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Thread: IBM XT w/four HDDs, color printer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pinon Hills, California, USA
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    311

    Talking IBM XT w/four HDDs, color printer

    This is the one I described in the Warehouse updates thread in the Your Collections forum.

    Tragically, the 5153 color monitor was destroyed on Monday, the one day I wasn't there to stop them.

    The rest of the system made it upstairs fine, and I set it up to display composite output on a rather small Viewsonic prototype LCD TV. Looks quite charming.

    It boots DOS 2.10, doesn't know the time or date, and won't take a current date (or maybe I'm entering it in the wrong format). Y2K issues?

    The Tallgrass Technologies hardfile/tape drive apparently has three hard drives or some bizarre low-level partitioning scheme: drive letters C, D, E, and F all have data on them. C is the internal IBM drive (might be 10MB, might be more), D is 15MB, and E and F are both 10MB.

    They show up in the custom TG BIOS as three separate drives, and not in FDISK at all (weird), but I'm not 100% sure. It's large, and probably long enough to hold 3 3.5" HDDs, but these were not common in 1983, or thereabouts. The system would not boot without the TG hardfile attached (it requires a 25-pin cable that's female on both ends, probably SCSI).

    I'm pretty sure the whole shebang dates to fairly early in the production timeline of the XT - a lot of the file modification dates are quite old, although I found one or two rogue files from the early 1990s.

    No games that I could see, but I didn't finish exploring all four drives. It has DOMS, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect 4.1, Cougar (CMS), and a bunch of other mysterious thingums. There's a folder on one drive that contains three or four database files that are several megabytes each(!), but I'm not 100% sure what they actually contain.

    I'll do more exploring tomorrow, and possibly rescue the entire system from the evil clutches of trueCycle if I can.

    I don't have pictures yet. I'll try to remember to bring my real digital camera to work tomorrow!

    P.S.: when it runs the memory check, it claims to have 320KB, not sure how it's organised inside - I'm still afraid to crack it open.
    Last edited by dreddnott; August 29th, 2006 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pinon Hills, California, USA
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    Okay, I got a database program called "PCFILE" running, and I noticed there was a set of database files called "CAMPAIGN" in the folder so I opened them - lots of Southern California (Inland Empire & High Desert) names, with lots of doctors and association presidents listed (plus the Daily Press publisher).

    Ooh, fancy, it does lowercase for names like McGILL.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,348

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    Date shouldn't be a problem, are you entering it as mm-dd-yyyy ? I wouldn't think it would be set up for a European or Asian date format but you never know Or it might have a clock card that has a dead battery.

    Very interesting about the drives, you really need to open it up to tell us more about it

    XT parts are nearly always dated - ink stamps on the case metal lid and front, as well as on a sticker under the right hand drive bay. If your lucky, there may also be the manufacture tag on the PSU cables still attached!

    chkdsk c: will give the drive info, size and memory. You can also double check the memory by the dip switches on the mainboard, occasionally you lose a bank, but reseating the memory usually fixes that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pinon Hills, California, USA
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    The internal IBM HDD is 10MB, created Feb. 1985. Not bad for an XT with a half-height 5.25" floppy.

    The TG-6135 hardfile's "drives" don't give a date to CHKDSK - but the front panel has an interesting LED layout. There are four LEDs in a 2x2 grid labeled 1, 2, 4, & 8, which light up in different combinations when I do disk access on the hardfile. Above the LEDs is the text "HEAD/TRACK SELECT".

    I'm going to take a break and take some pictures.

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