While looking for another part (actually a replacement door for a Tandon
5.25" drive) in the depths of my workshop, I came across a machine I'd
half-forgotten owening, and wondered if anyone recognises it.
It's made by Panasonic, and is a luggable. The carrying handle is one one
side (not the back, as is usual for such machines). The front of the
machine comes off, and is an XT-layout keyboard (alas F9 and F10 are
missing on my unit, but I'll bet that's what the missing keys should be).
The front of the main unit has a 9" monochrome CRT, and to the right of
it 2 vertical half-height 5.25" drive bays. On my machine the left one
contains a floppy drive, the right one a Seagate hard drive. To the left
of the CRT is a pull-out stretchy cable ending in a mini-DIN plug that
fits the hack of the keyboard
On the back are the normal mains connnector, switch and fuse. A DE9
connector marked RGB (CGA pinout?) a 36 pin microribbon printer port and
a DB25 serial port. On top of the unit is a thermal printer.
It comes apart by removing numerous screws. In the bottom of the machine,
accessible from under the chassis is a large PCB. It contains an 8088
with a 40 pin DIL socket alongside it (8087?), 256K DRAM, 8250 serial
chip, 8255 parallel chip, 6845 CRT controller, a PQFP surface=mount
device alongside it (video circuitry), 8257 DMA chip, etc. Basically,
what you'd expect to find on a PC/XT motherboard. Theere are 2 62 pin
expansion slots, one of which contains the hard disk controller (looks to
be a generic PC/XT part), the other contains a PCB with 512K RAM (I would
guess only 640K of the totla memory is useable) and a real time clock chip.
The printer has its own cotnrol electronics based round a 8050
microcontroller. The keyboard contians an 8048.
Does anyone recognise this machine?
Hi fellow classiccmpers...
I recently picked up an old Act Sirius 1 machine (I've been looking for one for
years), which has a Tandon TM 502 harddisk in it. Unfortunately, the HDD
doesn't seem to work :(
It spins up, by the sounds of it, but is not talking to the computer. There's
no head noises of any description.
Where would I start in trying to diagnose & fix this drive? I have an elderly
oscilloscope, but little else in the way of diagnostic tools (no logic
analyser, for example). Or am I better off considering it scrap & trying to
find a working replacement? Personally, I'd prefer to resurrect this one if I
Yahoo! Answers - Got a question? Someone out there knows the answer. Try it
>From: Fred Cisin <cisin at xenosoft.com>
>>On Mon, 2 Jul 2007, dwight elvey wrote:
> > I have a solution that might help keeping it from failing in the future.
> > I have had a number of drop flags fail on pinball machines. I found
> > that a thin piece of poly foam would protect them. I put it where
> > the impact was. Unlike other foams, the poly foam seems to last
> > forever ( not always a good thing ).
>. . . but do it to ALL of the drives!
>We did that with the A: drive of the dean's computer. He noticed that it
>wasn't opening quite as far as the other drives, and forced it, . . .
I guess there is always someone that is just too educated.
Xylogics 451 SMD controller (Multibus)
Sun VME SCSI board (Sun-II, includes 9U-6U adaptor)
Sun Carrera Memory
Diablo 630 serial daisywheel printer (includes extra ribbons)
Wyse WY-150 serial terminal
Sun SPARCstation 5/110 256MB (will run NeXTSTEP! Wohoo!)
any number of AT-style keyboards
and now, for something completely different:
an AT&T daisy-wheel typewriter.
I think these all work, but I don't have the time to test them. Renton,
I am restoring an old NorthStar Horizon I bought a few months ago. It
came with many hard sector floppy disks I am trying to archive by making
disk images. I have used Dave Dunfield's excellent NorthStar transfer
utilities to make images of the disks which do not contain sector
errors. Fortunately, the majority of the disks can be read error free,
however, there are several disks which have sector errors I would like
to recover the data from.
There is a technique I have found to make disk images of hard sector
floppy disks with sector errors. I boot the NorthStar Horizon using the
NorthStar CP/M disk and use its "COPY" utility to make a copy of the
original disk but without the sectors containing errors. I can then
make a disk image of the copy. I often lose some data but am able to
recover most if not all the files on the disk.
If anyone knows of a better way to recover data from damaged NorthStar
hard sector floppy disks, I would certainly like to hear from you.
In addition to using Dave Dunfield's NorthStar disk imaging program, I
recently purchased a MatchPoint PC card and Uniform PC software to read
NorthStar CP/M hard sector floppy disks on a PC. The MatchPoint PC card
and Uniform PC software work great for copying files from NorthStar CP/M
disks -- *ONLY*. I have even been able to get a sector editor (ZIPZAP)
to work once the Uniform PC software has recognised a NorthStar CP/M
disk and mounted it as a drive. However, these tools are limited to
NorthStar CP/M disks and files only. I would like to be able to read
and copy other NorthStar disk formats such as NS DOS, etc. Here is a
link for ZIPZIP utility:
Does anyone know of any software other than Uniform PC which uses the
MatchPoint PC card for reading NorthStar hard sector floppy disks? Even
a modified version of Uniform.sys to allow reading of any NorthStar hard
sector floppy disk format would be good. A PC based utility like MS-DOS
"DISKCOPY" using the MatchPoint PC card would be a good alternative.
My ideal solution would be to use a MS-DOS disk imaging utility like
RAWREAD to make a binary disk image of the NorthStar hard sector floppy
disks directly into the PC. Unfortunately, every disk imaging tool I
have tried on the PC will not do this. Most likely due since
MatchPoint/Uniform only provides a "device driver" interface and not a
real hardware disk drive.
Maybe there are some of the original MicroSolutions developers on this list?
Thanks in advance
After reading this, I wondered if the seller had any idea at all
of what he actually had.
It's too bad most people won't recognize the plastic ends on the
patchboard wires place this at bit later (like 50 years) in time
than seems to be implied by the listing.
Christian Corti wrote:
And don't forget the LGP-30 (450 built in total, 45 built in Germany) and
compatibles (LGP-21, ...). Its word size is officially 32 bits, with only
31 bits usable (only the accumulator can hold all 32 bits, once stored on
the drum the LSB is forced to zero). So I call it a 31-1/2 bit machine.
And its design is marvelous, a CPU with all four basic arithmetic
functions (fixed point) that contains only 15 flip-flops.
Delightful machine wasn't it? To accomplish so much with so little logic.
Those were the days when an engineer would be consider a genius and could
get a big bonus for eliminating one flip-flop!
In one of my mental wanderings, I remembered that I
had always wanted to play with RiscOS, but never had
found a machine that would run it - so I did a little
web hunting and turned up nearly nothing. Even eBay
had no listings for such gear. I know the Acorn
Archimedes runs RiscOS, but what else? I'm not sure
that the Acorn was ever even sold in the US.
I know, I can probably just go get an emulator, but
I'd still love to play with a real computer. Did any
US-available computer run RiscOS?
> It's not clear yet how much data is available on the architecture of the
> Combitron. However, I am working with contacts to try to get as much
> information as possible. If enough data can be found, and an
> operational example of one of these machines can be found, it shouldn't
> be too hard to "dump" the microcode
there's a working one here:
It's also possible there may be one in the artifacts CHM received from
Germany last year.