Leo's Stories of NABU

Leo Binkowski is an ex-NABU programmer who was hired to create arcade games for the NABU Computer at a young age. The software department was inspired to engage students to be game programmers with hopes of pushing their technology and adapting popular games. 

Since NABU resurfaced in November 2022, DJ and Leo have worked to crack the NABU protocol with the first Internet Adapter and load the original NABU cycle. In that time, Leo has been discovering NABU hardware and software in the deep dusty depths of his basement. 

Meet Leo

Leo's first NABU-Internet fame was introduced with a video that he had posted in December 2022. Blowing the minds of any kid who dreamed of being a game programmer in the 1980's, before there was barely a suitable job description!

The Ghost of NABU Past

This is a recorded version of the presentation Leo made for the Vintage Computer Festival East on April 14th, 2023 in Wall, NJ

It is also a director's cut, since I added some segments I had removed to make sure I stayed comfortably with the time I was allotted. There were several technical problems during the streaming session lost some of the presentation as well as backward slides. 

NABU Archaeology Pt 1

Thirty-eight years after we've seen his introductory video. He dug out some special NABU PCs used for development, some sources of his programs, and recovered PAK floppies, And he showed a NABU floppy drive! All of it needs cleaning before powering up because all that dust will make things spit sparks.

NABU Archaeology Pt 2

Leo introduces the NABU Developer/Cabserve Mass Storage Unit and the insides. He also shows an actual NABU Adapter! Not in action, of course, but he couldn't find any examples online, so he thought people would be interested in the insides and what he knows about it.

NABU Archaeology Pt 3

Today, Leo shows the booty from the latest foray into storage; he corrects his previous statement about RS-232 and development systems, offering the actual Double Sided floppy cable. He also shows a parallel printer cable and provides the pinouts. He gives booting from the flabby a shot and has a Co-op student named Ben helping him! Everyone, please thank my lovely wife, Lisa, for putting up with me upending our life to accommodate everyone for this project. The NABU cycle is live after launching 40 years ago, then dark for 37 years.

NABU Archaeology Pt 4

Find more when I visit the tomb under the stairs of my basement, where all unused devices are forgotten. An extra MSU (Mass Storage Unit) provides disappointment, inspiration, and disappointment again... My development system is dead. That makes me very sad. I didn't treat her very well, and I am genuinely sorry for that—the 3rd-age joystick, compared to the 1st-age joystick. There was no one joystick to rule them all. Our furniture belongs to the cats and dogs, as you can see.

NABU Archaeology Pt 5

None of them work with NABU RetroNet, yet, but the hardware enthusiasts want to study them, so I retrieve them. All the ROM firmware I discussed can be found at here.

NABU Archaeology Pt 6

I talk about the GRUNT Press, the RS-422 crossover cable, a few souvenirs, and my new setup this time. 

- Issue 12
- Issue 14
- Issue 19
- Issue 20

Thanks to Ray Teske for keeping these Grunt Press,  and special thanks to Bob McNally for maintaining backups of the cycle I didn't have on floppies.


NABU Marketing wouldn't let the Games Programmers put their names in the credits like other companies, so we found clever ways could demonstrate that we were the authors of the games. This Pac-Man easter egg is revealed by eating a specific dot last on the strawberry board. #shorts I was 18 years old when I wrote this, and Laura Schening was just 17.

NABU Archaeology Pt 7

I provide an example of a Z80 program from start to finish, including testing with the MAME Emulator. I want to introduce my GitHub, where you can find the source code for the demonstrated example.

NABU Archaeology Pt 8

I've tried to extract treasures from the NABU floppies, but the results are mangled. Watch this to try to identify where I went wrong. Perhaps you can give me advice on what to do next?

*Note: Check the YouTube description for links to disk images and tools.