Hey all --
I'm one step closer to bringing my 11/40 back to life -- the front panel
is now responding and I can examine and deposit memory.
But the machine is only responsive without the Unibus terminator (an
M9302) installed. If it's installed, the front panel is basically hung
-- toggling "Start" causes a brief flurry of activity, but that's the
only thing that causes any response.
Without the terminator installed, the front panel more or less works, I
can examine and deposit memory, load the address register, etc... but I
can't get any toggled in code to run, obviously -- it traps to the bus
error vector at 00004.
(There's also an odd issue, which I doubt is related, but
Examining/Depositing does not correctly increment the address --
starting from 0, it's "0, 2, 6, 12, 16, 22, 26..." and if I start at 1
it's "1, 3, 7, 13, 17, 23, 27...")
I currently have the CPU boards + MMU option installed in the correct
order with a SLU card in the SPC slot, and an M981 connecting to a
4-slot Unibus backplane with a single 64K MOS memory card (M7891) in
slot 2 -- all other slots have grant continuity cards installed. The
Unibus terminator is installed in the last slot.
Thanks as always,
many types of course. Generally speaking do the materials used in pc's from
the 80s fall into a single category? Everything is injected into a mold for
sure, from largish cases to tiny keytops. Would all this qualify as
polystyrene? Whatever the case, what's a good solvent (not necessarily glue)
that's useful for repairing big cracks or splits, to tiny hairline cracks. I
say solvent, and some glues can fall into this category, because it makes
more sense to reinforce the materials from behind to effect a strong bond,
and for cosmetic sake meld the item from the front, to obscure the defect
Many surfaces are anything but smooth. Has anyone tried, given they were
successful in melding the surface, in reproducing the look of the surface
surrounding it? Smooth surfaces can be melded then touched up lightly
w/ultra fine emery cloth and some sort of lubricant I would guess. But the
rough textures are a different story.
If someone would forward this to CC-talk and elsewhere, I'd appreciate it.
I am preparing to move soon. I don't know how soon, but it's likely going
to be the case that I find something in a neighborhood I want, that I can
afford, and that I need to pounce on quickly, so I'm trying to be rid of
anything I don't have any hope of ever using.
I have a huge cabinet (I think it holds either 300 or 500 reels) of full
of 2400ft nine track tapes. I no-longer have a working nine-track drive.
This cabinet is about four feet wide, seven feet tall, and two feet deep.
This pile o' tapes, the cabinet in which they hang so uselessly, and the
non-working DEC SCSI tape drive need to go. I don't want any cash for
it or the tapes, just please come and get them. If you only want the
drive, I'll deliver it anywhere in Austin, but preference will go to
someone who'll pick up the cabinet full of tapes.
I also have a Sun StorEdge L3500 tape library with six DLT7000 drives. It
is mechanically sound, and the drives work, but there's a defective
optointerruptor that determines the X position of the carriage; it's a
cheap part to replace and shouldn't take a lot of labor, but I'm backing
up to disk now. You may either pick this up, or help me load it and
unload it, and I'll drive it to your central Texas location with my truck.
Photos of the library are here:
I also have a Compaq Storageworks BA370 24-slot enclosure with dual
controllers. This takes SCSI Storageworks "storage building blocks", and
I may actually have enough of them to fill the unit (not necessarily with
disks in the blocks). I have spare batteries, controllers, and other
bits. Need a fiber switch? I have gigabit Brocade Silkworm and possibly
enough GBICs to fill it.
Feel free to make an offer on the BA370 or the switch. I'll mail the
switch or deliver the BA370 in central Texas, but I won't ship the BA370
anywhere; it's just too hard to crate reasonably.
 I don't recall the model, but it's vacuum-loading, SCSI, and 5 or 6
rack units tall. The failure mode is that it fails to load the tape
(or loads, fails to notice, and then unloads), so hopefully it's just
a sticky sensor.
Jonathan Patschke ( "They don't have the right to read a book out loud."
Elgin, TX ( --Paul Aiken
USA ( Executive Director, Authors Guild
rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Back in December I posted about an open source, stand alone ASCII terminal
project for old computers -
The VT6, a simplified single host port version, is available now - PC
boards, partial kits and full kits of all parts. It was actually available
back in March, but the first run of parts sold out just on the Spare Time
Gizmos group and I never got a chance to announce it elsewhere. The second,
much larger, run of parts is now available and hopefully there should be
plenty this time around.
The VT6 is a small PC board, about 2.5" by 4", that uses a VGA monitor and
a PS/2 keyboard and is able to do pretty much anything a VT220 can. The
firmware is about 95% written in C (with about 5% assembler) and is open
source and GPL licensed. The tool chain used for development, including the
SDCC C compiler, is all free. The microprocessor is flash based and
firmware updates can be downloaded from any PC over an ordinary serial port.
If you need a terminal, it's just the thing to stick in the back of your
The hardware for the other version of this terminal, known as the VT5 is
also finished and really only needs the firmware to be ready. The VT5
supports multiple host ports and sessions with split screen displays,
downloadable fonts and (if we can get the firmware written!) ReGIS and/or
Tek 4010 type graphics.
The firmware is really the limiting factor for everything (isn't that
always the truth??) and we could use help with the programming. There's a
Source Forge project for the firmware here -
and the Spare Time Gizmos page for the VT6 parts and PCBs is here -
There's also a manual (unfinished - we could use help with that too!) -
I recently dug out a TK50 I was tinkering with before and am having
some trouble diagnosing what's up with it. It arrived with a tape
stuck in it, but I've since managed to persuade that out and a good
clean up had it loading and ejecting properly. Now any read or write
just results in a bit of shoeshining, whereafter it goes into its
light-show routine. Yes, I should probably just admit defeat and keep
it for parts, but it seems so close to working I thought I'd take
The technical manual lists all manner of error codes which should
narrow things down. I'm however at a loss as to how one should extract
them from the drive/controller. I've had it hooked up to a PDP-11 and
XXDP said nothing more than that the drive was faulty. I also have a
MicroVAX II (where it actually came from) but I've not been able to
run diagnostics on there due to lack of a floppy drive. I did
experiment with an RX33, some RX50 images and a PC to write them, but
the MicroVAX doesn't want to boot them.
Hey all --
Got myself an HP 7980S 9-track drive (always wanted a 9-track drive...)
and accidentally mangled my one and only 9-track tape just after the BOT
marker (not sure what caused it, maybe the drive needs a bit of
adjustment...). So I have two questions: Where can I find a reasonable
replacement for the marker, and where does it go? I see the sense foil
on the part of the tape that got mangled, but I don't know what side of
the tape it was originally on...
P.S. The magical tape autoloading thing this drive does is the coolest
thing I've seen in a long time :).
I've had this 40-pin IC for a while now. The only markings on it are
SC 440 00 L
The second one is obviously a date code. The regular Internet searches reveal
nothing. It came off a small board with an MC6810 128-byte RAM.
Anyone know what it is?
I'm running a couple of AT&T SVR4 machines and am thinking of doing an
SVR3. These are running on old Intel hardware, in text-only mode, etc.
Unfortunately I'm really worried about opening these to the public net
because they obviously have a ton of security holes. For instance,
it's really hard to get a modern ssh running on them, so I have to use
telnet. I have them set up on a private network with a modern linux
machine on both the public and private networks that I can ssh into
and telnet out of. It also acts as a mail relay for them.
SVR4 is not that old, so I'm not sure how many might be interested in
it, but if you really are, let me know, and I can set you up an
account and tell you how to get in. The machine has a bunch of the old
text mode software we used to use in those days: games, email clients,
and very soon, USENET. Even a curses-based menu system. It's basically
a rebuild of an old public access UNIX system I used to run.
I'm also interested to know if anyone out there with old systems is
interested in building a dark network for retro computing folks using
UUCP over tcp. I have this perverse urge to get pathalias running
again and build a little UUCP mapping project. Because my SVR4 box is
on a private network, I'll need to bounce through the linux box. I'd
like to implement a set of private USENET groups, and file transfer.
I am also considering completely blowing off net access for these
boxes and just using dialup. I was thinking of buying one of those
MagicJack thingies that give you a local number and unlimited voip
calling for $20 a year and setting up a modem on it. The downside is
that most folks don't have modems any more.
Ideas? Am I just nuts for even considering something like this?
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:08:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: David Griffith <dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu>
On Mon, 29 Jun 2009, Marvin Johnston wrote:
>>> > Happens more often than you'd think. ?Long ago, a friend decided to
>>> > call his company "Tripas" (a variant spelling of "Tri-pass"). ?After
>>> > the corporate name had been registered, the janitorial crew informed
>>> > him that they thought it was funny--apparently it's Spanish ?for
>>> > entriails ?(tripe).
>> Up here in Canada, the Reform party briefly renamed itself the
>> "Conservative Reform Alliance" Party: CRAP
>> That lasted all of two days, IIRC.
> Anyone remember the eBay marketing promotion, "Do It eBay"? I still love it
> ... Do It eBay, short for DIE!
Some years ago a shoe company came out with a shoe they named "The
Incubus". Said shoes were in the stores before management realized what
an incubus is. Now for something more modern, have any of you noticed the
rash of suggestive fast food adverts?
dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu
And of course there was a small problem with Commodore's VIC 20 in Germany
which led to its being renamed the "VC20 VolksComputer".
(hint: the V is pronounced F in German, and they use an 'I' where we use a 'U')
FInally I could extract the information of the Altos 586 disks which I
mention some weeks ago. The fact was to convert the IMD files in BINARY
images. Then you can access them with the 'tar' command.
It works, but... the cobol set which was what I was searching comes only
with one disk, but they are TWO. You can note it when decompress the
existent disk with 'tar' in the Altos System in raw and noraw mode, and it
"please, insert tape/disk number 2; then type 'y <return>' "
If you 'untar' the tar files in one pc and review the readme files you can
see too the fault of some important files as the COBOL compiler itself.
The question is: Some opportunity to obtain the lost second COBOL disk ?