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dongfeng
August 21st, 2006, 09:19 AM
I picked up another 5150 today, it's an extremely clean machine that has always lived in a home environment.

No idea what goodies it contains, as I haven't had a play with it yet, I think the memory is expanded to 640kB as it takes about a minute to boot. According to the owner it was updated with the 10MB hard drive, new PSU and memory expansion when new in 1984, and hasn't been used since 1988 ish. It also comes with some fancy software which appears to be IBM's answer to Microsoft Office. There is also an IBM ProPrinter X24E, which seems pretty cool!

:D

bbcmicro
August 21st, 2006, 09:31 AM
*envies*
Excellent, a good find, although I wonder if, even in such pristine condition, it will avoid the infamous 'Cif Treatment'? ;)

dongfeng
August 21st, 2006, 10:46 AM
Not sure if it needs the CIF to be honest, it was just dusty more than anything :)

One thing that really suprises me is that the CGA display is a LOT crisper than the one on my XT. I swapped them over to see if it was a difference between the IBM CGA card and the Hercules CGA but it is certainly the monitor.

I've explored the machine now, it has a 10MB Seagate ST-412, 512kB total memory, a parallel card, and an 8087 co-processor!

The software package is IBM "WisePak" which comes with several useful programs. Graphing Assistant, Planning Assistant, Writing Assistant, Filing Assistant and Reporting Assistant. There is a master selection menu that autoboots when you turn the computer on. I have the huge box of manuals but the disks are missing, I don't suppose anyone has this software and can make me copies/images of the disks? I'll certainly try and archive the files on the drive.

All in all, it's a great find, but I'm really overloaded with the damn things now :lol:

Luke
August 21st, 2006, 11:46 PM
Great find!
You'r really lucky!

Monitors are the same? Both are 5153002?
Of course backup the hdd and that IBM packet ;).

Could you list what's on hdd?

modem7
August 22nd, 2006, 02:57 AM
One thing that really suprises me is that the CGA display is a LOT crisper than the one on my XT. I swapped them over to see if it was a difference between the IBM CGA card and the Hercules CGA but it is certainly the monitor.
Three possibilities as I see it.

1. Different batch. Some batches are better than others at aging. For example, over two years of use, resistor R34 in batch #456 only drifted in value by an average of 2%, whereas in batch #432, resistor R34 drifted in value by an average of 7%. Thus, some batches drift out of alignment faster than others.

2. If the monitor on the new XT hasn't had much use, it won't have deteriated as much (less aging of components).

3. Faulty component. For example. Some old monitors with focus issues (or similar) can be fixed by replacing the flyback transformer.

Luke
August 22nd, 2006, 03:11 AM
My XT was used for about 6-8 years (!) and the focus is nice.
Of I haven't ever seen good-focused CGA monitor ;).

fxg
August 22nd, 2006, 03:11 AM
Okay, I'm jealous, happy now? :P

That's a great find. I haven't even seen one in reality.

One [most likely] stupid question: what is the "CIF treatment" ? :blush:

Luke
August 22nd, 2006, 03:38 AM
I have seen only one in computer museum, but that was original early model.
And the only XT that I have seen it that, that I own ;).

"CIF treatment" is cleaning using CIF.
I think that's not the best for computer, but it can clean it great.

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 03:46 AM
Great find!
You'r really lucky!

Monitors are the same? Both are 5153002?
Of course backup the hdd and that IBM packet ;).

Could you list what's on hdd?

Yes, both are 5153002 on the back. The XT display has a slight blur to the edges of the text, the 5150 has a nice crisp edge.

The hard drive seems to have been formatted in 1987 with DOS 3.3, the only other software on the drive is the IBM WisePak. I couldn't find any user-created files newer than 1988.

Since I can't find my Parallel LapLink cable, I will back the software to PKZIP file split to 360kB sections. I think that should work :)

modem7
August 22nd, 2006, 03:49 AM
I haven't ever seen good-focused CGA monitor ;).
Compared to the 5151 (and clones), CGA monitors have three electron beams rather than one, and so besides focus, there are other factors such as convergence that 'conspire' to reduce the clarity of the display.
Also, engineering helps as well. I saw some specialist high definition colour VDU's in the early 80's, but they were priced at like $10,000. I imagine that IBM (and others) simply produced a unit that was 'good enough', to keep the price reasonable.

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 03:49 AM
Three possibilities as I see it.

1. Different batch. Some batches are better than others at aging. For example, over two years of use, resistor R34 in batch #456 only drifted in value by an average of 2%, whereas in batch #432, resistor R34 drifted in value by an average of 7%. Thus, some batches drift out of alignment faster than others.

2. If the monitor on the new XT hasn't had much use, it won't have deteriated as much (less aging of components).

3. Faulty component. For example. Some old monitors with focus issues (or similar) can be fixed by replacing the flyback transformer.

That's very interesting. My XT was used heavily between 1986 and 1988 in an office, then infrequently in a home until 1991. Looking at the XT's 5153, the focus does seem to get better after 15 minutes of use. It's still not bad though :)

The XT display is dated 1986, the 5150 display 1984. Maybe a case of earlier components being of better quality?

modem7
August 22nd, 2006, 04:05 AM
the focus does seem to get better after 15 minutes of use.
That's expected of cathode ray tube (CRT) based monitors. It's a bit like your car engine warming up. Just as you would wait for your engine to warm up before tuning it, you wait for the monitor to warm up before aligning it. Hence, the alignment is slightly out when the monitor is cold and comes into best alignment as the monitor warms up.

modem7
August 22nd, 2006, 04:12 AM
The XT display is dated 1986, the 5150 display 1984. Maybe a case of earlier components being of better quality?
You just don't know. If I compared ten 5153's, each one will have 'deteriated' from factory-release condition due to one or many different factors.

Luke
August 22nd, 2006, 04:45 AM
My XT wasn't used often or intensive.
I don't really know what was his story, but it's Italian (keyboard) version produced in Scotland.
It has installed Italian DOS 3.1 or 3.0.
It was used for writing and programming (?).
It was never modified, all parts are original, only memory is expanded.
Person witch owned it wasn't proably familiar with PC and upgrade was propably was made by service.
If it was in use until '91 PC should be upgraded a bit...

5153 is propably from '86 and repaired in '87 (repair tag on back).

Dongfeng, notice that your XT was used in corporation and 5 days in week was powered up for about 5 hours...

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 07:28 AM
There was problem with hard drive, I discovered today. But it seems, just software corruption, I think as it was not used for a very long time. Today it is powered up for ~2 hrs!

I think file partition is corrupted, it cannot access data, or boot. But, low-level format has fixed it, although the software on the drive is lost :(

Now is running IBM PC-DOS 2.1!

There is no support for UK keyboard or time/date settings, so I have to copy keybuk.com from XT's DOS 3.1. I think PC-DOS 2.11 has function for regional differences? How did people set in the days before? 5150 has UK keyboard, so there must be a way of doing so without later DOS.

Luke
August 22nd, 2006, 08:01 AM
DOS 3.0 features country, keybxx and select - you mean these commands?

If you want I can send you Pc-DOS 2.00.. This would be more original.
Don't you know how to set keyboard layout to Italian? I have such keyboard and I have US keyboard mapping :(.
Will 'keyb' run with DOS 2.00?

I had the same problem with disk in Amstrad Pc1640, it was 20 meg.
When I tried to boot from it, it booted to ibm fixed disk manager and I couldn't even run DOS.
After LLF everything was Okay.

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 08:27 AM
Since my 5150 is November 1984, I think DOS 3.x is more original! But DOS 2.x is better ;)

I can't find how to set keyboard mapping in DOS 2.1, I guess there may have been some "extra" disk with another software for that.

My XT's PC-DOS 3.1 has italian keyboard mapping! I can send to you.

For my 5150 I put the KEYBUK.COM file in C:\DOS, and changed the AUTOEXEC.BAT to the following:

PATH C:\DOS
KEYBUK
ECHO OFF
CLS
DATE
TIME
VER

Of course, you would have to change KEYBUK to KEYBIT, and you don't have to put the PATH if you are not booting from HDD.

In DOS 3.1 you can change CONFIG.SYS to have COUNTRY=044 which changes the date and tinme settings to UK style. But I don't think this is possible with earlier than 2.11 ;)

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 08:28 AM
Oh! I wanted to say. Can you send me DOS 2.00 pls pls pls :D :D

dongfeng
August 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
Here is KEYBIT for Italian Keyboard:

KEYBIT (http://www.howard81.co.uk/upload/vcf/KEYBIT.COM)

mbbrutman
August 22nd, 2006, 10:28 AM
This isn't a warez or abandonware forum. If you are going to transfer software, do it in private and follow the laws of whatever country or governing organization has jurisdiction.

dongfeng
August 23rd, 2006, 11:44 AM
The 5150 is now running DOS 2.00 quite successfully :)

The software on the HDD was IBM Assistant, which I have managed to get working again on the machine. It's quite a decent package actually, the word processor is really rather good, much more straightforward and easier to use than DisplayWriter1 on my XT :)