Toshiba Pasopia

The Pasopia by Toshiba seems not to be as famous as others like the PC-6001, MZ-700, X1, or FM-7. But cool, it’s a road a little less traveled. Mine’s a little banged up, but overall pretty clean.

I got it on Mercari for a song, it was listed at an already reasonable price but I got a little discount by making an offer. When I received it, I saw that there were two options for output – composite (black and white) and digital RGB (color). For convenience, I started with composite and I was pleased when it powered on and displayed without difficulty.

Well… I was pleased at first, anyway.. It seems that the RIFA capacitor in the PSU shorted out and popped after about 15 minutes. It let out quite a bit of smoke, as you can see. It was the first time I’ve had quite that experience, which is pretty impressive considering the number of computers that have come through my hands. People complain about the peculiar smell of a popped RIFA cap, but I thought it smelled a little like roasted marshmallows. 8/10, would let explode in my room again.

In retrospect, I love that this happened after I typed “do something cool”. It was a class-act effort. Apparently that capacitor wasn’t terribly important. After I explained the situation, I was told by a handful of people that it is just used for filtering out noise and the computer would operate fine without it. I removed the cap and pulled out the soldering pad in the process, so I sure hope it’s not necessary. The computer is working fine.

One thing that is kind of surprising, or perhaps I should say inaccurate, is that it somehow manages to display some color over the black and white composite output port. It doesn’t display color *correctly*, but it does display color, at least, in some instances. You can compare the monochrome composite on the left with the digital RGB on the right. In the first image of each pair it’s displaying in black and white and the second image is in color, as they should be. Everything as expected.

One program on Toshiba’s demo tape for the machine displayed with color. Again, “monochrome” composite on the left. First it displayed splotches of red and blue, then it switched to a more colorful display. If you compare to the digital RGB on the right, you’ll see how those colors are incorrect. But why color at all? Having no real fundamental understanding of electrical components, the only straws my brain can grasp at are that somehow the signal for the digital RGB is bleeding into the monochrome composite output.

And sometimes some third-party games display this behavior suddenly after drawing a screen. I haven’t quite figured out the pattern yet but it might be related to the cable or the TV, instead or as well.

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