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Another recycle-center rescue...

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    #16
    That looks almost identical to the 386 my sister had when I was 10....the machine responsible for me ever getting in interest in computers in the first place. Same case and same board, except hers only had 5MB of RAM, an 80MB HDD, DOS 5, and spent about 90% of it's time running Ultima VI and Monkey Island. AMT made that one.

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by NeXT View Post
      Bet you $20 this thing was running a *nix of some sort and the Digiboard was used to hang serial terminals off it.
      This thing might have been a "headless" server with no monitor, stuck in a cupboard somewhere and accessed only through terminal on a serial port. As well as *nix, there were other group-oriented OSs around such as OASIS and whatever Wang used for client-server office terminal farms. Everex might have started building systems on one of those before taking up Unix.

      I'd try firing it up with a terminal (or emulated terminal like hyperterm) attached to serial port - the BIOS might be configured to look for a terminal rather than a monitor. Though that would be unusual if it is a standard AMI BIOS.

      To get the system profile, hook the HDD up to a working system, run SysRescue or one of those toolkits, and see what you can find in the HDD directories - it should become clear what OS and/or filesystem is there and point to the way to further research.

      Rick

      Comment


        #18
        Well, progress has been made. Trying for divide-and-conquer, I unplugged everything except the motherboard and video card - now it works, enough to give a picture and boot to the BIOS. I'm not sure yet, but I suspect that the power supply's just gotten old and couldn't cope with running all the board and drives at once anymore.

        Turns out it has 1.6MB RAM - I'll have to beef that up a bit.
        Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
        Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
        "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

        Comment


          #19
          Hot diggity, there's a scan of the manual for the motherboard! Not a whole lot of information that's not on TULARC, but still good.
          Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
          Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
          "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

          Comment


            #20
            Success! The problem child was the multi-I/O card; I replaced that with a spare and it's now booting. It's a XENIX System V setup (good Lord, there was a time when you could run Unices in 1.6MB of RAM? Though I've dropped in some extra.) Bitches at me about the missing mega-serial card, even! Of course, now there's the problem of my not having the password, so I'll probably have to image it anyway, but it's still pretty neat to have this thing booting

            (Now what I'd really like to know is how come it reports 7MB XMS + 640KB when according to the manual it only supports 256KB, 1MB, and 4MB SIMMs, and it passes the full memory tests so it's not a malfunction? Unless the 640KB isn't actually onboard and it's stealing 1MB out of 8MB for conventional memory...)
            Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
            Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
            "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

            Comment


              #21
              Excellent work

              A few months back I bought a dead 386 - turned out to be a cheap'n nasty serial port card someone had thrown in - one of it's caps was shorting. Whip out the card and viola!
              Pretty cool you have something more interesting than DOS preloaded.
              Twitter / YouTube

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by commodorejohn View Post
                Success! The problem child was the multi-I/O card; I replaced that with a spare and it's now booting. It's a XENIX System V setup (good Lord, there was a time when you could run Unices in 1.6MB of RAM? Though I've dropped in some extra.) Bitches at me about the missing mega-serial card, even! Of course, now there's the problem of my not having the password, so I'll probably have to image it anyway, but it's still pretty neat to have this thing booting

                (Now what I'd really like to know is how come it reports 7MB XMS + 640KB when according to the manual it only supports 256KB, 1MB, and 4MB SIMMs, and it passes the full memory tests so it's not a malfunction? Unless the 640KB isn't actually onboard and it's stealing 1MB out of 8MB for conventional memory...)
                I was wondering about that myself, with 8 sticks of ram, like in your picture I would have thought it had 2, 8, or 32mb. If you use a diagnostic tool, does it report the correct amount of ram? I've used a copy of memtest86 for such things. Maybe it is reporting less ram because you have the bios/v-bios shadowed?
                It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                Comment


                  #23
                  The manual isn't really enlightening on that topic, but it's certainly a possibility - it is set to shadow the BIOS and video BIOS. I doubt that accounts for the missing 384KB, though...maybe they simply reserve it all?
                  Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                  Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                  "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                  Comment


                    #24
                    8 x 1Mb = 8Mb, 640K conventional, 384K reserved/shadowing, 7Mb XMS - all accounted for.
                    Most 386's I've owned let you use the 384Kb as (or part of it) XMS, guess that one doesn't.


                    I assumed those chips above the SIMMs were high speed cache.

                    Edit: although I just went back and you said it started with 1.6Mb - that is pretty weird unless it had 8x256 in there before?? oh well awesome it runs!
                    Twitter / YouTube

                    Comment


                      #25
                      The chips are the cache, yeah (128KB) - I just wasn't sure if conventional memory might not've been somewhere else on the board. But I haven't even tried booting with no SIMMs; I'm willing to buy the "1MB reserved" explanation.

                      Fortunately, 8MB is more than this system should ever be needing anyway.
                      Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                      Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                      "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Eh if it was me I load her up with the max of 16mb, since its an SX system. Only downside is having to wait at boot for it to count it all! >.<
                        '. \ / .'
                        '. .'``'. .'
                        ......:::::::`.....`::
                        Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386

                        Comment


                          #27
                          It's actually a 386DX equivalent, it maxes out at 32MB. I actually have that amount in SIMMs on hand, but I'm reserving them for my Macintosh SE/30; of the two systems, I know which one is far more likely to ever come close to using that amount of memory...

                          (Though I suppose I could split the different and give them 20MB apiece!)
                          Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                          Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                          "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I happen to have a few if you need a couple (10 sticks, think 60ns). I was going to toss some stuff up for sale this weekend hopefully, and can include a few pair of 16mb 30pins if you want.
                            '. \ / .'
                            '. .'``'. .'
                            ......:::::::`.....`::
                            Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Doesn't look from the documentation like the board can take 16MB SIMMs, but thanks. Really, 8MB is plenty for my needs.
                              Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                              Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                              "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                              Comment


                                #30
                                GAH. I am having a hell of a time getting a boot disk to work. I've tried several different system images on several different disks with several different drives and several different controllers, and they all fail. Not immediately enough to suggest a catastrophic hardware failure; everything runs merrily along through POST and successfully loads the boot sector off at least two of the system images. That seems to be as far as it gets; Xenix and FreeDOS get stuck in some kind of read-from-disk loop but never accomplish anything, and the various MS-DOSes all display some variant of "non-system disk or disk error."

                                I don't get it; this seems like a pretty standard PC BIOS, so I wouldn't think it should be responding in a non-standard enough way to screw up five different bootloaders, but I can't see that it's a hardware problem, as I've tried multiple combinations of drive, cable, and controller, and anyway if it were a hardware issue I can't see how it would even get far enough to load the boot sector, unless for some reason it's completely failing to move the drive head anywhere but track 0, sector 0, but what kind of sense does that make?

                                Can anybody help me figure out what's going wrong here?

                                Edit: Alternatively, it could be that I was lazy and did not account for the possibility that a known-good drive might have developed a problem once I'd verified the controllers were working, and then spent hours banging my head against the wall for no good reason. That might be what happened, sure.
                                Last edited by commodorejohn; April 29, 2012, 06:48 PM.
                                Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                                Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                                "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                                Comment

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