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Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Stay close to the original topic being discussed
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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


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If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
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Hello ...

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    Hello ...

    This looks like a great group of people - nice diverse interests, and good vintage hardware.

    I'm not much of a collector - no room and not enough time. So I choose to delve deep into my favorite machine, the IBM PCjr. Owning and loving a PCjr is close to being a member in a cult. Anything that was easy to do on a standard PC or clone is a pain on the Jr, which makes it so interesting.

    http://mail.magnaspeed.net/~mbbrutman/PCjr/pcjr.html

    Besides the PCjr, my other machines are:

    Original IBM PC 5150 with first revision BIOS. This machine can't use a VGA, EGA or any other card with BIOS because it doesn't know to scan for BIOS extensions. The BIOS also has a bug that limits the reported memory to 544KB.

    Original IBM PC AT 5170. This machine has a 386 motherboard in it and some other nasty upgrades, however I have all of the original parts. That includes the famous Seagate ST-225 hard drive.

    Timex Sinclair 1000. My first computer ever. I have the 16K RAM expansion and the thermal printer. This is a machine I'd like to do more with.


    The older machines are great hobbyist machines because it's usually TTL logic, well known processors, and slow enough speeds such that modifications and debugging are not impossible. I'm a programmer, and programming on these things is easy.

    Favorite languages: Turbo C++ for DOS. This can generate code for my older machines. Turbo Pascal 3.0, which runs directly on my older machines. Zbasic, also for the older machines. And I'm learning assembler so I can be really dangerous.

    Regards,
    Mike

    #2
    Welcome!

    Hello Mike and Welcome to the VC Forum!

    I don't have a PCjr in my collection (yet) but I've been hoping to add one someday. I do have the first few issues of Jr. and PCjr magazine and I remember when it was introduced.

    I've also got an original IBM PC with BIOS 1.00 and DOS 1.00! The BASIC in that version of DOS had a floating point error that was famous in the day.

    The Seagate ST-225 in your AT is nice to have. The original drive shipped with the AT was made by Computer Memories Inc. and has a "sad" story. When IBM came along and contracted with CMI for the drives they basically increased CMIs production tenfold or more. The result was a run of drives that were poorly built, poorly tested and insanely unreliable. At one point PC Magazine published an article that concluded that anyone with a CMI drive had best replace it because it WILL fail soon.

    One of the replacement drive companies pulled a great publicity stunt. They gave a rebate for every CMI drive turned in and, once they had collected enough, dumped them (legally) off of the coast of Boca Raton FL, right in front of the IBM plant, to create an artificial reef.

    Anyway, I'm rambling.

    Welcome aboard!

    Erik
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    Comment


      #3
      The reliability problems with the CMI drives made for a black eye on IBM, and destroyed CMI as a company. I've never even seen a CMI drive. They truly were victims of their own success.

      On the other hand, the Seagate drive is a classic. Crude and slow, but still working 20 years later. So many of the MFM drives are dead - they had a five year life expectancy. Mine still gets fairly good use - I have a Central Point Option Board in the AT, and the diskette images go to the Seagate, then later to a CD-R.

      Seagate is just a great company, period. IBM invented the hard drive and the floppy drive. Alan Shugart worked on the design of the floppy disk at IBM, and later started his own company Shugart Associates, which later became Seagate. Besides giving us the floppy drive, Alan Shugart indirectly gave us great hard drives, the SCSI specification, etc.

      Now I'm rambling ..

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Mbbrutman.I have 4 I.B.M. Pc's and 4 XT's .However all of my ibm Pc's
        are the later revision board b type.
        I saw that you had a Timex Sinclair 1000.I had one of these then later bought the TS 2068 Color computer before Timex Quit.I used to write
        a lot of basic programs on this machine.I even spent a couple of months in 1984 making a 32k basic program that computed the ballistic flight paths of Amatuer Rockets (up to 4 stages)with 4 different atmospheric models,variable gravity,thrust curves,changing atmospheric density,temperature,pressure,mach force,hypersonic similarity etc on the TS2068.
        Later I even found another TS2068 in a thrift store.There is a Web site called Planet Sinclair that shows all of Sir Clive Sinclair's machines.
        MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Hello ...

          "mbbrutman" wrote in message:

          > This looks like a great group of people - nice diverse interests, and
          > good vintage hardware.

          Welcome Mike,

          > I'm not much of a collector - no room and not enough time. So
          > I choose to delve deep into my favorite machine, the IBM PCjr.
          > Owning and loving a PCjr is close to being a member in a cult.
          > Anything that was easy to do on a standard PC or clone is a pain
          > on the Jr, which makes it so interesting.

          I was just wonderning if you're familar with this site:
          http://www.micro-zone.com/
          I think it might be an interesting site for anyone who has a
          PCJr!

          <snip!>

          Cheers.
          Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Hello ...

            Originally posted by mbbrutman
            ...Anything that was easy to do on a standard PC or clone is a pain on the Jr, which makes it so interesting.
            That's funny, I got into Apple II's for much the same reason... I can spend a whole day messing about with something that would take 30 seconds to do on a newer Mac or PC, but it's the challenge and sense of accomplishment that make it so rewarding. Or maybe I'm just a masochist
            ~LD8

            Comment


              #7
              Jon,

              I never got into my Timex enough - I was too young to understand the potential of it. (I was 12 at the time.) BASIC was cool, but the machine could be much more. As limited as a 16K machine seems, there was an incredible amount that you could do with it. (And I will get back to it eventually.)

              First off, it's a Z80. The Z80 is the single most popular CPU in the universe. There is a lot you can do with that puppy. Did you know it had two complete register sets in it? Pretty advanced for that era.

              Next, there are the hardware mods. Getting up to 64K memory (some of it being ROM) . There were serial ports, stringy floppies, graphics cards, and all sorts of wonderful things built for these machines. Even something simple like a better keyboard would be nice. I never had these toys, but now I'm dangerous enough to build them.

              In short, it's a great machine to explore. Simple enough to get your hands around.

              Which Sinclar was the 2068 equivalent to?


              Mike

              Comment


                #8
                CPM User,

                Yeah, I know a little bit about that site:

                - I inspired Brian to get back into Jrs.
                - I've worked with Brian on recreating some of the ancient mods, including the bi-directional parallel port, the Dallas Semi clock chip, etc.
                - I'm a moderator on that site.
                - I'm chatting with Brian online right now!


                Mike

                Comment


                  #9
                  Luddite,

                  Apple IIs are another great machine - they are the first PCs I ever touched. I couldn't afford anything like that back then, and by the time I was able to afford a machine, I went IBM. The 8088 based machines seemed to have more life in them than the Apple II series.

                  I still remember doing POKE commands to affect the behavior of the machine in strange ways. Poke 1012,0 disabled the RESET button or something like that ...

                  Yes, there is romance in doing things the hard way. A good Apple II+ would have maybe 48K of memory, a disk drive, and only uppercase letters. Yet the machines were so versatile. I remember having a choice between good old Integer BASIC and AppleSoft - imagine trying to use a dialect of BASIC now that didn't know about floating point numbers? Hard to imagine ...

                  Long live the Woz!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi mbbrutman.The TS2068 was the American version of the Sinclair Spectrum,except it had a 24k Rom rather than the 16K Rom of the Spectrum.You know it was a big shame but I saw a PCjr in the Original
                    box at a thrift store but didn't pick it up.Then again I didn't pick up a Apple III which now I know to be rarer than a LISA.
                    MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "mbbrutman" wrote in message:

                      > Yeah, I know a little bit about that site:

                      > - I inspired Brian to get back into Jrs.
                      > - I've worked with Brian on recreating some of the ancient
                      > mods, including the bi-directional parallel port, the Dallas Semi
                      > clock chip, etc.
                      > - I'm a moderator on that site.
                      > - I'm chatting with Brian online right now!

                      Oh well, that's good to hear!

                      Cheers.
                      Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                      Comment

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