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mbbrutman
March 27th, 2004, 04:00 PM
My wife actually found this for me. She hardly knows anything about computers, but she did OK this time!

PC AT, type 2 motherboard and 8Mhz clock
30MB ST-4038 hard drive
2 1.2MB floppies
64K EGA card
512K total, all on the motherboard
Async card
Async/parallel card
IBM 5154 EGA display
101 Key Model M keyboard


One thing that struck me about this machine is the condition - it is nearly flawless. Even has the plastic cover on the back on the machine, something I never see ATs with. The inside was nearly perfect- very little dust.

My bet is that this machine spent a lot of time in the closet. It's in near factory condition, and it has no options installed in it. That's a sure sign it has 'low miles' on it. (Sad in a way ...)

So now I finally have a type 2 motherboard system. One can never have too many PC ATs around.

vic user
March 27th, 2004, 04:18 PM
That's nice that your wife was thinking about you on her travels!

Pretty nice sized hard drive for that thing too, and in the condition you say the whole computer is in, sounds like lots and lots of life left in it.

Chris

mbbrutman
March 27th, 2004, 04:26 PM
I spent the whole day doing yardword, so it evens out. :-) Especially when I tried to clean the mini-van out - that was painful ...

Usually you can't tell how much use a machine has had by looking at it. This machine struck me as so odd because it didn't have the standard 'dust bunnies' inside it - just a light film of dust in certain places. That and it looks like a 'stock' configuration straight from the factory. My guess is that it was hardly ever used.

You can tell the machines that have lived a good life. Their cases are beaten, the keyboards are scruffy, and they are not factory standard configurations. Most of my machines are like that, not like this new machine.

Anyway, I'm pleased either way. ATs are a beautiful machine. The case says strength. The engineering is wonderful. And they set a standard for bus architecture and case layout that lasted for close to 15 years. Definitely an influential machine.

Terry Yager
March 27th, 2004, 05:00 PM
I spent the whole day doing yardword, so it evens out. :-) Especially when I tried to clean the mini-van out - that was painful ...

Usually you can't tell how much use a machine has had by looking at it. This machine struck me as so odd because it didn't have the standard 'dust bunnies' inside it - just a light film of dust in certain places. That and it looks like a 'stock' configuration straight from the factory. My guess is that it was hardly ever used.

Congratulations! Sounds like a very nice score indeed. (Does that mean you'll be needing another '287?)


You can tell the machines that have lived a good life. Their cases are beaten, the keyboards are scruffy, and they are not factory standard configurations. Most of my machines are like that, not like this new machine.

That's called patina, and all the best antiques have some!


Anyway, I'm pleased either way. ATs are a beautiful machine. The case says strength. The engineering is wonderful. And they set a standard for bus architecture and case layout that lasted for close to 15 years. Definitely an influential machine.

And in a pinch, you can use them for blocking to hold yr car up while you work under it.

--T

PS1
March 27th, 2004, 05:01 PM
Im jealous now i have a pc 5150 i have had my eyes open for an at but no
luck yet.

mine was like yours original with very little use hardly any dust inside.

im a big fan of ibm there early machines where just so cool.

owning one feels like im saving a bit of history

mbbrutman
March 27th, 2004, 06:46 PM
My first machine (a PCjr) was so beaten and discolored that I gave it an honorary retirement. It lived hard. Seven years of nearly daily use from 1984 to 1990. The original disk drive was replaced due to metal fatigue on the latch mechanism. Yes, I said metal fatigue - I just plain wore out a copper strip by opening and closing the door a few thousand times.

My next machine was a used AT. Funny, I upgrade to a six year old machine and still loved it. That carried me for another 4 years. That AT came back out of retirement a few years ago to serve as a 'big brother' for my Jr systems. It's not really an AT though - back in 1994 I upgraded it to a 386-40, but kept all of the cards and peripherals the same. The original motherboard is boxed, so I can restore it when the time comes.

My second AT as the magic CMI drive in it. The drive works. I'm scared to use it though. :-)

And now this is my 3rd AT.

I have my Linux firewall in an AT case, but that doesn't really count. It's a testament to the quality of the cases though - the power supply is original, and the case fit the 486 motherboard, CD-ROM, 3.5" floppy, and SCSI hard drive easily.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this AT. I like the idea that it is original, but it really needs more memory. 512K isn't enough - I have some Jrs that have more. I don't have the 128K memory card to bring it to 640K, and I don't have any extended memory cards for it, so I guess I'm going to be hunting around.

Erik
March 27th, 2004, 08:05 PM
That is a great find! Congratulations!

It's nice to see two pristine ATs turn up in as many weeks!

Erik

Super-Slasher
March 27th, 2004, 08:52 PM
My AT only does very light work, like transferring files from 3.5" floppy to 5.25" disks and vice-versa. I would like to use it more, but it has no real purpose, and I'm afraid of running it for extended periods of time (like days and such) and something failing, like the CPU, mobo, hard drive, etc, so it's more or less a museum piece in my room than anything else. If I had a second functioning AT (I did, but it died cause of a leaky roof) I'd probably use it as a webserver (my 8088 server doesn't seem to be going so well).

My AT actually taught me alot about computers when I was first learning about them last summer. I had little idea about how hardware worked, let alone with vintage computers. Now that I look back, it was directly the PC AT's that I had that got me into computers as my main interest. I was so determined to get them running, that I learned how to, plain and simple. It's all taken off since then...

mbbrutman
March 28th, 2004, 06:08 AM
Super-Slasher-Dude,

You might have gathered from the thread that the PC AT is indestructible. The roaches will be using them after nuclear winter sets in. They are very hard to kill. The weakest links are the drives, which of course have the moving parts in them.

Back when they were new, PC ATs could be left turned on for years. Literally years. People at work just left them on at night, just turning off the monitors to prevent burn in. We do the same thing with other machines, like RS/6000 workstations and even desktop PCs today.

Given that the machine is 20 years old it might not be advisable to leave it on for days and days, but really if the smoke doesn't come out quickly it's probably not going to. If you really do intend to pound on it, don't worry about the motherboard and the chips - it will be the power supply and the drives.

Now that I have another AT in the house I'm thinking of taking my old 386 system with the two MFM hard drives and doing another upgrade, this time to an IDE or SCSI drive. Those MFM drives (ST-225 and an IBM Rochester 40MB drive) are too small for all that I'm doing on the machine .. I'd been thinking about swapping them out for a while, and now that I've got another original box in the house I think I can do it now.

Btw, for dealing with old PCs, ATs, and Jrs you can't beat this setup:

386DX-40 with 4MB
Ethernet
Central Point Option Board
360K floppy (not 1.2MB!)
VGA
DOS 5

I use this machine for archiving diskettes and transferring software. (Instead of a 3.5" floppy I have the Ethernet card, which allows me to share files on the big system.) The 386-40 can be slowed down to acceptable speeds for the Option Board, and the 360K floppy is essential for doing double density diskette work. (I have a 1.2MB floppy in a pentium machine for when I run across those diskettes.)

The machine is also functional enough to do 'bigger' things, like code development using Turbo C++ and running setup utilities that the little machines can't do.

The only thing wrong with the AT case is that I'm out of drive cages so I can't add the 3.5" drive (even if I wanted to).

Anyway, don't worry - start using that machine ... parts are still readily available.

PS1
March 28th, 2004, 10:45 AM
I think sometimes not using an old machine does more harm than good i have got to admit i was scared of my compaq 8086 in case i damaged it
but thats not happened.

i agree shes a museum piece more so since it works perfectly the only hiccup i had with it was when its original monochrome graphics card went up in smoke (literally)

It now has a colour isa card not original i admit but it adds to its useability and im not so restricted monitor wise.... i like a big screen when im doing some work on my machines........dont know why i just do.