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bettablue
August 2nd, 2011, 10:34 AM
OK, most of you know the battles I've had getting my IBM 5150 working properly. :crutch: So now that I have the issues all nailed down to what I originally thought the problem was, the floppy drives, one of which has finally been replaced; the computer is working great! :happy4:

I am now thinking about what expansion cards are available for the system and what they are typically used for. :computer:

My 5150 currently has the following hardware:

1. Original 83 key PC/XT keyboard
2. CGA video card and display
3. 2 - 360 K floppy drives - (still awaiting one to replace me secondary drive) There is no hard drive, and I don't want one installed. For me, that ruins the experiance of using this computer the way it was meant to be used.
4. 640 K RAM card
5. Parallel port card

As you can see, there aren't a lot of updates installed in this machine. :roadwork: I am curious now; what expansion cards are available for the system and what are they typically used for. What add-ons would you recommend, and finally, what additional functionality can I expect from them?

Here are some of the things I am interested in:

1. Connect the computer to my primary Windows 7 computer, either through the cassette port (similar to what is currently being done with Apple ll systems, although I don't know of a way to convert disk images to wav files for use with the Windows 7 computer's sound card, .) or through my network by way of my Belkin wired/wireless router. :arrow:
2. Communications, ( I was actually thinking about using an acoustic coupler, simply to expand on the geek facor.) There are still a few BBS's and services out there I can dial into. :phone:
3. File sharing and storage - see #5 :danceparty:
4. Printing (I will probably be getting an original IBM branded "graphics" printer in the next few weeks) :yinyang:
5. Mass storage (Here, I have a 100 Meg zip drive, and thanks to modem7, a Laplink 3 parallel cable.) to access a very large collection of vintage DOS programs and games. :grab:

I know there are a lot of things I haven't though about. :confused: I would love to hear your ideas, comments, and recommendations.
Thanks again everybody. :bow2:

mbbrutman
August 2nd, 2011, 11:13 AM
For the sake of those of us who read a lot of posts, please come up with better titles. "Curious!" tells me nothing about what I am about to read, and will make it harder for people to find this thread if they need to in the future.

Come up with a better topic and post it here - one of the admins will edit the thread for you.


Mike

DOS lives on!!
August 2nd, 2011, 11:23 AM
Glad to hear you got it working. A better title would be, "Curious about my 5150s future," or something along those lines. And a little less bling, please. The smilies can rock to the DJ later.:)

barythrin
August 2nd, 2011, 12:18 PM
So yes, if you have a parallel port you could try finding an older version of the iomega guest app and see if you can get the a parallel zip drive to work on the system. That would provide a slow hard drive interface but take some RAM overhead. Alternatively (I recall it supported lpt ports not just serial) you could try interlnk and intersrv with another dos system and share a hard drive that way.

Personally I would add a hard drive controller and drive. One of the best improvements over the system was experiencing the difference in load time of a game or application from a hard drive vs floppy. It was an investment back then but I don't think anyone would have regretted the move.

DOS lives on!!
August 2nd, 2011, 12:25 PM
Personally I would add a hard drive controller and drive. One of the best improvements over the system was experiencing the difference in load time of a game or application from a hard drive vs floppy. It was an investment back then but I don't think anyone would have regretted the move.
Remember, the 5150s power supply was underrated to handle a hard drive. Unless he upgraded the power supply, I'd recommend leaving it alone.

Chuck(G)
August 2nd, 2011, 12:33 PM
Remember, the 5150s power supply was underrated to handle a hard drive. Unless he upgraded the power supply, I'd recommend leaving it alone.

Use an XTIDE with a CF card and you should be fine.

glitch
August 2nd, 2011, 01:03 PM
Use an XTIDE with a CF card and you should be fine.

Yup! Also lets you keep both full-height floppy drives. That was a major reason for switching my Leading Edge Model D to an XT-IDE: it was originally dual-floppy, and was in that configuration when I first started using it to learn BASIC. Having a hard drive is /very/ nice though.

bettablue
August 2nd, 2011, 03:54 PM
OK, now you have me interested... The XT-IDE is something I have read about that provides the connection of the more modern hard drive. Hmmm. And you mention that I won't have to lose my 2 full height floppy disks? I would love to see pics of the internal configuration.



Yup! Also lets you keep both full-height floppy drives. That was a major reason for switching my Leading Edge Model D to an XT-IDE: it was originally dual-floppy, and was in that configuration when I first started using it to learn BASIC. Having a hard drive is /very/ nice though.

Chuck(G)
August 2nd, 2011, 04:05 PM
Okay, here's a photo of my setup:

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6371&d=1312329837

I'm using a 4GB CF card on this.

atod
August 2nd, 2011, 08:35 PM
Use an XTIDE with a CF card and you should be fine.

I tried searching for the XTIDE page and it doesn't appear to exist anymore. Does anyone have a pointer?

Thanks

bettablue
August 2nd, 2011, 08:52 PM
0Now that, I like. How much does something like this cost to build? This also brings up a whole bunch of other questions too. What do I need to do to get my 5150 to boot from it? Because of the DOS limits to disk space, I do have DOS 3.3, and 6.22, what are the partition sizes? I guess, more importantly to me, is there a way to build this so that the CF card can be connected from the rear of the computer so that when it's not connected the computer will only boot to DOS from floppy or to BASIC?

Of course, having an external connection will also allow the CF card to be manipulated easier as well. Once it's disconnected it could be inserted into the card reader on my primary PC for file transfers, updates, and such.




Okay, here's a photo of my setup:

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6371&d=1312329837

I'm using a 4GB CF card on this.

Chuck(G)
August 2nd, 2011, 09:18 PM
Other than the PC board, I bought nothing else--just dug into the depths of my hellbox and put it together. The PCB cost me $14 shipped. I even made the PCB bracket in my shop (note the pop rivets). I used an EPROM instead of an EEPROM because I've got a pile of them. The logic chips are a mixture of 74HC, and 74LS logic (not great design practice, but it works--the design is very forgiving). So basically, I'm cheap. :)

Hargle and Andrew have worked out a new PCB that includes an option for a serial port, so there's a way to get more out of those 5 slots in your 5150. You'll have to ask them about the new unit pricing.

The IDE-to-CF adapters are typical Chinese imports; if you go to eBay, you can get them for about $2 shipped. A 4GB CF card will run about $15 or so, if you don't already have a couple in your camera bag. The XTIDE works fine with older smaller CF cards as well--I've checked it out with a 32MB CF.

You're pretty much restricted to FAT16 partitions on a 5160/5150, so 2GB is the maximum partition size on DOS 6.22, but there older versions of DOS restrict you to smaller partitions. There's nothing to prevent you from installing a boot manager and booting several versions of DOS from different partitions. Of course, DOS 1.x is not one of those, as it has no hard drive support and DOS versions before 3.31 will restrict you to 32MB partitions.

modem7
August 3rd, 2011, 04:01 AM
What do I need to do to get my 5150 to boot from it?
The XT-IDE has an expansion ROM. Therefore the third BIOS revision (chip U33 = 1501476) for the 5150 is required.

The code in the XT-IDE expansion ROM that runs at boot time presents a boot menu. You get to choose what you want to boot from. An XT clone of mine has an XT-IDE fitted with CF attached. The clone also has a MFM controller and drive. At boot time, I get to choose whether to boot from A:, B:, MFM drive or CF card (or ROM BASIC, if my clone had BASIC ROMs fitted). Great stuff.


is there a way to build this so that the CF card can be connected from the rear of the computer
See eBay item 250623825988. Of course, that results in consumption of two of the 5150's five slots - one for the XT-IDE card and one for the IDE-to-CF-adapter.


so that when it's not connected the computer will only boot to DOS from floppy or to BASIC?.

The boot menu has a selection timeout (configurable), and a default boot device (configurable). If you don't make a selection before the timeout, an attempt will be made to boot from the default boot device. In a machine with only floppy drives, I added an XT-IDE (first generation, with BIOS revision 1.1.4) fitted with CF card attached. The XT-IDE was configured so that the default boot device was device 80h (first hard drive). As expected, when I didn't make a selection at the boot menu, the machine booted from the CF card. I powered off the machine, removed the CF card, then powered on the machine. Then, because the XT-IDE could not find the CF card, it presented a boot menu that only contained the floppy drives (well, actually ROM BASIC as well). I could see from the boot menu that the default boot device was now A: drive (device 00). After the selection timeout, it booted from A:

Of course, if you're in front of the computer at boot time, why wait for the timeout - just select what you want to boot from.

VileR
August 3rd, 2011, 05:24 AM
I tried searching for the XTIDE page and it doesn't appear to exist anymore. Does anyone have a pointer?

Thanks

yeah, I'd like to see it too. This url pops up in Google and elsewhere, but VC says the page was not found: http://wiki.vintage-computer.com/index.php/XTIDE_project

DOS lives on!!
August 3rd, 2011, 05:35 AM
yeah, I'd like to see it too. This url pops up in Google and elsewhere, but VC says the page was not found: http://wiki.vintage-computer.com/index.php/XTIDE_project
That's probably because we just upgraded to a new Wiki. Some links are now broken.

billdeg
August 3rd, 2011, 11:34 AM
My 2Cents

Why not first learn to use the computer as it was in its original configuration? Learn about DOS 2.1, 360K disks and what a person could do with the computer without a hard drive or SD card, etc attached. Even better try writing a few programs in BASIC and saving to cassette. You can learn a lot from this process.

I can't help but think that you're cheating yourself by jumping ahead to the end of the game.

In short, use the IBM PC for what it was, don't try to make it into a modern PC.

If you're stuck without much software, see if you can find a computer with both a 5 1/4" and 3.5" drive so that you can copy disks to 360K format 5 1/4" that will work on the PC.

Some here may disagree with me, and I totally understand the desire to connect the system to a modern PC. I have my Commodore 128 attached to my Win 7 box via an ethernet cable (MMC64/RR-Net). For this particular person however, I get the impression that he would benefit from the experience of an as-is IBM PC.

Bill

P.S. What's with the emoticons?

Chuck(G)
August 3rd, 2011, 12:25 PM
Let's be fair.

The unvarnished 64K 5150 was not terribly useful in its base configuration (one 160K disk drive). That disk drive was the first thing to go in favor of a pair of 360K drives. At the time, my programming involved MASM 1.0--a hideously bug-ridden program that came in two versions--a "brain dead" version for 64K machines and a somewhat better version (I think it implemented macros) for 96+K systems. It was very, very slow.

I couldn't put up with it and turned to doing my assemblies on a cross-assembler running on 8-bit CP/M on a system with a hard drive.

When MS-DOS 2.0 came out with installable device drivers, I didn't wait for a hard drive to be available--I grabbed a Shugart SA-1000 4MB 8" drive and WD1001 controller and worked up an ISA card to interface to it. By that time, my system was up to 384K, so things weren't too bad--MASM 2.0 was better, but was still buggy. I also wrote a device driver for a 96 tpi drive so I could keep 720K on a 5.25" floppy. I was actually able to run Lattice "C" on the system.

At work, we bought a CMS expansion box to use with our 5150 that included a hard drive.

Really, unless you were just playing games, the base configuration wasn't all that useful. Somewhere, I seem to recall that Microsoft used cross-assemblers for early versions of DOS. I know that Sorcim did for SuperCalc, SuperWriter, SuperProject, etc.--they had some CompuPro S100 boxes with hard drives and a VAX 11/730. I don't think their PC was used for anything but preparing the final media and testing.

billdeg
August 3rd, 2011, 12:37 PM
Sounds like a fun job.

tezza
August 3rd, 2011, 04:35 PM
In short, use the IBM PC for what it was, don't try to make it into a modern PC.

Yea. People have different reasons for collecting. Some people collect old gear just for the fun of souping them up. That's a perfectly valid reason for the hobby if that's what rings your bell.

However, for myself, I'm more with Bill. I like my models in the configurations that were typical in the day. The limitations are part of the charm, which is why I'd never add a hard drive to my 5150. I've got my 5160 and 5170 for that experience.

Tez

mbbrutman
August 3rd, 2011, 05:22 PM
Instead of XT-IDE, a CF adapter, and then trying to find a CF card that works as an IDE device, how about something like this?

6375

That piece of handiwork is from Glitch, and the full page is here:



http://www.glitchwrks.com/vintage/xtideflash.html


The device is known as 'Disk on Module'. They come in sizes from 32MB to 8GB and are designed to be drop-in replacements for IDE hard drives. No adapters needed, and no worrying about if your particular CF card supports "true IDE" mode. (A lot of the newer ones don't.)


Mike

Chuck(G)
August 3rd, 2011, 05:44 PM
However, for myself, I'm more with Bill. I like my models in the configurations that were typical in the day. The limitations are part of the charm, which is why I'd never add a hard drive to my 5150. I've got my 5160 and 5170 for that experience.

How many hard-drive-less 5150s are "adopted" compared to the ones that have been fitted with some sort of hard drive? I'd guess that hard-drive less 5150s out in the "wild" are actually fairly uncommon. How many have only one floppy drive and no hard drives?

I've been there and don't care to repeat the experience. :)

bettablue
August 3rd, 2011, 08:22 PM
Sorry about all of the smileys. I was in a really good mood once I had the issues with my 5150 finally figured out and that my 5150 was working better than I had thought it would be.

Now as far as your suggestion. You do make a valid point. The primary reason I wanted the machine to begin with, is to relive some of the experience of what this computer really is, but at the same time, one reason I am interested in the XTIde and CF card modification is that it will make it a lot easier to create some floppy disks of a few games and productivity programs. For one thing, the supply chain for floppy disks is never going to be what it once was, and for the other, I can still boot the computer from floppy disk and use it the way it was designed. In fact, that's what I want to do. I'm not too interested in constantly booting from the CF card, but yeah, that will be an other option.

I agree with you though that one should learn to use DOC and run the computer from floppy disks. It is my intention to do just that, the CF card will just make transferring files over a lot easier to do.

I also have a zip drive and a couple 100 Meg zip disks too... modem7 sent me a Laplink 3 cable to connect it to my parallel port so that is another option to do the same thing. And too, I now have a complete XT system that the wife is using. It does have an internal hard drive, along with some pretty nice upgrades that Hargle put together for me. In my work room there is another 5150 I got as a donor for my machine. That is where the one good floppy drive came from, and how I found that all of the issues I was having were stictly related to the drive problems. Once I had an actual working floppy drive, everything in my 5150 checked out perfectly.

Billdeg; I really appreciate your thoughts here. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm trying to make this computer something it's not, more of a way to make getting programs, operating systems and programming languages over to it so I can simplify making more floppies. Eventually I'll be experimenting with all of the available versions of DOS. They are all stored on my primary PC, along with over 30 Megs of games that are all compatible with the 5150.

Hope this explains a few things.

FYI, I'm still trying to find an original cassette cable to connect me vintage tape deck too. If someone has one I can purchase, please let my know...


My 2Cents

Why not first learn to use the computer as it was in its original configuration? Learn about DOS 2.1, 360K disks and what a person could do with the computer without a hard drive or SD card, etc attached. Even better try writing a few programs in BASIC and saving to cassette. You can learn a lot from this process.

I can't help but think that you're cheating yourself by jumping ahead to the end of the game.

In short, use the IBM PC for what it was, don't try to make it into a modern PC.

If you're stuck without much software, see if you can find a computer with both a 5 1/4" and 3.5" drive so that you can copy disks to 360K format 5 1/4" that will work on the PC.

Some here may disagree with me, and I totally understand the desire to connect the system to a modern PC. I have my Commodore 128 attached to my Win 7 box via an ethernet cable (MMC64/RR-Net). For this particular person however, I get the impression that he would benefit from the experience of an as-is IBM PC.

Bill

P.S. What's with the emoticons?

bettablue
August 3rd, 2011, 08:27 PM
tezza; again you nailed it. I also don't want to add a hard drive to this computer either. The idea of adding the CF card may seem like cheating, but the end result will be that I'll still be using this computer to boot and run my programs from floppy alone.

When I'm done, I'll actually have all available versions of DOS on floppy to load from. That in itself will be a big plus.

Thanks to you too, for your thoughts. I do appreciate it.




Yea. People have different reasons for collecting. Some people collect old gear just for the fun of souping them up. That's a perfectly valid reason for the hobby if that's what rings your bell.

However, for myself, I'm more with Bill. I like my models in the configurations that were typical in the day. The limitations are part of the charm, which is why I'd never add a hard drive to my 5150. I've got my 5160 and 5170 for that experience.

Tez

atod
August 3rd, 2011, 09:05 PM
That's probably because we just upgraded to a new Wiki. Some links are now broken.

I hope it goes back online. Picking up an old 5150 now seems worth it if this card can be used. Are there any boards left?

Chuck(G)
August 3rd, 2011, 11:39 PM
So how many people run their 5150 in the original "basic" configuration? That'd be 64K, no disks, audio cassette recorder, CGA card feeding a TV modulator? Joysticks are permitted.

modem7
August 3rd, 2011, 11:57 PM
I also have a zip drive and a couple 100 Meg zip disks too... modem7 sent me a Laplink 3 cable to connect it to my parallel port
No, it's a serial Laplink cable for inter-PC data transfers. Serial rather than parallel because that's what I have spare of.

It sounds like your ZIP100 drive was supplied without its data cable. There's nothing special about that cable - just a standard DB25 straight-through cable (male to female). You should be able to pick one up at an electronics store.


I'm still trying to find an original cassette cable to connect me vintage tape deck too
You've used the word "original". Does that mean that you're after an IBM one? I'm unaware of IBM ever supplying one. Certainly the Parts Catalog section of the first 5150 'Hardware Maintenance and Service' manual doesn't list one.

bettablue
August 4th, 2011, 06:12 AM
Yeah, I probably worded that wrong. I have the zip drive so I can access programs and files easily then I also have the Laplink cable to connect the 5150 directly to my primary PC. Right now, I have several options for grabbing files from my primary, so I can access and write them to diskette.

As fer as the cassette cable goes, I plan to re rwite a program I wrote back in the day while working at Radio Shack. It was an interactive "presentation" that greeted people as they came into the store. As soon as they walked in, they saw a TRS-80 asking them to enter their names, then it would ask if the computer was for home or office use. I wrote the main program in only a few hours, but Wow! the response was fantastic! We would load it up from cassette tape in the morning and let it run all day. The presentation would personalize the presentation, telling them how usefel the computer would be in those areas. That was one of the very first programs I ever wrote. As it turns out, it was also the reason our computer sales were the best in the nation for Radio Shack. We were selling so many TRS-80 computers that the company had to short some of the other stores in the area to meet our demand. When the GM came down to see why, we were told to take it down. Immediately, our store's sales of TRS-80's went ftom 3 to4 a day, to the national average of only 3 to 4 per month. The funny thing is that later, the GM wanted a copy of my program to take vback to the home office. Of course he didn't get it.

We found out later that he told the company that he had a great idea. He contraced someone to write his own version. And, of course he took all of the credit for the idea too. The nice thing was that his never did nearly as well as the one we had. Several month later he came by asking if we still had a copy. My store manager tolg him that we destroyed it per his orders. That was a great day. Because when he came to our store, we halready had a visitor. We had Mr. Tandy in the back office and he heard the whole thing. We had informed Mr Tandy what we were doing and he was astounded. We finally gave him a copy, and got credit for writing it. The GM was furious. I think more because he got outed... End of the story, I was fired two week later for writing the program and refusing to turn it over on demand, because I wrote the presentation on company equipment. When I told them that, no, I wrote it on my own TRS-80 at home and they had no rights to it, I guess I pissed someone off and that was the end of my computer programmin carreer for a while.

So, that's one reason I want to try to get a cassette cable. I know that Radio Shacks cable is compatible with the 5150, but they are hard to find. Once I can get THAT part of my system put together, I want to not only rewrite that program, but others I had written in college. There are a few others I want to recreate as well,, and I'll be writing more as time goes on.

Sorry for the long story. I just wanted to show some of the reasons I wanted to set my 5150 up the way I do. With several options available to me, the XTIde seems to be the best one for file transfers. I'm not worried about having a CF card that's too new. The one I'm planning to use is a 1 Gig card I've had since 2003 or so.


No, it's a serial Laplink cable for inter-PC data transfers. Serial rather than parallel because that's what I have spare of.

It sounds like your ZIP100 drive was supplied without its data cable. There's nothing special about that cable - just a standard DB25 straight-through cable (male to female). You should be able to pick one up at an electronics store.


You've used the word "original". Does that mean that you're after an IBM one? I'm unaware of IBM ever supplying one. Certainly the Parts Catalog section of the first 5150 'Hardware Maintenance and Service' manual doesn't list one.

Maverick1978
August 4th, 2011, 08:01 AM
FYI, I'm still trying to find an original cassette cable to connect me vintage tape deck too. If someone has one I can purchase, please let my know...

Just buy the DIN and wire up a cable really quick - it'll certainly be cheaper than purchasing a pre-built one. From uncreative labs: (http://www.uncreativelabs.net/hwinfo/5150.htm)


One other interesting thing is the pinout of the cassette port = (numbering the pins conventionally ) :

1 Motor Control 2 Ground 3 Motor Control 4 Data In (to PC) 5 DAta Out (from PC)

If you're worried about the authenticity of using such a cable, personally, I wouldn't. It was quite common for everyone I know back in the day to spend $3 and 5 minutes' time to create such cables for the TRS-80, C64 (video/sound cables), etc rather than purchase the expensive pre-built ones. Heck, the only people I know of that used pre-built cables like this were schools and businesses - places that wouldn't realize how easy it was to roll your own!

bettablue
August 6th, 2011, 12:41 PM
Monday is Shipping day! I have one drive, a NOS Tandon, going back to Recycled Goods for replacement with one that's been calibrated. (They have been a great company to work with) The original two drives that were removed from my primary 5150 are being sent to Chuck for repair. That means that there is only one drive currently installed in my 5150. Indeed, it will be the only floppy drive I have until we start getting the replacement and Chuck gets the repais done.

I am still very interested in obtaining an XTIde to work with a CF card. That will definitely make getting information to the 5150 for creating new floppy disks a lot easier. Does anyone out there have one they are willing to sell?

DOS lives on!!
August 6th, 2011, 12:46 PM
I am still very interested in obtaining an XTIde to work with a CF card. That will definitely make getting information to the 5150 for creating new floppy disks a lot easier. Does anyone out there have one they are willing to sell?
Hargle has taken on that job. Ask him for one.

bettablue
August 6th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Hargle has taken on that job. Ask him for one.

Hargle is currently working on the next revision. That isn't due out for several months. He doesn't have any of his XTIde boards in stock either. I currently have 2 computers I would like to them for. So, I can wait for one, but I would still like to try one in my 5150 with a CF card and adapter.

bettablue
August 21st, 2011, 12:17 PM
OK, everything is working and I have the zip drive attached. I'm actually going to be getting a second zip drive to attach to my primary computer so I can avoid having to disconnect the drive from one computer, to connect it to the other. This seems like the easiest method to transfer programs over to the 5150, apart from Hargle's XTIDE with CF card.

Eventually I'll be an XTIDE when the new revision is released. Until then, the zip drive will do fine. Once I get the zip software from modem7's web site for the 5150, I'll be fully up and running. Options of adding a hard drive and or connecting the PC to my primary computer all seem good, but kind of get away from why I decided to get a 5150 PC over a comparable XT, or even an AT. I'll primarily be loading up DOS and other applications from floppy, but adding the functionality of an XTIDE using a rear mounted CF slot to load different versions of DOS, games, and productivity apps is just too good to pass up. Basically, I'll have the best of both worlds.


So yes, if you have a parallel port you could try finding an older version of the iomega guest app and see if you can get the a parallel zip drive to work on the system. That would provide a slow hard drive interface but take some RAM overhead. Alternatively (I recall it supported lpt ports not just serial) you could try interlnk and intersrv with another dos system and share a hard drive that way.

Personally I would add a hard drive controller and drive. One of the best improvements over the system was experiencing the difference in load time of a game or application from a hard drive vs floppy. It was an investment back then but I don't think anyone would have regretted the move.

modem7
August 21st, 2011, 11:57 PM
Once I get the zip software from modem7's web site for the 5150, I'll be fully up and running.
I have a pointer to the software. Be sure to download the trial version of palmZIP first, just to make sure it works for you.