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The Eagle 1600 computer

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    #16



    Eagle Computer.jpg

    I've got this one. It doesn't quite match the description you've written, so maybe it's for the later Eagle PC, or perhaps since it's Rev E, it's just a little different. It seems to have DOS 3.x on it.

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      #17
      Very interesting, but this is indeed for the Eagle PC, Eagle Turbo, Spirit, and PC-Plus.

      It actually has Eagle MS-DOS 2.1, but someone copied a mis-matched PC-DOS command.com on to it.

      The hard disk tools don't mention any support for the 1600 or the SASI card. But when I get a chance I'll give it a try. The hard drive init program included with their regular MS-DOS 2.x disks didn't recognize the SASI.

      It does include a graphics test program for their monochrome graphics card.

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        #18
        Ok, so I went ahead and tested it on my Eagle 1600. As I suspected, it completely does not recognize the SASI system. It just acts as if it can't find a controller to communicate with.

        One interesting thing, though, that monochrome graphics test program completely does not work with Hercules mono graphics compatible cards. That tells me, as I suspected, that their monographics cards are not Hercules compatible. They should, however, work normally as a text-only MDA card with any other system. Unfortunately, the Eagle mono card I got with the 1600 was dead.

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          #19
          It was my impression that the 1600 wasn't really PC-compatible. Even the floppy format is different 5x1024 bytes/sector/track instead of 9/512 per track. At least that's what my samples say.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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            #20
            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
            It was my impression that the 1600 wasn't really PC-compatible. Even the floppy format is different 5x1024 bytes/sector/track instead of 9/512 per track. At least that's what my samples say.
            It *attempts* IBM PC compatiblity. For example, interrupt and DMA resources on the motherboard appear the same. It can boot IBM PC-DOS from a 360k disk, and I have even been able to run Microsoft flight simulator II using a CGA card, although it doesn't display quite right. It can physically accept IBM PC ISA cards.

            But their choices of I/O devices are problematic.

            Although the quad density drive double steps for 360k media, writing media is problematic as in 1.2mb drives.

            Software for the Eagle 1600 did come on their ~800k quad density disks, and that is what it tries to use by default.

            Programs that directly access the FDC don't like the controller. The serial and parallel I/O cards are very strange. The SASI system is nothing like IBM PC controllers, and support for it is built in to the 1600 motherboard ROM. Programs that write directly to the screen will work, but as it turns out, their mono graphics cards is not compatible with Hercules.

            The big problem I have with it is that word-sized reads and writes to the ISA bus appear to fail while byte sized reads and writes work. I have no idea if this is a problem with just mine since no one else has a 1600 for me to compare this to. Since most resources seem to use byte sized communication, it still boots and works, but programs that write words to the the video, such as Microsoft flight simulator 2, only show every other byte on the screen. I have a hard time believing this is a design flaw, as even the BIOS does word access - to detect the signature of ISA expansion ROMs, which seems to be why detection fails.

            There had been one other Eagle 1600 on eBay a few years back, but they wanted too much for it. It never did sell, and then just disappeared.

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              #21
              The lack of word access to ISA 8-bit cards figures. The 1600 used the 8086 with a 16-bit bus and simply ignored the half of the word on I/O to the ISA bus. On the PC, the 8088 BIU takes care of that issue. The Olivetti M24/6300 has a rather complex bit of logic to create two byte accesses from a word I/O operation. I have no idea if the other 8086-based "almost PC" boxes, such as the Stearns, suffered similar issues.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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                #22
                I'd still like to know for absolutely sure if this is or isn't just a malfunction on my machine.

                Does anyone have schematics? I've been meaning to try and trace things out manually and compare the Eagle 1600 to M24/6300 schematics, although I don't doubt the two are vastly different.

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