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commodorejohn
April 26th, 2014, 02:53 PM
So there's an old couple at my church, and the husband is an old IT guy and computer hobbyist. They're going to be moving out-of-state in the not-too-distant future, and we got to talking and they offered to let me have his collection, which would save them the trouble of moving or getting rid of it. They came by yesterday afternoon with a pickup bed full of things:

http://i.imgur.com/ZxskqpY.jpg
Three Osborne-1s,

http://i.imgur.com/BHQgD6Y.jpg
Two C64s,
Two VIC-20s,
One B128,
One Plus-4,
One XT,
One G3,

http://i.imgur.com/PE0Fs2r.jpg
One 128D,

http://i.imgur.com/eOlQQk6.jpg
One Kaypro 2X,

http://i.imgur.com/cLZIuxn.jpg
One Vector 4,

♫ And a partridge in a pear tree... ♪

(okay, not really.)

I also got an assortment of peripherals, displays, manuals, and software for all of the above, including a nifty-looking Kaypro-branded daisy-wheel printer. I haven't had nearly as much time to play with all of it as I'd like, on account of a hectic short-notice project at work, but the Kaypro at least is working fine, and everything seems to be in pretty great shape. The one issue I've encountered so far is that the Vector 4 doesn't want to boot off its internal hard disk - when I select "[W]inchester boot" from the boot menu, it accesses the disk and then drops right back to the boot menu. I'm not sure what the deal is here, or what I can do about it; I can't seem to find any system disks for it. I understand that some Vector 4s used a hard-sectored disk format and some used soft-sectored; is there a good way to tell which this is without having to pull the drive out and check?

snuci
April 26th, 2014, 03:08 PM
Very nice haul indeed! Love the B128.

Doug G
April 26th, 2014, 03:21 PM
It looks very nice!

luvit
April 26th, 2014, 04:43 PM
you'll be damned to hell for getting all that for free.
the vector 4 is really sweet. congrats on that stuff!

Chuck(G)
April 26th, 2014, 04:48 PM
If you have disks for the vector just check one to see if there is more than one index hole punched in the media (the jacket will only have one). Otherwise, not so easy.

commodorejohn
April 26th, 2014, 05:00 PM
I don't have any disks for the Vector at the moment. The guy I got it from says he has other miscellaneous disks hanging around the place, so I'll be getting those soon-ish; hopefully there's a set of system media for it in there somewhere. Oddly, I do have a set of disks for the Triumph-Adler Royal Alphatronic, despite his not apparently owning one...huh.

commodorejohn
April 27th, 2014, 11:08 AM
Well, I talked with the previous owner again this morning, and he says the Vector's floppy drive is hard-sectored. He doesn't think he has any floppies for it, either, so if there isn't some kind of monitor hidden in the ROM that I can use to load something over the serial port, I'm gonna have to track down a replacement set of disks somewhere or other...

Apparently, it was originally owned by the Duluth Transit Authority and was the first computer they had for scheduling.

mojorific
April 27th, 2014, 11:47 AM
In looking up some more details on the Vector 4, it apparently can run a bunch of different O/S.


Although primarily used with the CP/M operating system, it ran several others including OASIS, Micropolis Disk Operating System (MDOS), and Micropolis Z80 Operating System (MZOS).

If you can't find disks, maybe you could create some using a more modern system and transfer to floppy. Or perhaps not if the format of the disks is wildly different.

Looks like it uses an unusual 100 track per inch 5.25" floppy drives and 16 sector hard sector media. Maybe an HXC emulator might do the trick.

commodorejohn
April 27th, 2014, 12:02 PM
I don't have anything else that can do hard-sectored disks, or an HXC.

tezza
April 27th, 2014, 04:31 PM
Great haul. There are a few classic machines among that lot.

Tez

Rick Ethridge
April 27th, 2014, 06:40 PM
The B128 and 128D are to die for. Well done!

commodorejohn
April 27th, 2014, 07:00 PM
Yeah, I'm really happy about the 128D - I've always wanted one, but I've never wanted one badly enough to shell out for the going rate. Between that (convenient form factor, expanded hardware) and the breadbox 64s (6581-model SID) I think I can probably justify finding a new home for my flat 128 :)

The B128 I'm curious to play around with. I can't think of much I'd use it for off the top of my head, but the IEEE-488 is intriguing and the RS-232 port isn't something you see too much of on Commodore 8-bitters...

geneb
April 28th, 2014, 06:22 AM
Oddly, I do have a set of disks for the Triumph-Adler Royal Alphatronic, despite his not apparently owning one...huh.

I'd be interested in those disks if you don't have a use for them! :)

g.

barythrin
April 29th, 2014, 03:26 PM
Very bad ass :-) Congrats on the find :-) The b series Commodores I always thought were interesting and much less common in the US.

commodorejohn
April 30th, 2014, 04:54 PM
Still trying to get system disks lined up for the Vector 4, but I've heard from a guy who might have some, so hopefully I'll have it up before too long. Took a look inside this afternoon, and in addition to the disk controller card, it's got another Vector Graphics S100 card labeled "Sabrenet" - was this some proprietary networking protocol?

commodorejohn
May 26th, 2014, 09:45 AM
Just heard from the guy with the Vector 4 disks - he copied and mailed 'em Saturday, so hopefully I'll have it up and running soon :)

commodorejohn
May 28th, 2014, 03:01 PM
Well, happily, thanks to a guy on the Vector Graphic mailing list I now have the Vector 4 booting into CP/M off a freshly-formatted hard disk.I'm not quite out of the woods yet, though: with no other machines capable of writing hard-sectored floppies, my only way to get data onto and off of the machine is via RS-232, and there's no transfer software on the system disk. There's plenty of resources for bootstrapping some kind of serial transfer software onto a CP/M machine on the Internet, but that's still an issue since the only manual I have for the machine has precious little information about the serial ports. I can set the baud rate via the CONFIG utility, but there doesn't seem to be a way to change the character format, nor any information on what the default character format is. I'm not even entirely sure of what the device name for the modem port is.

Does anybody have any idea on any of this? I'd rather not have to try and hack up some ungodly clunky utility in MBASIC doing direct acess to the USART by hand, but I'm not sure how to get off the ground otherwise.

cobracon
May 29th, 2014, 06:52 AM
Very nice collection you picked up. I'm glad they went to a great home and hope you enjoy them for years to come.

tingo
May 30th, 2014, 08:33 AM
No kermit?
If you need to do it via BASIC, here is an article that might help: ftp://kermit.columbia.edu/kermit/mskermit/msbdm2.txt
It's for the Decmate II, but might help anyway.

commodorejohn
May 30th, 2014, 09:06 AM
No Kermit, no XModem, no nothin'. Luckily, I found a small assembly listing I might be able to type in that will receive XModem, and a guy on the Vector Graphic user group is sending me a disk with some comms utilities.

1980s_john
July 1st, 2014, 03:16 PM
Hi,

Great hall, I'm sure you will make sure these machines are well looked after.


Well, I talked with the previous owner again this morning, and he says the Vector's floppy drive is hard-sectored. He doesn't think he has any floppies for it, either, so if there isn't some kind of monitor hidden in the ROM that I can use to load something over the serial port, I'm gonna have to track down a replacement set of disks somewhere or other...

Andrew Lynch is the goto person for Vectors:

http://compgroups.net/comp.os.cpm/anyone-have-any-old-vector-graphic-disks/946524

http://n8vem-sbc.pbworks.com/w/page/4200908/FrontPage

Regards,
John
PS I have a box of unused 3M branded 16 hard-sector 96TPI 5.25" disks for sale (in UK).

commodorejohn
July 1st, 2014, 03:38 PM
Yeah, I've actually got someone who mailed me a disk with XMODEM on it, but unfortunately it got pinched in transit and won't rotate in the sleeve. I need to get him to send me another...

kb2syd
July 2nd, 2014, 04:44 AM
Yeah, I've actually got someone who mailed me a disk with XMODEM on it, but unfortunately it got pinched in transit and won't rotate in the sleeve. I need to get him to send me another...

Cut the cookie out of the sleeve (carefully cut along one edge) and put it in a sleeve that isn't pinched. Then make an image ASAP.

commodorejohn
July 2nd, 2014, 05:19 AM
I think the disk itself may have gotten kinked, but I suppose it's worth a look (can't make it less than useless!)