View Full Version : Xerox mystery from 1977

August 21st, 2006, 09:05 AM

Looks interesting doesn't it?

It's from 1977, by Xerox, product code 528B. Can't find anything out - it has two odd cassette tape drives, volume control on the front (there was a speaker inside as well), huge capacitors and a transformer, eats 6 amps at 120V, had a big long row of card slots with manual trace wires along the backside. I took plenty of pics of the cards.

It doesn't exist anymore.

The full gallery is below. I highly recommend viewing the whole thing...


August 21st, 2006, 09:55 AM
Wow, do a google on "xerox 528B" and you get the weirdest stuff :rolleyes: Needless to say, when I started hitting the japenese stuff, I gave up.

August 21st, 2006, 09:58 AM
Yeah, and if you actually enclose "xerox 528B" in quotes, you get squat-ola...

August 21st, 2006, 11:54 AM
Pre dates the Xerox Alto II/XM and the Dolphin and I've seen photos of them.

August 22nd, 2006, 09:37 AM
I've googled this thing every which direction and come up with nothing, so I forwarded the image link off to Xerox to see if they could provide a name for this beasty. I'm betting it's part of a Xerox word processor based on the tape drives.
If Xerox doesn't come through, I've got a guy I can go to and get a contact at PARC to see if any of the old timers there recognize it.


August 23rd, 2006, 07:37 AM
Looks like my guess was right. Here's what I got back from Xerox:

"This is a dual tape drive for the Xerox 800 Electronic Typing System (800ETS). The 800ETS was the first word-processing product from Xerox and came out in 1974. Please find attached a scanned copy of a brochure. There is a picture of the dual tape drive on page 9.

We hope you find this information of interest."

You can see the brochure at:

August 23rd, 2006, 02:29 PM
I'm most amazed that Xerox has some back catalog or employees who know what the company did 30 years ago. They even had a scanned brochure! Maybe they find this kind of support email so renewing that the whole company goes out on a hunt whenever a question arrives.

August 23rd, 2006, 02:51 PM
Not getting a response from busoutoshi.net. Anybody save the PDF?

BTW, thanks a lot to everybody who contributed to this thread and especially shirkahn. This has been bugging me since April!

August 23rd, 2006, 03:14 PM
I downloaded it, but the link is still working for me so maybe it is back up. Else I can email it to you?

August 23rd, 2006, 03:26 PM
So that huge filing cabinet is just a dual tape drive???

August 23rd, 2006, 04:09 PM
Ah yes, nothing like a 660 watt dual tape drive. Those were the days (of cheap power).

August 23rd, 2006, 04:51 PM
Cheap power? Wasn't the oil crisis somewhere there, in the early-mid 70'ties? Maybe it didn't make a difference on electricty though.

August 23rd, 2006, 07:37 PM
The place I worked at in the 70's used power like it was free. Couldn't have been that expensive because boss didn't jump on us about turning stuff off at night.

August 23rd, 2006, 07:40 PM
It's more like, the days when dual tape drives required 20 separate cards on a manual-traced bus with a 20-pound transformer and capacitors bigger than soup cans!

Well, I'm glad that at least I took pictures of the poor thing.

It wasn't in the best of shape anyways...although, knowing what I know now, I probably would have taken it home and secreted it in the garage!

I'm downloading the PDF as we speak, strange that the site was down when I tried the link at work.

August 23rd, 2006, 09:53 PM

I took the liberty of looking at your other photobucket images. Are you still trying to ID the childhood toy pictured at
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g54/dreddnott/electronics/862f85e2.jpg ?

It's the control panel for a 14" hard disc drive. The 'PROT FIXED' switch write-protects the bottom fixed platter(s) and the 'PROT CART' switch write-protects the top platter(s), which is contained in a removable cartridge. Each platter probably held about 5MB, so this would have been at least a 10MB drive.

I'm not sure of the make/model of the drive, other than that it's not a Pertec unit.

The full gallery is below. I highly recommend viewing the whole thing...


August 24th, 2006, 07:42 AM
You guys are awesome.

That explanation makes a lot of sense...I've seen "hybrid" drives like that before.