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Thread: Wang VS6E

  1. #1
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    Default Wang VS6E

    I have come into ownership of a Wang VS6E complete with external SCSI disk expansion, cartridge tape drive, two Wang terminals and two 286 computers with the Wang 928 interface card installed. I am looking to reach out to find any other Wang system enthusiasts and to exchange ideas on getting the system running. I worked with a system like this (Wang VS7310) in the late 80's and early '90 but I wasn't hands on with the hardware at that time. If you have a Wang VS system or any experience with working with the hardware I would love to hear from you.

    Rob Carnegie

  2. #2

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    VS6E? I can't remember if that system contained an internal SCSI disk also. I have lots of documentation on the older Wang hardware here, I can help you to get the system running. I have a VS5E here but no disk for it. My only operational systems are a VS6000 and a very old VS85.
    Have you connected one of the terminals to Port 0 on the 928 and tried powering up? Do you get any codes on the diagnostic display?

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Default

    Oops - sorry but I lost track of my own thread. I am new to this so I must need to do something to get notified of responses.

    Thank you for your offer of help. My VS6E has two internal SCSI drives and two external. Most of the time, my attempts to IPL result in it halting on an LED code (I will run it again this weekend to get the exact code).

    On one occasion, it did proceed to the self test process. When that completed I was prompted to tell which drive I wanted to boot from. Only 3 of the 4 drives appeared on the list and the missing one was the normal boot drive. I tried to boot from an alternate but that also ended in a frozen LED code.

    Like I said, I will have to run it again to take down the exact code. I only have the end-user manuals for VSOS and the various programming languages, including COBOL, AcuCobol and PACE. What I am missing is diagnostic information that would tell me what the codes all mean.

    Wang VS6E Self Test.jpgWang VS6E IPL.jpg

  4. #4

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    It's good that you can get to those screens, at least it can read the BP IPL code from one of the drives. I have a list of those LED codes around here, I will have to dig it up. I won't be around for a few weeks though I have business out of the country...

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pine-koan View Post
    It's good that you can get to those screens, at least it can read the BP IPL code from one of the drives. I have a list of those LED codes around here, I will have to dig it up. I won't be around for a few weeks though I have business out of the country...
    Has anyone thought about an open-source emulator?

    I don't know how tied up the OS IP is for Wang VS.

  6. #6
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    Default

    The VS Series loaded a slightly extended version of the IBM 360 microcode. We were told that made it easier for Wang to recruit OS programmers. I would think it would be possible to bring the VS/OS up under a modified version of SIMH or HERCULES but the details of how that would be accomplished are beyond me. For one thing I have no idea how to move the copy of VS/OS to something that a PC could read. Mine has a 5 1/4" floppy drive but I don't know if the format is compatible with anything.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    Has anyone thought about an open-source emulator?

    I don't know how tied up the OS IP is for Wang VS.
    I believe it's technically still a supported OS, though quite minimal at this point. Compucom is the current owner. There is a commercial emulator for it written by Transvirtual Systems.

  8. #8

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    Compucom no longer provides support for the hardware or the OS, and support requests have been directed to Transvirtual Systems for quite some time. There are still hundreds of these systems floating around, it was a real workhorse. Most of them did away with the terminals except for the system console, and use a PC product for terminal emulation. The last 'real' Wang VS - the VS18000 - was from 1998. Almost 20 years ago!

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