What is 8Bit Mammoth?
8Bit Mammoth is a personal hobby and tech blog run by Andrew, a chap living in the UK. This blog was created in 2013, but has content dating back to 2008 and rather than following trends, I write about what interests me or what I’ve recently been doing.
Often my blog posts are budget related and I’m looking at how to extend the life of devices. I have a technical support background and I do like to write ‘how to’ content or blog about solutions to problems I have experienced.
This blog receives visitors from all around the world and I enjoy helping people. I provide an honest opinion and I’m not trying to impress people. This UK tech blog might be old, but I have no plans to stop blogging.
Okay, why is it called ‘8Bit Mammoth’?
The 8Bit is a nod to the past and love for tech. I know there should be a hyphen after the eight, but I didn’t want to use it. The mammoth was originally chosen due to my interest in the extinct woolly mammoth, but also refers to some of the massive and detailed blog posts I write.
Does 8Bit Mammoth accept guest posts?
I’ve decided for the time being not to accept guest posts. This is because often the content quality is lacking, and other issues can occur. At the moment, I would rather spend that time and energy on my own interests, rather than checking links, credits, copy and so on. Perhaps one day I will change my view.
Below is more about Andrew and his tech background.
Giving items to charity
I often give my old technology to either charity or family. Recently my partner and I walked in with five bags of items, which included a drone, metal detector and other tech. I love charity shops and I regularly buy items from them, including technology and I think it’s good to support charities.
My First Computers
I used a Sinclair Spectrum 48k and then the Atari STe. I enjoyed programming in basic on both computers.
My favourite games on the Spectrum were Cauldron, Chuckie Egg and Jetpac amongst others. This was before people had internet access and I used to buy magazines that had cassette tapes and that way I could try different games.
With the Atari, I began to play multiplayer games such as Blood Money, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge and Wizball. I upgraded the computer’s RAM and it was my introduction to using a mouse with a computer.
I used to buy ST Format, which was a great magazine and I liked their cover discs, which included a variety of software. I also used to buy shareware via mail order.
My parents purchased a 486 PC, along with a monitor, mouse, keyboard and printer. I upgraded the CPU and connected a CD ROM via a sound card connection. The PC had both 5.25” and 3.5” floppy drive units and I used to buy PC Format.
The computer originally had DOS 5.22 and Microsoft Windows 3.1. I used IBM’s Legato software for word processing and spreadsheet work.
Later I purchased a 286 PC at an auction, along with mouse, keyboard and an orange and black monitor.
It was in those early PC days that I used external modems to connect to BBSes, which were popular before the internet went mainstream. I enjoy reading and I used to download documents and get involved with conversations using FidoNet.
Whilst friends had the Nintendo NES, my first console was the Super Nintendo. Again, like the Spectrum and Atari, I connected it to a television. My favourite game was Super Mario World.
Whilst still a teenager, I started work and started using Sun Sparc and Unix mainframe systems in the work environment.
Mobile phones and tablets
I’ve somehow built up a collection of mobile phones. These days I tend to prefer Samsung phones and I like to install custom ROMs on them. I like to install a ROM that provides an upgrade to a newer version of Android. I think it’s a shame how so many mobile phones are discarded by owners, yet still have okay hardware specifications. The same can be said about tablet computers.
I also now have a sizeable collection of tablets and far too many eReaders! I’ve got tablets sitting on a shelve waiting for me to try and repair them.
Multiplayer and RTS gaming
I love multiplayer games and when I was younger, my friends and I would go to my work in the evening and play Command Conquer Red Alert 1 and 2 together via the LAN. We had some epic intensive battles and we would stumble outside in the early hours, exhausted from the game play!
I often play multiplayer games with my partner. We’ve often played BroForce, Command and Conquer Generals, Company of Heroes, Men of War: Assault Squad 2, Red Alert 2 & 3, TowerFall and many others.
As you might have gathered I like RTS games a lot! Also when not playing real time strategy games with others, I will play the single player campaigns or skirmish against an AI. I’ve been playing some games for many years and often install mods to add something new to a game, such as the Blitzrieg Mod for Company of Heroes.
I blog about a lot of old technology and this is for a few reasons. Firstly I like to extend the use of my IT equipment and sometimes this means installing custom firmware. I also visit car boot sales and like to clean, repair and sometimes fix items.
That’s not saying I don’t use modern IT hardware at times, but I do like to see how far I can push older equipment. Though sometimes I think technology should be used as originally intended. I don’t feel inclined to buy something because it’s new.
Breathing new life into old technology can make a huge difference if you financially can’t afford or have access to newer technology. So I hope this blog post also helps people who are struggling financially.
I also have a collection of cameras, both digital and film. These days I prefer digital and I like to use old lenses on digital cameras. I like to find lenses at car boot sales, charity shops or online. At the time of writing my collection is mainly Canon and FujiFilm cameras.
My first camera was a gift and I remember strolling around in local woods taking photographs of everything in sight. One of my favourite cameras is the Canon Powershot G6 with its adjustable screen. That screen has made it so easy for me to take low level photographs.
Recently I have been impressed by the quality of photos from the Samsung Galaxy S5 G900F/T and the Apple iPhone 6s in good lighting conditions.
Often I will take photos using old pocket cameras and for me it’s often not about the technology, but taking a photo that meets my requirements in a manner that was convenient.
I’ve mainly worked in the small business world, ran helpdesks and setup infrastructure or upgraded existed systems. This has involved, but not limited to building servers, creating contact management databases, administrated a forum, writing support documentation, in-house and client training, on-site visits, presentations at computer shows and generally troubleshooting and fixing problems.
I like helping people, so I guess it’s no surprise I have a tech blog.
Last updated: 1st February 2021