Two Factor Authentication and Server Update

I’ve decided to add 2-Factor Authentication to this site to strengthen security. While I don’t use this site much any more (this may change) I haven’t been letting it go stale and have been keeping everything on here up to date. I know full well how dangerous it is to not update; leaving a massive hole in site security with unpatched vulnerabilities!

This follows on from discovering Debian 10, which I was running, has reached End-Of-Life so I quickly updated to Debian 12, which inevitably broke my mail server (also quickly fixed) but otherwise went really smoothly.

Now with everything up to date and running smoothly I feel much more comfortable for the next few years 😉

I hope by now you can see I’m not complacent over security and I’m fully aware nothing is perfectly secure. I do keep an eye on everything I use, even things I don’t use often, to ensure it’s as secure as it can be.

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VIC 20 Repair Successful!

This is my first post here for a while but it’s quite long so deserves it!

A short while ago I acquired a VIC 20 for the price of postage (thanks Johnny Blanchard – Re:Enthused) but it didn’t work so I bought one from eBay.

I used this to start some diagnosis. After a few chip swaps I discovered the 6502 wasn’t working so I bought a replacement and it was up and running, but it didn’t recognise when a disk drive was attached.

Using a borrowed oscilloscope I did some diagnosis and concluded that one of the outputs of the 7406 inverter chip wasn’t giving any signal, so I ordered a replacement and some sockets.

This arrived today so I piggy backed it over the suspect ship and the disk drive was recognised!

As I knew it was bad I wasn’t worried too much about damaging the failed 7406 but I did want to try to remove it cleanly… I failed. 3 pins just wouldn’t clear.

A mangled (but failed) 7406 IC

I then soldered a socket onto the board and popped the replacement 7406 in and all is good!
I did manage to break off the electrolytic surface mounted capacitor from the SD2IEC (floppy drive emulator) so had to do some more research and diagnosis to figure out which way around it fits then did my first ever surface mount soldering, and it all still works!

My SD2IEC – the capacitor is to the lower left of the SD slot

The small 14 pin 7406 in a fresh socket and the screen showing a directory successfully loaded proving the repair is successful is shown below. This is my first deep diagnosis and repair of an old computer and I’m quite happy with the process and especially the results.

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Twin Stick Controller

A while back I planned to build a twin stick controller so I bought a large project case and one (to test) bat top stick and realised that the box wasn’t big enough for two of these so repurposed that to a 4-way arcade stick instead.

I went back to the drawing board and made a new plan, 2 of these boxes bolted together and a hole between them for wiring. I knew this wasn’t going to be cheap so it had to wait. That time has come!

Base Assembly

The controller is an Arduino Pi Pico. The boards are just strip board to which I’ve soldered pin headers to reduce the soldering required later and make maintenance easier.

Next was to fit the arcade parts to the top panels.

Top Panels

Two panels here so top and bottom views in one picture! I did come across a new problem though. These Suzo Happ sticks are deeper than the bat top stick I used last time so pressed against the bottom of the case. A solution was found which you see here.

Wiring Of The Pi Side

The hole in the bottom now provides ample clearance and the sticks move freely without actually touching the desk. I use a case mount MicroUSB socket which uses standard USB cables. I keep fooling myself that I’ll be able to create something with good cable management one day. I doubt that will ever happen given how these things go together though!


Here it is complete! Suzo Happ sticks and QanBa buttons work well together. Tested on Robotron 2084 and it really makes the experience of that awesome game!

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Cookie Compliance

I’ve reluctantly added Cookie Compliance notices to the site because WordPress was nagging me to do so every time I logged in. If it wasn’t for the stuff I’ve already posted here being of interest to me I’d just delete the blog but I’m biting the bullet here purely to cover my arse and I apologise profusely for the banner you now get when visiting this site.

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 175

So it’s been a while, as expected but I think it’s worth it.

I’ve blacked out a number plate on one clip due to ongoing police investigation. I didn’t get the number plate of the other really dangerous idiot or he’d have been reported too!

The Deliveroo moped rider was uninjured but 100% to blame (surprise) and got instant karma!

The aftermath of another smash and it looks quite nasty give what’s left behind. Makes you wonder what happened on this busy section of local road!

Enjoy the show via your chosen media platform!

Cycle “Adventures” on YouTube
Cycle “Adventures” on Odysee

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 174

So after a bit of a break (not really) we’re back with another action packed volume of arseholes I meet on my day to day commute.

As I have previously said I’ve upped the severity needed to make it into these videos because the everyday close passes and cut-ups are pretty humdrum by now, so this means releases will be further apart.

I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking. Enjoy!

Cycle “Adventures” on YouTube
Cycle “Adventures” on Odysee

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 173

This took a while. Due to shifts where I’m only likely to see a lot of traffic in one direction and for some reason it being relatively quiet on the roads I’ve only just got enough footage to make uploading worthwhile.

Future videos may be more spread out anyway because I’m going to stop putting the everyday crap I have to put up with in and concentrate on the more exceptional events (both bad and good).

Anyway, on with the show, enjoy!

Cycle “Adventures” on YouTube
Cycle “Adventures” on Odysee

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Clock Project

When I was recovering from a hernia operation I designed a clock around an Arduino, real time clock board and temperature/humidity sensor. This was built onto breadboard and was as flaky as hell due to poor connections.

Recently I decided to build the project using perfboard, which is messy and caused 2 magic smoke release incidents, and bought a case to keep it all looking tidy.

Did I mention perfboard was messy?

Perfboard Bottom

The top does look a bit cleaner.

Perfboard Top

I decided to try my hand at PCB design so I got to grips with that at EasyEDA and sent of the design to PCBWay for production. A few weeks later I had 11 prototype PCBs.


The PCB wasn’t perfect (my fault). The silkscreen was slightly wrong and I found out after build that the SDA and SCL connections were reversed.

PCB Bottom


I patched the cock-up and everything worked!

Clock Patched and Working
Placed In Project Box

Then I added some external buttons and all is complete!

Clock Complete

I have corrected the PCB design and gave it rounded corners, sent off the order and now just await delivery. All in all I’m very pleased with this 🙂

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 172

Plenty of red light jumpers in this video. Also an unsafety officer, yet another impatient bus driver and one idiot stopped and blocking the road while he checks his phone!

Not really much to say this time around. It’s really just a highlight of some terrible and sometimes terrifying road use.

Cycle “Adventures” on YouTube
Cycle “Adventures” on Odysee

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 171

I was seriously debating whether to keep posting here, as you can see from the last post, but here you go, I’ll keep updating while anyone is still reading 🙂

In this fun filled episode we bring you a wide variety of complete arseholes. From the classic paint scrapers and red light jumpers to selfish parkers, phantom doors and even a police van showing how it shouldn’t be done! Caution: strong language not censored in this video.

The bus driver in this video, after cutting me up later hung back and passed wide when safe, so seems to have learned that it wasn’t a good idea. This is what I’d rather happen. Education rather than discipline.

Cycle “Advcentures” on YouTube
Cycle “Adventures” on Odysee

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