xstarshub.com Digital Media Art in the Upper Rhine Valley.
Conservation – Restoration – Sustainability
Florian Kaufmann

Hacking Mondrian
Problems with the Maintenance of Early Home Computers

During preparation work to show Herbert W. Franke's work "Mondrian", commissioned by Texas Instruments, on an original TI99/4a from 1977, for which it was programmed, many problems arose that were typical for an entire generation of early home computers. The hardware, for instance, was never designed for permanent (exhibition) operation. The increase of voltage from 220V to 235V in the last twenty years additionally exacerbated this issue. The attempt to procure the cartridges conventional at that time, which contained commercial software, also finally ended in a hardware emulation, because the desired original cartridges are no longer to be obtained. Only the code could be found. Using microcontrollers and building instructions from a computer magazine from the early eighties, it was possible to reconstruct the proprietary GROM memory chips from TI and install them in an old cartridge case. This lecture provides a brief look into the measures and insights arising from the preparation of the hardware for "Mondrian".



Flo Kaufmann, born in 1973, lives in Solothurn, Switzerland, where he works in the field of media, electronics and art. He studied electrical engineering and graduated in 1998 with the title Dipl. El. Ing HTL. From 1999-2001 he worked as assistant in the Laboratory for Industrial Electronics in Biel, Germany, with Dr. A Vezzini. Since 2001 he has been running his own art and media studio in Solothurn under the name "bricolage universel". In the charged field between music, media and art, he is repeatedly present with performances, concerts and workshops. In 2010 he did an internship in video technique with Johannes Gfeller and has worked since early 2011 for Aktive Archive and the research project Analit.

The project is supported by:
interreg euroflag