Monday, March 2, 2015

Magazine Article About Controlling A Model Train Set With A TRS-80

In my recent jaunts to Portland's outlet warehouse stores  I wound up with a stack of old model railroad magazines from the 1960s through the 1980s... because of course I did. Flipping through them, they are detail-intensive and super esoteric, which means they're perfect for this blog. Unfortunately, I cannot even try to care enough about model railroading to this degree. However, this article "Computerization Of The Great Southern" in the March 1983 issue of Model Railroader caught my eye because it intersected with 1980s retro-computing, which *is* something I give half a crap about.

The article features Lorell Joiner (who apparently died in 2007) discussing the computerization of his Great Southern Railroad model. As you can see from the photo, the equipment involved is a TRS-80 computer. Apparently the Great Southern was kind of a legendary big deal in the model railroad world, and certainly looks like no joke:

The article doesn't go into any of the program code or anything, but does detail the engineering aspect of it using those awesome programming flowcharts that used to be all over computer programming books from the 1980s.


Cool Nerdy Clash At Demonhead Fan Art


While doing research for a different project I'm working on for my main website, I stumbled across these cool notebook sketches by 8-Bit City detailing various entities and events from the game Clash At Demonhead (which I wrote about for Cracked five years ago). I particularly like this map; it reminds me a lot of video-game related sketches I used to make in my notebooks as a kid. The post appears to be a companion to this game-play log.

The blog also has scans of Nintendo Power's four-page piece from Issue 10 about CaD (which included character and monster names not in the instruction manual).