It always pleases me to bring some new DEC stuff into Binary Dinosaurs, but
it's even better when it's in good condition and still working nicely :)
Tonight I drove a grand total of 62 miles to
*edit* bollocks, while I was typing this the machine I was going to crow
about nuked the power to my house :)
Aaaaaanyhoo, it's a Professional 380 with RD52 and RX50 coupled to a nice
VR241 for display purposes, running P/OS 2.2. Or at least it was until the
power gave out. To be fair it hadn't been powered up for a few years so I
really should've taken it into work and started it up on the 'doesn't matter
if it blows' mains but hey ho. No magic smoke so I wonder what's up with
It came with an LA210, LVP16 plotter, several boxes of Pro manuals and loads
of P/OS disks and software distros.
In a word: nice. Unless it's going to keep nuking my mains :)
Binary Dinosaurs creator/curator
Www.binarydinosaurs.co.uk - the UK's biggest private home computer
I just re-discovered (after decades since I last saw it) a remarkable
newsletter/journal/marketing tool titled "The Lightning Empiricist".
If you Google for it you will find stuff from 55 years ago (some of it
through/via the Computer History Museum).
Good stuff. Highly recommended.
Inspired by all that talk of plotters last week, I lugged the box containing
the HP9872A upstairs and opened it for the first time in 6 years. A few
repairs later, an evening in a comfy chair with the manuals (it's nice to
have manuals for a change), and some doodling on the 9815 calculator which
drives it, and the plotter is zip'in and zoom'in about. Yup, it's pretty neat,
esp. with the built-in character generation with scaling.
The weak point in this scenario however, is the torture of programming the
9815 and problems with the tape cartridges and drive of the 9815. Those
cartridges and drive may have been OK in the day, but today with the gooey
wheel issue and failing elastic bands in the cartridges they're nothing one
wants to rely on.
Given that the plotter uses HP-GL as the control language, I began to think
along the same lines as Chuck wrote about a day ago: building a simple
parallel interface to the plotter HP-IB port that does just the data transfer
(minus all the HP-IB device selection, etc. functions) to connect it up to a
more flexible/modern source/controller machine.
That's just a thought at the moment so there's no immediate need, but I'm
wondering if there are any HP-GL plot files (or collection thereof) out there
which would then be available to simply throw down the line at the plotter to
draw cute stuff and exercise the plotter. I'm not really thinking of programs
or graphics software packages that generate HP-GL, as that would require
particular hardware/systems to execute on. Rather: just straight ASCII-text
HP-GL files that were previously generated or hand-coded, sort of in the same
spirit as 'ASCII-art' was produced.
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 20:42:15 +0000 (GMT)
From: ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk (Tony Duell)
Subject: Re: New DEC museum entry :D (not the breaker sub-thread)
>Does the word 'wonmdering' have any meaning to oyu?
Who is this oyu? I can't speak for him/her/it, but not to me.
Or is this Zen or some deep philosophical question for us to ponder?
I feel bad for starting this thread, because the machine arrived
today. The postage stamp indicated that it had been posted on
February 16 (more than ten days ago -- so I was making all this
fuss when the machine was already on its way).
Having said that, Ms Carter is really mad. If she had simply given
me the date she posted the package instead of filing the non-payment
report I wouldn't have blown my top.
Anyway, thanks to everybody for their support and helpful suggestions.
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 22:28:26 -0800
From: Hollandia at ccountry.net
Subject: Re: New "D" drive -- WD Caviar
To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
Message-ID: <200702260628.l1Q6SOoZ011678 at mailproxy1.ccountry.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
I apologize for not mentioning this originally.
The only jumper settings possible on the "C" drive are Device 0, Device 1
and Cable Select.
Sorry for the omission.
>Hi why don't you set the C: drive to Master and the D: drive to Slave.
Nitpicking: Primary and/or Secondary Device (Drive) 0 and 1 are in fact the
correct unambiguous names for the drives (although you will also see them
referred to as Disk 1 and 2, e.g. in Fdisk, so maybe first & second would
be even better). Two drives with single partitions will _usually_ be labelled
as C: and D:, but if there are partitions or an unusual configuration C: and D:
could refer to either drive, the same drive, or even neither one (unlikely in
To sum up:
If you have a secondary IDE port that's not in use, use it for the second drive,
jumpered as master, and leave the "C:" drive as is. If there are two drive
connectors on the cable, use the one at the end.
If you only have one port available or the BIOS only supports two drives,
(and you have a 2-drive cable) it depends on whether you really have a
CS cable (unlikely, but you can tell by looking for one of the wires (pin 28)
being cut, or the corresponding insert missing from one of the connectors).
If yes, set the new drive to CS, plug it into the unused connector, and it
If not, i.e. you have a standard cable where all pins are connected, set the
"C:" drive to Device 0 and the new drive to slave; in this case it doesn't
matter which connectors you plug into which drive.
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 10:53:33 -0500
From: Patrick Finnegan <pat at computer-refuge.org>
Subject: Re: New "D" drive -- WD Caviar
On Monday 26 February 2007 01:29, M H Stein wrote:
> 1) Actually, according to WD it's a 10-pin drive, but CS is still pins
> 1&2. However, I doubt that an old 486 would recognize CS, even with an
> 80-conductor cable; the existing one probably works because it's
> treated as a master with a 40-conductor cable.
The host has nothing to do with cable select working. It only really
depends on the drive and the cable. That's why it's called "cable
select" and not "host select". One drive gets set to master, and the
other to slave, based on their cable position.
Purdue University ITAP/RCAC --- http://www.rcac.purdue.edu/
The Computer Refuge --- http://computer-refuge.org
You're right, of course; as long as the MB grounds pin 28 CS should
work with a CS cable (mind you, this is a Packard-Bell, so anything's
possible ;-). But since this is a 486 and the drive is not the original, it's
quite likely that it has a normal non-CS cable; for a single drive jumpering
CS or Master would work equally well, but a slave drive would require
moving the main drive jumper and configuring as dual Master/Slave.
I've certainly never seen a 486 with a CS cable as standard equipment
(or even a stock 40-pin CS cable for that matter, although they're easy
to make). Then again, this _is_ a P-B...
Still best to use two IDE ports with both drives master (or CS) if possible.
The penny finally dropped.
A few days ago someone mentioned that a CF-IDE adapter worked with an
8-bit controller. I think. Something about compact flash and 8-bit anyway.
Does that mean I can replace the dead IDE drive on a WDAT-140 or
-150controller with compact flash?