Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

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.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.


Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

IBM 5155 - "Insufficient memory to run"?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    IBM 5155 - "Insufficient memory to run"?

    Hello again,

    I come to you with my latest IBM 5155 dilemma. Quick recap: got the thing for free, been trying to get it to "do things" like it would have in the old days without altering its original hardware. Managed to finally get it to work properly today and created DOS disks after LOTS of work.

    Now, I wanted to have a way to send/receive data without having it disassembled and frankensteined with a bunch of adapters and a modern floppy drive hanging off the side.

    I have found out about Fastlynx and got a demo version. I got the ls.exe file on the 5155, connected a Laplink parallel cable (no COM port unfortunately).

    When I run ls.exe, however, I get this: "Insufficient memory to run. Need 140960 bytes of dynamic memory. Only 117088 bytes are available."

    If I do chkdsk, however, it says: "262144 bytes total memory. 216960 bytes free." During POST it counts 256KB memory.

    So what gives? Am I missing something here? How do I get it to run the program??

    As always thank you in advance for your precious help.

    #2
    Many programs require more than 256K of RAM. Much more. Your best option would be to do the 640K mod. Or, you could buy an expansion card to increase RAM. But that would likely cost more and consume an expansion slot.

    Comment


      #3
      What DOS are you using? Don't forget that DOS needs RAM as well. And drivers, like a mouse driver, also need RAM. So start with nothing but a loaded COMMAND.COM and run MEM. That will tell you how much memory is available.
      With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

      www.baltissen.org

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the replies.

        Many programs require more than 256K of RAM. Much more. Your best option would be to do the 640K mod. Or, you could buy an expansion card to increase RAM. But that would likely cost more and consume an expansion slot.
        I was worried about this. I am trying to keep it as "historically accurate" as possible, so in case I upgrade I would probably try to find a memory expansion card. This project is turning out to be quite the money pit...

        What DOS are you using? Don't forget that DOS needs RAM as well. And drivers, like a mouse driver, also need RAM. So start with nothing but a loaded COMMAND.COM and run MEM. That will tell you how much memory is available.
        I probably should have mentioned it, my bad. I am running DOS 3.30. I just tried starting as you suggested, but I get the exact same message, which I find very odd. I don't have MEM, I think that was added in a newer version of DOS (?). As I said though, when I ran CHKDSK instead it mentioned completely different memory numbers from what the error said. I don't understand the mismatch there.

        Comment


          #5
          You could try running LapLink or Intersvr. Just might get lucky.
          PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bvcderrttyyhjjjk View Post
            I am trying to keep it as "historically accurate" as possible, so in case I upgrade I would probably try to find a memory expansion card.
            Keep in mind that the 640K mod is nearly invisible. The untrained eye would never see it.

            Originally posted by bvcderrttyyhjjjk View Post
            This project is turning out to be quite the money pit...
            These vintage projects can cost a fair amount, however, the cost is usually much less to purchase these obsolete items than they were in 1984!! If you stick with this hobby long enough, you'll have lot's of old bits and pieces around just because you might need them someday

            Comment


              #7
              I brought my IBM 5160 out of temporary storage. It has a 64-256KB type motherboard, with an AST SixPackPlus to take total convenional memory to 640 KB.

              With only 256 KB total enabled, and with no CONFIG.SYS and no AUTOEXEC.BAT, running SL.EXE of version 3.3 resulted in the same 'Insufficient memory to run' error message that the OP sees (excepting that the second bytes figure was slightly different).

              When I then enabled 320 KB total, SL.EXE started with no error.

              Comment


                #8
                You could use UNET II. It's a simple parallel Server/Workstation network with very little overhead.

                http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...-based-network
                PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've been trying some different things.

                  You could try running LapLink or Intersvr. Just might get lucky.
                  I have tried running version 2 and 3 of LapLink, but they don't seem to support parallel ports. Version 4 does but... "Program too big to fit in memory"
                  Intersvr is in DOS 6 if I am not mistaken; I have taken a look at it and it is way too large though. My drives are only capable of 360K, and DOS 6 requires FOUR 720k disks. I also wouldn't know how to split up the files to accomodate for the smaller disks...

                  Keep in mind that the 640K mod is nearly invisible. The untrained eye would never see it.
                  I know that, but I would feel like I was "cheating", if that's even a thing.

                  These vintage projects can cost a fair amount, however, the cost is usually much less to purchase these obsolete items than they were in 1984!! If you stick with this hobby long enough, you'll have lot's of old bits and pieces around just because you might need them someday
                  You are right, I guess I am just a bit spoiled because I do lots of building/fixing modern machines and finding parts is usually very easy and relatively cheap LOL

                  You could use UNET II. It's a simple parallel Server/Workstation network with very little overhead.
                  That looks like it could be an interesting option. Unfortunately the Dropbox link in the thread is a 404 for me :/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    LapLink 2 does not support parallel transfers but Laplink v3.00 does (I use it all the time on my 5155).
                    The setting is on the Options screen under Communications Parameters, Transfer Mode.
                    Since it is only 93,399 bytes, LL3 might run on your system.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      While I admire the sentiment in trying to keep it "original" sooner or later you'll probably want to upgrade the machine to 640k regardless. A lot of software that's period-correct for an XT requires more; if you're really going to stick to 256k I'd probably recommend running DOS 2.1 on it instead of 3.3, and of course that's going to limit your software choices even further.

                      If the instructions here are correct the "640k" mod doesn't require any non-reversible changes to the motherboard, just plugging in a standard multiplexer IC, adding a jumper, and replacing the 64kbit chips in two of the RAM banks with 256kbit ones. I'm sure plenty of people did this back in the day. Alternatively if you want something you can back out just by yanking a card the well-known Lo-Tech 1MB SRAM board is a useful addition; not only can you use it to expand your base memory to 640k (or 704k!) you can use it to add some upper memory which can be used for a RAM disk or to run DOS 5 or higher with drivers and part of the OS loaded high.

                      Obviously the other period-correct choice would be to add a vintage memory card. A good choice would be one of those multifunction cards like an AST Six Pack that in addition to adding RAM also gives you a serial port and a clock-calendar. Guessing at eBay prices you'd be paying through the nose for it, though.
                      My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by bvcderrttyyhjjjk View Post
                        That looks like it could be an interesting option. Unfortunately the Dropbox link in the thread is a 404 for me :/
                        Try this:

                        https://www.pcorner.com/list/network/unet.zip/INFO

                        That's not UNET II, it's the earlier version. It only requires ~ 8Kb on the workstation.

                        And, yes, LapLink III definitely works with a parallel cable.
                        PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by bvcderrttyyhjjjk View Post
                          I don't understand the mismatch there.
                          256K total, minus the space taken up by DOS, minus the space taken up by the program itself, is leaving only 117088 bytes for the program to use when it needs 140960.

                          Most 5150s need 512K or 640K to be useful with the wide majority of software released 1. After roughly 1988 and 2. Will run on that class of machine. If you don't want to do a hardware mod, grab an AST Sixpack or some other memory expansion board.
                          Offering a bounty for:
                          - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                          - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thank you all as always for your help.
                            I've been retesting stuff and it seems like there is no real getting around the limited amount of memory.
                            I got my facts mixed up on LapLink version, I apologise about that. Version 2 does work but does not support LPT cable transfer. Both versions 3 and 4 do support LPT transfers, but do not run on my 5155 due to insufficient memory.
                            I'm considering going for more memory, because it is becoming apparent that even if I managed to find a way to make it work, it would be far more trouble than just getting a memory expansion in the first place.

                            So, what are my options? (and also, should I continue discussing here or perhaps make a dedicated thread...?)
                            My understanding is that there is: 1. A possibility to modify the motherboard to accept larger memory chips (I am not a big fan of this one because I'd like to keep the machine "period correct" and am afraid of damaging a perfectly functional specimen) 2. Finding an original memory expansion card (probably expensive, but I like this idea because it addresses my concerns with n.1) 3. Some other memory expansion (I noticed a few mentions of SixPak cards). I am not very familiar with this option and advantages/disadvantages as opposed to n.2.

                            Any knowledge about the topic is appreciated at this point, as I'm trying to figure out what to do and am currently bored in quarantine at home due to the virus stuff going on, and the disassembled 5155 is taunting me every time I look at it LOL.

                            Some eBay searching, for example, yielded a memory card listed as pulled from a working working IBM PC (64-256KB Memory expansion card), which looks to be what would have been in a computer like mine. The guy is in my country, so shipping would be convenient, however he listed the card for 100$. What do you reckon? Is this a reasonable asking price in your experience? Or should I try asking for a lower price/continue searching?

                            "Sixpak" doesn't really seem to be a thing that I can find on eBay around here at the moment. What would the difference and advantage/disadvantage to an original card in your experience?

                            Thank you as always for your insight and for helping me learn about this awesome stuff

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Did you have a look at this?

                              http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...936#post612936

                              I have some available memory cards, e.g., 256k, 384k and a SixPak if any of those would be of interest.
                              PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X