picked up one of these at a doofis computer flea
market this past weekend. Didn't know anything about
it in particular, but the switch settings specific to
8, 16, 64 color TTL led me to believe it would be
applicable for vintage usage. I was right, following
my looking up it's specs on the web. Problem is the
thing displays nothing (although tube is emminently
functional - considerable static on the face of the
tube, and it flashes white when powered down), the
only *sign* is the blinking diode next to the up/down
contrast or brightness buttons (there's 4 in all, it
probably doesn't matter, and I can't remember). Anyone
have one, or a manual? It would be a shame if I
couldn't get this puppy operational.
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> I would be interested in any 50-pin SCSI disks, especially any that are 1.09
> GB or less (can't remember the exact figure for sure but thereabouts) and
> any larger 50-pin SCSI disk that are no more than one inch in height.
Hi Rob, I just checked and the smallest I have is around 2GB. However, I
do have a few slim 50 pin disks. I'll list the numbers so you can check
4 * Seagate ST32171N (2GB)
1 * Seagate ST32272N (2GB)
4 * IBM DCAS-34330 (4GB)
Let me know if you'd like any of these and you can either collect
(Southampton) or I'll ship them if you cover the costs.
At 12:00 -0500 4/28/08, Gavin wrote:
>I have successfully repaired a NeXT MO drive and it is remarkably
Care to post details? I have two MO drives, both of which are (I
- Mark, 210-379-4635
Large Asteroids headed toward planets
inhabited by beings that don't have
technology adequate to stop them:
Think of it as Evolution in Fast-Forward.
> Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 14:20:17 -0400
> From: "Roy J. Tellason"
> I saw some conversation going by in here recently about Exabyte drives,
> only the numbers don't sound anything like what I have, which is marked
> "Model: HH CTS". There are all sorts of other numbers on there, for
> various aspects of it.
Most Exabyte drives have model numbers of the form 8xxx, from 8000 to
8900, then the "Mammoth" models. The basic early 8200 will hold
about 2.1G on a standard 8mm tape. Later models require different
tapes to take advantage of larger capacities.
Quality of the drives are all over the place, from the built-like-a-
brick-outhouse 8200 and 8500 to the cheap-hunk-of-plastic 8700.
> I'm told that these hold 20G on a tape. The guy I got 'em from
> unfortunately doesn't have any tapes to go along with them. One of those
> tapes would back up pretty much of what I have on my LAN here, or whole
> machines, as they sit. I'm guessing that the interface I'll be looking
> at after I take it off of the current mounting plate will be SCSI-wide,
> like the CD drives and some of the other stuff I have with it.
I suspect that that's 20G "compressed", which is the equivalent of
"Chinese electric motor horsepower", i.e. extremely optimistic.
> Think I can get 'em going under linux? :-)
Sure--just be certain that the SCSI "flavor" matches what you've got
on your controller.
The general idea is that any SCSI tape drive that supports the
standard command set will work with Linux--and probably many other
platforms. It's been too long since I did "anybody's SCSI tape
backup" software, but the only gotchas are packages that use
nonstandard behavior such as read-after-write or strange varieities
of tapemarks. Heck, even the command set for auto-changers is
standard, being applicable to a little magazine that sits in your
tape drive to a bunch of robots crusing racks of 1/2" reel-to-reel
tapes. At least in theory, you can use anything from a 1/2" reel-to-
reel drive to a DLT without changing software.
Most SCSI tape drives feature read-after-write verification, which
puts them way above the garden variety consumer "floppy tapes", most
of which were garbage, IMOHO.
While not as good as DLT, 8mm is head-and-shoulders above 4mm DAT as
concerns reliability. The bottom of the barrel, IMOHO, was the
Datasonix Pereos 2.5mm format.
Robert Jarratt wrote:
> I would be interested in any 50-pin SCSI disks, especially any that
> are 1.09
> GB or less (can't remember the exact figure for sure but thereabouts)
Would this be for a VAXstation 3100 or early MicroVAX 3100? If so
the magic figure is 1.073GB. I've used 50-68&80 adapters on VAXes
with no problem.
> any larger 50-pin SCSI disk that are no more than one inch in height.
VAXstation 4000 VLC? The adapters I used only just fit in there - room
is indeed very tight!
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>Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> > I have successfully repaired a NeXT MO drive and it is remarkably
> > reliable... I have been banging on it solid for a week and it hasn't
> > died. Knowing how hard it is to find a working drive, I'd like to
> > extend an offer to anyone on the list that has NeXT MO media: I'm
> > willing to dump the media so long as you take care of postage both
> > ways. I'll send you back a CDROM or DVD with dump, dump.old, tar and
> > dd images, and the original media if you want it (I'd be happy to
> > hold on to old media if you don't want it).
>Jerome Fine replies:
>I use a Sony SMO S-501 MO drive with 5 1/4" media that hold
>about 295 MegaBytes on each side for a total of 590 MegaBytes.
>I have no idea if these media are the same, but within a few
>years, I will likely want to sell most of them all along with
>most of the drives.
>However, since I now rarely use the media (when DVD media are
>4.7 GB or almost 10 times the capacity), I am confident that
>I can start to dispose of many of the S-501 media.
>Anyone interested? Are the media for the S-501 and the NeXT
>MO drives different? If they are identical, then there are
>a lot of media available (more than 100) for $ 1.00 each
Unfortunately I too own an SMO S-501 and the NeXT OD cartridges are in no way compatible with the drive. The closest relative to the NeXT OD media and the NeXT OD drive is the Canon Canofile which uses proprietary hardware (the drives are a little different but the cartridges are the same).
As for your offer I might go for it as I am in serious need of some more media. Where exactly are they and how many do you have?
Well, here it is, an invitation to apply to your dream job :)
Server Engineer (Vintage Systems)
This role is responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of a
collection of classic and antique computer systems. Responsibilities
include installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, and operation of
vintage computer systems, including but not limited to PDP-10, PDP-8 and
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teams. Duties include software installation, configuration, maintenance,
procurement of parts, and certification/performance testing of the various
computer systems. When required and on occasion, responsibilities include
assisting on special projects. This position also provides first through
third tier support and troubleshooting for computer systems at the
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Other requirements not listed in the description include desiring rain
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>Subject: Re: 8251 troubles
> From: Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca>
> Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 13:22:08 -0800
> To: General at priv-edtnaa03.telusplanet.net,
> "Discussion at priv-edtnaa03.telusplanet.net":On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
>dwight elvey wrote:
>> The routines SETUP and COUT are ROM routines.
>> SETUP passes the first byte to the clock generator and the
>> remaining to the command port of the 8251. The command/status
>> port is 1 while the data is 0.
>> COUT sends text to a video board.
>> The second COUT never seems to get executed?? I give plenty
>> of time between characters because I send then manually.
>> The board can do interrupt driven serial but that didn't seem to
>> work so I went for the simpler polling method.
>> CALL SETUP
>> ; .DB $01F ; 9600
>> ; .DB $01D ; 4800
>> .DB $01B ; 2400
>> ; .DB $019 ; 1200
>> .DB $0AA ; SYNC
>> .DB $0AA ; SYNC
>> .DB $040 ; RESET
>> .DB $0CE ; 2STOP, NO PARITY, 8BIT , X16
>> .DB $010 ; CLEAR ERRORS
>> .DB 0
>> MVI A,$027 ; RTD, DTR AND REC-EN TX-EN
>> OUT 1
>> CALL TIN
>> CALL COUT ; This works
>> CALL TIN
>> CALL COUT ; never gets here
>> IN 1
>> ANI 2
>> JZ TIN
>> IN 0
>I have the datasheet for the 8251A but not the 8251 here, so just some guesses:
They are the same except for timing and some quirks/bugs.
> - perhaps the 8251 (as opposed to the A) requires the receiver to be re-enabled
> (not a full reset) after receipt of each character (an 'explicit ack') (?).
> - .. check the error flags to see if a framing error is occurring?
You don't have to but it's an idea.
> - .. try sending a stream of (best random) characters at full rate,
> as opposed to just 2 manually? This might get around some framing
> inconsistency or such to at least see if a subsequent character can be received.
> - (may be inconsequential, but in the init sequence the two sync characters
> are not preceded by a mode byte (perhaps SETUP does this internally?))
Thats required only for SYNC mode not async.
> However, some PDP-8/a configurations used the later revision of the
>M8300/M8310/M8330-YA CPU along with semiconductor memory (usually
>MS8-C or MS8-D). In this case, the engineering designation of the CPU is
>KK8-F, to distinguish it from a KK8-E which might not have the necessary
AFAIK the only requirement for using a KK8-E in the 8/A chassis is that
the M8320 timing generator board has to include a certain ECO. This is
spelled out in the "PDP-8/A Operator's Handbook", p3-3. The rest of the 8/E
board set is the same either way, and the modified M8320 still works in an
8/E chassis. I assume that at some point all the M8320s produced had this
ECO and thus would work either way. This is the first I've heard about them
having a special designation.
The manual doesn't say specifically what the TG module ECO does, but it
wouldn't surprise me at all if it had something to do with implementing NTS
STALL. In any case the change can't have been too complicated since it
could be done in the field as an ECO.