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Prized posession

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    Prized posession

    I think that each of us has a vintage machine or two in their collection that they value over the rest. Even in a small collection one machine probably stands out.

    If I were to name mine it would be one of two machines. Either my "original" IBM PC (64K motherboard, black power supply, original manuals including DOS 1.0) or one of my Altair 8800s.

    The PC was the first computer that I ever owned. Although the example in my collection isn't actually my original machine, it's almost exactly like it. The manuals are the ones I bought in 1981 with the original machine.

    The Altair is on my list both because of its historical significance and because of the fact that I'd always wanted one way back when.

    As a funny aside, I used to attend the Trenton Computer Festival back in the early 1980s with a friend. This guy's plan was to pack his old station wagon full of as much crap as would fit and bring it to the show to sell (he usually split a vending booth with several other geeks). He would then use the proceeds to refill the car with new junk to bring home. On one trip I spotted an Altair 8800 with 2 8" drives and a terminal all put together into a nice rolling A/V style chassis, working and with manuals and software. The price was right (about $200, negotiable, as I recall) and I really wanted to buy it. Unfortunately, the wagon was already full and we couldn't figure how to get it home, so I had to pass. . .

    Anyway, back on topic, what is your prized posession?

    Erik
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    #2
    Re: Prized posession

    "Erik" wrote in message:

    > I think that each of us has a vintage machine or two
    > in their collection that they value over the rest.
    > Even in a small collection one machine probably
    > stands out.

    Well, only one 8bitter I have!

    > If I were to name mine it would be one of two
    > machines. Either my "original" IBM PC (64K
    > motherboard, black power supply, original
    > manuals including DOS 1.0) or one of my
    > Altair 8800s.

    Your a bit lucky since I know of a place where
    you could download CP/M-86 v1.0, which I think
    only runs on the IBM PC. Someone told me that
    DOS 1.0 has no support for directories (which I
    know), however they also told me it has no
    support for User areas (which CP/M does), is
    this true?

    > The PC was the first computer that I ever owned.
    > Although the example in my collection isn't a
    > ctually my original machine, it's almost exactly
    > like it. The manuals are the ones I bought in
    > 1981 with the original machine.

    Oh okay!

    > The Altair is on my list both because of its
    > historical significance and because of the
    > fact that I'd always wanted one way back
    > when.

    Please don't be offended, but I would have
    thought a PDP would of had more historical
    significance. Well I suppose they both have.
    The PDP would have started the scene in
    terms of computers which can do a variety
    of tasks (well maybe EDSAC too), but the
    PDP showed that technology was developing
    & perhaps in 15-20 years down the track
    something even smaller could accomplish
    the same. The Altair certainally set the scene
    with BASIC (I think, including all of those
    machines - apart from the Jupiter ACE, to
    have BASIC with it).

    All I can say is I glad to have an Amstrad. I
    don't know if I'd call it my prized possesion,
    but the trouble is I've seen some nice systems
    & what to do with them is beyond me. Doing
    something with CP/M on my Amstrad & IBMs
    maybe wonder if CP/M-86 could do as much
    as DOS could. Seriously, most of my Turbo
    Pascal 3 programs probably exceed it's
    capabilities, but they still work. On the
    Amstrad, learning about the Firmware it
    provides could allow a ton of routines
    incorporated into it.

    I could dream on about having a PDP or
    TI99/4a (which I do), but what do they
    offer me. Is there anything which can be
    done on those machines that hasn't for
    example. I'm a bit of a you can always
    learn an ol' dog new tricks kinda person
    & unfortunately for something I only know
    a little about, would mean spending more
    time to learn about pushing the envelope.

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

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Prized posession

      Originally posted by CP/M User
      Your a bit lucky since I know of a place where
      you could download CP/M-86 v1.0, which I think
      only runs on the IBM PC. Someone told me that
      DOS 1.0 has no support for directories (which I
      know), however they also told me it has no
      support for User areas (which CP/M does), is
      this true?
      I have CP/M-86 version 1.0 with the manual. It's pretty much what you'd expect - an 8086 version of CP/M 2.2.

      PC DOS 1.0 was complete crap and was quickly upgraded to 1.05 (to fix a major math bug in BASIC) and 1.10 (to add some needed features).

      DOS 2.0 was the first version to support subdirectories.

      Originally posted by CP/M User
      Please don't be offended, but I would have
      thought a PDP would of had more historical
      significance. Well I suppose they both have.
      The PDP would have started the scene in
      terms of computers which can do a variety
      of tasks (well maybe EDSAC too), but the
      PDP showed that technology was developing
      & perhaps in 15-20 years down the track
      something even smaller could accomplish
      the same. The Altair certainally set the scene
      with BASIC (I think, including all of those
      machines - apart from the Jupiter ACE, to
      have BASIC with it).
      The Altair is widely credited with starting the "PC" revolution. There were earlier PCs, for sure, but none had the success or the impact.

      The PDPs were exceptional machines but weren't generally regarded as "personal" computers.

      Erik
      The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
      The Vintage Computer

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Prized posession

        "Erik" wrote in message:

        >> Your a bit lucky since I know of a place where
        >> you could download CP/M-86 v1.0, which I think
        >> only runs on the IBM PC. Someone told me that
        >> DOS 1.0 has no support for directories (which I
        >> know), however they also told me it has no
        >> support for User areas (which CP/M does), is
        >> this true?

        > I have CP/M-86 version 1.0 with the manual. It's
        > pretty much what you'd expect - an 8086 version
        > of CP/M 2.2.

        Yes CP/M-86 v1.0 & v1.1 do come from CP/M v2.2.
        I use v1.1 on my 386 (since it's being modified to
        run on the newer systems), it's just great getting
        stuck into those CTRL-C when changing disks!

        > PC DOS 1.0 was complete crap and was quickly
        > upgraded to 1.05 (to fix a major math bug in
        > BASIC) and 1.10 (to add some needed features).

        > DOS 2.0 was the first version to support
        > subdirectories.

        Yes. I got a book with has a short history of DOS.
        So I'm to understand that PC-DOS 1.xx had no
        user areas? (the type I'm referning to are like the
        ones used in CP/M).

        >> Please don't be offended, but I would have
        >> thought a PDP would of had more historical
        >> significance. Well I suppose they both have.
        >> The PDP would have started the scene in
        >> terms of computers which can do a variety
        >> of tasks (well maybe EDSAC too), but the
        >> PDP showed that technology was developing
        >> & perhaps in 15-20 years down the track
        >> something even smaller could accomplish
        >> the same. The Altair certainally set the scene
        >> with BASIC (I think, including all of those
        >> machines - apart from the Jupiter ACE, to
        >> have BASIC with it).

        > The Altair is widely credited with starting the
        > "PC" revolution. There were earlier PCs, for
        > sure, but none had the success or the impact.

        > The PDPs were exceptional machines but
        > weren't generally regarded as "personal"
        > computers.

        Yes, I can understand that. While I do have a
        picture of the PDP-1 system which is rather
        large, the PDP-8 looks to be much smaller.

        It's interesting to see that the Computer
        Museum (http://www.old-computers.com/museum/)
        I go to goes back to list the PDP-8 in there!

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

        Comment


          #5
          PCjrs are everywhere, so I tend to look for strange accessories ... Here are some:

          -A several hundred piece puzzle put out by IBM Canada for marketing purposes.

          -A sidecar called 'the megaboard' that can add up to 1MB of RAM of memory on a Jr. The memory is bank switched, like LIM memory, but it is not compatible with that spec.

          -A pretty good SCSI sidecar that lets me hook up a 500MB SCSI drive, CD-ROM, Zip, etc.

          -Homebrew 'mods' for increasing clock speed, altering the video controller, enabling extra drives, adding a serial port, etc. These are the most unique, and heavily reflect the owner of the machine.


          Mike

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mbbrutman
            -A pretty good SCSI sidecar that lets me hook up a 500MB SCSI drive, CD-ROM, Zip, etc.
            I'm not sure why, but, IMO, SCSI on a PCjr is just about the peak of cool.

            Erik
            The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
            The Vintage Computer

            Comment


              #7
              "Erik" wrote in message:

              >> A pretty good SCSI sidecar that lets me hook up a 500MB
              >> SCSI drive, CD-ROM, Zip, etc.

              I think it's impressive you can do those things on a PCJr
              IMO. Even the ZIP drive works on it? I thought it was a
              mighty archievement getting a SuperDisk 120Mb & getting
              it to go on my 386 w/ 4Mb! I tried connecting it to my
              IBM XT compatable, but it just would go. I can't remember
              now (because it was a while back) if I was able to hook up
              my 386 laptop to XT & have the superdisk hooked to the
              386 & use a serial connection between the XT & 386 to
              use it. I certainally remember accessing my small HD on
              the 386 to the XT.

              > I'm not sure why, but, IMO, SCSI on a PCjr is just about the
              > peak of cool.

              I not quite sure what you mean't, Erik. I'll just assume that
              it would be cool to have a SCSI on the PCJr. I think having
              a SCSI on any old system is cool!

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

              Comment


                #8
                Erik,

                Thank you so much. Nobody has ever called a PCjr 'cool' in public.

                The SCSI sidecar runs a Future Domain chipset from the early 90s. It's smart enough to deal with several different brands of hard drive, my NEC 2x CD-ROM, and a SCSI Zip.

                The hard drives and the SCSI Zip required no drivers - they were usable under DOS as is. The CD-ROM requires the standard generic SCSI CD-ROM driver and MSCDEX.

                The Zip drive isn't bootable though - the stupid thing only allows you to choose SCSI address 5 or 6. DOS machines like to boot from 0. On my more modern P233 I can tell the Adaptec card to boot from SCSI ID 5, which makes the Zip bootable. Not the Jr though - it can only boot from SCSI ID 0. Some hacking on the Zip drive might convince it otherwise. (It would be easy to swap the ID wires to fake SCSI address 0.)

                Parallel port hard drives, CD-ROMs, etc. work too .. it's amazingly compatible.

                Did I mention we had Ethernet adapters too?

                Comment


                  #9
                  "mbbrutman" wrote in message:

                  > Thank you so much. Nobody has ever called a PCjr
                  > 'cool' in public.

                  > The SCSI sidecar runs a Future Domain chipset from
                  > the early 90s. It's smart enough to deal with several
                  > different brands of hard drive, my NEC 2x CD-ROM,
                  > and a SCSI Zip.

                  > The hard drives and the SCSI Zip required no drivers
                  > - they were usable under DOS as is. The CD-ROM
                  > requires the standard generic SCSI CD-ROM driver
                  > and MSCDEX.

                  > The Zip drive isn't bootable though - the stupid thing
                  > only allows you to choose SCSI address 5 or 6.
                  > DOS machines like to boot from 0. On my more
                  > modern P233 I can tell the Adaptec card to boot
                  > from SCSI ID 5, which makes the Zip bootable.
                  > Not the Jr though - it can only boot from SCSI ID 0.
                  > Some hacking on the Zip drive might convince it
                  > otherwise. (It would be easy to swap the ID wires to
                  > fake SCSI address 0.)

                  My superdisk is basically the same. I have an external
                  Parallel Port & the internal IDE versions. It definitely
                  cannot boot from the Parallel Port, but I think the
                  Internal one can (but it would need support from the
                  BIOS in order to do so I think).

                  > Parallel port hard drives, CD-ROMs, etc. work too ..
                  > it's amazingly compatible.

                  That's amazing!

                  > Did I mention we had Ethernet adapters too?

                  How quick is that?

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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My favorite machine is one that has never been booted. It is an S-100 box that was built around 1977, and may be the world's first portable computer. The cpu card was built from a kit and the 4 slot motherboard along with a linear power supply and a fan are all tucked away neatly inside of a modified Kennedy toolbox. This homebrew system has never been completed, although I have added a 4k memory board which was also a kit. All I need now is some kinda I/O and something in a disk drive. I hope to complete this computer someday.
                    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
                    _____________________________________________

                    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My favourite machine... Whoa!

                      That's really tough, because I have a few favourites among the lot. Of course, there's a whole bunch of stuff that's easily sorted out of the favourite bunch.

                      Anyway...A favourite is my Commodore Amiga 4000. Nothing special about it, really, 'xcept it's one of Commodores very last machines. Oh, and I use it regularly, so that obviously counts for something.

                      Another favourite is the Commodore 64...Nothing special about that either, but it was my first computer, got it when I was 11 years old. I have several different models now, of course, and the favourites of them would be my C64G-model, which is in regular use, and of course my SX-64, which is just too cool ...

                      Talking about these things, I can't avoid mentioning my Ohio Scientific Model 600, or SuperBoard II as it was also known. Mine is the rev. B from 1978 - my oldest computer as of yet. When powered up the LED lights up, but I haven't been able to hook a screen to it yet, so...

                      But of course, my Apple ][ europlus, my Casio FP-1000 and my Ericsson Portable PC also hold a place in my heart. Not to mention my Regnecentralen Piccoline-setup...These were the machines used in computer-class when I went to school.
                      Thus spake Thomas Hillebrandt
                      www.thomashillebrandt.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "Thomas Hillebrandt" wrote in message:

                        > My favourite machine... Whoa!

                        <snip!>

                        > Another favourite is the "Commodore 64"...
                        > Nothing special about that either, but it
                        > was my first computer, got it when I was
                        > 11 years old. I have several different models
                        > now, of course, and the favourites of them
                        > would be my C64G-model, which is in regular
                        > use, and of course my SX-64, which is just
                        > too cool...

                        Not one of my so favourites, however you're
                        welcomed to your views!

                        <snip!>

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

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Prized posession

                          Originally posted by Erik
                          Anyway, back on topic, what is your prized posession?
                          I have a Horizon Ram Disk with one of my TI-99/4A systems. It's (so far) a 576KB battery backed simulated disk drive(s) which is light speed fast. I can switch on the system power strip and punch a key or two (I know what I have loaded on it) and be ready to go before the monitor lights up!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I think that Horizon Ram Disk is a pretty neat device. If I recall correctly, 576KB is several times what a native TI-99/4A disk drive stored directly.

                            It's weird to think about a product like that - disk drives were invented because they were persistent, and the storage was cheaper. A RAM disk was a fairly expensive product in it's day.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mbbrutman
                              I think that Horizon Ram Disk is a pretty neat device. If I recall correctly, 576KB is several times what a native TI-99/4A disk drive stored directly.
                              I have mine partitioned as a 360KB drive so I can copy a normal disk directly and the rest into another drive. I have a few more chips to add to increase the space.

                              The original HRD was 96KB I believe, but newer models can accommodate several MB.

                              Comment

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