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Headstart LX-CD

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    Headstart LX-CD

    This is my most recent acquisition.

    DSC00079.jpg

    It's an 8088 computer with 640K memory. It has a CD Caddy drive, a 40MB hard drive, and a built-in clock battery. I've been trying to find ways to reconfigure the hard drive for use, but couldn't get the computer to recognize it. Unfortunately, mine didn't come with the software that I can use to configure the entire system. Tried GSETUP, but it doesn't like it at all. Does anyone have disk images of them? It would be very appreciated!

    #2
    Very cool. You don't see machines this old with factory CD-ROM drives! I wonder what it cost new?
    Bobby.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bobba84 View Post
      Very cool. You don't see machines this old with factory CD-ROM drives! I wonder what it cost new?
      The blurb for it in May 1990 Popular Science puts the price at "less than $2,000" which seems quite cheap considering the price I paid for my first CD drive at about the same time.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
        The blurb for it in May 1990 Popular Science puts the price at "less than $2,000" which seems quite cheap considering the price I paid for my first CD drive at about the same time.
        Wow! I wonder how they did that. Very nice looking machine!
        Bobby.

        Comment


          #5
          Since Xts don't have a CMOS GSETUP can't do anything.

          Try running FDISK. If the disk has a usable partition FDISK will see it. If it doesn't you will need to LLF the drive to use it.
          PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

          Comment


            #6
            An 8088 that sold with a CDROM.... I didn't think such a thing existed. I'm guessing all that you could really run on it would be reference software like an encyclopedia etc.
            System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 3pcedev View Post
              An 8088 that sold with a CDROM.... I didn't think such a thing existed. I'm guessing all that you could really run on it would be reference software like an encyclopedia etc.
              http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/28/sc...ommon-man.html

              Headstart! Used to be Vendex Headstart! They got bought by Philips, so that explains the CD-Rom. Came with Grolier Encylopedia. Wow - wonder how that ran on an 8088 with 768k of RAM.

              You have a piece of history by the way. https://blamethevideogameshoney.word...tions-welcome/

              That machine is the FIRST PC sold with a CD-ROM drive installed. Treasure it!

              Comment


                #8
                Look exactly like my HeadStart LX-40 machine... if you imagine a standard 5.25" 360K floppy drive where the CD-ROM drive is. Looks like you have a MiniScribe 8450XT harddisk in there too. I still have the original software of mine, it's three floppy disks (DD 720K) with DOS 3.31, FrameWork etc etc. I could do you some copies, although I have mine installed with MS-DOS 5.0. You should be able to FDISK the harddisk with a DOS boot floppy. If not, probably the MiniScribe is dead (I have a bunch of 8450XT drives that are all dead, unable to FDISK, or able to create a partition that's gone again after a reboot etc).

                You could also use an XT-IDE adapter with a DoM, I have done that too with mine (card with 64MB DoM that I created a 42MB partition on to kinda keep it original). Works a charm, but it took some work to be able to get the card working with the machine (there's a thread in here somewhere about that I think).
                Oh man, this isn't happening... it only thinks it's happening. - Kevin Flynn

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                  #9
                  Philips was really big into optical media: including CD-ROM et cetera back in the 1990s. Their LMSI joint venture is testament to that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Denniske1976 View Post
                    I still have the original software of mine, it's three floppy disks (DD 720K) with DOS 3.31, FrameWork etc etc. I could do you some copies, although I have mine installed with MS-DOS 5.0.
                    If you could, that would be fantastic!

                    Originally posted by Denniske1976 View Post
                    You should be able to FDISK the harddisk with a DOS boot floppy. If not, probably the MiniScribe is dead (I have a bunch of 8450XT drives that are all dead, unable to FDISK, or able to create a partition that's gone again after a reboot etc).
                    Honestly, I can't tell if the Miniscribe is dead or not, considering that it did spin up when I've started it and I've also tried other hard drives with no success and they were all working ones. FDISK didn't work either. I'll have to test the Miniscribe on another computer later on to confirm this.

                    Originally posted by Denniske1976 View Post
                    You could also use an XT-IDE adapter with a DoM, I have done that too with mine (card with 64MB DoM that I created a 42MB partition on to kinda keep it original). Works a charm, but it took some work to be able to get the card working with the machine (there's a thread in here somewhere about that I think).
                    That would be fantastic to have one of those, but unfortunately, not only is my budget limited, but I can't seem to pinpoint where I would be able to get my hands on one aside from EBay, which are pretty hard to come across, at least usually.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok. So after further testing, the Miniscribe drive does spin up and does its thing. I was able to use a low level formatting tool (forgot what it was), but unfortunately not only was the partition was corrupted, but after scanning the drive, I'm getting a list of defects that looks as if it were to last forever. Even trying to initialize it didn't work. So, the Miniscribe drive is completely rendered useless. Another thing that I find odd myself is the video card that comes with it. It's an ATI VGA Wonder 16, which is obviously a 16-bit ISA card. The odd thing about it is that the computer is only equipped with 8-bit slots, yet it works just fine in this system. I tried a 16-bit card in an 8-bit slot on my 286 computer and didn't work properly that way obviously. I've also noticed that the floppy drive takes a bit longer than usual to boot the OS from a system disk compared to my Tandy 1000 SX computer. Any thoughts on this?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sorry I cannot help with thoughts on your most recent question...

                        Did you get this working? Googling on a plane ride for my first non-Commodore 64 computer. Pretty sure this is it or close... I think my dad bought this for us from Montgomery Wards Electric Avenue when I was in 8th grade or around then. I remember when it was booting, it would say something funny like shifting into turbo 10 MHz from 4.77 MHz.. It had a drawer load CD-ROM drive. I still have 3 1/2 floppy disks from back then. Hehe. Mavis Beacon typing was fun racing against cars... Had a dot matrix printer... Typing my term paper in 11th grade til midnight and getting in trouble for procrastinating. Hahaha. @DoomGuyII, would it be okay to post your pic to social media?

                        I'm not sure my parents bought another computer til XP. Lol. I worked on Win 3.1, 95, 98, NT, etc... Anyways... cool post. I think I will like this forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have recently acquired one of these as well. It was our family's first computer aside from a commodore 64 (or lookalike) which was only the base unit (no cartridges of tape decks or anything)

                          I got
                          • base unit
                          • a Headstart monitor (all tough not exactly the same as memory tell me)
                          • a Headstart keyboard
                          • a stack of documentation, some is still inbound, the seller found it a day after I picked the machine up,
                          • 4 cdrom's number 1 tot 4, I recall there being a fifth cdrom, my brother tells me it contained music, however the second cdrom is scratched, this cd contains all the games that came with the system, I did manage to extract the folder structure thus far (I might send the disc away to a disc buffing service) Disc 4 is the rescue disc
                          • 2 cd caddy's one of which is broken
                          I lack:
                          • The 40 mb hard drive
                          • The original bus mouse, I can however use the mouse from my Headstart III machine
                          • The original boot floppy

                          However. The machine does not want to cooperate. I have managed to get dos prompt once, and I don't know how.

                          I want it to run from a xt-ide card with (256mb) CF flash card. I grabbed the one from the Headstart III where it shows up during boot but I have not used it to boot from due to the fact that the original HDD in that one is still alive. The IDE Xt card I use is a XT-CF Lite version 4.1 I got from Ebay in Italy.

                          Where that same XT ide card shows itself during boot on the Headstart III (which is a 286 10 mhz with 40 mb drive (Seagate ST-151) it absolutely refuses to show itself on the LX CD.

                          As the machine original uses dos 3.22 I got a 1.44 image with ms-dos and tried to boot that to no avail, the previous owner said it booted from floppy with dos 5.0 but I managed to forget that specific floppy and I hope he'll send it with the books. (I put it down somewhere when I carried the computer to my car and after that I forgot it. Dumbass me)

                          I tried however a dos 5.0 boot disc to no avail and currently I'm looking at a ms dos 6.2 (original disc) with on screen "MS-DOS wordt gestart..." (Dutch) and a blinking cursor but that has been there for half a hour already.

                          I have tried 2 other floppy drives that fit, (because of the missing pin being banked out in the cable I have not tested it with the rest of the stack of 3.5 drives I have) but the results are the same.

                          I pulled the BR2325 mobo battery and volt tested it, dead as a doornail. I have ordered one and hope it will be here by Tuesday. (could it be that this is preventing to load fully into dos?)

                          I have also placed the XT IDE back into the Headstart III to test it, still works but not booting yet. (not a priority as of yet)

                          I have tested the cdrom drive (sony CDU 510 12) but it was disconnected and when I did connect it didn't insert the caddy all the way. It took me a while to get the caddy out again. If this drive works I'll be glad, if not I'll try a old 2 or 4 speed generic one of if possible, use a CF card with two partitions and dump all the data from the cdroms into the D drive and fool the machine that way.

                          Pff, thus far I've been tinkering for a full day now without much progress.

                          I did however did a backup of the 3 working cdrom's and have that on drive. Hooray for that

                          db

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Dirtbag View Post
                            I pulled the BR2325 mobo battery and volt tested it, dead as a doornail. I have ordered one and hope it will be here by Tuesday. (could it be that this is preventing to load fully into dos?)
                            Well, we have seen low/dead batteries cause various symptom/s. The symptom/s depend on the system.

                            Originally posted by Dirtbag View Post
                            I have also placed the XT IDE back into the Headstart III to test it, still works but not booting yet. (not a priority as of yet)
                            Consider the first listed item at [here]. Quite common.

                            Originally posted by Dirtbag View Post
                            Where that same XT ide card shows itself during boot on the Headstart III (which is a 286 10 mhz with 40 mb drive (Seagate ST-151) it absolutely refuses to show itself on the LX CD.
                            When you get the LX CD booting to DOS, see what the test program at [here] indicates.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              > 4 cdrom's number 1 tot 4

                              can you image the media? i've been looking for disk 1 and the installation floppy for a while now

                              i'll see about imaging the others that I have

                              you can find the users guide under http://bitsavers.org/pdf/philips/headstart
                              Last edited by Al Kossow; July 18, 2021, 06:43 PM.

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