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Thread: Another XT!

  1. #1
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    Default Another XT!

    I don't know why it always happens to me - I look for ages for a decent IBM PC or XT, and none turn up, except a duffer on eBay. Today I've just picked up a lovely, original XT a couple of miles from my home!

    I think it is one of the last ones made, as it was bought in Summer 1986 by the company that the previous owner worked for. He has had it personally since 1988 or so. It was used often until 1993. 640k mainboard, ugly 101-key keyboard (missing a couple of caps though), 20MB hard drive and a 5153 CGA monitor.



    A bit grubby, but it'll clean up lovely

    First, a couple of questions. I had to format the hard drive, as the previous owner had lots of personal files on it. Fair enough. It also had DOS 5 or 6 on it. I've reinstalled the original DOS 3.1, but now I need to set it up properly, identify the mystery cards that are in it, and find out how to get them working.

    The first card appears to have an RTC (coin cell battery on card). Makers name is AST I/O Mini II P/N 202123(sticker is in the way of the rest). I'd like to get this working again.


    Second is a DB25 Male serial/parallel(?) card.


    There's two more cards, but I'll save those later as they not really necessary.

    Final query. When I change directory in DOS, why doesn't the directory then appear in the DOS prompt? C:\DOS>_ For me, it just shows C>_ even when I change directory.

    To set up DOS, I booted from the DOS 3.1 floppy, fdisked, restarted, formatted (format c:/s) and then copied the contents of the dos programs and supplemental disk to C:\DOS . What is the best way to configure the config.sys?

    Sorry for all the questions... my DOS is a little rusty
    Last edited by dongfeng; July 8th, 2006 at 06:55 AM.

  2. #2

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    Final query. When I change directory in DOS, why doesn't the directory then appear in the DOS prompt? C:\DOS>_ For me, it just shows C>_ even when I change directory.
    in your autoexec.bat you must include the PROMPT command, usually taking the form of

    PROMPT $P$G

    //edit
    Just so you know, $P shows current directory, $G shows the '>' sign.

    I wish I had an XT...
    Last edited by bbcmicro; July 8th, 2006 at 07:01 AM.


  3. #3
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    I don't see why the prompt thing should matter. cd\dos should do it.
    SEE...I TOLD YOU THERE ARE PROBABLY LOTS NOT FAR FROM WHERE YOU LIVE. Post and ad in the paper or something. You'll get a few hits at least mates.

  4. #4
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    Thanks bbcmicro If you are looking for an XT or PC, I'll let you know if I get any leads as I haven't really got room for another.

    Chris, I know I know, it's only my luck I've been looking for an XT for 4-5 years, but they just don't turn up. I only found this one through a friend who I happened to mention my broken XT to. I've had free classified adverts out and all sorts, but no luck, just copius emails about broken Pentium 1's At least the broken XT can be a good source of spare parts.

  5. #5
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    wow, I'm surprised. I still think they're out there. You might need to be creative - leave those cards in supermarkets (on those post it board, ya know, at least they got them over here).
    Big Blue boxes are nice, but there is other stuph out there. And I'm envious, cuz there's stuph we can't *easily* get over here. What about MSX boxes? You could have those shipped from say Sweden, Germany for not too much money. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    and there's a load of Japanese boxes which I can't imagine ever owning. I'll make a post one of these days when I find that issue of BYTE. Like the Mitsubishi MyBrain. I can't remember the particulars of that one, but some of them were crazy as all get out. One I think even had an 8086 and a 68000.

  7. #7
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    Yes, the 'prompt' command is necessary to display anything besides the default prompt. Actually, you can customize the prompt in many different ways, such as including a 'hello' message, etc. BTW, the 'P' in the prompt= command is for 'path', which shows the path back to root dir.

    Usually the config.sys doesnt require much tweaking. You may want to increase the number of files and/or buffers if the default is not enough. Sometimes, you'll want to load 'ansi.sys' and/or other system files. On your side of the water, you might also want to load a UK keyboard layout & character set. All this is kinda complicated and best not attempted without the DOS manual in hand.

    As for the cards pictured, the 'Async' card is a serial port, and should not require any configuring, except mebbe to select between COM1 & COM2, etc, using the little jumper block in the upper right corner. The I/O card is probably a parallel/serial/rtc, and I have no idea how to set up the ports without documentation, however, you'll likely have to find the software for it to enable the clock.

    --T
    Last edited by Terry Yager; July 8th, 2006 at 07:54 AM.
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
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  8. #8
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    "PC's" never really caught on over here until the late '80s, they where VERY expensive (mine was apparently nearly 7,000 new), whereas for 500 you could get a BBC-B to do the same thing Most early IBM's where in Universities. Mine was apparently used by Granada - a television broadcasting company.

    So far in the config.sys I have the country=44 , looking in to the keyboard layout too. Not so sure if DOS 3.1 supports the 101-key as it keeps giving funny results under UK layout.

    Any idea about the clock software? I've tried Google but no luck.

  9. #9
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    Wa, what a weird card! I have *no* idea what this could be. It only says "Delta Digital Design" printed on it with 12224/2468 in pen. Looks home-made from a kit.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dongfeng
    Wa, what a weird card! I have *no* idea what this could be. It only says "Delta Digital Design" printed on it with 12224/2468 in pen. Looks home-made from a kit.
    Ain't got a klew, mate. What are the chips?

    --T
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
    _____________________________________________

    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

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