PDA

View Full Version : Stuff that shouldn't go in the recycling bin



Floppies_only
April 1st, 2014, 06:19 PM
Gang,

I've been meaning to post this for a long time, but never seemed to have the chance. It has become painfully obvious that certain vintage computer items and related items are becoming unobtainium, and have been becoming so for years. I'm going to list the things that I can think of, and I hope that others will answer this post with additional items that they would like to have or know others would like to have but can't get.

1) 5 1/4" floppy disk sleeves - you can buy new floppies but they don't come with the dust covers, and dust is the anti-hero to a floppy drive.

2) RAM, of any sort. I've been told that RAM is a high failure component. If you can get two RAM expansion boards that don't work, it's very possible that chips from one can replace bad chips from another to make a good board and possibly leave some chips left over for future repairs.

Item 2 includes RAM boards, 8 and 16 bit. I am actually not sure that you can run any version of Works with the 256K that a 5150 or 5160 comes with, or with the 512K that a 5170 (IBM PC/AT) comes with.

3) Mice and roller balls. They may have gotten along without them back in the day, but now they are nice to use even with old programs.

3a) Drivers for those mice, and drivers in general. I know some of you guys know how to get them online, but how to find them is a mystery to me, and I'd feel safer from viri installing from an original floppy. Not safe, just 'safer'.

So I'm sure I missed a lot of needed things, and this hobby is getting hard to do, and the caps are going bad now and I don't know how long it will be until we are all just using emulators on our 16:9 monitors, but I'd like to keep the spirit of the hobby and mutual assistance alive for as long as possible.

By the way, if you don't want to sell something, try to trade it for something you want. It will be worth more to you than just money if your financial situation is O.K. And it will make the other person happy at the same time.

Thanks,
Sean

Floppies_only
April 1st, 2014, 06:25 PM
Gang,

You might have seen my post on another forum attempting to put the word out that it would be great if we all knew what things are difficult to get now, so there was an extra motivation to sell or trade them instead of putting them in recycling. One thing I can think of is the driver and/or instructions for that IBM 360K external floppy drive for PS/2 systems that have a 3 1/2" drive. I've seen at least ten of the drives, but could never get one because I could never get the drivers (at least I think they need drivers).

Another biggie is RAM. RAM goes bad fast, and we should never, ever let it go to waste. If you are recycling a system, for God's sakes, at least take the RAM out of it and offer it to someone to trade for something else that you want.

I would think that CD-ROM drives would be a good thing to save, as well, if the optical heads wear out the way they do on a DVD player. I don't know.

Maybe the rest of you guys could reply to this post and add to the list of things that are hard to get, that could help another user to enjoy the hobby. I hope people will do that.

Thanks,
Sean

smeezekitty
April 1st, 2014, 06:30 PM
I always keep working systems or any working parts of non working systems.
For me throwing out electronics would be extraordinarily rare
They way I see it is it will only get rarer in the future. Always think of the future

SpidersWeb
April 1st, 2014, 06:48 PM
The external IBM 5.25's shouldn't need drivers. They hook to a floppy port if I remember correctly? I'm bidding on one now, but haven't used one.

RAM is a good one to keep, and I do, it's very small so it's quite easy to store.
For me the big one is IDE hard drives. They're a dime a dozen at the moment - but when they fail they're gone forever and they can't be repaired or low level formatted. I was going through a box of them I have, and failure rate was around 30-40%.

Stone
April 1st, 2014, 06:53 PM
How many 5 1/4" floppy disk sleeves do you want? I've got plenty, both new and used.

I don't know who told you that RAM is a high failure component but I've got plenty that hasn't failed if you want some.

lutiana
April 1st, 2014, 07:19 PM
Actually memory is not that hard to find. I have never had a problem finding affordable new 30 pin and 72 pin simms.

http://www.memorystock.com/72PIN_MEMORY.htm
http://www.memoryx.com/generic-memory-30-pin-simm.html

mbbrutman
April 1st, 2014, 07:38 PM
I deleted one thread and combined the remaining two. In my professional judgement, this topic does not need multiple threads.

Floppies_only
April 3rd, 2014, 06:32 PM
I deleted one thread and combined the remaining two. In my professional judgement, this topic does not need multiple threads.

MB,

A lot more later PCs use CD-ROM drives than 8088s and 286s. That thread belongs exactly where I put it. You should put my threads back where you found them, where they are needed.

I suspect you are holding a personal grudge against me with you moderation, and that's very unprofessional. This is the third incident, and you are making my experience of the hobby very unpleasant.

Send me your resignation. I'll accept it.

Sean

SpidersWeb
April 3rd, 2014, 06:57 PM
A lot more later PCs use CD-ROM drives than 8088s and 286s. That thread belongs exactly where I put it. You should put my threads back where you found them, where they are needed.
Well it probably should be in General Vintage Computer Discussions as a single thread.

I think the gear you really want to worry about are Pentium era - they'll be getting rarer and people often still throw those out - I pulled one out of a dumpster last year myself.
I keep my Pentiums, but to preserve the generation after (which I often pull apart to steal bits from) I store the motherboards and other parts in static bags.



I suspect you are holding a personal grudge against me with you moderation, and that's very unprofessional. This is the third incident, and you are making my experience of the hobby very unpleasant.

Send me your resignation. I'll accept it.

Genuinely hoping that's a joke.

mbbrutman
April 3rd, 2014, 07:49 PM
MB,

A lot more later PCs use CD-ROM drives than 8088s and 286s. That thread belongs exactly where I put it. You should put my threads back where you found them, where they are needed.

I suspect you are holding a personal grudge against me with you moderation, and that's very unprofessional. This is the third incident, and you are making my experience of the hobby very unpleasant.

Send me your resignation. I'll accept it.

Sean


I'm trying to remember a previous incident. I can't.

We had multiple complaints about you posting essentially the same thread in three different places. We are up to response number 10 now, including a dupe of the original that I merged in and did not delete, my note saying this doesn't need three threads, your demanding my resignation, and this post. It doesn't warrant three different threads.

As for my resignation, please don't hold your breath.

Ole Juul
April 3rd, 2014, 10:43 PM
That thread belongs exactly where I put it. You should put my threads back where you found them, where they are needed.

I don't want to inflame here Sean, but wherever something goes, we'll all see it anyway. All posts show up the same to me regardless of where you put them. Is it possible that you view this forum's posts in a way that you don't easily see them all?

mbbrutman
April 4th, 2014, 07:04 AM
I am thinking that one mistake I might have made was to not put this in the general hardware discussion area. Because it applies to more than PCs and clones.

If Sean would like it moved there that is easy to do. But I'm still not sending him my resignation. ; - 0

simplex
April 4th, 2014, 08:40 AM
I agree it's good to save IDE drives but hopefully all these IDE > CF adapters might people who are really stuck (a lot cheaper / safer to ship, too!)

Floppies_only
April 4th, 2014, 08:35 PM
I'm trying to remember a previous incident. I can't.

We had multiple complaints about you posting essentially the same thread in three different places. We are up to response number 10 now, including a dupe of the original that I merged in and did not delete, my note saying this doesn't need three threads, your demanding my resignation, and this post. It doesn't warrant three different threads.

As for my resignation, please don't hold your breath.

In this thread the message that I'm now replying to is number 10. I didn't see any complaints before number seven. As to previous incidents, my memory, which I admit is fallible, tells me that you've rubbed me the wrong way three times now. I've complained to Erik each time, perhaps he can tell you I'm wrong. But I know I've complained at least once before because I remember doing it.

If you aren't going to do the right thing and get out of the way, at least you might make a minimal shit effort to treat people with courtesy.

Sean

mbbrutman
April 4th, 2014, 08:49 PM
In this thread the message that I'm now replying to is number 10. I didn't see any complaints before number seven. As to previous incidents, my memory, which I admit is fallible, tells me that you've rubbed me the wrong way three times now. I've complained to Erik each time, perhaps he can tell you I'm wrong. But I know I've complained at least once before because I remember doing it.

If you aren't going to do the right thing and get out of the way, at least you might make a minimal shit effort to treat people with courtesy.

Sean

I don't get paid enough for this. Enjoy your ban.

SomeGuy
April 4th, 2014, 08:49 PM
Back to the original topic, I would add manuals to that list. Much vintage software is useless without the manuals. Those tend to be the first against the wall when cleaning time comes. Also apparently non-metric Flat Flex Cables are also unobtanium these days.

But I think most of the people on this forums have some idea of what need to be kept or sold. It is the rest of the world that needs to hear that message.

SpidersWeb
April 4th, 2014, 09:50 PM
I don't get paid enough for this. Enjoy your ban.
Good, I thought it was rather rude, he can enjoy a full refund of his subscription.



Back to the original topic, I would add manuals to that list.

I agree. I found the manual for the DTK Turbo 640 today (I have two of these motherboards) in some boxes I was donated - stoked!
Have been going through those boxes today - so much cool stuff and having the manuals just tops it off.

Also magazines, was reading a 1988 PC World earlier and it was like rewinding time. I learned something too - the IBM PS/2 Model 50 and 50Z - the difference wasn't just HD options but zero wait state memory - hence the Z.

Also if people could stop recycling their HP Touch 150's that'd be good. I've never seen one, but I have software for it, still sealed.

Trixter
April 4th, 2014, 10:24 PM
at least you might make a minimal shit effort to treat people with courtesy.

Such as swearing at people to treat you with courtesy? Oh, the irony.

I'm not a moderator, and I think your message of "don't throw things out!" only warrants a single thread. Pretty simple message, even if it's "don't throw these specific types of things out".

I have enough 1MB and 4MB SIMMs to choke a goat, so I don't make any great pains to save them. I also don't save anything over 200MHz because anything that would require those systems to run will run just fine on modern systems or virtual machines.

Ole Juul
April 4th, 2014, 11:30 PM
I'm not a moderator, and I think your message of "don't throw things out!" only warrants a single thread.

I'm not a fan of reading things twice either.


I have enough 1MB and 4MB SIMMs to choke a goat, so I don't make any great pains to save them.

I know where we can borrow a goat if you want to verify that. It would make a great Retrochallenge project.


I also don't save anything over 200MHz because anything that would require those systems to run will run just fine on modern systems or virtual machines.

To me that depends on the system. Generally, I'd agree that 200 is about the turning point, but I've got an IBM365 with a Pentium Pro 200 which I think is above average in likely future collector's value. (I like it already) I've also got a 220 which I save because it came as a perfect Win98 example. And then there's a couple of Pentium III systems that are allowed to stay if they promise not to get in the way. I haven't told them, but they're really there just as extra boxes and/or screws.

Trixter
April 4th, 2014, 11:35 PM
To me that depends on the system. Generally, I'd agree that 200 is about the turning point, but I've got an IBM365 with a Pentium Pro 200 which I think is above average in likely future collector's value. (I like it already) I've also got a 220 which I save because it came as a perfect Win98 example. And then there's a couple of Pentium III systems that are allowed to stay if they promise not to get in the way. I haven't told them, but they're really there just as extra boxes and/or screws.

Agreed. I should clarify that I do have a few systems above 200MHz if I find them interesting (like an IBM PII 333MHz that has embedded sound that uses the internal speaker if there is no external line-out detected)... I just don't seek them out or rescue them.

Clint
April 4th, 2014, 11:54 PM
I am having real nightmares over the stuff I have thrown out in the past that I would love to have now, having started out in the 80's as a hardware engineer, you can only imagine how many times I told a customer that 'its beyond economical repair' and threw it out as it would have taken too many hours to fix.

I am off to put cling film over my workshop bins !!!!!

wesleyfurr
April 13th, 2014, 03:54 PM
I have enough 1MB and 4MB SIMMs to choke a goat, so I don't make any great pains to save them.

Next time you're pitching 4Mb (assuming you mean 30-pin) SIMMS, please keep me in mind. :-) I would agree on 1Mbs, they are pretty common...but I've not come across many 4Mb chips...

Wesley

lowen
April 14th, 2014, 06:04 AM
I have a small quantity of 4MB 30-pin parity SIMMs, perhaps 16 or so, with 8 of them in use in running equipment.

sorphin
April 19th, 2014, 01:31 PM
One thing with the manuals. I tend to scan things, if I get something that would be really hard to replace. So that's a definite idea (unless you really want the hard copy for sentimental/collector reasons).


Back to the original topic, I would add manuals to that list. Much vintage software is useless without the manuals. Those tend to be the first against the wall when cleaning time comes. Also apparently non-metric Flat Flex Cables are also unobtanium these days.

But I think most of the people on this forums have some idea of what need to be kept or sold. It is the rest of the world that needs to hear that message.

deathshadow
April 19th, 2014, 01:41 PM
One thing in the now banned OP's post that bugs me -- Mouse drivers should be a non-issue... if you haven't heard of or used cutemouse by now, and can't figure out "hey it's on sourceforge", and comes with the bloody source so you can verify and build your own if you're worried about infection...

http://cutemouse.sourceforge.net/

I've yet to find a mouse it doesn't work with; even the more oddball "mouse systems" (like my old optical that uses the mirrored pad with the red and blue stripes) seems to work with it... and historically those were very 'picky'.

Sorry, but herpaderp.

OTHER drivers though -- nothing like the original disk. See Creative, how the versions on their website often lack almost all the utilities; see my original SB-Live that even under '98 you better have that original CD if you want ANY of the support software (like say... soundfont management?)

Though when it comes to legacy driver OR current support, nobody gets down on their knees to pucker up in front of the proverbial equine of short stature like Creative. See Audigy boards, where you're basically stuck using DanielK's unofficial drivers if you even want to THINK about ANY of them working right in Vista/newer -- even when they are still selling incompatible models right through to today. Good luck getting a Audigy 2 ZS platinum with "lifetime support" working in Windows 8.

SomeGuy
April 19th, 2014, 02:08 PM
I don't recall that Cutemouse works with MS bus mice, there was another thread about needing Windows drivers for an Atari PC that uses it's own mouse interface, the last I checked it also doesn't show a cursor in Tandy graphics mode for Personal Deskmate. There are some obscure combinations that need special drivers. Unfortunately those tend to get lost among the pile of generic stuff out there.

deathshadow
April 19th, 2014, 02:57 PM
I don't recall that Cutemouse works with MS bus mice
Never understood why anyone ever had those in the first place -- they cost too much, the mice themselves were crappy, and "what's wrong with Serial"? There's a reason PS/2 killed it off.

But what do I know, I consider the logitech trackman marble (original white) to be the pinnacle of pointing device design; probably why I've got a half dozen of them in serial, PS/2 and USB. (which usually the ones with PS/2 ends can do serial, the ones with USB ends can do PS/2)


the last I checked it also doesn't show a cursor in Tandy graphics mode for Personal Deskmate.
I doubt any driver except that from Tandy would, since it runs in the non-standard 640x200 4 color mode on normal 1k's, and the TL/SL 16 color mode when available. Of course, I've never tried ctmouse there since that's joy.sys job on mine. (since the mouse I have plugs in through the joystick port). I thought there was a command line option though for deskmate or some configuration setting to force it to draw the cursor itself -- had to do that on EGA with the versions meant for non-tandy PC's. (like the gutted copy of deskmate bundled with that music studio program that also had a Apple IIGS version)

Honestly, I'd go against this thread's theme on a few things -- bus mice go right in the trash here, no question, off to the landfill they go; though that's usually because you either have the card without the matching mouse, or the mouse without the matching card, and you can't mix-and-match bus mice brands. We were better off without them as they really offered no advantages over the cheaper, more reliable serial alternative. NEVER understood why anyone was DUMB ENOUGH to waste money on them.

mbbrutman
April 19th, 2014, 03:11 PM
For what it's worth, the ban was temporary. I can't explain the behavior that led up to the ban, but everybody has bad spells now and then.

luvit
April 19th, 2014, 03:21 PM
With a manual unbanning just today, it was two weeks. -- i thought it looked permanent. lol.

Great Hierophant
April 19th, 2014, 03:27 PM
I doubt any driver except that from Tandy would, since it runs in the non-standard 640x200 4 color mode on normal 1k's, and the TL/SL 16 color mode when available. Of course, I've never tried ctmouse there since that's joy.sys job on mine. (since the mouse I have plugs in through the joystick port). I thought there was a command line option though for deskmate or some configuration setting to force it to draw the cursor itself -- had to do that on EGA with the versions meant for non-tandy PC's. (like the gutted copy of deskmate bundled with that music studio program that also had a Apple IIGS version)


My tests showed that only Personal Deskmate, which came with the EX, failed to work with anything other than the Tandy joystick mouse driver and the DigiMouse (a bus mouse). Old generic Microsoft mouse drivers, even with an ASCII "Tandy" in the file, would not work. However, Personal Deskmate 2 (TX and SX) and Deskmate 3 (SL & TL and later) work just fine with the Cutemouse driver and they are much better than the original PD.

It would seem that the Tandy Deluxe joystick mouse works well enough.

Agent Orange
April 19th, 2014, 03:44 PM
Never understood why anyone ever had those in the first place -- they cost too much, the mice themselves were crappy, and "what's wrong with Serial"? There's a reason PS/2 killed it off.

Now, now, don't be too hard on the bus mouse. The first accessory that I bought for my Tandy 1000SX back in 1987 was a Logitech (marble) 3-button bus mouse. It (the bus mouse) has always worked with all of my software including Desk Mate right on down to Leisure Suit Larry, and it's still working (made in the USA). There wasn't much need for a serial card back then unless you required an external modem for CompuServe or some big-time BBS. IIRC, my wife gave me a 8-bit 300 baud 3-Com card for Christmas in 1987, so I had no actual need for a serial card at the time. Also, the SX came with joy stick ports and a printer interface, so the question of a serial card was more or less moot.

MikeS
April 20th, 2014, 09:34 AM
...NEVER understood why anyone was DUMB ENOUGH to waste money on them.Why do folks find it necessary to use words like DUMB when referring to people with different perceptions/circumstances than their own? If you really don't understand something like this then I'd say that it's not the other person who's the DUMB one...

mbbrutman
April 20th, 2014, 10:41 AM
<snip>
NEVER understood why anyone was DUMB ENOUGH to waste money on them.

It is possible that the logic required to build the mouse was simpler; look at the pinout of a bus mouse and it gives you some clues. (Hint: more expensive engineering workstations at the time used serial mice.)

My Microsoft bus mouse came with a 128K memory upgrade and a clock/calendar chip all on the same card. (Sidecar - it was a PCjr.) Does that make me dumb?

Hyperbole is the greatest threat to mankind.



Mike

Unknown_K
April 20th, 2014, 11:53 AM
I wonder if anybody bothered to save regular CDROM drives, seems like everything you see these days in surplus is CDRW or DVD (plus IDE supply is dropping and SCSI is long gone).

I still save serial mice and obsolete RAM and HDs but I don't go out of my way to overpay for them. Lately I have been snagging tape autoloaders and external SCSI removeables ( 90 and 150MB external Bernouli's came in a few days ago).

Caluser2000
April 20th, 2014, 12:11 PM
Never understood why anyone ever had those in the first place -- they cost too much, the mice themselves were crappy, and "what's wrong with Serial"? There's a reason PS/2 killed it off.My understanding is that PS/2 mice were actually designed to replace serial mice, as the connector was ususally built in to OEM mobos (such as IBM, Compaq, Digital etc) and a lot of later clone mobos had a header specifically for PS/2 mice, retaining the older/larger keyboard DIN.

Indeed at least one computer manufacture, Acorn, were using built-in bus mice into the mid '90s. Yes, you could use a serial mouse if there wasn't a one available. But that used up the serial port which could be put to good use doing other chores.

raifield
April 20th, 2014, 03:01 PM
I wonder if anybody bothered to save regular CDROM drives, seems like everything you see these days in surplus is CDRW or DVD (plus IDE supply is dropping and SCSI is long gone).

I still save serial mice and obsolete RAM and HDs but I don't go out of my way to overpay for them. Lately I have been snagging tape autoloaders and external SCSI removeables ( 90 and 150MB external Bernouli's came in a few days ago).

I bought a drive on eBay advertised as an "IDE CDROM drive" and the seller wasn't wrong, but it was a CDRW, something along the lines of 48x24x12. It looks a little awkward in a 486, but eh. I really wanted a SCSI drive to go with my Soundblaster 16 SCSI card, but the prices of those things were outrageous when I was looking.

I keep forgetting to ask around this forum first before going on eBay. Old habits die hard.

What really seems rare are the tray-less CDROM drives. There are a few on eBay, but not many.

deathshadow
April 20th, 2014, 05:53 PM
Why do folks find it necessary to use words like DUMB when referring to people with different perceptions/circumstances than their own? If you really don't understand something like this then I'd say that it's not the other person who's the DUMB one...

Probably related to the soft namby-pamby metrosexual status quo FTMFW attitude that's been pissing me off for about six years now; where you can't possibly speak your mind without someone's panties getting in a wad, so you might as well just go ahead and say what you really think anyways and to hell with people's "feelings".

Admittedly, I'm a New Englander -- we insult you to your face while giving you the shirt off our back; far better than the attitude I've encountered everywhere else of the fake smile plastered on everyone's face and "to hell with actually trying to make anything better."

@Agent Orange -- To me serial ports were always a must-have-more; the notion of a system without a working one -- at least prior to about 1993 is just alien to me. Even the junior had the crappy in-built one (buggy as it was). Long before I ever had a parallel printer I had several dozen serial printers and plotters (I miss my cute little size A Calcomp)... when it finally got to the point of having PC's and their clones, if I was going to use up an ISA slot (something that back in the day there were NEVER enough of) it wouldn't be for a mouse; or if it were for a mouse, I'd end up with two serial ports, a parallel port, game port, clock and 384k of system memory for that one slot in the deal.

But what really got me is that until very late in the game, they were no cheaper than a serial mouse and a multi-I/O board -- and by the time they were cheaper (late AT / early 386) everything was being built with IDE-I/O cards with IDE, floppy, parallel and twin serial anyways. (Old MacDonald had a computer, IDE-I/O... and on that computer he had some drives... IDE-I/O) that's why it never made any sense; at least on anything with standard expansion slots. That's why the talk of "high end workstations" being where serial mice were more common is just... Whiskey tango foxtrot?!?

Though your talking about 300 baud that late in the game... I mean, I was doing 300 baud on my Model III using a locomodem. (Loved that thing, 300 baud for $60 retail in 1980? ROCK ON!) and 150 baud before that on DEC hardware. By '87 modems that slow were giveaways -- since 1200's were bargain basemented to $50 a pop with 2400's being about four to five times that... at least in externals. (I still remember being all psyched at getting my 2400 in '86 for $150) -- hell, I think the first internal I ever even saw in the flesh was a 9600... well, unless we were talking luggables.

Though that also brings up another bit of hardware you REALLY have to ask if there's any purpose in holding onto -- 33.6k/slower modems. I've been gutting them for parts and pitching the leftovers.

@mbbrutman -- THAT almost makes sense; when you're down on the "crippled by design" hardware throwing more proprietary vendor lock-in at it starts to make sense... but I always wondered why these giant PC junior cards never had anything on them; on a single expansion I'd expect at least double that much stuff; though I may simply be spoiled by ISA multifunction cards as I kind-of skipped over IBM hardware right to clones, only getting access to the real deal several years later. (and similar systems I used up to that point like the Rainbow and Tandy 2K had them built in -- even if the 2k's implementation was a bit funky)

Even on my Tandy 1000SX, the FIRST thing I added is a multi-I/O card; if for no other reason than a USEFUL bi-directional printer port and a pair of serial... even back in the '80's one of those shouldn't have set you back more than fifty bucks. Hell, I've even got a serial card for my 1000HX. Which you want to talk about systems hard to get useful cards for... though if anyone wants some 1200 baud modems for the EX/HX... my cup doth runneth over.

SomeGuy
April 20th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Though that also brings up another bit of hardware you REALLY have to ask if there's any purpose in holding onto -- 33.6k/slower modems. I've been gutting them for parts and pitching the leftovers.
That's one of those areas where backwards compatiblity is fairly good. An external serial USR Sportster 56k could be a drop in replacement for a 300 baud modem. But I'm sure there are some niche modem devices worth holding on to.

Now those PCI WinModems can all burn in a fire... :flamethrower:

Great Hierophant
April 20th, 2014, 06:59 PM
The trouble with bus mice you find in the wild is that too often you have either the bus interface card, the mouse, but not both. Unless there is something else useful on the bus card, I agree that serial mice are better. The Microsoft Booster Sidecar (PCjr.) is very useful because it offers a bus mouse so the serial port can be used for something else like the Compact Printer. Similarly, the Tandy 1000 Mouse Clock/Calendar Board is useful because it can fit in a PLUS slot for the EX and HX and its driver should work with Personal Deskmate.

Serial vs. PS/2 - If you want features, PS/2 mice tend to offer things like scroll wheels, but serial mice can be found with three full buttons. A system with a PS/2 mouse port can only use a mouse while a serial port can be used for many devices. The serial mouse can be attached and detached without harming the system, the same cannot be said for PS/2 plug devices.

Agent Orange
April 20th, 2014, 07:01 PM
@Agent Orange -- To me serial ports were always a must-have-more; the notion of a system without a working one -- at least prior to about 1993 is just alien to me. Even the junior had the crappy in-built one (buggy as it was). Long before I ever had a parallel printer I had several dozen serial printers and plotters (I miss my cute little size A Calcomp)... when it finally got to the point of having PC's and their clones, if I was going to use up an ISA slot (something that back in the day there were NEVER enough of) it wouldn't be for a mouse; or if it were for a mouse, I'd end up with two serial ports, a parallel port, game port, clock and 384k of system memory for that one slot in the deal.

But what really got me is that until very late in the game, they were no cheaper than a serial mouse and a multi-I/O board -- and by the time they were cheaper (late AT / early 386) everything was being built with IDE-I/O cards with IDE, floppy, parallel and twin serial anyways. (Old MacDonald had a computer, IDE-I/O... and on that computer he had some drives... IDE-I/O) that's why it never made any sense; at least on anything with standard expansion slots. That's why the talk of "high end workstations" being where serial mice were more common is just... Whiskey tango foxtrot?!?

Though your talking about 300 baud that late in the game... I mean, I was doing 300 baud on my Model III using a locomodem. (Loved that thing, 300 baud for $60 retail in 1980? ROCK ON!) and 150 baud before that on DEC hardware. By '87 modems that slow were giveaways -- since 1200's were bargain basemented to $50 a pop with 2400's being about four to five times that... at least in externals. (I still remember being all psyched at getting my 2400 in '86 for $150) -- hell, I think the first internal I ever even saw in the flesh was a 9600... well, unless we were talking luggables.
.

We must be caught up in some sort of time warp. I don't think 1987-88 was "late in the game". Home PC's were still pretty much a novelty unless your job requirements made it easier to justify an AT. Back in 1980-81 we were using 150 BPS acoustic couplers in our lab. I don't remember any modem for $60 back then. A box of 8" inch disks was going for about that much however. The Hayes 1200, which was the de facto standard of its day, didn't appear on the scene until the early 80's, and it was introduced for about $700. I maintain that for the average 8-bit computer enthusiast back then, a 1200 baud modem and serial port would have been quite a luxury. At least for me it was, as there just wasn't that much outside of the business world to connect with. A hard drive, controller, and maybe an EGA setup was what I craved in 1987-88. That represented an investment that was more than the total cost of the SX itself. Of course all this changed as the ATs and clones became more reasonable. The first real use for a serial port on my first 386 was for a scanner. And yes, I believe that it had a Dexxa serial mouse dangling off the end of the serial port.

Ole Juul
April 20th, 2014, 09:22 PM
Though that also brings up another bit of hardware you REALLY have to ask if there's any purpose in holding onto -- 33.6k/slower modems. I've been gutting them for parts and pitching the leftovers.

You're right. And after I finish throwing out all of my other slow stuff such as any machine slower than a P4, including my IBM 5150, I'll throw out my collection of vintage modems. After all, this stuff is very slow by modern standards and not really good for much - unless one just happens to consider the actual historical value as offering any interest. ;)

Seriously, does anybody have a 2400 internal MNP Cardinal modem for me? (As per my sig.) I've been waiting for a couple of years now. I guess people like me with an interest in old communications tech will just have to accept the fact that most people, including "some" vintage buffs, throw this stuff away because they don't see any "purpose". /sigh


Now those PCI WinModems can all burn in a fire...

I'd tend to agree when it comes to using them. However, they have an important place in history, and as such I do have a couple in my collection.

deathshadow
April 20th, 2014, 09:35 PM
I don't think 1987-88 was "late in the game".
A full decade after the TRS-80 Model 1 and Apple II is pretty "late in the game" for 300 baud. Eight years after the Coco is "late in the game" -- four years after the Model 100 came with a 300 baud modem built in and three years after they dropped the 300 baud accoustic coupler from their catalog... quite late in the game. Three years AFTER v.22 was ratified to provide 2400 baud? Two years of even commodore having a 1200 baud cartridge (the 1670 at $99)?


Home PC's were still pretty much a novelty unless your job requirements made it easier to justify an AT.
Five years of C64, everyone who owned a TRS-80 might argue that... and it you're actually talking PC compatibles -- All the tandy 1000 sales would really argue that.


Back in 1980-81 we were using 150 BPS acoustic couplers in our lab.
Well that's not really a surprise, most 'labs' lagged a good four to six years behind the microcomputer industry since the entire idea of "3 years obsolete, 5 years scrap heap" hadn't been hammered into the heads of the folks holding the purse strings at that point. At the time I always found it laughable that most schools and businesses had hardware that was a generation or two inferior to what I had in my bedroom as a teenager... and it's not like we were rolling in money.


I don't remember any modem for $60 back then.
The Locomodem was a very special beastie. Only controls were two switches, on and connect. You dialed, waited for tone, threw 'connect' and hung up the phone. "LoCo" stood for "Low Cost" -- was advertised in computer shopper, Byte and 80 Micro with full (or at the very least half) page ads. By '82 even the 'Shack had their (always overpriced) DC Modem 1 in stores marked down to $150, and the DC Modem 2 at $250... though at that point the 300/1200 model was some noodle-doodle price like $600 or so. You're talking five years AFTER that. (which in computer hardware is a generation and a half)


The Hayes 1200, which was the de facto standard of its day, didn't appear on the scene until the early 80's, and it was introduced for about $700.
Their original Smartmodem 300 was 1981 at $299, SmartModem 1200 was 1982 at $700, but the rebadged Smartmodem 300 was gutted down to $150 at the same time. Competitor modems could be found for as little as half that by the end of '83. The Smartmodem 2400 was introduced in '85 at $550, which if memory served gutted their 1200 to $250 and the 300 to a mere $100... naturally again you could find (either at computer shows or through rags like the 'Shopper -- I miss the old Computer Shopper; classifieds PLUS advertisements where I was even reading the ads...) 1200 baud for $100 or less quite easily within a year as it was "previous gen tech"... 300 baud was all but effectively dead for all I knew by '87 apart from holdouts on old hardware. (having run a BBS at the time, I was paying pretty good attention to modem 'tech)

What made the Hayes the de-facto standard wasn't their communications protocol, it was the fact that their ATxx command codes were so much easier to use than dialing yourself; and they could auto-answer... something that was FAR more expensive before they did it... but even as early as '79 you could get pre-built manual connect 300 baud modems for $100 or so... just not through "big name" vendors; again the advertisers in the grand old Computer Shopper FTMFW.

Though I guess if you were buying from retail outlets, you might lag as much as 4 to 5 years behind and pay twice what you should have -- was a common problem at the time. (NOTHING like today whatsoever... oh wait...)

Ole Juul
April 20th, 2014, 09:51 PM
What really seems rare are the tray-less CDROM drives. There are a few on eBay, but not many.

Funny, I've never seen a CDROM drive with a tray. I am well aware of their existence, but they haven't come my way. On the other hand, I've got a couple of stacks of tray-less ones. I wonder if there is something regional about this.

Stone
April 21st, 2014, 03:53 AM
Seriously, does anybody have a 2400 internal MNP Cardinal modem for me? (As per my sig.)I have a Cardinal 2400 internal modem but I don't think it's MNP.

MikeS
April 21st, 2014, 04:45 AM
...-- To me serial ports were always a must-have-moreThen I don't get your rant at all; I'd think that you would appreciate the extra serial port that a bus mouse gives you.


Probably related to the soft namby-pamby metrosexual status quo FTMFW attitude that's been pissing me off for about six years now; where you can't possibly speak your mind without someone's panties getting in a wad, so you might as well just go ahead and say what you really think anyways and to hell with people's "feelings". You may have noticed over the years that I share the same attitude to some extent, but I still don't see why that justifies calling someone DUMB because he/she chooses a bus mouse to solve the issue of not enough serial ports (and related interrupts) until the PS/2 version came along; with on-board I/O, multi-I/O cards and most systems having 6 or 8 ISA slots, IMO that was never the issue that the modem/serial port/interrupt issue was.

SpidersWeb
April 21st, 2014, 01:28 PM
I also figured the bus mouse card+bus mouse was cheaper than a serial card + serial mouse.
I haven't checked advertisements from that time period but it'd make sense to me.
e.g. use big chips, don't worry about current draw, on a big PCB must've been lower cost than squishing all that logic in to a mouse.

I say that because mine (until I touched them) were always set to IRQ 3.

vwestlife
April 21st, 2014, 03:48 PM
Actually I think most soft namby-pamby metrosexuals and other non-heterosexuals like myself were early adopters of the optical mouse, back when you needed to use a special mouse pad with a grid pattern on it:

(not my video, but I do have the same mouse)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhA25qjL8Q

And anyway... I don't think COM3 and COM4 were even standardized until the 386 era, no? So before then, if you had a serial printer and a modem, a bus mouse was pretty much your only choice.

SpidersWeb
April 21st, 2014, 04:54 PM
I would've said enthusiasts. Three buttons and a LASER!

sev
April 25th, 2014, 07:08 PM
Funny, I've never seen a CDROM drive with a tray. I am well aware of their existence, but they haven't come my way. On the other hand, I've got a couple of stacks of tray-less ones. I wonder if there is something regional about this.

Ask and you shall receive

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-CDU561-10-NCR-006-3503439-SCSI-2X-CD-ROM-CD-Caddy-/360658219992?pt=US_Tape_Data_Cartidge_Drives&hash=item53f8e7b3d8

Windows2000
April 28th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Every time I receive a computer I usually gut everything for parts to sell (Providing they are in working order) and scrap the case (If it is a generic beige design that no one would ever want, otherwise I try to sell it) unless the computer itself holds some historical significance/vintage rarity.

To this day the most number of computer components I have are of 72-pin SIMMs. It started when my uncle gave me a Microcenter bag filled with them outside any anti-static coating far after their obsolescence (2011?) ranging from 4MB up to 32MB. By now I would have sold them off since I have no reason for all this RAM, but all my pre-1995 computers utilize 30-pin SIMM, not 72-pin. So now I am sitting on these modules with no way of knowing if they work. Local recyclers are stingy on giving me their 486/Pentium I era machines (Or any machine for that matter) and neighbors have long thrown out their circa 1994 machines.

Next to that is over 20 different 56k dial-up modems pulled from several 1997-2005 systems.