View Full Version : Requesting IBM 8503 information please.

November 10th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Hi. I cannot take it anymore, this computer is driving me crazy not knowing what it is. My searches turn up nil so I hope someone can help me here.

This computer is in a suitcase, the tower is very small(brown if that matters), shaped more like a small ups. it is 9.5 tall, 5 wide and 16 deep.

The tower clearly marked IBM 8503 and is also clearly built for hi res graphics.
Motherboard is marked HM, has an i387 sx and 3 other intel chips.

It has 2 boards the same size as the MB for the hi-res(Dome imaging and optipac model B), another for monochrome and 1 for a normal and a maxtor HDD.

Please let me know if any other info would help, not much on computers but I love old gadgets.

Thx for any help.

November 10th, 2008, 09:59 PM
According to the Internet, an IBM 8503 is a 12" monochrome VGA monitor !
A photo of your 'tower' will help.

November 11th, 2008, 10:25 AM
All I got was the same result, web is loaded with misinformation.
I attached a pic.
Thx for the reply

November 11th, 2008, 11:21 AM
All I got was the same result, web is loaded with misinformation.
I attached a pic.
Thx for the reply

It could be an "Industrial" IBM model I am unfamiliar with (usually in these dark greys), but otherwise I think someone is pulling your leg...

Terry Yager
November 11th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Dunno what it is, but I want it. Is it for sale?


November 11th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Industrial maybe.
Will have to search along that line again.
I am gonna hook it up to my pvm (finally got one) tonight, maybe, and see if it will boot and such, maybe I can dig some info out of it.

It may be for sale, not knowing what it is, is driving me crazy!:twisted:
Hi Terry, I live in Maryland, are you close at all? What is it worth to you?
Do you want more info if it boots?
Thx again for the responses.

Terry Yager
November 11th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Yeah more info would help.


November 11th, 2008, 02:19 PM
I don't think IBM would have sold anything with the
IBM logo crooked like that. I bet someone peeled the
sticker from an 8503 monitor and stuck it on there :-)

November 11th, 2008, 02:43 PM
It is funny you mention that Mikey99, had a similar thought a few mins ago and peeled it back to see, nothing else under it. But the IBM logo on all my things are crooked, also the indentation in the aluminum face is shaped for the style logo. But still a possibility.

My electronics habits just dogged me, turned it on and off, it came on the first time and not since!!!SOBBBB!!! I normally turn old electronics on and off a few times to give the caps and such a sec to prepare, first time it has bit me, no more with computers, guess the power supply went, or it is needing a few mins to recoop.
Any opinions?

Another thing I noticed, the brown keyboard will not plug into the comp, the card has been replaced with a dual board for normal use, good thing I got plenty old IBM kb's around. The brown kb has a larger plug on it and an old apple kb would not work.

Terry Yager
November 11th, 2008, 03:08 PM
More pix would help, from different angles/sides, and inside/boards, etc. Close ups of kbd connectors too.


November 11th, 2008, 03:35 PM
HEY. It only needed a few mins to recoop.
It came on, this is what it says;

Quadtel VL82C286/106 386SX Bios Version 3.05.07
Copyright 1987-1990 Quadtel Corp. All Rights Reserved.
HM Systems HSC-386SX

00640K System Ram Passed
03072K Extended Ram Passed

Fixed Disc Controller Failure

Press <F1> to resume, <F2> Setup

Current Date is 01-04-1980
Current time is 5:22:29.92p

Microsoft MS-DOS(R) Version 5.0
(C) Copyright Microsoft Corp 1981-1991

I have not used DOS since high school, so please direct me in the commands if there is more info I can dig out of it. I ran A>Dir and it has 29 files listed. I also have it hooked to a 2002 dell monitor and it works perfect, is that normal? I had to plug it into the modem marked spot to work(I thought it looked like a graphics card when I opened it). Really mad my PVM would not work, still has the best picture for my old beta movies.

I suppose if this was an IBM it would have said so on boot???
Enough for now, thx a bunch for any input, I am beat from trying to get an onkyo running all afternoon, I sweated!

OOPS! almost forgot, important question. How do I shut it down properly?

Terry Yager
November 11th, 2008, 03:51 PM
Not an IBM, the sticker's a fake. To shut 'er down from DOS prompt, just hit the BigRedSwitch. Have you tried typing Win<enter>? It may have Win 3.x installed. Other DOS commands you might find useful include: DIR/P, CHKDSK, CD (to Change to another Directory). Typing the exact filenames of any .COM or .EXE files seen under the DIR command should run that program. That should get ya started. Keep us posted with any results.


November 11th, 2008, 03:57 PM
AHH! STICKER SHOCKI am gonna rip it off, save it for payback;)

Thx for the commands, see what happens tomorrow, did not want to kill the power till I got some educated info.

November 11th, 2008, 06:06 PM

OOPS! almost forgot, important question. How do I shut it down properly?

Since it's just booting DOS 5.0 there is no special shutdown procedure other than to make sure that all disk activity has stopped before you turn the power off.

November 11th, 2008, 06:14 PM
I googled "quadtel" and found some interesting info:

Here is a link to MS article about quadtel bios and Win 3.x, it mentions using CTRL-ALT-S to access CMOS utility.


Here's another link to an article saying that quadtel was bought by Phoenix in 1992:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE4DB1E3DF933A15752C0A9649582 60

November 13th, 2008, 04:08 PM
I hurt my eye, so I did not tinker.
Picked up OS/2 Warp for a fiver so it should have
the info to get me started.

There was no windows on it.

November 14th, 2008, 05:21 PM
As requested, and cus I like ripping into stuff, more pics.
OH, by the way. Found Marks, mycomp I believe is the maker, or mycom but no model # where it should be, serial # 39
Front of case
Rear of case
Opened Case

November 14th, 2008, 05:36 PM
And a few more pictures.
From smallest to largest on the busnest-0
marked winbond on chip, usu003643 on plug
1988 oak technology otivga, ab372838 sticker(was marked modem on case)
optipac model B rev 2 optivision 11/90 (has no plugs on it)
dome imaging 89/90, dp2-1ne16, alt-ml-1-94vo q alt 16-91
1991 hm systems, H9100534. siemens memory hyb511000aj 70-i387 sx-quadtel 386/sx bios op.2 lo-

and last is that ancer keyboard plug that did not fit

Terry Yager
November 15th, 2008, 09:19 AM
Very interesting backplane based system. I wouldn't junk it. The big card at the top with all the memory & stuff is your SBC.


November 16th, 2008, 07:04 AM
No junk it! I am going to try it to play some old 3.5" games I got.

That brings up a lil question, all 3 of my desktops still have 3.5" drives, do the 2008 models still come with these drives? I kept all pre y2k computers, paranoid.......

SBC translate to mothabored I assume, but backplane has got me so must search now.(They used all big words too, me thinking it is the bus, seperate on this comp, but is now incorporated into newer mb's)

Thx TY, enjoy u sunday

Terry Yager
November 16th, 2008, 09:54 AM
SBC = Single Board Computer, a complete computer contained on a single board. Technically, yours is a 'daughterboard', the backplane (the part with the expansion bus) being the mother (a mother may have more than one daughter, but a daughter can only have one mother). In your case, I'd guess that it was made that way for upgradability, so that if the user wants to go to a higher-powered machine later on, you just swap-out the SBC card and you're good to go. (At the time, an SBC board was prolly way cheaper than a whole new system). Who'da thunk the industry would blow it by inventing whole 'nother buses?