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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.

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A tale of two IBM PS/2 Model 77 systems

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    A tale of two IBM PS/2 Model 77 systems

    Back in April of 2020 I wound up with a lot of IBM PS/2 systems and related parts that had once belonged to the Alberta Government.

    unfortunately all of the systems were in rough shape. Dust, dirt, and worst of all mice poop + subsequent corrosion from mouse urine. ewww.

    anyways the most complete and somewhat functional system was the PS/2 Model 9577 "bermuda"


    I say somewhat functional because the guy i got this stuff from fired it up, booted into windows 95 and then the magic smoke was let out and the system shut down.


    Thankfully it was just the hard drive that let out the magic smoke. (burned the board on the drive quite badly so the drive was cooked: well done.

    but the most important task for me was to clean out the mouse poop. so the computer needed a bath.










    success! put it back together and it was up and running perfectly!

    The system basically stayed in this configuration until I received a care package from Lorenzo @ NYCE distribution

    #2
    To make a long story short, Lorenzo and I worked out a deal for some parts to turn this system in an ultimedia clone.

    Unfortunately systems based on this case don't look very good with a CD-rom drive without the somewhat rare IBM CD bezel. and connecting an external scsi CD-rom drive is made difficult by IBM's use of a propriatary external scsi connected on the back. just can't win.

    Again I didn't take any *Good* in progress shots of upgrading this computer. But I wound up with an IBM CD-rom II with bezel, external scsi cable, M-ACPA card, and most notably the ultimedia front panel.
    (I also acquired an Action media II and 2.2gb hard drive from a local collector)





    the only part that wasn't as smooth was trying to create the ribbon cables from the ultimedia front panel audio controls. The cables were not included and i ended up choping up some old IDE cables to make them.






    Personally I think the system turned out awesome. I installed PC Dos 7 and windows 3.1 with all the ultimedia software for the action media II and M-Audio capture and playback adapter /A
    I plan on leaving the system mostly "stock" and as is with only IBM equipment. Something about an all IBM machine that I like.

    But with the release of TubeTime's Snark Barker MCA, I decided I wanted to try and find a Model 77 "lacuna" for a more high performance DOS/Win95 gaming machine. that I could "hot rod" without worrying about an all IBM system (since i already have the bermuda for that)

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      #3
      After seeing a few Lacuna PS/2 Model 77 systems sell for LARGE sums on eBay. Especially the few Brand new in box machines, i figured they would be totally out of my price range. But one of the things I've learned over the years in this hobby is that making friends is a GOOD THING. One of the many friends I have made online in this hobby figured he had a dusty PS/2 model 77 lacuna stashed away. Lucky for me he did, and he was willing to sell it for a good price.





      After about a month over the Christmas Holiday, it arrived. (and thankfully in one piece. anyone else getting shipping anxiety with stuff like this?)

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        #4
        Good work! Your stuff looks great.
        Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

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          #5


          The system came to me with the two 2.2gb F/W 68pin SCSI drives Low level formatted, but the system partition had been restored which was nice.
          This system being a 77s (S for scsi) it originally would have had a Future domain scsi controller and a scsi narrow 50pin hard drive. However it's been upgraded with an IBM F/W scsi "corvette" adapter. (something they should have included stock if you ask me)

          (side note, the drives in this system are Quantum Fireball drives with IBM stickers and part numbers? if IBM had there own drives, I'm not sure why they would bother with re-branding quantum drives?)



          The Intel Pentium Overdrive @83mhz alongside the 256k L2 cache module gives this thing some serious horsepower. (16mb of ECC ram is nice)

          I found it interesting that this machine has a strange hybrid architecture. it uses the MCA bus for everything except the onboard S3 928 graphics which is an ISA/VLB card. (and needs some special IBM VLB TSR program to work)



          I installed windows 95 and have actually been using this system alot of the past couple weeks. It's very nice to use and feels much "snappier" than the model 77 Bermuda. The S3 Graphics is actually pretty good for games like Duke 3d, Doom, and anything else i've thrown at it. (substantially faster than the XGA-2)

          Now I await news from MonoTechPC for when he'll be shipping MCA snark barkers based on TubeTime's designs
          Last edited by pinkdonut666; January 28, 2021, 03:07 PM.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
            Good work! Your stuff looks great.



            Thanks! Often times all they need is a bath...

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              #7
              Very nice restoration! Congratulations!

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