Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Early Problems

Turning on the TS1000 is a bit disappointing. There is no boot chime, no clattering of disk drives, not even the 'click' of a switch. You just plug it in and it's on. Very appliance-like. What you do get is black text on white screen with a [K] cursor. "Now you're ready to use your Timex/Sinclair 1000!"

The keyboard layout of the TS1000 is interesting and makes writing a BASIC program quite intuitive. Each of the letter keys, when pressed at the start of a line, represents a complete BASIC command. The keys are well marked so the keyboard acts as a summary of all the available BASIC commands.

To start, I type:
and the screen shows:

Hmm, that's not right. Clearly my membrane keyboard is having problems. About half of the keyboard works. The number row does not work at all, the second row works starting at the 'Y' key, the third row work starting at the 'H' key, and the bottom row works until the 'B' key.

I hit the Enter key and:
is dutifully printed at the top of the screen.

A review of a TS1000 keyboard wiring diagram indicates that the keys that don't work are consistent with damage to several wires on the keyboard ribbon connector. It seems my "working" TS1000 purchase doesn't work so well. Apparently, this is a pretty common problem and should be an easy fix.

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