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Thread: NCR and MicroChannel Clones?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by g4ugm View Post
    I find EISA based servers incredibly rare.
    One word: COMPAQ

    Being part of the "Gang of Nine", they fell in love with EISA (up until the VLB/PCI era).

    https://www.cbronline.com/news/compa..._the_eisa_bus/

    https://books.google.com/books?id=_O...chines&f=false

    Having had a 486 Prosignia Server (with a PNY Quickchip 133 upgrade) I had to concede that it was built like a tank and regretted seeing the machine fall victim to a failed power-supply. The configuration disks were a PITA, however....

    And for a quick refresher on how MCA met it's demise:

    https://www.networkworld.com/article...a-and-pci.html
    Last edited by T-R-A; July 31st, 2019 at 03:02 PM.

  2. #12
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    I found this comment, "...Gang of Nine -- AST Research, Compaq Computer, Epson, HP, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE and Zenith Data Systems – reacted to IBM’s proprietary architecture and refused to license it for use in their servers", a bit funny considering at least two did.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  3. #13
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    I've also recently discovered Reply made MCA upgrade planers for IBM machines. I found an IBM 486SLC @ 66 MHz soldered onto a Reply upgrade board in a PS/2 model 70 I recently acquired. Which I guess still complies with the SLC licensing restrictions IBM was under (upgrades only).
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eeguru View Post
    I found this comment, "...Gang of Nine -- AST Research, Compaq Computer, Epson, HP, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE and Zenith Data Systems – reacted to IBM’s proprietary architecture and refused to license it for use in their servers", a bit funny considering at least two did.
    Did they license it? I think the Olivetti was an ALR design rebadged. ALR had to pay the license fees but not Olivetti. That dodge may have protected from the serious part of the MCA licensing terms: the back license for all ISA bus systems.

  5. #15
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    Tandy certainly licensed it and payed the back-fees.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eeguru View Post
    Tandy certainly licensed it and payed the back-fees.
    But the quote was "refused to license it for use in their servers" which in the case of Tandy is correct since the 5000MC was not a server. A mistake by Tandy since it wouldn't have been hard to make a better server than the Model 80 and that would have filled an important and very profitable hole in the Tandy lineup. Or mistake by IBM making it difficult to actually use the MCA license which killed the potential of getting more companies to license it.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by g4ugm View Post
    Does any one have any figures for numbers of machines actually built, rather than models?. I find EISA based servers incredibly rare.
    I would say more uncommon than rare, and they existed well into the Pentium II era.

    The last machine I saw with EISA slots in it was in a college tech class where one of the guys brought in a Dell server that had 3-4 EISA slots in it. IIRC it had dual Pentium II 450s with like 1-2 GB of RAM. It had Windows 2000 Advanced Server on it, and we tried to upgrade it to Windows 2003, which we figured out dropped support for EISA. turns out the last version of Windows to support EISA is Windows 2000.

    It was a chore trying to find the EISA setup disks because this was back in 2007 and the server then was almost a decade old.

  8. #18
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    I don't think IBM expected to license MCA to more then a handfull of companies anyway by the way they priced it. When an industry gets huge like the PC market did you will eventually get an open standard like PCI and what followed.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  9. #19
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    The vast majority of servers sold were low end small business models and I don't think very many of those were EISA.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  10. #20

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    Compaq had a MicroChannel license as those were relatively cheap to obtain. The royalties for building machines with MCA slots were the killer part.

    Microsoft seemed to prefer EISA as well. Windows 9x's PnP system autodetected EISA cards just like PnP ISA and PCI cards and autoinstalled drivers . The Intel DOS/Win 3.1x PnP config tools borrowed liberally from EISA as well (The CFG files for ISA PnP cards were based on the EISA format). Meanwhile, MCA machines required manual scanning with the "Add New Hardware" control panel when you added in a new card.

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