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Mystery ISA card

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    Mystery ISA card

    Trying to revive an AST Premium 286 which has an ISA card in it I cannot identify and hope someone here can help me.

    This is the ISA card "Super Kingsun PUC Super Chinese Card II"




    #2
    i can't be sure 100% at all... but, this can be a chinese characters rom set, let's say to be used by some specific text editor, or something like that.
    i'm really not sure, only supposition on what i see. but a "chinese" card made in japan... you see ?

    edit : or maybe used for speech synthesis, we can imagine something like that too.
    Last edited by whaka; April 5, 2021, 05:27 AM.

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      #3
      So the image hosting service was loading so slowly that I first thought the image must be super-huge, like 100mb or something... but no, it turns out they are normal 4mb-ish images, just the image host is running on 56k dial-up lol. Perfect for the authentic vintage experience.

      Also, be careful handling the warranty sticker, very important . Interesting little mystery card there! Maybe a little obvious, but it appears to be a ROM card, perhaps something to do with chinese characters or maybe language translation or something similar? Have you looked to see if the ROMs show up in memory somewhere? Contents would then be viewable. Maybe the card does something like pop-up a utility with a hot key combo or something.

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        #4
        Logically, if those are all just ROMs then you might be able to dump them if they are mapped in to normal 8088 address space. If they use a paged memory area then that might not be possible, but the circuity almost looks too simple for that.

        At boot it might initialize as a BIOS extension.

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          #5
          The ads with the naked ladies load very quick! Nothing to add about the card, you could try dumping the roms to see if there is more identifying info stored as ascii

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            #6
            Originally posted by SomeGuy View Post
            Logically, if those are all just ROMs then you might be able to dump them if they are mapped in to normal 8088 address space. If they use a paged memory area then that might not be possible, but the circuity almost looks too simple for that.
            There are two 74138s on there, that would be enough for a static decode, but there's also a PEEL on there. (GAL-adjacent PLD.) It looks like from the datasheet is has macrocells that support registered mode, so there's probably enough there to implement a simple page flipper.
            My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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              #7
              I'm going to say that is a character rom card for the chinese character set, has 8 roms on it, one looks like it has been replaced with a socketed version *rom 8*. If you were to find a chinese keyboard, and a version of dos for use with the language, you could be on to something.
              Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg

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                #8
                Those are big rom chips - look like 512x8, which would be 4 MBytes total. Almost have to be paged. My guess is rom-ed software.

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                  #9
                  part of a class of accessories known as "Han cards".

                  https://translate.google.com/transla...Dqxzgouest7nk0

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                    #10
                    It's a Chinese fonts rom card, normally be used in combination with chinese word processing software pack for ms dos ; it's useless for non chinese users.

                    It remind me of msdos era , a set of rom card alone with chinese word processing softwre costs hundreds dollars , some people make a big fortune by selling these things.

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