>Subject: Re: Reading NorthStar Horizon hard sector disks on PC
> From: "Chuck Guzis" <cclist at sydex.com>
> Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 09:18:41 -0700
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
>On 31 Jul 2007 at 9:53, Dave Dunfield wrote:
>> Also, the N* disks are hard-sectored. This means that the controller
>> needs to see the individual holes to know where each sector data
>> starts. The PC disk controller has no means to aligning individual
>> sector data to index holes, even if it could see the sector data.
>Not all Northstar diskettes are HS. One of the models (Advantage?)
>isn't--and it's that format that the Microsolutions MatchPoint will
>read, not the others. It's been too long since I've seen the darned
Error! Advanatge is the same format as the MDS [Aka Horizon) and does
both SD and DD formats. Least mine does.
I believe there was an aftermarket board that would fit the Advantage
bus (non S100) to provide things like a soft sector FDC. There was
also a hard disk controller.
I have two Macintosh LCII, including monitors, but
no keyboard and no mouse. I live in Owensboro, KY. I would sell
them for $20 a piece, buyer pays shipping costs and they are
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> If you want to work in a world where assembly language
>programming and optimizing for every single byte of code
>or memory utilization still counts, get into the embedded
Errm, that's the world I got OUT of in 1991 when the company I was then
working for was taken over and shut down.
Sadly, since then, the only embedded systems jobs I've seen advertised in
the UK have been from companies like Motorola and require C/C++ experience
(and as you mention, Java!). Not to mention they'd require me to move
halfway across the country to areas I wouldn't want to live in (due to the
cost of living down there).
> A lot of (clueless) companies want their embedded code written
>in Java or C++ or such foolishness, but really, if they're really
>that stupid, you don't want to work for them anyway.
Amen to that.
Talking of stupidity, the company that took us over did so, at least in
part, because our products were far more technically advanced than theirs
(we designed our new products from scratch, they just regurgitated the same
(by then) 10 year old design ad nauseum with minor tweaks).
They wanted our design team....what they actually got was our technical
director. Those of us who'd actually done the design work were sacked
shortly after the production department (needless to say, the sales
department were the first up against the wall).
<A little later> Spurred on by writing this message I went and had a look at
said company's website, alas it appears *NOTHING* has changed!
They're still selling their original, now 27(!) year old, design in a more
contemporary housing with updated software. Not to mention that at least 2
of their other products (including their "most popular" terminal) are the
ones I worked on 16 years ago (although again with upgraded housings and
software)....well, at least I did something right, once.... ;-)
TTFN - Pete.
> That isn't the point, Pete. The point is: everyone knows the
>VCF is Sellam's thing and it would be really lame for someone
>else to make an event and call it a VCF....
I wasn't suggesting otherwise....I was simply pointing out that trademarks
do not apply worldwide unless specifically registered as such (and even then
there are difficulties).
Why so defensive?
TTFN - Pete.
> > I picked up a pair of SM91-2's on eBay years ago. They do indeed
> work in
> > an SS20 -- for a while. Then I think the heat catches up with them...
> > Every time I installed them (I must've tried singles and pairs) it
> > be fine, I'd go do something else, and I'd come back to a locked up
> I have had the same experience with 80MHz CPUs in my SS20. I finally
> to settle for 2x50MHz and some stability instead.
Hmm- anyone managed to get the SM81s to work reliably in a SPARCstation
I have a SS20/2xSM81 as my SMP Sun- haven't used it much yet but if in
general they have stability issues I should probably do something else.
I'm getting a little closer ..
I have the power adapter now and the correct cabling. This device
communicates over the serial port, but I have no idea how to talk to it,
and I haven't even been able to get it to transmit noise on the serial
port to the host PC. (I've tried a variety of bps rates.)
Does anybody have IBM book SA23-2646-01 "Hardware Technical Reference:
Options and Devices" ? The protocol for speaking to this thing might be
in there ...
If anybody else has one connected to a PC RT or an old AIX box, it would
be possible to reverse engineer the protocol by tapping the serial cable
and watching what comes across.
It's a neat looking piece of hardware - 32 buttons, each having a
controllable indicator light. But I'm getting grumpy because I have no
idea how to feed it. :-(
Thanks in advance,
Anyone with a Micropolis 1303 for sale/trade?
I have one which is just not working correctly. The
heads will not track so I'm guessing its a head
I tried some other MFM disks, but they dont seem to
be the right type.
Looked on ebay and saw some ridiculous pricing, so
hopefully someone has a spare somewhere?
In terms of trade, I have a large collection of PDP 11
spares (PSU's, bus cards, front panels, wiring,
etc). Also more recent stuff (Atari/Acorn) if
All the best
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I've got a PERQ T2 which was working until
fairly recently. It seems the boot track on the
hard disk (Micropolis 1303) is damaged in some
way so the PERQ wont boot.
I have a floppy boot disk which is known to be good,
but unfortunately the PERQ T2 doesnt want to boot
>from floppy. SHIFT-A doesnt work on the T2.
Is there any way I can force the T2 to boot from
Just a few other points, when switched on the HD
LED remains on all the time. I'm assuming the
drive is attempting to seek the boot track. Ultimately
the PERQ times out with code 013 which means HD
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I've got an IBM PS/2 Model 25 that I want to put into use as an
infrequently-used terminal using its serial port. I have a few
questions and was wondering if someone could give me a hand:
- Is there IBM PS/2 Model 25 tech and/or repair specs online somewhere?
I figured out how to open the back up, but that just gets at the ISA
slots. I need to get at the floppy drive; I want to know what some of
the 40-pin male connectors are; etc. Which leads me to my next question:
- The floppy drive is toast. Can I replace it with any regular 3.5" HD
drive, or is it unconventional in some way?
- The embedded monitor is ailing (it's dim, and white has a bluish tint
leading me to believe that the red and green guns are giving out). Is
there any way to fix that without jumping through hoops, or is it (no
pun intended) terminal?
Jim Leonard (trixter at oldskool.org) http://www.oldskool.org/
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A child borne of the home computer wars: http://trixter.wordpress.com/