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HabboX
December 30th, 2006, 09:55 PM
I have found a Lanier computer, with two 5 1/4 floppies, monitor and a dot-matrix printer housed in a large soundproofing cabinet.

I have not tried to turn it on, but externally it appears in good condition.

I found it in the basement of a building that no longer exists. There used to be a bank above, but now it is a parking lot for a county building.

I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about Lanier computers? I'm guessing it is from the mid-80's. My memory is fuzzy, but I think it was a model L-200. Any info is appreciated.

ahm
December 31st, 2006, 12:51 PM
While I don't have any specific information on that machine, I do know that Lanier is known for office automation products.
I think you'll find that what you have is not a general purpose computer, but rather a dedicated word processing system.
Contact Lanier (http://lanier.com/) and see what they can tell you about it.

HabboX
December 31st, 2006, 08:49 PM
I still haven't found any info on the Internet, but it looks most similar to the Commodore Pet 8032 (there's a photo on this website). I recall the futuristic angled monitor. Perhaps it is a rebranded Commodore.

carlsson
January 1st, 2007, 01:04 PM
Does it have floppies, printer and monitor all in one? A PET 8032 neither comes with built-in floppies nor printer (thanks God, it is large enough already). The Commodore 8296-D though had built-in 5.25" floppies but no printer. If you can take a picture of what you have, more people can chime in telling you what it might be. Powering it on (if you dare) would tell even more.

sbrown
January 1st, 2007, 06:19 PM
Perhaps, and this is a wild guess, it might be based off of the ibm pc.

I used to have a harris/lanier branded system that was a 286 backplane. It was kind of msdos compatible. Unusual keyboard, iirc. Based on talking to the guy I got it from, and where it was used (military manufacturing), I think it was a print server for terminals on a mini/mainframe. Unfortunatly, the hard disk controller was already fried, the battery was dead too, and then the rest gave up the ghost. Never did get to find what it actually ran.

As for finding info already on the net you may find yourself in the same position I did, little to no luck unless you can get a hold of someone that worked with the machine.

HabboX
January 27th, 2007, 06:31 PM
OK. Today I was able to visit the cave where this computer is located and take some pictures of it. Please let me know what information you can provide about this computer.

http://www.lubbockradio.net/P1010001.jpg

http://www.lubbockradio.net/P1010002.jpg

http://www.lubbockradio.net/P1010004.jpg

http://www.lubbockradio.net/P1010005.jpg

http://www.lubbockradio.net/P1010006.jpg

ahm
January 27th, 2007, 07:09 PM
A quick trip to Google reveals it is, as suspected, a dedicated (http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/DedicatedWPMicros.htm) word processor (http://www.stanford.edu/~bkunde/fb-press/articles/wdprhist.html).

HabboX
January 27th, 2007, 10:23 PM
Cool. Thanks for the links. $13,000 for a word processor! That's like spending $25,000 today. Does anyone need a word processor? ;)

Edlin
January 28th, 2007, 09:49 AM
I like your vintage stapler, did it come with it?

HabboX
February 2nd, 2007, 01:16 PM
Honestly, this computer is in a basement under what used to be a bank building, but is now a parking lot. There was NO light down there. I lit the computer with an LED light on my key ring and took a flash photo. I didn't even know there was a stapler down there. In fact you can see a lot more in the photos than you can in real life.

dongfeng
February 2nd, 2007, 02:12 PM
Are you going to rescue it? :D

Edlin
February 2nd, 2007, 03:14 PM
Honestly, this computer is in a basement under what used to be a bank building, but is now a parking lot. There was NO light down there. I lit the computer with an LED light on my key ring and took a flash photo. I didn't even know there was a stapler down there. In fact you can see a lot more in the photos than you can in real life.

I want your led light, doesn't it seem dangerous to have something plugged into an outlet down there? Sounds spooky. Anyway, are you going to rescue it?:super: It looks like a keeper (I mean the machine but also rescue the stapler).

ahm
February 2nd, 2007, 05:59 PM
The only reason it's still down there is because it's not worth stealing. :-)

Edlin
February 2nd, 2007, 08:44 PM
:computer:
The only reason it's still down there is because it's not worth stealing. :-)

Come on, in 20 years it might be worth 1.50... but it's not the money that counts, it's the 5 1/4" drives.

Woodym1
February 3rd, 2007, 07:46 PM
As a child, I went to school at an exclusive military school with a wealthy young Lanier. Don't know if he was related. But he had a Dooling 61! (and a dozen other really pricey model airplane engines!) All meticulously maintained and transported by family members for his use on weekends. They had the first spring wound "Starter" I ever saw! Control line flying! 100 MPH! Today, they would arrest you for child endangerment!!

Lanier (company) did a lot in the office technology field. Copiers, word processors etc. that wase back in the dark ages. Don't know if they are even alive these days.

sbarnhouse
July 6th, 2010, 08:46 AM
I actually sold Lanier Word Processors to attorneys in the mid 80's. Lanier wanted everybody to think they were dedicated word processors and they did have a software program that was dedicated to word processing which booted up when the machine turned on, but what they didn't tell everybody was that it was a standard MSDOS computer and could do what other early computers could do in DOS. Lanier would possibly have been smarter to have sold it that way rather than as a dedicated word processor.

Chuck(G)
July 6th, 2010, 09:42 AM
I actually sold Lanier Word Processors to attorneys in the mid 80's. Lanier wanted everybody to think they were dedicated word processors and they did have a software program that was dedicated to word processing which booted up when the machine turned on, but what they didn't tell everybody was that it was a standard MSDOS computer and could do what other early computers could do in DOS. Lanier would possibly have been smarter to have sold it that way rather than as a dedicated word processor.

Even though this thread is more than 3 years old, I'm kind of curious if you were familiar with any of the 70's AES systems sold under the Lanier badge. I've got an old 8" hard-sector floppy here with the Harris Lanier logo on it and haven't the faintest what system it came from.

elbeau
August 31st, 2010, 01:29 PM
I love old threads like this that find new life.

My father ran his manufacturer-rep business out of our home while I was growing up in the 80's. I'd guess about 1981-1985 he bought a Lanier computer very much like you describe. As stated, it booted up to be a word processor which is what he always used it for. I'm now a software engineer, but I can say that my first computer program that I ever wrote was on that Lanier. The two disk drives were integral. He had one of those old printers that used the ball with all the characters on it and that Lanier would get it printing so fast the whole house would shake like an earthquake.

It took several minutes to start up and of course was a green-screen like everything else from that era. He may still have it along with software to run it.

elbeau
August 31st, 2010, 01:31 PM
...I think the monitor was separate from the CPU but I'm not sure...the keyboard was integral I think.

Moonferret
August 31st, 2010, 01:47 PM
Ahh!!! Just done a google image search on 'lanier computer' which brought up this link....

http://www.vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=211

Now, this all explains what I was looking at on Ebay the other day....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Retro-Computer-/150486545330

Was tempted to buy it but was too far away to collect. It looks VERY heavy :)

elbeau
August 31st, 2010, 01:54 PM
Wow, that's pretty old...even older looking than that one my dad had. The one he owned had the two drives side by side in the CPU case under the monitor. The form factor had sharper lines than the one in the pic too.

AES-Tech
December 2nd, 2010, 10:10 AM
The system in the picture on eBay is an AES Superplus (don't know the Lanier branding for the computer) I was a service tech for several years for AES in Canada (Vancouver) and had experience with all of the AES line. The Superplus could run CPM besides the Word processing software. Each function being performed required the system to be rebooted with another program. In other words your data disk would be kept in one of the floppes while you rebooted your system to List/Merge, Repaginate, Spell Check etc.

The machines sold extremely fast (there era for the Plus and Super Plus) usually with a printer and a Ziyad paper handling device.

The sales people made good money until the company made some seriously bad decisions which led to the downfall.

http://archives.cbc.ca/programs/778-14928/page/3/

Chuck(G)
December 2nd, 2010, 10:19 AM
In my collection, I've got an 8" hard-sector floppy bearing the Harris Lanier logo. The recording method used is a bit unconventional (histogram seems to indicate MMFM), but I haven't done any serious work on deciphering it yet. I suspect it's from the 70's.

Does anyone have any idea of the machine model and where I might find some documentation on it?

AES-Tech
December 2nd, 2010, 10:52 AM
how does the latching mechanism work? do you push down on a center mounted latch with a single red LED on it? Anything on the board indictating 'Shugart'?

http://abcresellers.com/store/product204.html

These were from the AES C20 the multiuser system.

Chuck(G)
December 2nd, 2010, 11:10 AM
Sorry, just have the disk, not the system. (That's the way things work around here--I've got disks from equipment that I've never seen and undoubtedly some of which no longer exists in any form).

The disk bears the Harris Lanier stock number 171-0410, but I doubt that helps much unless you have access to a catalog that cross-references supplies with systems.

AES-Tech
December 2nd, 2010, 12:47 PM
Well based on my old memory that part number sounds about right for a hard sectored 8" diskette.

Does it have more than 1 index hole? That is, if you rotate the disk within the protective sleeve can you see extra index holes? If yes then it is probably a hard sectored data disk for a Lanier/AES system. Nothing special except that they were preformated.

The program disks actually were labelled with the program version etc.

Only certain techs could make copies. The copy utility was closely guarded as were the features on the multiuser systems. Booting a large multiuser config from diskettes took a L-O-N-G time.

The systems did not boot from hard disk even if you were lucky enough to have one.

Chuck(G)
December 2nd, 2010, 02:06 PM
As I mentioned, it's a hard-sector 8" disk (32 sectors; Is there any other kind? (save for the old Memorex ones with the sector holes on the outer edge)).

I'm more interested in the modulation/encoding than anything else. MMFM or something else?

AES-Tech
December 3rd, 2010, 12:52 PM
Best I can remember is MMFM

nige the hippy
December 4th, 2010, 06:10 AM
Was tempted to buy it but was too far away to collect. It looks VERY heavy :)

It was ridiculously heavy, awkward, and 6 flights of narrow, dodgy, 18th century stairs to get it down. It felt like it was just about to fall to pieces the whole way down, and all the weight was in the bits furthest away from you. the guy helped me down with it where he could, but I was still shaking like a leaf by the time I got in the car. Too wierd to miss though!
This one's got 2 Shugart 5.25" s in it, and it needs a very good clean, some new captive nuts & screws in the case.
So Bill, I might be looking for boot disks sometime!

I should have put myself down for one of Dwight's 16 hole punches too. maybe next run.

soonersfan60
March 5th, 2011, 07:59 PM
I actually found one of these Lanier computers in my basement when I was going through my stuff (and regsitered since I found this thread while looking for info on it).

Please let me know if anyone is interested in buying it. (I am in the U.S. so shipping would be cheaper than that U.K. one.) Please feel free to contact me directly.. MY USER NAME HERE @earthlink.net (I have eBay, CAG and other references, if needed.)

Thanks.