An interesting 3 hours on PBS last night:
- 'Steve Jobs - One Last Thing': No description necessary.
- 'Long Distance Warrior': McGowan/MCI's David & Goliath battle with AT&T
and disastrous merger with Worldcom.
- 'Digital Man/Digital World': Ken Olsen/DEC's growth and ultimate decline.
(No doubt everyone here except myself had already seen this one ;-)
Interesting comparison of the different styles and personalities of three
men who profoundly influenced the tech world of today and their companies.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
I bought the Tek 4051 on ebay today; Jason brought it to my house and it works perfectly, with about a half hour of programming instruction my 12 old daughter was plotting a cat face.
I would like to get in touch with other users of this first personal computer, and find additional resources.
Do you know where I can find an archive of BASIC programs for this?
Has anybody built plug in cards in the back, mine came with a realtime clock and a "file manager", I do not know what that one does.
I have some Tek scopes with IEE-488, and I will see if I can get the IEEE interface working.
There was a DC300 tape in the machine:
The belt is broken in the tape, I have ordered some new DC300's and will transplant the tape.
Any resources will be welcome!
Then why not use a dip compatible version of the DS chip? I mean yes this allows for switchable battery which is very nice but SMT soldering is not for everyone.
I wonder if there is a way to determine if there will be BIOS issues by switching the DS12887?
-------- Original message --------
From: Jon Elson <elson at pico-systems.com>
Date: 1/22/17 9:16 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: General at classiccmp.org, "Discussion at classiccmp.org:On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Subject: Re: DS12887 pcb substitute with battery
On 01/22/2017 10:07 AM, Ali wrote:
> I thought the problem with switching these chips was that part of the ROM code was embedded in them? I.e. it isn't just an issue of battery? Am I wrong? If I am then why not use one of the replacement chips that are available?
These don't have a lot of memory on them.? many early PCs
stored some config info there, but generally the BIOS can
reconstruct it if it isn't there.? I suppose there is a
possibility that random data in the CMOS memory could cause
the BIOS to try to use unavailable features and hang.? I
don't think anybody put actual executable code in there.
> Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:41:53 -0500 (EST)
> From: ethan at 757.org
> Subject: Re: Could someone make this topic go away?
> Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1511192141030.32673 at users.757.org>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> Am I the only one left using Pine!?
> I get odd looks when I'm checking email from my cell phone.
No you are not.
I use (al)pine on my OpenVMS system here as well as my main Linux host. I
have mail going back to 2004 here and since 1996 at another public access
Unix host I use. It's great when I'm out of town and can ssh in from my
phone and check the mail. :) Pine does most everything I need without
having to worry about malware, phishing, etc ... the beauty of text.
My flatmate has one of these. Just the small subassembly with the 2
push-buttons and a red light between them. Is this something that
would be of interest to anyone? I'm trying to persuade him to eBay it
instead of throwing it away.
We've also got the plastic covers from a few disk packs, an empty
metal chassis and a few other odds and sods. Sadly most of the machine
was binned long long ago. :-(
Liam Proven ? Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk ? Google Mail/Talk/Plus: lproven at gmail.com
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: lproven ? Skype/LinkedIn/AIM/Yahoo: liamproven
UK: +44 7939-087884 ? ?R/WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal: +420 702 829 053
will join a group buy, need caps for 2 drives ..
With best regards
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> From: Raymond Wiker
> Steve Jobs ... was also a stickler for perfection and largely unwilling
> to make compromises.
Absolutely; and that's a large part of the reason for the success of Apple.
His products were just really well done.
It's also, I think, a big part of the causality for another Apple
characteristic: their push for closed systems. The thing is that Steve wanted
to make the user experience as good as possible (another hallmark of Apple
stuff) - and when the 'system' includes pieces being independently sourced
>from multiple entities, it's hard to make that happen - there will be
glitches, etc. So that's why he usually wanted to bring the entire thing
inside the Apple envelope.
> So, Steve Jobs ... should get some of the credit for the fact that
> we're not all running Windows on variations of crappy PC hardware.
I think that's not accurate; Linux may not have a large user base among
non-technical people in the laptop area, but it does show that there are other
alternatives. And when it gets to smart-phones, of course, things which are
neither Apple nor uSloth are the majority there, no?
> From: Chris Hanson
> What the Apple folks saw and what was implemented for Lisa and then
> Macintosh were vastly different.
I don't agree with the "vastly". (Having said that, I salute the Lisa/Mac
people for doing a very good job of producing a excellent user interface.)
The changes in the interface (menu bar, etc) are not that large; they are
mostly minor refinements to the basic image/pointing-based interface
pioneered by Xerox.
The biggest improvement, IMO, was not in the details of the window system, but
that everything used a common user interface - and the lack of that on the
Alto was not planned, but more a result of the fact that the Alto was so far
into new territory, and not done as an integrated system, but as a platform
> - The one-button mouse.
Err, some of us don't see that as an 'improvement'... :-)
> If you sit someone who knows how to use a Mac in front of a circa-1979
> Xerox Alto, they'll be pretty mystified.
Yeah, but that's in good part because the Alto user interface is such a dog's
breakfast - Draw is nothing like Bravo is nothing like etc, etc. But, like I
said, that was inevitable, given the process that produced the Alto.
Hi guys !
My name is Dominique, 43 , from Belgium (I apologize in advance for my
approximate English). I join this forum under the recommendations of
Curious Marc. It seems there are people here who can help me to get back
to life the venerable machine that I have just recovered.
Some pictures of the beast :
It is a "Nixdor 600 series" (Apparently a Nixdorf 620/35), upgraded
several times until 1980, the CPU board is dated from this year. So I do
not know exactly what machine it is today the equivalent.
Anyway, the Nixdorf 620 is actually built by "Digital Computer Controls"
and after some researches it seems that it is a "DCC-116 E", the 17 slot
version of the "DCC-116" which Is a clone of the "Data General Nova 2/10".
The machine has five Key-stations (ENTREX DATA/SCOPE), a Mag-tape Pertec
8840A - A Disk Cartridge Diablo Model 40 and a big line drum printer
(Data Products model 2230), strange machine, there is a tape reader
inside the printer.
Here is the list of the boards I have with the references written on
them and their position in the machine:
*17 HEX 0 ? 15 ENTREX INC 62 00 01842 002 REV A*
*16 HEX 16 30 31 ENTREX INC 62 00 01842 002 REV A**
15 OPTION 2 Empty**
14 OPTION 1 Empty**
13 PRINTER ENTREX INC SN598**
12 TAPE 556/800 BPI 2433 LFI 213**
11 TAPE 1600 BPI Empty**
10 DISK 2456 00 MP-Kontroller D44an620
6393500215 2456 7 0 1577**
09 COMMO Empty**
08 SCANNER Scanner BD 2431 NCAG 54147.1.15 2431 02394**
07 MEM 1609 0 7 02616**
06 MEM Empty**
05 MEM 1609 0 8 02367**
04 MEM 1615 01 9 5596**
03 TTY Empty**
02 DO NOT USE Empty**
01 C.P. 1509 05 4 04436*
Concerning this I also ask a few questions:
What are the boards in slots 16 and 17 for?
I do not have a COM card, does that mean that I could not attempt a
serial transmission (type rs232) with this actual setup ?
I have no idea how many kilobytes are present, apparently there are
two core memory cards (8kb each? 16Kb each?), And non-core RAM board.
I first solved a problem with the power supply of the disk pack (bad HF
filter, short-circuited with the chassis, then it is also dead HF filter
in the "multi-plug" of the chassis that start to burn, once these
problems were solved, I cleaned the machine thoroughly, cleaning the
heads of readings with isopropyl alcohol, I Not yet cleaned the disc
himself which at first glance looks extremely clean, it has not left the
machine for 30 years.
I cleaned all the guides and the heads of the nine track tape Pertec
8840A. There was also a false contact in the ON-LINE button. I did a
first cleanup. I think there is always a problem with the HI-DEN button
used to set the magtape to 800BPI. It is currently ineffective, but I
have a doubt about the contacts of the lamp socket).
I then cleaned all the sockets and contacts at the boards of the
computer (logic and PSU)
Unfortunately, after a couple of hours, the "POWER FAIL" light has
started to light up. The problem here is that I have no schematics, it
is a modular power supply consisting of two elements:
One seems to be dedicated to the 15 VDC regulated, the second module is
in charge of the regulated 5VDC. Both elements have a "Power fail
module". When the machine is completely populated I now observe that the
+ 5VDC collapses at +1,9VDC.
Here what I measured out, you will also see what the boards of these
power supply look like.
Another thing I noted during my measurements, where I should (I think)
measure 15V, I have 18V, looking at the documentation on the NOVA 2 (4
slots), I observed according to the diagrams below That there is 18V but
before a zener diode and not at the level of connectors where there must
be 15VDC, should I warn me ? Would the diode be dead ?
I tried to join temporarily a secondary regulated power supply to
reinforce the + 5VDC so as to be sure that the problem did not come from
the logical part of the computer which checks these voltages and
triggers the Power Fail status. By coupling this external regulated
power supply, the computer restarts again, thus it is definitively the
power supply (or the comparator component(s) of the power fail module)
If I removes all the boards (printer, core memory, scanner, disk
controller, etc.), the Power Fail light eventually goes out, I get again
the 5VDC, so the power has become "too weak" to power the computer when
it is fully populated.
Despite the temporary (and dangerous) look of my assembly with secondary
power supply, I could not stop myself and attempt a boot procedure via
the Cold Start button of the machine from the Disk Pack, and it works! :-)
It seems that I still have problems with the magtape, I had errors
trying to read a backup, but it may be simply because I still cannot get
the machine in 800BPI because of the capricious buttons of the front
panel. I also wrote a tape mark via a "WRITE TAPE MARK AND REWIND"
function, the mark seems to be written but does not do the Rewind,
however if I launch a REWIND only function, it executes the action
appropriately. In short, still things to investigate on this side.
Notes that the Operating system I used to make these tests is a very
limited OS named DIDOS which was distributed by Nixdorf for his 620
Serie. As the machine is a clone of DG NOVA 2/10, I wonder if the
computer is compatible with programs for the NOVA series of Data
General? So I wonder if the DCC-116 was compatible with the software for
The other questions I ask myself at this point are the ways to transfer
softwares or bootable OS on this machine? I have no other disk pack on
another system but I have a nine track tape TU81 + connected to a VAX
4000-605A under OpenVMS 6.2, and I can put this computer on my network.
Do you think there's a way to make a bootable tape for my NOVA 2 clone
with the Pertec 8840A from a VAX 4000 with a TU81+ ?
Well, to continue, I have to repair this PSU, all information is
welcome, schematics would be ideal of course.
Finally, note that I am not a professional electronics technician, I
fixed a lot of machines basic knowledge, intuition, researches,
comparisons and logic, it is effective but full of limitations too, so
forgive me in advance If I do not always understand the possible answers
of electronics in "high engineering" mode ;-)
As a bonus, the V1 of a small video mounted with a few clips captured
during a session of my nocturnal repairs, during the first boot of the
machine since 3 decades ! (on my music, yes, I'm also a composer ;-) )
Thanks a lot to all in advance ;-)
since the messages in May about the MS Windows 1.0 version for DEC Rainbow,
I did some research to see if a version is effectively available.
It seems that copies of this software are really difficult to find, but
a complete copy
was available on the latrobe ftp DEC Rainbow archive... which
disappeared with all valuable data...
Anybody has a copy of the content before the deletion?
Anyway, I found a file-by-file copy of it, on this site:
For preservation reasons, it would be really better to have an original
Any news about dumping the disks or an ftp archive where they are present?
A colleague and I are trying to get a VT220 working again as it recently
died on us. We are hoping to set up a few items for the mid-80s
(including this terminal) to show the graduands what it would have been
like if they were doing their CompSci degree 30 years ago.
It looks to me like the flyback is dead. There is a lot of soot and
there looks like there is some damage to the top of the transformer,
better seen in the second image.
The terminal powers on and does the usual beeping but nothing is
displayed on the screen. Does anyone have any advice about what to do
here? Are there any sources of compatible flyback transformers?
We have a second VT220 which exhibits the same behaviour, hopefully for
a different reason so we can try and cobble two into one.
Any thoughts / advice would be greatly appreciated.
PhD Student, Computer Vision Laboratory