Saturday, February 17, 2024

My COVID-19 experience

I am seeing some improvement.  My experience with COVID-19 has been like a mild cold changing to a moderate cold, then to a severe cold, and finally back to a mild cold on the 5th day.  It appears that the Paxlovid has helped.  I am told that without it this can drag on for much longer.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024


I was trying to be careful and not catch COVID-19.  I was still practicing social distancing when possible, but I caught it anyway.  I don't understand how I got it, but it was either at a chess club or from going to Walmart.  I use the curbside pickup at Walmart, but sometimes I also go into the store.

I thought I would be immune because I am fully vaccinated, but the dominant JN-1 variant has a slightly different spike protein, sometimes bypassing vaccine immunity.  The latest vaccine was supposed to offer some protection from this variant.

Yesterday, I had trouble getting Paxlovid because my pharmacy was sold out.  I had to go to three different pharmacies to get it.  I took my first dose last night and my second dose this morning.  I have eight more doses to go.

Paxlovid is supposed to stop the virus from replicating, which would be very nice.  Any virus will grow exponentially until your immune system kicks in and starts destroying the virus.  The Paxlovid might help the immune system to win the war.

Yesterday, on my second day of COVID-19, I felt like I had a bad cold and could not get anything productive done.  I went to sleep at 10:30 which is early for me.  I woke at 5:00 AM feeling fully rested but wishing I had gotten more sleep.  I got up for a couple of hours, but when I started to feel tired I went back to bed.  I didn't think that I would be able to go back to sleep, but I got just enough of a nap to make me feel better.

I can tell that there is a battle going on in my body.  Either the immune system will win, or the virus will.  So far, I feel better today than yesterday, so maybe my immune system is working.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, February 2, 2024

Diamond Mike 1985 by JRC Software Played on Real NTSC Timex Sinclair 2068 Computer

I'm the author.  I thought the game was lost forever, but David Anderson found a copy.  I still have the Atari ST version I wrote in 1986, but I gave away all my Sinclair stuff (to my cousin who is no longer with us) when I moved to Utah in 1993 to work for the video game developer Sculptured Software.

The way you get through the 4th screen is to move right picking up diamonds while avoiding enemies.  Then you do the same thing on the lower level moving left.  The early levels are designed to be simple to teach the user how to play the game.  I think that some of the higher levels are more interesting.

There are no bonus screens.

Most of the time you don't have to hold the button to grab diamonds, but run through them.

I had better results playing the game with the keyboard.  

I also have trouble running the game under emulation.  I plan to try to find a workaround if one exists.  I think that it has something to do with reading the keyboard not working correctly under emulation.

"Compass" was a compiler-assembler that I wrote.  GGS was "The Great Game and Graphics Show" which was more of a demo of graphics and simple games.  In hindsight, I shouldn't have sold this as a product but offered it as a free demo.

Yes, the game uses the sound chip on the 2068 that wasn't available on the original Spectrum.

The multiple explosions at the end are technically a bug.  I expected the user to hit 'N' to advance to the next screen.  I should have made that automatic.