Robert Wm. Gomez's

tutorial

Transferring Patches to a Yamaha DX100 with Sysex and a PC

Yamaha DX100 Cassette Connector CableOn this site, I had previously posted a set of 24 Yamaha DX100 synth patches for download. The DX is a notoriously difficult synthesizer to program. That difficulty extends to its load/save workflow as well. Originally, the DX100 came with a special cord with a MIDI-style plug on one end and three headphone-sized jacks on the other. This is meant to be plugged into a data cassette recorder. The red cable is audio out, the white is audio in, and the black (I assume) controls the tape player. You hit a button combo on the DX100 and then a screeching modem sound is output to the tape. Modern users can record this sound on a computer as a .WAV file and it will work the same as and old-school tape deck. This works okay, but there is a better way to archive and reload sounds.

Meet Sysex

Sysex stands for system exclusive and it's a part of the MIDI standard that allows synth manufacturers to define their own specific message formats. In our case it is useful because the DX100 uses sysex to store and retrieve patches. With some free software and a cheap hardware interface, you can easily store and retrieve synth sounds on your PC as both individual patches and a complete 24 patch bank.

How to Import Books to an iPad 1 (Without iTunes)

Apple has a history of abandoning users whenever they introduce a new product to the market. This wasn't always the case. The Apple IIgs, despite its 16-bit architecture, allowed for most of the old 8-bit Apple ][ software to run on the new system. However, since the introduction of OSX, the attitude  has been, "Deal with it old-timers. We know what's best for you."

I am the proud owner of a first generation iPad 1. I use it to play music and read eBooks. It performs these two tasks as well as any modern iPad or iPhone does. Alas, in their attempt streamline the software, Apple removed to ability to transfer PDFs and eBooks to an iPad 1 from iTunes. The entire Books section has been removed from the product with the expectation that iPad users will now get their content from the cloud. The problem is that iCloud, Dropbox and other cloud storage systems no longer work on an iPad 1.

My attempts to Google a solution have had mixed results. Apple is no help. The user help forums are filled with bad advice. In my frustration I have figured out a relatively simple way to get files, especially books, to your iPad 1. In a nutshell, we are going to create a web page containing links to all your books and then, assuming your computer and ipad are on the same local wi-fi network, browse to that web site on our iPad to download the files to iBooks.

Apple II: Running Your Favorite Software from the Past

I recently have been on a bit of an Apple II retro-computing kick. There was so much great software for the Apple 2 and I have many-a-fond memories of games like Karateka, Star Blazer and Ultima. In the early eighties my dad bought a Apple ][+ and this is where I learned the ins and outs of programming. In fact, I have posted a few of my better creations on this very web site (check out Dippy Golf and Malfunction).