I have some paper tapes that I'm trying to read and I have good reason to
believe they are from a Wang machine of some type.
They seem to hold some sort of document. The writing on the tape
indicates a section number and "pages".
The tape is 8-level. The 8th bit seems to be used as some sort of
end-of-line or end-of-record marker. The 7th bit seems to be parity. So
the actual symbol codes are likely 6-bit.
I've read in the tapes and done some cryptanalysis but so far I haven't
been able to see any patterns that would suggest groupings of letters at
certain codes. At this point I'm confused.
Does anyone know how Wang paper tapes were encoded, or does anyone know
where there is technical documentation about this? So for my searches
online have turned up empty.
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I would imagine this question has been asked hundreds
of times, but what to do about it? Im guessing soaking
it in bleachy water (50/50?). What say you?
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I picked up an ELL (RS 28-280) at the outlet store. It was cheap
because all of the loose parts were missing. I have the base and the
books. The PDF file on the RS web site doesn't list things in enough
detail to be able to build a list of missing parts. I'm going through
the books and trying to tally the required parts, but it's taking
hours and I'm likely to make mistakes.
Does anyone have one of these and might they have enough time to make
a physical inventory? Even a digital picture of the parts spread out
on a tabletop would be really helpful.
Has anyone here successfully interfaced a SASI device to a PC at the
I've got a few classic systems which use SASI (or not-quite-SCSI)
controllers to talk to SASI-ST506 bridge boards and from there to ST506
As has been documented many times in the past here, an ST506 drive has a
pretty tight relationship with its controller, and so hooking up the
drive to a different controller (say MFM controller in a PC) causes all
sorts of problems when it comes to backup.
Hence driving the SASI side of things (and preserving the drive/bridge
board relationship) would seem like a sensible move when it came to
backing up data. In theory data could then be restored to a replacement
drive if/when the original dies via the same method.
Presumably inventing a simple SASI board to hang off a PC parallel port
(say) is a lot easier than mucking around with the equivalent for floppy
drives - or is the data rate still likely too low to cause timeout
problems within the bridge board's firmware?
I've got several Acorn, Torch and RML machines which use bridge boards
and in most cases the tools needed to back up and restore data have long
since vanished off the face of the earth (my RML fileserver's a
particularly important one as it seems to be the only one left in the
>From: "Jeff Davis" <jdaviscl2 at soupwizard.com>
>To pre-answer one question: no, I didn't get any operator keys for the boxes.
> Are they difficult / expensive to find? If so, I'll go back on thursday and
>dig thru the storage bins I found the machines in and look for a key...
Take the lock to a locksmith. You might be surprised.
I've not seen the one used on your unit but the local
fellow here does them for $15 first key.
I found a quad width card marked CESI VM816. It appears to be a memory
card and has four rows of twelve IC sockets. The first row has 7
TMS4044-20NL ICs (4k x 1 SRAMs) in it and the second row is fully populated
with the same ICs. The other rows are empty. There is an 8 position DIP
switch as the end of each row of sockets. Does anyone any docs for this
card or know anything about it?
>Subject: Re: SASI device <-> PC ?
> From: Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk>
> Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 19:45:19 +0000
> To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
>On Thu, 2005-06-30 at 12:14 -0700, Lyle Bickley wrote:
>> It's been a while since I used the controller, but IIRC it was an old ISA
>> controller card like a WD7000 or Seagate ST-01/ST-02. Any early SCSI-1
>> controller should do - that was before SCSI became "smart" - and the
>> messaging between the controller and the device (HDD) was minimal. A SASI
>> device on such a controller will respond "well enough" to "look like" SCSI-1.
>> As I said before - DO NOT mix a SASI device with a SCSI device on the same
>> controller - or strange things can happen (don't ask).
>Yep - far as I remember, SASI's single target only, so I expect if you
>have a SASI target on the same bus as a SCSI target all sorts of things
>would happen! :-)
>Most classic SASI controllers seem to be little more than a handful of
>buffer and latch ICs though (only about 6 chips total) - hence I was
>wondering if someone had chucked together something to hang off a PC
>parallel port (and just drive it all in software). Not especially
>complex - my worry would be that the SASI target would timeout on
>certain ops if the PC parallel port isn't quick enough though.
The deal is that SASI is almost SCSI.. the differences are very
small at the hardware level (interface). However the protocal and
instruction set of the SASI bridge controllers is different from
SCSI. That difference in instructions and protocal does not
allow for mixing the two nor simple substitution of one for the
other. SCSI was not standardized till the late 80s so there are
a number of SASI/SCSI devices that predate the widespread acceptance
of SCSI. There are a few systems that have a SCSI interface that
were SASI or SCSI subset (DEC uVAX2000 for one). I've also done
the reverse, used SCSI on older SASI machine but, it required a
new bios to even talk to the SCSI disk. The later was due to the
SCSI vs SASI bridge board (Xybec) instruction/protocal differences.
If you have the original 40 column board, can you take a look inside and
see if the 5th IC in from the right on the top row of chips (first one
in after the DRAM) is a 74LS158?
All the schematics show this as being a 74LS157 but it's got an LS158 on
my board (which IIRC inverts the outputs).
If the schematics are wrong I'll scribble a note on the copies that I
(I'm trying to trace a fault on my board which is resulting in corrupted
screen memory, and having the schematics disagree with the actual board
is annoying! :-)