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lordofthegods
May 19th, 2010, 06:47 PM
Well, sort of a newb. I used to own a 5150 a few years back along with a pile of old XT/AT clones, etc. But had to give all that up and live with just 1 new computer for the last 5 or 6 years due to tiny apartment syndrome.

Now I have a house to fill with vintage junk and I already have 2 5150's with a 5160 possibly on the way. It's amazing all the info I've sort of forgotten about. ISA, MFM, all that old computer jargon.

My question is this; how can I transfer data from my new "internet age" PC back to my old dinosaurs? I love downloading old programs/OS's/Games etc. from the internet but I have no way to get them onto 5.25 floppies! My current PC (not to mention windows) won't support it. Just wondering what you guys do?

southbird
May 19th, 2010, 07:30 PM
Generally the trick is just getting it to a workable state... see, there's tons of ways to skin a cat etc. The most common ways to get data in and out of an old PC is either via null modem serial cable transfers (easy) or through some kind of DOS Ethernet work (more difficult, but not too bad with an "easy" compatible NIC.) But of course you're stuck at stage 1, getting something on that 360K so you can move on.

You didn't specify if the 5150/etc. had a working hard drive with DOS. 5150 CAN support a 3.5" floppy in 720K mode (with the native controller, 1.44MB is possible with a "better" one.) The problem is that the BIOS doesn't support it (so you can't boot off it), but you can rig it with DOS. A 5160 however can support it natively.

So my "ultra modern" PC (which is a laptop), I hook up a USB floppy and move data on a 720KB formatted floppy. I have a 5150, and to get it initially set up, I did need an intermediate machine to produce the initial 360KB floppies. But in your case, if you get a 3.5" and 5.25" floppy in your soon-to-arrive (?) 5160, then you'll have an intermediate and you can configure your other one.

But yeah, like I said -- 720KB floppy (it can be a 1.44MB floppy disk formatted down and you can use a 1.44MB floppy drive in your 5150/5160, it will just operate as a 720KB drive.) Null-modem serial transfer. And Ethernet. I've done all three and mix and match as appropriate.

MikeS
May 19th, 2010, 08:17 PM
Does your "internet age" PC have a serial port and a 3.5" HD drive?

Assuming that at least one of the old PCs is up and running and you have a null-modem cable, then Interlink, Laplink or similar transfer programs will install themselves over the serial cable; you don't have to have it on a disk to get started. You will probably have to make a bootable DOS disk for the 'server' and copy the files to transfer to it before booting it.

Of course if you've got a spare 3.5" drive it should work as a second drive in the old PC in DD mode, as Southbird said.

Ole Juul
May 19th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Those guys basically said it all, except for some details of course. One more idea is to get a junk P1 and install 5 1/4" drive (or two) in it. Make that a "gateway to vintage" machine.

MikeS
May 19th, 2010, 09:16 PM
Those guys basically said it all, except for some details of course.Details, schmetails... don't bug me with details... ;-)
We need more details before we can get into the details...

lutiana
May 19th, 2010, 09:20 PM
Depending on the situation I transfer files a few different ways.

In my 5160 I installed a floppy controller that supports 1.44mb drives, and using a USB floppy on my modern machine I simply transfer files that way. This is the quickest and most convenient way for me.

In the machines that I have ethernet cards in I used FTP over my network. This is how I get things to my 486 machine, which has a 1.2Mb drive and a 1.44Mb drive. From there I can use a laplink cable to get the data over to the older machines I have. I use Norton Commander 3 or 5.51 to do this. The software part is very easy, getting the laplink cable to reach can be tricky sometimes.

I think what it boils down to is how much data I want to move over, usually it is under a megabyte and I just try to use a 1.44mb disk.

ibmapc
May 19th, 2010, 09:27 PM
You can also use a Parallel Zip 100 drive as long as both machines have a parallel port (you might be able to use a USB to parallel adapter on the newer machine but I haven't tried this). The null modem cable will work to transfer smaller files but can be frustratingly slow for larger files,

Floppies_only
May 19th, 2010, 10:15 PM
But had to give all that up and live with just 1 new computer for the last 5 or 6 years due to tiny apartment syndrome.

[...]

I love downloading old programs/OS's/Games etc. from the internet...

"Tiny apartment syndrome". Ha ha! That's cool!

Where do you find old software online? It's possible to get an old PC online - I think the program is called arachne.

Sean

Ole Juul
May 19th, 2010, 11:55 PM
Details, schmetails... don't bug me with details... ;-)
We need more details before we can get into the details...
Hehe :)

Ole Juul
May 20th, 2010, 12:14 AM
Where do you find old software online?

Old software online?! Garbo (http://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/) is still there same as ever. So is simtel (http://www.eunet.bg/simtel.net/msdos/internet-pre.html) as either ftp or http. If you want more links there's plenty of stuff out there.


It's possible to get an old PC online - I think the program is called arachne.
Sean
Well, it is not just called arachne, it is called FTP, Telnet, IRC, ping, traceroute, netcat, Lynx, etc etc, in different flavours. There are a number of mail tranfer agents and e-mail programs of all kinds. DOS is great on the net (http://www.wisdomtree.info/dos/dostcpip.htm)!

aitotat
May 20th, 2010, 01:26 AM
If you want more links there's plenty of stuff out there.

Mpoli (ftp://ftp.mpoli.fi/pub/) is a good place to find DOS drivers and there are lots of other DOS software too.

lordofthegods
May 20th, 2010, 04:29 AM
Thanks for all the info guys! I didn't realize I could still interface with a serial cable, figured that the modern machines lost that ability like they've lost every other compatiblility. Don't have a floppy at all in my main PC, can add one though.
I might go the "intermediate pc" route though, I still have a couple old Dimension 8100 computers and an even older Gateway PIII machine in storage and I know for a fact it will support a 5.25 drive. I guess I can just use a USB drive between my internet PC and the Gateway since it has USB too.

BTW, one 5150 does have a Seagate SCSI HDD with DOS so once I find my disks (used to have hundreds, should be hiding in storage somewhere) then I can make a boot disk.

Why don't people clean their HDD's before they get rid of computers? I'm too nosy to resist reading stuff. I just read a bunch of old WordPerfect files, seems the 5150 was owned by some church in Indiana and the Pastor wrote a bunch of letters to the courts asking for leniency on behalf of his not-so-christian paritioners.
Also had some kid's report on Hariett Tubman from 1993. lol

Oh, as for where I get software? I have no idea! I haven't even looked in forever, I hope there are still places to download from. (I'll check out some of your suggestions) I have copies of Windows 1.xx through 3.11 on floppy and about 5 versions of DOS too. Hopefully they're still good once I find my disks.

lutiana
May 20th, 2010, 08:32 AM
... then I can make a boot disk. ...

Bootdisk.com (http://www.bootdisk.com/) has boot disk images all the way back to DOS 5 that you can download.

Ken Vaughn
May 20th, 2010, 08:45 AM
From there I can use a laplink cable to get the data over to the older machines I have. I use Norton Commander 3 or 5.51 to do this. The software part is very easy, getting the laplink cable to reach can be tricky sometimes.


I did this just yesterday to link a 486DX2 running DOS 6.22 to a laptop Windows 98 machine. I used interlnk/intersvr because they were available. Used a bi-directional parallel cable to connect to standard parallel printer ports on both machines. Loaded the interlnk device driver with a config.sys entry on the laptop, and then ran intersvr on the DOS machine (486DX2). The DOS machine acted as a server and the laptop was the client. I tried it the other way first -- but ran into problems with a FAT16 machine trying to access a FAT32 device. The FAT16 machine (DOS) must be the server.

After reversing the server/client setup I was able to dump the entire contents of my DOS machine's hard drive to the laptop with a XCOPY command. I then used a USB flash drive ( requires a driver to run under Windows 98 ) to copy the 486's hard drive contents to a 1TB external drive attached to my modern desktop.

Floppies_only
May 20th, 2010, 05:52 PM
Old software online?! Garbo (http://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/) is still there same as ever. So is simtel (http://www.eunet.bg/simtel.net/msdos/internet-pre.html) as either ftp or http. If you want more links there's plenty of stuff out there.


Well, it is not just called arachne, it is called FTP, Telnet, IRC, ping, traceroute, netcat, Lynx, etc etc, in different flavours. There are a number of mail tranfer agents and e-mail programs of all kinds. DOS is great on the net (http://www.wisdomtree.info/dos/dostcpip.htm)!

I didn't mean to say there was only one. Thanks for the links - I'd been hoping those were available.

[Aitotat] Mpoli is a good place to find DOS drivers and there are lots of other DOS software too.

Thanks, too.

Sean

hargle
May 21st, 2010, 05:41 AM
well, since i'm official cheerleader for the project, i am obligated to tell you that the best way to get data onto your XT/PC is with an XTIDE card.
http://www.wiki.vintage-computer.com/index.php/XTIDE_project

that'll give you the ability to not only hook up a modern (PATA) hard drive to your machine, you can move it back and forth to a modern pentium class machine to load it up with files. Or you can attach a compact flash adapter and have removable media on your 8088.

I just ordered more parts from jameco, so a few cards are available now.

Floppies_only
May 21st, 2010, 03:26 PM
Oh, I had no idea you could use a flash drive with it. That would be nice indeed. I bought two PCBs from Andrew. After awhile I'll put the parts together and see if anyone is willing to build it for me.

Sean

hargle
May 22nd, 2010, 05:42 AM
Oh, I had no idea you could use a flash drive with it.
Yep, compact flash devices with IDE-CF adapters work great. These guys:
http://cgi.ebay.com/CF-Compact-Flash-IDE-Adapter-Card-w-Bracket-/110527959187?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item19bbfad093

work well. they are cheaply made, so pick up a couple of them in case one doesn't work, but I have one in every 8088 box I've got.

You can also hook up microdrives. I'm working on a CD-ROM driver in my spare time (ha ha) so someday that should be an option too. I think an IDE LS-120 (IDE floppy) and zip/jazz drives are the only things that don't work, but that's only because of software.



I bought two PCBs from Andrew. After awhile I'll put the parts together and see if anyone is willing to build it for me.

well, it just so happens that I just bought parts for 10 cards on tuesday!
I charge $15 each for assembly and test, or I can sell you the parts kits and you can find someone else or give it a shot yourself. it's actually not that hard to put it together if you have a good iron.
drop me a PM and we'll work out the details if you want.

Floppies_only
May 23rd, 2010, 02:56 PM
Yep, compact flash devices with IDE-CF adapters work great. These guys:
http://cgi.ebay.com/CF-Compact-Flash-IDE-Adapter-Card-w-Bracket-/110527959187?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item19bbfad093

work well. they are cheaply made, so pick up a couple of them in case one doesn't work, but I have one in every 8088 box I've got.

That's sweet. If they'd work in an AT I could see running Windows 3.1 with a huge RAM drive, like 16 megs. I read that a flash drive is five times faster than a PS/2 drive, but I wonder how much of that speed the system is able to take advantage of.

PM sent on the assembly.

Thanks,
Sean

Sean

lutiana
May 23rd, 2010, 08:15 PM
That's sweet. If they'd work in an AT I could see running Windows 3.1 with a huge RAM drive, like 16 megs. I read that a flash drive is five times faster than a PS/2 drive, but I wonder how much of that speed the system is able to take advantage of.


Yes, those adapters will work with any IDE controller provided they can detect them, or you can work out the parameters, and that you aren't crossing any of the barriers of 512Mb, 8Gb etc. And they will boost your speed regardless of the machine architecture since your latency is dropped substantially.

But keep in mind that each sector on a CF card has a finite number of writes to it, and you could approach that point much quicker than you think. An SSD drive has built in algorithms to stop this from happening, it spreads the writes over the space evenly so you don't pummel a single sector to death, but rather use them all uniformly, this makes the death of an SSD drive extremely predictable, but inversely the death of a CF card is hard to predict.

So a CF drive is good for light use, especially in a DOS system, but I would not try to run something like Win9x on it. Eventually I intend to put a 512Mb CF card into my 5160.

hargle
May 24th, 2010, 06:47 AM
But keep in mind that each sector on a CF card has a finite number of writes to it, and you could approach that point much quicker than you think. An SSD drive has built in algorithms to stop this from happening, it spreads the writes over the space evenly so you don't pummel a single sector to death, but rather use them all uniformly, this makes the death of an SSD drive extremely predictable, but inversely the death of a CF card is hard to predict.

So a CF drive is good for light use, especially in a DOS system, but I would not try to run something like Win9x on it. Eventually I intend to put a 512Mb CF card into my 5160.

too true, too true.
At a minimum, use a write-back disk cache on any CF device if you are going to be doing a lot of heavy writing. This is why I'm using normal hard drives in my machines and using CF devices as a means of external access to bulk transfers.

Minerva10210
May 24th, 2010, 07:03 AM
I am actually looking into IDE --> SDCard converters instead of the CF. Mainly due to the fact that I don't have any CF cards or readers, but I do have for SD cards, and I have about 50x 64MB SDCards form work that i can use! :)

Can't wait for my XTIDE cards to arrive :)

wrljet
May 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM
Can you boot from these adapters?

I have an IDE->SD adapter and it works as a disk but won't boot.



Yes, those adapters will work with any IDE controller provided they can detect them, or you can work out the parameters, and that you aren't crossing any of the barriers of 512Mb, 8Gb etc. And they will boost your speed regardless of the machine architecture since your latency is dropped substantially.

But keep in mind that each sector on a CF card has a finite number of writes to it, and you could approach that point much quicker than you think. An SSD drive has built in algorithms to stop this from happening, it spreads the writes over the space evenly so you don't pummel a single sector to death, but rather use them all uniformly, this makes the death of an SSD drive extremely predictable, but inversely the death of a CF card is hard to predict.

So a CF drive is good for light use, especially in a DOS system, but I would not try to run something like Win9x on it. Eventually I intend to put a 512Mb CF card into my 5160.

Floppies_only
May 28th, 2010, 03:57 PM
But keep in mind that each sector on a CF card has a finite number of writes to it, and you could approach that point much quicker than you think.

I read on this website:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007

that the memory cells are rated in the many, many thousands of erase/write cycles. It seems to me that you could back up your CF drive to floppies and just buy a new one for $14.95 every couple of years. The author of that website also said that the CF drives are designed to map out cells that go bad and stop using them.

Sean

Floppies_only
May 28th, 2010, 03:59 PM
I am actually looking into IDE --> SDCard converters instead of the CF. Mainly due to the fact that I don't have any CF cards or readers, but I do have for SD cards, and I have about 50x 64MB SDCards form work that i can use! :)

Can't wait for my XTIDE cards to arrive :)

This one on ebay: 220544205114 says it's 50 pin IDE. I thought IDE cables plugged into 40 pin connectors. Did something change?

Sean