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Thread: MAI Basic Four anyone?

  1. #1

    Default MAI Basic Four anyone?

    Just looking to see if anyone out there has any Basic/4 equipment in their collection. We have a complete system with documentation, disk packs, etc. At some point it would be nice to restore and see if it can run. I have never had much luck finding information about these systems online. Thanks in advance, looking forward to hearing from you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    My Dad brought home a Basic Four server and a few terminals back in the early 90s. The server had crashed and I was getting very good at fixing stuff so they figured they'd throw it at me. It took me weeks, but I did finally get the thing going. Took a while to realize it lierally ran on BASIC. I have very dim memories of it unfortunately and my Dad's company took it back once I got it working. I'll try and see if I can summon up any recollection of it. Was a neat 'little' system.

  3. #3
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    About six years ago I was offered one of the blue terminals from a setup but at the time had no idea what cataracts were and the assumption is they would not operate alike a regular RS-232 terminal if the rest of the hardware was missing so I regrettably passed on it.



    I have not seen another one since.
    = Excellent space heater

  4. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    I have a MAI Basic Four S-10 in non-working condition.

    The S-10 is a (somewhat) portable computer/terminal they made.
    I do have the service manual for it, but you're looking for documentation for one of their servers.

    http://classiccmp.org/dunfield/miscpm/index.htm#b4

    Third computer listed.

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    Hmm.. the 'server' I had looked like a large AT style computer. Wonder what model it was.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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    I have a basic/four terminal. It is the same model that showed up as a prop in an episode of Fringe.

    http://computergraphicsmuseum.org/20...inal-sighting/

  8. #8

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    Ours looks like the 4102 that RICM has. We have 2 of the removable disk pack drives that appear to be model 2500. They are 80 meg drives. I am going to some additional research on the CPU boards to try and determine the exact configuration. We have service manuals for the disk drives, but not for the CPU itself.

    You can see some of the components on our web site:

    http://www.vacomputermuseum.org/coll...i-basic4-4102/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Krefeld, Germany
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    I have some basic four systems

    system 2000 - working
    system 210 with 14" harddisk, cpu works, started to modify hardware to be able to read the loader from disk (basic can not read sector 0)
    system 510 with 2 T80 drives
    some terminals
    and a new S/10 that does not (yet) work

    i have scanned some manuals, see

    http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/mai/

    i have some infos here:

    http://basicfour.de

    Armin

    btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkC-ftFEytU

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Krefeld, Germany
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    @ m_thompson

    regarding your 4102, this seems to be the CPU/Disk controller for a 5120/730, i have the same one:

    http://basicfour.de/mai510/pics/small/index.html

    without disk drives, this one does not do much

    However, the cpu and memory can be tested using a terminal (VDT boot). The cpu can be jumpered/switched to "boot from terminal". In that mode you can enter memory content and jump to that memory.

    Here is a short description: http://basicfour.de/cpu/small/index.html

    The code shown is for a 210, for a 510/730 the io address for the serial port differs. If you execute the code and the cpu goes to halt after about 2 seconds, your cpu basically works. I'm still looking to find the reference manuals for the 13xx cpu:

    • 1300 CPU Technical Manual
      M1300 Series CPU Organisation and Description Reference Manual


    I figured out that the macrocode of the 13xx cpu's are similar to the ones used in the 1200 series. The 1200 series were not developed by basic four, they bought it from microdata. I started to adapt an assembler and wrote a small disassembler for the machine. The test code disassembles as:

    Microdata 1600/21,821 disassembler 1.00, Armin Diehl <ad@ardiehl.de> October 8, 2015
    0200 04 DIN ; Disable interrupts
    0201 87FFBF LDX FFBFH ; Load 16 bit word to X (m=7)
    0204 EFAF LDV AFH ; load variable length into A or AB (m=7)
    0206 48 INA ; Increment A
    0207 3900 OBA 00H,00H ; output byte from A (0x00)
    0209 97D000 LDB D000H ; Load 16 bit word to X (m=7)
    020C 49 INB ; Increment B
    020D 1AFD NBZ 020CH ; Jump if B <> 0 (ofs: -3=0xfffffffd)
    020F 1FF5 NAX 0206H ; Jump if A <> X (ofs: -11=0xfffffff5)
    0211 660200 JMP 0200H ; Jump (m=6)
    0214 00 HLT ; Halt cpu

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