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vwestlife
May 27th, 2008, 09:23 PM
I wish I had photos of this! Somehow I just remembered an aftermarket PC case I bought around 1993 or so. It was a tall but narrow beige desktop case with two side-by-side 3" drive bays, and underneath them, two vertically stacked 5" drive bays. It took a standard "baby AT" motherboard and used a power supply with a unique form factor I haven't seen since -- larger than the generic so-called "PS/2" form factor, and positioned vertically.

The most special part of the whole thing was its front panel display. It had a two-digit MHz display like many others, but unlike the norm where you use jumpers to manually set the digits, it was attached to an 8-bit ISA card which attempted to automatically detect your computer's actual clock speed. Unfortunately, its clock speed detection maxed out at 25 MHz, so on my 386SX-33, it got confused and never displayed anything meaningful. But furthermore, it had indicator lights to show real-time COM1, COM2, LPT1, and LPT2 port activity, via signals sent by that same ISA card. This part worked as advertised, and it was neat to see the lights flicker as I printed something, moved my serial mouse, or used my modem.

Unfortunately, its use came to an end when I upgraded to a 486SLC2-66 motherboard, and its CPU cooler fan (the tiniest I've seen -- one inch square!) wouldn't fit under the drive bay cage's overhang, at which point I switched to a generic mini-tower case.

Lacking photos, I made a quick sketch by memory of what the front of it looked like. The square towards the right was the power button, and it had a row of vents along the bottom.
http://i26.tinypic.com/14mc3zp.jpg

DOS lives on!!
June 18th, 2012, 10:08 AM
Sorry to revive this oldbie, but I found what this 8-bit detection card does very fascinating. Especially how it keeps up and displays the real-time signals through the ports. Do you have any idea of what this card is or if there's any place to get them?

NeXT
June 18th, 2012, 08:17 PM
I know WYSE made a PC with an LCD panel on the front.