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Thread: What's your vintage computer to do list look like for 2018?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Inside an MRI
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    Default What's your vintage computer to do list look like for 2018?

    Mine is a mess. I'm over-represented in physically large systems and am finding that projects are getting in the way of other projects. So, my to do list is focused on freeing up space and completing projects in the order that will maximize the space available for other projects. With that in mind:

    #1 is the Commodore PET 4016, with 8050 FDD. I'm hoping for a quick win on this one: I need to do the eraser trick again on the keyboard PCB, a little more forcefully this time. Then it's a matter of cleaning and lubing the FDD, making some disks with a ZoomFloppy (which I have) and seeing where that leads. If I can get that done, in a weekend or two, it can go either downstairs or to my study (I think I might like having a PET in my study) freeing up space for the HP 7937 HDDs, as it's currently on the only cart that I trust to bear their weight.

    #2 will be the IBM 5110. I'm pretty sure that I have this working, with the replacement display board from the ebay seller who shall not be named. I do have some extra Read/Write Storage that I need to add, then clean and lube the 5114 floppy drive and try it out, with the disks that Chuck kindly made for me. In a perfect world, I'd then turn my attention to the 5103 printer. That may happen but, if it looks like too much of a time suck, it might get put on hold. The system would move into storage, giving me room to maneuver around...

    #3 the pdp11/34. There's a lot to do, here. I have to pull boards, catalog backplanes and transplant one of them, possibly recap a power supply and that's before I get any of it into a rack. But it's my biggest bang for my buck in terms of creating space, because it will not only get one chassis and an RX02 into a rack that's already occupying floor space, but also get me to where I can sell off the other two chassis, power supplies, backplanes and boards, freeing up a lot of shelf space. I anticipate this taking weeks or months, by which time...

    #4 the two HP HP 1000/A900s, with 7937 HDDs wil have been languishing in my storage for far too long. I think I'm going to keep the rack, but it can stay in storage until the kit has been gone over and is ready for mounting. The goal here will be to test both systems, mount and keep one and sell the other - either as a set or individually. How the hell do you ship an HP 7937? Crate it and freight it?

    #5 With some floor space recovered and access gained to the IBM DisplayWriters and printers that are hogging shelf space, I absolutely must start rotating them across my bench. I'd like to get one system running, maybe even with UCSD PASCAL, but it might come down to minimal testing of the rest and selling it off. Yes, I own at least three configurations of DW, but I'm never going to have them all running simultaneously and I wouldn't have space to do that anyway.

    That's all the big stuff that features in my short to medium term plans. Another unpleasant but necessary task is going to be abandoning some projects and selling them off. I've already resigned myself to doing that with the Apple IIe based Spirometer and I need to start culling other projects and/or hoards. For example, I now have an actual micro pdp11 in a rack with an RL02, along with a microVAX II, so the two 11/73s that I was going to build cases and power supplies etc. for become projects that I can't justify continuing. I should maybe keep them until I get to the new systems, in case I need the parts, but that's it. One obstacle to the grand cull is that I have smaller stuff mixed up all over the place, so...

    #6 will be to use the space that I gain via 1 through 5 to collate all the bits and pieces in separate areas. I made a start on that, last year, with tentative Apple, IBM and Commodore areas, but there's still a lot to do. Once it's done, though, again it will be some testing, some playing with, a little (yeah, right!) bit of keeping and selling of the rest.

    All of this assumes that I don't buy anything else over the year, which is unlikely. My brother in law is holding a PET 2001 for me, that I bought last year and I'm chasing an IBM midrange system - even though I don't know why. I sold my two AS/400s because I'd had my fun with them and IBM can be a bit scary when it comes to licensing. It also assumes that I won't play with any other toys, which is unpossible. There's an HP 86B demanding my attention as I type this. Not to mention the pdp11 in a rack with an RL02, along with a microVAX II, referred to above. But, I figure I've planned out about a half a year's worth of effort, which should accommodate the same amount of slippage.

    So, that's my vintage computing to do list for 2018. What does yours look like?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    too much to summarize since I keep buying more stuff and adding to the list almost daily. But I would like to get the keyboards on my compaq portable I and II rebuilt 100% and finish restoring the portable II to completion. I also want to finish restoring my commodore Pet 2001-8, so far have it booting by replacing the Ram and video RAM, Now it needs a whole rebuild to the chiklet keyobard. After which I would like to get my SFD-1001 floppy drive working on it, once the system works Id like to blast and paint the chassis. Plenty more todo's after that but those are the ones I really want done.

  3. #3

    Cool

    Test a MPU-401 with a MIF-IPC-B. Update: appears to work: awaiting MIDI cable to confirm 100%.

    Test whether 2X 4MB 72PIN FPM work in my Argent 486 DX 33. Update: en route.

    Source AVGA2 DOS utilities. Update: in progress through proxy in SE.

    Source Philips MS-DOS 4.01. Update: in progress through seller in SK.

    Restore a Digital Starion 200i. Update: waiting for shipping.

    Restore an IBM PS/ValuePoint P60/D. Update: en route.

    Test a CT2770. Update: en route.

    Have a DS12887 socket installed on my Philips P 3238 MOBO. Update: on hold until late February / sometime in March.

    Find a website where I can download FLIs. Update: no idea where to find those.

    Install Word for Windows 6.0 on my Argent 486 DX 33. Update: first attempt failed yesterday (bad diskette).

    Finish all episodes of Wolfenstein 3D. Update: played a few levels of episode 1 yesterday.

    Finish a couple of Pirates! Gold games. Update: on hold.

    Will also sell some stuff at some point. No point in having too many systems.

    Already completed two contemporary upgrades this year. Replaced the magnetic HDD with a SSD and Windows 10 Pro on my W500 and W510. Quite a dramatic increase in performance on both machines. Ironically the W500 will now only work properly with a HP ZR30w (WQXGA). There are no Windows 10 compatible video drivers to work with the native WUXGA screen.
    Last edited by PeterNC; February 5th, 2018 at 01:36 PM.

  4. #4

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    All I have these days for vintage is the 5150 with 5161. May liquidate it. Looking for a few systems I drooled over in my teenage years but my focus now isn't even a vintage project per se but build a Beowulf cluster out of cheap xserves.
    Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
    Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
    Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    429

    Default

    My vintage computing to-do list is currently obscured by my not-quite-vintage computing to-do list, notably:

    1. Switching my home router from OpenBSD running on PC hardware, to OpenBSD running on a Sun T5140 (a SPARC64 server). T5140's are kind of old (the one I bought was made in 2009) but not quite old enough to be considered vintage yet, I think.

    2. Set up a Dell PowerEdge R610 as a new VMware ESXi host in order to run a couple of Windows 2012 guests supporting some stuff I currently have running on Windows 2003 servers (buying new hardware was the cheapest way to get Windows 2012 licenses). My R610 was manufactured in 2010 so again it's old, but not really old enough yet to be vintage.

    Once those are out of the way I will hopefully be able to get to the real vintage projects:

    3. Get the MicroPDP-11/23+ working. I bought another power supply to replace the previous replacement which died within an hour of plugging it in, hopefully this new one will last longer. I'd like to eventually upgrade this system to an 11/73 so that I can run something like 2.9BSD on it, but step one will just be to get RT-11 and DEC diagnostics running on the F11 CPU. I picked up an MMU and FPU (KTF11 and KEF11 chips) and I want to put those in and make sure they're working. Then I have some 8" drives I'd like to get working, and an Emulex SCSI card that will hopefully give me better disk/tape options. I also have a BA23 expansion cabinet that I need to check out (it's still in the bubble wrap it was shipped to me in).

    4. I have a TRS-80 Model 4P that died while I was inventorying floppy disks, probably a blown capacitor. Should be easy to fix so it's relatively high on my to-do list, although I might defer this work since I don't have a lot of interest in the TRS-80 line.

    5. I've had a 9-track tape drive in the garage for a few years now. I'd like to get it set up so I can archive some 9-track tapes I've got.

    6. On that topic, I should probably archive my QIC tapes also, assuming my QIC tape drives are still any good. Hopefully at least one of them is still operable.

    7. Why stop with tapes? I have boxes and boxes of old PC and Commodore floppies that should be archived as well. I should hook up some old hardware and see what's still good.

    8. I should resume work on my (stalled) Teletype emulator at some point. Key design goals are to support overprinting, half-line scrolling, and a nearly unlimited scrollback buffer. Also the ability to 'tear off' printouts and save them (probably in pdf format).

    9. At some point I need to try to fix my Newton MessagePad 2100. It has a bad capacitor and I think if I remove it that may be enough to get the thing working again. I mostly just want to get my data off of it, it's not really a machine I'd actually still want to use.

    There is no way I will possibly get to all these in 2018. There's a ton of stuff I didn't even bother to list (lots of old 8-bit systems and old PCs and Macs that I want to get running again). I could retire today and not run out of projects to keep me busy for decades.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    A planet that's evolving And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour
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    412

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    I have only 2 things on my to do list.

    1: Finish my 14 slot IPC beast of a retro gaming system.
    Cool thing about this system is the ability to put many different sound cards and video card in it. Just change the HW profile over or boot it up with the second cpu board and its like a whole different system. I can have a 586 class system with voodoo2 sli setup, a diamond monster sound for 9x games. SB pro and mach64 for dos games and a much latter PIII class system with a GF2 all in one box.

    2: Get rid of all the old parts and games I on longer need. Will need to setup an AMIbay account or something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Western North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    1,169

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    Well,

    1.) Finish mods to REH-ECB-IDE board and make second run for CPU280 users;
    2.) Third run CPU280;
    3.) TRS-80 Model 12 in a tower AT case with a modern monitor and HxC floppy emulator;
    4.) TRS-80 Model 4P in a smaller case with a more modern and larger monitor;
    5.) XLR8r reproduction/enhancement;
    6.) Case my first P112;
    7.) Case my CPU280 system and build up a new run board;
    8.) Build a second P112 with a 33MHz Z182 upgrade, faster memory, and see just how fast it can go;
    9.) CP/M and/or MP/M on my eZ80 development board.
    --
    Bughlt: Sckmud
    Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!

  8. #8

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    I've limited myself to on 6 foot wide section of space for my vintage computing enjoyment. I've got a NEC PC-6001 with a small TV behind it, A DEC vt420 with a PiDP-8 above it, my wife's PS/1 386sx, Compaq Portable 8088, and finally a Compaq Deskpro/M 486DX66.

    I need to fix the video card on the 8088 and finish my FDD emulator for the PC-6001 so those are both on my list to do!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Albany, OR USA
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    879
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    I need to get all of my parts sorted out and organized. Right now, I have trouble remembering what I have and what works 100%, what parts kind of work and what needs repair or what's beyond repair. I have a bunch of stuff I could sell, but I'm afraid I might need it some day. Am I a HORDER?!!?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Since I am 67 in mid June

    I think my major project for 2018 is to bring in at least 4 by 12 meter dump skips, chuck the lot.

    Sell the house.

    and go hitch hiking around the world.

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