I just received what I believe is an HP 9000/380 (thanks Stan!), details
below. I'd like to get hold of the following:
- Any 98229 RAM (4, 8, or 16MB)
(or Kingston KTH400t/16, Dataram DRH9400 or 69310/69311)
- A 3-button HP-HIL mouse
- A 98550A framebuffer (or something compatible that'll
do 1280x1024 with at least 8 bit color - SRX would be grand)
- matching SCSI disk enclosure
What I've got is:
98574Y enclosure - classic 9000/3xx look
98574-66511 rev C system board (25MHz 68040, 1818-5062 ROM)
w/ 2 98229C 4MB memory cards (98229-66521)
98549A Catseye framebuffer (1024x768, 6 bits)
98626A RS-232 Serial Port (DIO-I ?) card
46021A HP-HIL keyboard (courtesy Weirdstuff Warehouse)
Can try for trades, but a lot of my stuff is inaccessible these days so
cash-equivalents may be easier.
I posted this over on the rescue list, but I figured it's probably close enough for here too, since I use these for classic machines. I'm looking for magneto-optical disk cartridges. Primarily the 3 1/2" versions, I use the 128mb disks for shuffleing data around between old machines, but I actually have a mix of drives - 128mb mostly, but also a 230mb and a 640mb drive. I also checked last might, and found the 600mb 5 1/4" drive I had forgotten about. Just no media for it.
I've been checking on eBay, and they turn up from time to time, and I actually just bought a few 128mb disks there. But mostly, the MO disks available tend to be the expensive, higher capacity disks that I can't use. These old, small ones rarely get listed, and I almost never see used ones. Or, when they do get listed, the shipping is wildly inflated. For example, I found an auction for 20 used 128mb disks. Flat rate $20 shipping. How it can possibly cost $20 to ship a small box of disks is beyond me. Likewise the BIN of $2 for five disks, with flat rate $12 shipping.
So, anyone have a good source of these critters? I remember buying a few boxes many years ago (back when the Zip drive was the great new thing) from an online media store, and paying about five bucks apiece for brand new 128mb cartridges. Surely the prices should have come down, but the the cheapest I can find them is $7 each. I'd really like to just buy some used cartridges, but I guess the used media market isn't what it was, I don't really even see used tapes much anymore.
So, anyone know of a source of 128mb, 230mb, 540mb or 640mb 3 1/2" disks, or the 600mb 5 1/4" disks?
Here is part of an oral history I recorded with Steve Russel last
August which discusses how the Spacewar! program works internally.
Exerpt of an oral history of Steve Russell
CHM Reference Number X4970.2008
(C) 2008 Computer History Museum
Russell: Anyway, the PDP-1 arrived, and Marvin Minsky wrote the tripos
demonstration, generally called the Minskytron, and there was the famous weekend
where the mob of undergraduates transcribed the macro assembler from TX-0 to the
PDP-1, because they didn't like FRAP. And then fairly quickly thereafter, they
wrote DDT and connected up the macro symbols to DDT. So that was all sort of in
place by the middle of the fall of 1961. And the combination of the Minskytron and
having DDT with interactive debugging with symbols was very tempting. I don't
remember the exact order of things, but I'm pretty sure I started talking up a better
demonstration program than the Minskytron, and eventually, Alan Kotok went up
to Maynard and collected the sine and cosine routines from DECUS, presented
them to me, and said, "Okay, here are the sine and cosine routines; now what's your
excuse?" And I discovered I had run out of excuses; I had to actually think. And so
I started work and figured out the basic trick of Spacewar! display which is that you
only need to calculate a unit vector pointing in the direction of the spaceship. And
you can express everything else the spaceship does, and the outline of the spaceship
in terms of that unit vector, suitably scaled. So it's basically a lot of addition in the
usual program upkeep.
Kossow: Do you want to just give an overview, then, of how Spacewar! actually
Russell: It's one big loop, and the loop is on the displayable objects. And I called
them displayable objects, although I didn't know about object orientation or object-
oriented programming at the time.
Kossow: So you have the sun--
Russell: Colliding objects, not displayable objects. The colliding object is a space
ship, there are two of those. And that has a lot of extra data with it. It shares the
position and velocity tables with all of the torpedoes and explosions that are running
around. So there's just one big loop through the colliding objects, and it looks at all
the higher-numbered colliding objects to see if there's a collision, using an octagon
because you don't need to calculate the square root of anything, you can do that by
work on X difference, Y difference, and X+Y difference--
Kossow: So the bounding box for the collision detection is an octagon?
Russell: Yes. So it goes through, it sees if this object is colliding with any higher-
numbered object. If it is, it replaces the calculation routines. That's another thing
that every colliding object has, is a calculation routine. It replaces the calculation
routine with the explosion calculation routine. And then things take care of
themselves. Then, after it's decided whether it's an explosion or not, it goes off to
the calculation routine. And the calculation routine updates the position, since all
colliding objects have velocity; and if it's a spaceship, it worries about reading the
controls and updating the other things about the spaceship in deciding whether to
launch a torpedo or not. And if a torpedo needs to be launched, it searches up the
colliding object table for an empty slot, indicated by having no calculation routine.
It searches up the table for an empty slot, puts a torpedo calculation routine there,
and the spaceship position plus the suitable increments, so it won't run into its
torpedo, and of the velocity of the spaceship plus an increment for the torpedo, and
it goes on. When that the main loop gets done, you go off and do some star display
and display the sun, and calculate -- and part of the spaceship calculation is to
calculate the effect of gravity on the spaceship. Originally, there wasn't any gravity,
and I had an interpreter, which interpreted the outline description, and Dan
Edwards, sometime in late 1961 or early 1962, looked at that code and decided if he
could write a special purpose compiler which would compile precisely the right
code, and proceeded to. And there's one compiled outline for each spaceship; each
spaceship actually does half of the spaceship outline and then you twiddle the
vectors and do the other half. That keeps the display running just as fast as it can.
That gives time to calculate the effect of gravity on the two spaceships, but not on
the torpedoes. So we decided that they were photon torpedoes not affected by
Kossow: So when the explosion routine starts, it continues calculating motion, so
the explosion moves?
Russell: Yes. If you see two spaceships collide, if you watch closely, you will see
that there are two explosions that continue off in the direction that the two
spaceships were going. There is another number in the table for all colliding
objects, which is the size. And this is, roughly speaking, proportional to the amount
of computing it takes to compute that object. And at the end of the loop, as you go
through the main loop, you accumulate the sizes also; and so at the end of the loop,
there's fritter away time loop that attempts to keep the frame rate approximately
constant. It doesn't do a wonderful job; it's visually adequate, but God help you
when you try to take a movie of it.
Kossow: One of the complaints with all modern kids trying to play it now is
that it's TOO SLOW.
Russell: Kids who are used to something like Asteroids seem to think that. But
when we do the demos, we get a number of people who seem to be still quite
addicted to it with the old, slow version. Now, that was always a complaint; the
reason that all the parameters got accumulated in the first page of the listing, which
says you can put that first page of the listing of the console, and anyone who wanted
to try a different set of parameters could. But the ones that were compiled in or
assembled in were the ones that I thought were good. Now it turns out I'm not a
representative arcade game player, and so my version of the parameters is slower
and gives more opportunity for marksmanship than the arcade version.
Kossow: Right, that's the whole thing with gravity and doing the, what's that called,
where you whip around the sun? Does it have a name, where you whip around the
sun and you shoot?
Russell: The closest name is the "CBS maneuver" is what happens when two lazy
experts fight each other, which is they both turn at right angles to the sun, and fire
for 3.5 or 4 seconds, so they're now in stable orbits, and they know it. And then they
turn at each other and start trying to place torpedoes where they think the other one
is going to be. And so the trails turn into an eye around the sun, and CBS used that
as a logo, so it got called the "CBS maneuver". You can-- one of the spaceships can
go the other way around the sun, so that both ships meet on the same side of the
sun. But that seems usually to have less chance of winning. Not much less, but
Kossow: It's better that you stay on opposite sides, then?
Kossow: And then at some point, you added hyperspace?
Russell: Yes, and we realized that that was going-- I don't remember whether we
actually had it. I may have had it for a little while with no limit, but it became very
clear that someone who didn't understand could use hyperspace to escape their
proper justice forever, and so we added the unreliability of hyperfield generators
very quickly. One thing that Asteroids and the arcade versions, the later arcade
versions of Spacewar! added, which actually was a big help, especially with their
high acceleration rates, was "training mode" where space was actually viscous. So
if you got your ship accelerated so that it was going across the screen so fast you
couldn't understand what was going on, if you took your hands off, the situation
would gradually become understandable. I don't think I would have been persuaded
to do that in the original Spacewar! because it was unrealistic. But it definitely
made it easier to learn.
Kossow: So are there any other favorite anecdotes about Spacewar!, or just the
spread of Spacewar!?
Russell: Well, the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"-- many people saw
Spacewar! as, some people ask for copies of the source, and of course we gave them
out because we very briefly considered trying to sell Spacewar!. We realized the
only possible customer was Digital Equipment, and we also, on a little reflection,
that they were too cheap to do it. So we gave it out to anyone who wanted it, and
some people got the listing and thought about it, and by reading it-- a lot of people
simply saw the game and had a computer that wasn't the PDP-1 but did have a
display, and implemented Spacewar! their own way. I suspect most of them figured
out the "basic trick", but I'm not sure.
Kossow: What "basic trick" were you thinking of?
Russell: That you could do everything based on the spaceship unit vector. How are
you fixed for the source code for different implementations of Spacewar!?
Kossow: We have a few. I don't know if we have the PDP-10 version. We have the
12 version, and I think we have a PDP-7 version.
Russell: I think Bob Saunders wrote the PDP-7 version. I think one 6 version
simply ran on the PDP-1 simulator. I think there must have been others, but I don't
know. Something for some history grad student to pursue. When we were running a
demo for the Yelp event, there was one woman who had done Spacewar! in turtle
graphics as a high school programming project, which she wasn't too happy with.
She seemed to like the demo of the original Spacewar!.
Kossow: So turtle graphics running on a micro or something like that?
Russell: I didn't quiz her. I didn't have the opportunity to quiz her further.
Kossow: So she thought this version was better?
Russell: No, she just thought it was nice to see the original.
Kossow: So she was in her mid-20s?
Russell: 20s or early 30s; probably 20s. The DEC field service story where the
DEC production people got into the practice of loading Spacewar! the last thing
before PDP-1 shipped, and field service would then unpack it, make sure that
nothing horrible had happened, tryed turning on power, and starting Spacewar!.
And if it worked, they would call the customer over and say, "See, it works." If it
didn't work, then they'd worry about it. In the restoration project, we had a little
reflection and we decided that probably if Spacewar! works, just about everything
works, as far as machine instructions go. It doesn't guarantee all the I/O gear works,
but it does multiply and divides, and just about every instruction. So a lot of people
implemented Spacewar! just from knowing that it existed and having seen it maybe
> At 06:24 AM 10/8/2008, William Maddox wrote:
>>This isn't my auction, and I don't know the seller. This thing
>>is totally over the top, however, for lots of screens and buttons.
>>Looks like the helmsman's station for a starship. It's in
>>Mineapolis, and, as of this writing, its $9.99 with no bids.
> - John
Haha, that's interesting, the middle & right monitor shows
(at least for us here in NL) a very familiar logo,
the one from Heineken Beer.
Geez, the 419 was uncommon, even in it's own time. And then,
most of the ones I saw didn't work. If you don't mind 'wasting'
part of the drive, I would think just about any 6-headed mfm
drive would work.
There's some difference (which I have been unable to quantify)
between different models of MFM drives (of equal or similar
geometry) that allows some drives to work in some applications,
but not others.
If there's anyone out there intimately familiar with the
ST-506/412 interface, now would be a good time to offer
some suggestions as to why this is so.
-- Jos Dreesen / Marian Capel <jos.mar at bluewin.ch> wrote:
I am in the market for a known working ST419 MFM disk
System software forces me to the 306 Cyl / 6 Heads format (@ 32 256-byte sectors )
Location : Switzerland .
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Anyone know of a decent memory test utility that runs on classic macs (68k
I have an old Mac Portable that I'm struggling to get an OS on -- I
consistently get "bad F-line instruction" traps when booting from System 7
disks (floppies and CD-ROMs), which from what I can tell probably means bad
memory. I'd like to find out if it IS memory, and if so, whether it's the
onboard 1mb (I hope not) or on the 4mb expansion...
My internet searches have come up dry (I've found stuff for OS X, and early
PowerMacs, but nothing for the 68k line).
Yah, I done that. The key is to find an MFM drive that has the
same or greater Cylnder/Head geometry: It has to have at least
the same number of cylnders, and at least the same number of
Keep in mind, though, that geometry alone does *NOT* guarantee
that this will work!! The 9133 seems to be allergic to some
MFM drives-- I could get most Seagate drives to work, for example,
but not NEC's. My fave at the time was the Quantum Q540. I
'wasted' over half the drive, but I had alot of them at the time!
When you format such a drive, you will not have a capacity
greater than the original.
 Not quite true for the older 9133 V/X/XV drives. If you have
a 'V' for example, you can replace it with a bigger drive, adjust
the jumpers inside, and format for 10 or 15MB.
-- Jos Dreesen / Marian Capel <jos.mar at bluewin.ch> wrote:
Closely related to the previous post : I actually have an ST419, but is in use inside a HP9133D.
Looking back to old classiccmp articles indicate that it is not easy to replace the ST419 by other MFM drives of different geometries.
Has this changed ? i.e can somebody report a success in replacing the internal drive of an HP9133 ?
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