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ofb
August 28th, 2008, 12:29 PM
Hi everyone.

-Background-

Machine is s/n A 13393, acquired in the mid-nineties as "cool", with an equally heavy box of manuals, software, & accessories. It worked fine then, and has been mostly a closet queen since. Some years ago the display booted slower & slower and then not at all, so I figured dried caps and put it deeper in the closet.

I remember Osbornes but never had my own. I'm not very experienced with vintage hardware. I started with the PET and naturally by now I'm very good at fixing x86 boxes, but I've never been a professional technician.

-Actual Question-

It boots the display screen now, surprisingly enough, but that's all. It does not respond to the keyboard, and it is silent other than the beep & quick flash of the drive lights at power-on. Memory tells me the drives used to react to having a disk installed - correct? This one is stone dead other than showing the boot screen. I've tried booting B with the shift-' key combo.

Not sure what I should poke next. I guessing this may sound familiar to the Osborne-experienced here, so ought to ask.

billdeg
August 29th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Try the B drive. Here is a link to my blog thread on the Osborne 1 and how to do that:
http://vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=172

You can generate boot disks using Dunfield's utility 22disk if you're not sure you have a good disk.

Bill

ofb
August 29th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Thanks. Couple of things: I don't get the "BOOT ERROR" response, and I've tried the key combo with no luck.

It doesn't seem to be responding to the keyboard. But the drives also don't respond to having a disk put in -- am I correct in remembering that they usually seek or at least flash the light when you lock-in a new disk? Should they sit silent like that?

tezza
August 29th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Thanks. Couple of things: I don't get the "BOOT ERROR" response, and I've tried the key combo with no luck.

It doesn't seem to be responding to the keyboard. But the drives also don't respond to having a disk put in -- am I correct in remembering that they usually seek or at least flash the light when you lock-in a new disk? Should they sit silent like that?

Hmm...My Osborne is packed away but from memory it doesn't respond to just inserting the disk. You have to press "Reset" so it knows it's there, or have the disk in the drive on boot up?

I'm assuming it doesn't work even when you do this though, yes?

Tez

ofb
August 29th, 2008, 12:47 PM
WooHoo! It works fine now. Don't know why it wouldn't last night. I did try several sessions.

Thank you all. No doubt more questions will arise, but now that the machine runs I can see the first thing I really require is new reading glasses.

... would an Amiga 1080 work as an external monitor? I've got the cable. Would I be risking anything by trying it?

EDIT: the 1080 does work fine, and oddly enough the manual states that "diskettes" must not be in the drives on start. News to me. I'll guess that's to ensure no accidental head damage.

Mike Chambers
August 30th, 2008, 10:33 AM
glad you got it working. i've got an osborne 1 also, it's not very useful these days but it still runs like a champ! 27 years old and still kickin'

i need to get a terminal program for it so i can get it online :P

ofb
August 30th, 2008, 03:32 PM
It's been good fun. Hard to imagine anyone actually played that space invaders clone with a horizontal scrolling screen though.

Only one bad floppy so far -- naturally the one I wanted. :) It has a sort of pong variant that's a fun demo for friends. Is there a favored method for flattening a warped disk? It was sitting in a bay alone and is now nicely arced.

No modem, so thankfully no desire to try setting up COMM-PAC. The Big Box of Gear did include poly-XFR for the Rainbow 100. I'm figuring that had to be just someone thinking all the gray binders should go together.

EDIT: Floppy fixed. I transferred it to another envelope. Name of the game was Polish Pong, from 'Public Domain Greatest Hits II'.

Lorne
September 1st, 2008, 07:58 PM
OFB:
I've just picked up a couple Osborne 1's and have all the software that came with them, but nothing really fun (ie: games).
What have you got and could I get some copies?
(I'd send you the blank disks and postage).
Thanks,
Lorne.

ofb
September 4th, 2008, 12:57 PM
Hi Lorne. You don't want these games. Aside from being extremely crude knockoffs of games of the day, they're glitchy. You can't actually play them as they respond inconsistently to the keyboard.

I've been trying to figure that out. I wonder if these were for a different CP/M machine, and are someone's unsuccessful port?

So you'd be horribly disappointed after the effort. Don't bother with this set. Start a new thread to ask who has working games.

Polish Pong is the only slightly interesting game, so do see if you can get a working version of that.

PP has a full box border and a bouncing cursor within. Also a randomly placed asterisk. With the numpad you can place a / or \ immediately in front of the ball to deflect it towards the asterisk target. The slashes remain, so you quickly get a maze of bounce-paths among them. If & when you actually hit the asterisk, it appears elsewhere, and all of your previous slashes remain, so it gets busy quick.

Unfortunately, again the keys don't consistently give you the slash-type you pressed. So while PP looks great because you've got something moving around on the screen of your Ossy, people can't actually play it and lose interest in ten seconds. Quite the bummer. It'd be lovely demo software otherwise.

Lorne
September 4th, 2008, 01:15 PM
Allright - cheers.
I'll keep hunting.