I, Keith Monahan, am a retro-computing and electronics enthusiast. I grew up on the Commodore Amiga 500, and many of the projects on this site surround that machine. In the 1980’s, I was really impressed by the capabilities of this awesome line of personal computers. I’ve always had an interest in electronics. Much to the chagrin of my father, I took every toy apart to see how it ticked, usually ruining it. Very little escaped my prying.
The electronics building started with the Forest M. Mims III and his little books at Radio Shack. I played with things like the 555 timer ICs, but the too discrete nature of electronics in the 80s kept me away. Too many transistors, too many passives required, too much wiring where mistakes can be made. And besides making things flash, or little counters, I did very little. I was even anti-hardware for awhile, claiming I was just a software guy.
Fast forward to 2005, and I decided to resurrect my Amiga, and my couple thousand floppy disks. Due to PC floppy controller incompatibilities with the Amiga Disk format, I started to build my own hardware controller(first a Parallax Microcontroller, then Xilinx FPGA) and custom software (Java). Enter the Amiga Floppy Project Blog. This detailed my trial and error method of developing a custom software and hardware solution to read Amiga floppy disks and created .ADFs.
Other similar projects have begun with an idea, and have served as the journey through learning about electronics. People too often confuse my goals with being about the destination instead of the journey. These projects serve as the medium through which I travel.
I attended the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Program where I learned plenty of good stuff.
I manage and do software quality assurance testing for a living where my pedantic attention to detail prevents users from ever seeing the bugs I find, and I probably irritate a couple developers here or there, too.
I’m married to a lovely wife, and have two beautiful children whose energetic curiosity reminds me of my toy-disassembly days.
Lastly, I’m a hacker. In almost all senses and definitions of the word, at one point of my life, or another.
I’m always excited to hear from people and can be reached by simply emailing the same domain you’re on now and putting my first name before AT symbol.
The Amiga Picture above is “© Bill Bertram 2006, CC-BY-2.5 — Attribution. You must give the original author credit.”