For now, take care!

COVID-19 Thrift Store Acquisitions 2021 #3

Still staying safe while thrifting! Here’s what I got so far:

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica 2003 Student Edition (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  2. Earth Ocean Atmosphere Explorer (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  3. Dora the Explorer World Adventure (Windows)
  4. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  5. 1998 Groiler Multimedia Encyclopedia (Windows)
  6. Reader Rabbit’s Reading Ages 6-9 (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  7. AquaReal 3D (Windows)

I also got some blank CD-Rs, as well as a couple of Beatles VHS tapes for my collection! Now I must get back to working on my computers so stay tuned for more! Take Care!

LightScribe on an HP Pavilion a6010n Windows 10 computer

I recently bought some Memorex LightScribe DVD+R’s at the thrift store, and it had that green coating on the top of the disc, but I wasn’t sure until I looked at it further, and no, I’m not going to use my soft permanent markers to label my discs the old-fashioned way, my HP Pavilion a6010n has a LightScribe DVD-RW drive installed, so that should simplify the process!

So I went on Google to find a website that has all of the software that I need to get the LightScribe technology on both my HP Pavilion a6010n and my Memorex LightScribe DVD+R’s up and running, and I managed to find a website where you can download the latest software compatible with Windows 10 Home Edition for the Simple Labeler and System Software, but not on the Pro versions, but the website has a few workarounds for the Template Labeler to work on Windows 10, provided that you have a Windows 7 computer with another LightScribe DVD Drive on hand before transferring to your Windows 10 computer. The website is run by Australian LightScribe guru Steve Nelson, and he’s been at it since 2006! He also sells his own paid software if you feel more advanced with your labelling.

I installed the LightScribe System Software and Simple Labeler using the Windows 7 compatibility mode on my Windows 10 Home Edition HP Pavilion a6010n machine, and no problems were found during installation! So I did a few burns on my Custom Built High Performance Windows 10 PC using ImgBurn 2.5.8.0 with those Memorex LightScribe discs, and then switched to the HP tower so that I can do the labels! Now with LightScribe discs, you have to put the discs in the tray with the label face down, so that the labels print correctly, otherwise it won’t work! And that’s how I did it! So I used the Simple Labeler to label the burned discs using the fonts that came bundled with Windows 10, and waited 3 minutes, and when I took the discs out of the LightScribe drive, success! No need for handwriting labels, although I am still used to handwriting labels on standard CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray’s these days!

LightScribe hasn’t been updated since 2013, but thanks to Steve, he was able to resurrect support for it since HP no longer makes them! There was also a competitor from Yamaha named LabelFlash, but that will be for another time! Laser etching disc labels were new in the early 2000s, specifically 2004, and boy, I never had LightScribe up until now courtesy of thrift stores, where I got the HP Pavilion a6010n, and the Memorex LightScribe DVD+R discs! But now, I will be back to working on my computers, so stay tuned for more blog posts here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection! For now, take care!

COVID-19 Thrift Store Acquisitions 2021 #2

As September starts approaching, here are some amazing finds from my local thrift stores while staying safe from COVID-19:

  • Typing Instructor Platinum (PowerPC OS X)
  • EA Sports NHL 15 (Xbox 360)
  • MindTwister Math (Hybrid Classic Mac OS/Windows)
  • Verbatim Label Design Software (CD-ROM)
  • Treasure Cove (Hybrid Classic Mac OS/Windows)
  • Arthur’s Birthday (1997, Hybrid Classic Mac OS/Windows)

Just a little shy of six acquisitions (including a spindle of 100 Memorex DVD+R’s!)! Not bad! But anyways, I’ll be busy with those finds, so stay tuned as I go through my computer and video game collection so that I can make an interesting blog post about them! For now, take care!

Post-Pandemic COVID-19 Thrift Store Acquisitions 2021

This month, I got fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that leads me to practice my thrift store shopping skills while staying safe!

Here’s what I got so far:

  • Reader Rabbit 1 (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Reader Rabbit 3 (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Ratatouille (2007, Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Blue’s 123 Time Activities (1999, Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego CD-ROM (1994, Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Reader Rabbit’s Math Ages 6-9 (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Ultimate Writing and Creativity Center (Windows)
  • Slater and Charlie Go Camping (Windows, complete with back cover!)
  • Math Blaster Ages 9-12 (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)
  • Gus Goes to Cybertown (Hybrid Macintosh/Windows)

That totals to ten acquisitions of video games, but also I bought Blank Media of CD-R’s and Floppy disks!

Please remember to stay safe, and check back on Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection for more experiments! For now, take care!

I was off again for a couple of months!

I decided to make a blog post about my Computer and Video Game Collection experiments that I was working on for the past couple of months!

I was working on my Leopard G5 iMac loading some stuff that I have missed out on since last Winter. I also tried out new methods of making QuickTime videos for Cornica on the G5 iMac, as well as connecting to the internet with TenFourFox (support ends October 2021).

With my upgraded HP DX5150 SFF Vista computer, I was able to get the IOMEGA Parallel Port Zip drive working ‘on Vista’ with the help of the Microsoft drivers from Google Search, as well as upgrading the memory to new 4 GB DDR modules because the ones in there before tend to lock up the system no matter what, and putting in a new LG DVD Rewritable drive in place of the stock DVD-ROM drive. I also upgraded from the RTM version of Vista to Service Pack 1 at one point, and after the memory upgrade to Service Pack 2.

While this may be a quick one in preparation for the month of August, I have mostly done the QuickTime movies on my Aluminum PowerBook G4; so having another computer is a minor improvement! Not by much, but worth it! And when TenFourFox is out of support, I might look into another web browser for PowerPC Macs! Also, my side project is archiving obscure VHS tapes to the Internet Archive in better quality compared to 2014 blocky video quality, so when I got my iMac 4K and my Custom Built High Performance Windows 10 PC, I can rip my VHS Transfers that I did with my Toshiba DVR630’s DVD Recorder in ways that could not be possible than my previous setup! Unbelievable!

And I am still on my first dose of my COVID-19 vaccine, I actually felt my left arm, but it got better overtime!

So, July is going pretty well! Stay tuned for more here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection! Also, check out the guys at Cornica.org too! That’s where you’ll find videos for your old 68k or PowerPC Mac! (possibly Windows 3.1/95/98 too!)

For now, stay safe, and take care!

-Katie Cadet, July 2021, Canada

Revisiting the StarFlyers Fun Site in 2021!

The StarFlyers Fun Site is one of my earliest fan websites of the StarFlyers that I did in late 2014! Unfortunately, my previous web hosting provider (000Webhost) decided to expire the site due to server costs (it’s not my fault, it’s theirs!). Looking back at this website was a revolutionary experience! I was using SoftQuad’s Hot Metal Pro 4.0 to do the website coding (I was mentioning on that site that this was made using 90s commercial software, specifically 1997.), while retaining compatibility with older browsers such as Netscape Navigator 3, and Internet Explorer 4. The web address is formerly located at thesffunsite.site11.com.

What would be a good project is to look up that website into oldweb.today to see if I was right! And I did! Old 90’s website style reimagined on a modern PC (I used Edge on Windows 10 as the host.), something that my 2014 self had some imagination on an ASUS Transformer T100 before Windows 10 came out!

As you can see, some people used to download sound clips of the StarFlyers games from here, but unfortunately, the Internet Archive has not backed up the clips correctly, only the pages that are visited before (think HTML). But all I can say that people using Netscape Navigator 3 on their retro computer (either Windows 3.1 or Mac OS 8) would’ve probably gone to that website if it was still alive. Speaking of Netscape Navigator 3, Michael MJD has made a video about it for you to enjoy here:

Overall, it was a blast from the past! I hope you enjoyed time travelling with me to see the StarFlyers Fun Site from 2014 before it became wiped out forever! If you like this blog post, stay tuned for more! In the meantime, I gotta get back to the present day, so take care!

Taking the eMac out of storage in 2021!

One day, I brought my eMac out of my storage shelf from the office, and wanted to turn it on to see if it still boots, and yes it does! I have found no issues!

It is running Mac OS X 10.3 Panther on the 2004 model (which is what I have), and is one of the last CRT Macs ever produced! The Stargate movie trailer created for Cornica mentioned earlier was done on the eMac, after I upgraded the QuickTime version from version 6 to version 7.5. Version 7 of QuickTime on Mac OS X 10.3 is the only version supported on an early macOS to play H264 MP4 files correctly! It took a couple of weeks of work and play on the eMac just to update what I missed when I first got the machine. I installed several things on the eMac, some Mac OS 9 software (I didn’t know that the eMac came bundled with Classic Environment!), and some Mac OS X software in between!

There are too many to list! But the most interesting programs that I installed are iWork 06, NeoOffice, AppleWorks 6, Microsoft Office 2004, Jeopardy 2nd Edition (MacSoft), Rockett’s New School, Spy Kids Mega Mission Zone, Roxio Toast 7 Titanium, Classilla 9.3.3, The Sims Life Stories, and of course, Tetris Elements!

So, it’s still working beautifully, aside from a buggy DVD drive which keeps closing when I open it, but I had to hold the tray to put a CD or DVD in or take it out, and that solved the problem! But anyways, keep on reading here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection, and take care!

Taking the PowerBook 540c out of storage in 2021!

The last time I used my PowerBook 540c is when I was trying to test out the AppleCD 300 on that unit, but I had to hold off for another time because the display got all glitched out (it’s due to the fact I was using it in the kitchen). Now we are in 2021, and the display on the PowerBook 540c has not glitched at all! I thought I should give that a try, but upon turning it on, it made a weird alarm-like sound, which is the motors on the fan and the hard drive aligning themselves (Trust me, the hard drive is not dead!), but after waiting a little bit (and a little tap, though usually not necessary), it finally booted! Now I am able to test out the AppleCD 300 on the PowerBook 540c!

The first thing I tried out is installing QuickTime 3.0.2, but unfortunately, I had to disable the HP Background extension in the Extensions Manager of Mac OS 8.1 (the OS that is on the PowerBook 540c, and the latest for 68040 Macs), even though I don’t have an HP Printer for older Macs, and after I did that, the installation was successful!

The next thing I tried was putting an Audio CD in the AppleCD 300, but unfortunately, two of my Hi-Res Audio-capable Headphones (Audio-Technica On-Ear, and Tunai In-Ear), won’t fit the headphone jack because the two headphones mentioned both have four-pole connectors. I then resorted to using my Apple Earbuds that came with my iPod touch 4th generation, and upon playing the Audio CD that I just put in the drive, it came out very quiet, and only coming out mostly from the left channel. I know, it is not a new CD-ROM drive (it came out in 1992 and is one of the first double-speed CD-ROM drives out there that became popular in mainstream multimedia), but I actually needed to crank up the volume on both the PowerBook 540c’s AppleCD player software and on the AppleCD 300 itself, and finally I could hear it playing, but still a little bit on the quiet side. Keep in mind though, the drive is playing through an Analog method, unlike the Digital method used in modern CD drives in computers.

What was originally planned finally happened! But anyways, I think the PowerBook 540c still works great, aside from a very minor display glitch where it changes colours after it corrected itself, but other than that, no issues found so far! Oh, and one last thing, I started contributing QuickTime videos of movie trailers off of my DVD collection on a newly-created website known as Cornica. Go check it out! (Well, not because of my uploads, but the whole collection of user-contributed QuickTime movies too!) Also, don’t forget to check back for more blog posts here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection! You never know! Maybe it can be a post about experimenting vintage computers, or maybe it can be a forgotten CD-ROM software treasure! There’s lots of computer-related things I can blog about, but I have to get back to work, so take care, and happy computing!