PDA

View Full Version : Multibus dilemma



tipc
June 4th, 2012, 12:21 PM
I've wanted some kind of "official" Intel Multibus box for longer then I want to admit.

Thing is if I was on the ball years ago, I could have had one. And kind of cheap.

Who is going to help me solve this dilemma. I had a panic attack upwards of 2 years ago and bought an Intel MDS drive box (8/5" drives) for like 180$, which was soooo stupid in retrospect (the MDS system is kind of Multibussy I understand, but it's not what I had in mind. And I know a guy who will sell me one of these. Perhaps I should go for it anyway seeing I have the drive thing).

It's blue by the way.

Am I destined to plod the earth w/o a Mulitibus box? I'm only 45. I could live 'til 90 you know.

I'm always on the lookout for the rare an unusual. But it has to be _cool_, _rare_, and _unusual_. By my reckoning. I turn up my nose at a lot of stuff a lot of other people are looking for. I'm the arbiter of what's cool. For me.

Does anyone know if there are M* boxes in heaven :(

Someone at least tell me where I should look. Chuck G.? Anyone?

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 12:38 PM
Any reason that it has to be x80 or x86? Early Sun boxes were Multibus.

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 12:47 PM
which is not _cool_. Did you ask me first if that were cool?

Actually I've wanted an early Sun box for a long time too. So that is _cool_. But not what I was asking for. It's polite to ask yer know.

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 01:06 PM
There are MDS boxes and then there are MDS boxes. I think the gold standard is the big MDS-800. Series II and later are smaller and not nearly as imposing. They're kind of cool because they were the system that all of that first x80 and x86 software was developed on (e.g. CP/M, although I think Kildall started with an Intellec-8). Definitely boat-anchor stuff with lots of interesting cards available.

There were also some small development systems sold by Intel that were basically naked card cages with a backplane. Add your own enclosure and power supply and whatever cards you wanted.

Yes, Multibus is older than S-100, enjoyed a much longer active service life and is much better designed.

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 01:12 PM
I once saw this friggin excellent M* cube on eBay years ago. Lord God how I want one like that. It was out of NM, someone probably salvaged it from Area 51 I'm thinking.

The System 310, albeit later, 286 based, could possibly overthrow the Xerox 16/8 in terms of aesthetic appeal. She be gorgeous mate. It's a bit pristine for M* stuff though. Part of their appeal is the whole rough and ready look about them. If you know what I mean. You likely don't. Don't develop a bald spot scratching your head over it.

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 01:29 PM
310 or 320? Nah. Too plain for me. You need switches and blinkenlights:
[img]http://www.classiccmp.org/hp/mds-800/picture.jpg[/url]

An iAPX432 development system would also be very cool to have!

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 01:35 PM
310 or 320? Nah. Too plain for me. You need switches and blinkenlights:
[img]http://www.classiccmp.org/hp/mds-800/picture.jpg[/url]

An iAPX432 development system would also be very cool to have!

Again I'm the arbiter of coolness. If I say it's cool, it most definitely is.

It's not that I hate these damned old dinosaurs, like this [img]http://www.classiccmp.org/hp/mds-800/picture.jpg[/url]. Not that the image will post any better this time. It's just that it hearkens back to a day before there was any sanity in computing. You can't possibly even hope to play chess or anything equally basic on it.

Does that monster run any form of BASIC? COBOL/COBAL? FARTRAN? Just curious how any of that was supplied if so.

There doesn't seem to be any images of an iAPX 432 dev system. As per a google image search.

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 01:39 PM
I don't know what a 320 is. The 310:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgholzer/876795767/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 01:42 PM
COBOL, BASIC and FORTRAN, definitely. I recall that the FORTRAN package came on something like 7 8" disks. You could probably have run Chess 3.0 on it--after all, that was mostly FORTRAN, but you'd better have a good book to read while it contemplated its next move. Chess 3.0 wasn't particularly fast on a CDC 6600.

Distro for most DRI products in the 70s was SSSD 8" that was readable on an MDS. When I was tinkering with MP/M on one, I did put Adventure on it and it ran on two terminals successfully. So who says the MDS-800 isn't cool? :)

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 01:44 PM
The whole point though is that appearance takes a backseat to functionality with these things. You get the greatest ability to tailor a system to your exact needs/wants. That's the way I see it. Computers in some sense started that way (once they became modular that is). My guess is that they'll return to that eventually. Pull out a processor board, plug in something more powerful. Of course peecees are largely that way already. But changing your uP involves a major overhaul in some sense.

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 01:50 PM
COBOL, BASIC and FORTRAN, definitely. I recall that the FORTRAN package came on something like 7 8" disks. You could probably have run Chess 3.0 on it--after all, that was mostly FORTRAN, but you'd better have a good book to read while it contemplated its next move. Chess 3.0 wasn't particularly fast on a CDC 6600.

Distro for most DRI products in the 70s was SSSD 8" that was readable on an MDS. When I was tinkering with MP/M on one, I did put Adventure on it and it ran on two terminals successfully. So who says the MDS-800 isn't cool? :)

Ok it's cool already. Never said it wasn't. Just doesn't throw me as much as other things.

But that thing probably operates off a terminal, no? Computers weren't nowhere near as interesting as when high resolution came along. That was my point.

I'm also interested to know how much s/w survives for those things (the stuff you mentioned).

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 02:06 PM
I'm also interested to know how much s/w survives for those things (the stuff you mentioned).

Well, Al's got some here (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/bits/Intel/). Note that he even has Xenix for the System 300.

Chuck(G)
June 4th, 2012, 02:07 PM
Well, Al's got some here (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/bits/Intel/). Note that he even has Xenix for the System 300.

Yeah, text-mode only. But who needs graphics?

tipc
June 4th, 2012, 02:34 PM
Yeah, text-mode only. But who needs graphics?

I didn't. Please tell me I didn't see you type that.