Forum Rules and Etiquette

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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.

Rule 1: 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.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
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  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
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Rule 4: "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.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system 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.

Rule 5: 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.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

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
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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What is this thing?

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    What is this thing?

    I got a small Intel 8088A CPU board for about $3 at an electronics surplus store. It has a 2*16 LCD, some pins on the bottom, and a 9v battery. It's missing a chip, and it's from 1989(This particular one is 1991 I believe). Does anyone know what it is?

    Looking for: Tandy TRS-80 Model 100/101/102, PowerBook Duo 230 or 180C, old Commodore stuff (disk drives, cartridges, etc.)

    Those are pretty small images and I can't read anything on the chips.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Various projects and oddities:
    Machine room:


      It looks like a very generic board. If you can read the EPROM (if it has one), that could provide the information as to what original device that board was placed in.


        I don't think it has an EPROM, but I can tell you the chips. Left: Toshiba TC5565APL-10 Middle: Intel P80C88A-2 Right: Oki M1C55-5
        I think it still works, but it doesn't do anything.
        Looking for: Tandy TRS-80 Model 100/101/102, PowerBook Duo 230 or 180C, old Commodore stuff (disk drives, cartridges, etc.)


          The EPROM probably goes where that big empty socket is.

          May have help some proprietary data on it so the original owner "sanitized" it by pulling the EPROM.
          Outside a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read! Groucho Marx

          Curtis McCain


            Yeah very generic board. With that LCD display i guess it was some kinda control computer for simple tasks, maybe for some machinery or house automation.


              Well, the TC5565APL is static RAM, and next to it is the blank, so that probably was ROM, or "maybe" more RAM, but without a company printed on the board somewhere, or accessible code on board which might give an idea as to usage, I'd say you got about $3-$5 worth of good embedded design parts, in the chips and LCD display!

              P.S. IS there a company or LOGO printed on the board? That might tell us a little more about what this controller does/did???



                OKI chip

                are you sure this is not a Oki M81C55-5???

                That would make sense (the M81C55 is a bunch of parallel ports and 2K of RAM...)



                  With an OKI chip could it be something from an OKI printer?

                  Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.


                    Originally posted by g4ugm View Post
                    With an OKI chip could it be something from an OKI printer?
                    I don't believe so-"OKI" semiconductors is the chipmaker; OKIDATA (everyone just uses OKI) is the printer company




                      Oops, sorry, it is an M81C55-5.
                      The board says
                      Rel 2
                      Model 88-1
                      Hamptech (c)1989
                      Houston, Texas USA

                      I only found an owner and location, and the amount of time it took probably qualifies me as a stalker.
                      I did ask this on another website, but I don't know if the answer is correct or not. I would like a second opinion.
                      Looking for: Tandy TRS-80 Model 100/101/102, PowerBook Duo 230 or 180C, old Commodore stuff (disk drives, cartridges, etc.)


                        I'm trying to find what the pins at the bottom of the board connect to, and I found the last one connects to a pin on the OKI called PB4. Does anyone know what PB4 is?
                        Looking for: Tandy TRS-80 Model 100/101/102, PowerBook Duo 230 or 180C, old Commodore stuff (disk drives, cartridges, etc.)


                          In terms of modems "PB" usually stands for "Push Button", not sure if it's related here.


                            Maybe. I know it's a RAM chip and a timer, but I don't remember how it accesses the data. Maybe as simulating a pushbutton?
                            Looking for: Tandy TRS-80 Model 100/101/102, PowerBook Duo 230 or 180C, old Commodore stuff (disk drives, cartridges, etc.)