I'm writing a blog post about this IBM 6360 disk controller I want to build:
I've read through the service manuals and other docs on Bitsavers but I
can't seem to find a deeper explanation on the protocol that runs over the
I suppose I could bypass the controller inside the drive cabinet and
directly control the drives but I bet it'll be easier/better to use as much
of the electronics as possible.
Can anyone help with the protocol?
+1 (517) 775-6129
I talked to a recycler today, who said he told his workers to throw out 2000
Model F keyboards last week, but he doubts they did it.
I also asked him about 8088, 2086, and 386 computers. He said they go
straight to the grinder. I told him I will buy them.
Then an HP dealer contacted me, wants to know if I buy old HP stuff. I told
him Apollo and earlier. Let me know if there is something specific HP you
1613 Water Street
Kerrville, TX 78028
sales at elecplus.com
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
I have a PDP-11/23+ and the power supply (H786) "last ran when parked" a
year or so ago. But there's no DC output at all today, and the fans are
running so there is AC power...
I also have the original H7861 that came with it, which had a blown chopper
transistor. I couldn't find anything else bad, so I replaced the transistor
and within a few seconds of running, it blew again. :(
So I need some help - I've never been good at fixing switching supplies, not
to mention the high-side hazards.
The simplest solution would be just to replace it with a working unit.
Anyone got one to sell, hopefully cheap? :)
If not, can anyone fix one or both of mine?
Anybody had any luck with this configuration?
I used VTServer to install it and everything works fine
except for the very last step. It installs completely
and boots from within VTServer with ra(0,0,0)unix. I
issue the "dd if=/mdec/rauboot of=/def/rra0a count=1" and
it completes successfully. But the disk still won't boot.
I have tried it three times now with the same results.
I'm writing a S/360 Model 50 emulator that runs at the microcode level, in
order to drive a Model 50 front panel accurately. I'm about 80% of the way
there, but there are some microcode operations that I haven't figured out.
So I figured I'd ask if anyone has obscure Model 50 manuals that aren't on
bitsavers, or perhaps even the ALDs.
I was surprised at how extremely different the microcode is from the 360
instruction set. I've figured out a bunch of the strange
micro-instructions, such as S47?E, which ORs the emit field into flags 4
through 7. But there are many micro-instructions that still puzzle me,
like F?FPSL4 which maybe a floating point shift left 4 and 1?BS*MB which
does something with byte stats. So if anyone happens to have a Model 50
microcode programming manual sitting around, please let me know :-)
> From: William Donzelli
> It is very likely IBM does not have the information anymore - at least
> not in the archives. ... they simply did not keep much from that era.
> It was probably disposed of back when IBM was in trouble 30 years ago.
Which emphasizes that it's important to make the point to IBM that we
wouldn't be asking for IBM to supply the information; rather, this is about
being able to reproduce info that IBM itself may no longer have.
Is anyone up for tackling IBM? If so, and we need support, I can ask my
Master, Jerry Saltzer, if anyone he knew at IBM is still there - he used to
have a lot of influence inside IBM (he's the person who got FS killed, I was
informed). But that was a long time ago...
> From: Jay Jaeger
> I suspect, but do not know of course, that the reasons that the owners
> would not part with their copies was ... concern over their value
> becoming diminished by having scanned copies around.
One easy way to test that is to have Al ask the person with the ALD's if
they'd be OK with having that stuff scanned if we got an OK from IBM.
One last spam from VCF PNW 2019 ...
Send us your Photos! We want to put together a shared photo album so that
people can see the event from different perspectives. It's a Google Photos
album, so if you are a Google Photos user sharing is easy. If you are not
a Google Photos user or you have concerns/questions please let me know and
I'll work out an alternative.
The shared album can be found at:
Help us make VCF events better! If you were at the event last weekend I
have a quick survey that I'd like you to fill out. The survey will help us
shape future events. The survey is anonymous; we are not collecting email
addresses unless you want to get a chance at a free t-shirt. (And even
then, we are only using the email address for that single purpose.)
The survey link is: https://goo.gl/forms/V3DiyxwkpbIOCKn73
Direct feedback by email also works well.
michael at vcfed.org or mbbrutman at brutman.com
Myself and my friend Mike, representing the Old Calculator Museum,
exhibited the line of Wang Laboratories electronic calculators at the
Vintage Computer Federation's Vintage Computer Festival/Pacific
Northwest edition, at the Living Computer Museum+Labs in Seattle,
Washington this past weekend.
This was the 2nd annual VCF/PNW, and it was clearly a success, as it was
significantly larger than the first event last year (which I went to,
but didn't exhibit at). There were 30 exhibits, all of which were
really interesting, and a good-sized consignment area, as well as quite
a group of guest speakers who had interesting topics to present. Of
course, being held in the Living Computer Museum+Labs was a bonus, as
the museum is an amazing place, with lots of vintage computers up and
running and accessible for people to actually use and experience.
The Old Calculator Museum exhibit consisted of a Wang LOCI-2 and punched
card readers (1st and 2nd-generation card readers), a Wang 360E w/320K
keyboard/display unit;362E with 370 Programmer and 371 Punched Card
Reader; 360SE 4-terminal timeshared calculator package with two 360KT
trig keyboards, 360K, and 320K keyboards, all running simultaneously
off the 360SE electronics unit; a Wang 720C; Wang 600-14TP; Wang
500-14TP; Wang 462 and 452 Programmable calculators; and a Wang C-52.
These are representatives of all of the lines of calculators that Wang
Laboratories made during its years in the electronic calculator market
(1965-1974). All of the machines were running and available for
visitors to play with, with the exception of the LOCI-2 (which has a
thermal issue that manifests after about 3 minutes of operation) and the
500-14TP, which has some kind of problem that renders it catatonic that
I've not yet had a chance to try to diagnose/repair). Also shown was
an original Wang Labs factory spare parts kit for the 300-series
calculators & peripherals, another Wang 360SE electronics package opened
up so people could see the insides, a number of circuit boards from Wang
300-series keyboard/display units, as well as core memory boards from
300-series electronics packages, core memory and circuit boards from
Wang 700-series calculators, and original sales documentation for Wang's
700, 500, and 600-series calculators.
The exhibit turned out pretty well, though I didn't have time to make up
signs to identify the stuff until we actually got there and made
hand-written signs, which turned out to be good enough -- it seems that
people could actually read my chicken-scratch handwriting. The signs
included the retail price at the time the machine was introduced, and
people were stunned that in 1971, a Wang 720C outfitted as the exhibited
machine retailed for $7,000. A lot of people asked how much that would
be in today's dollars, and I was able to use my phone to find
The exhibit was almost constantly busy both days for the whole time the
museum was open, (10 AM - 5 PM), and the folks were all very careful
with the old machines, and had really great questions about them. I
was pretty surprised at how much interest there was in these old beasts.
The crowd was pretty mixed in age, from folks who actually used examples
of the machines in school, to youngsters who were totally shocked that
this is what calculators were like 50 years ago. The machines ran the
whole time the exhibit was open, and amazingly, despite the old
Germanium-based transistors in the Wang 300-series calculators, as well
as fussy magnetic rope ROMs and core memory in the 700 and 600-series
machines, they ran trouble-free. A lot of folks had trouble getting the
machines to give answers they expected because of Wang's unusual math
entry method. Once they were given a simple explanation of the way the
machines worked, they caught on quickly, and got answers they expected.
It was a lot of fun to explain and demonstrate the machines to the
visitors. The Wang 370 Programmer hooked up to the 362E electronics
package was popular. I had a little program punched up on a card that
would perform an iterative approximation of Pi. It'd run for 100
iterations, then stop and display the approximation it had come to thus
far. People were fascinated by the "spinning" Nixie Tubes as the
machine churned away on the iterations. People also liked the 360KT
keyboards hooked up the 360SE simultaneous timeshared calculator
electronics package. They enjoyed it when I demonstrated the two 360KT
keyboard/display units running the Sine of 45 degrees at the same time.
The timesharing between the two terminals was obvious as the calculator
switched back and forth between each of the keyboards as the
calculation, which takes about 25 seconds, was being performed.
Nixie tubes were a big attraction. Many younger folks had never seen
them in person before, but almost everyone knew about them. I think
that the popularization of Nixie tubes in the form of clocks using Nixie
tubes for display has brought Nixies to the attention of folks that
didn't experience them in the day, but have seen stuff online about
I did get a little time to wander around the event and look at the other
exhibits (there were 30 this year!), and the stuff the folks had was
amazing. I was really impressed by Josh Dersch's exhibit of PERC
workstations...it was truly amazing to see these rare machines running!
I really liked Vince Slyngstad's PDP 8/e with a custom Omnibus board
that replicates the vintage (and rare) X/Y analog output board using a
CPLD and a couple of DACs such that the PDP 8/e was running actual
SPACEWAR code and displaying on a Tektronix display tube. There were
a lot of other really great exhibits, including a very complete Atari
800 systems running office productivity tools that made what was
considered a gaming computer into a true office machine that was ahead
of its time. There was a great exhibit of some classic Silicon Graphics
machines running, an exhibit of just about every type of floppy disc and
optical media ever produced (some of which are very rare), and a couple
of exhibits related to accurately emulating classic computers using
contemporary microprocessors to either run vintage "lights & switches"
front panels, or even miniaturized front panels built to look and run
like the original computers. All of the exhibits were well presented
and truly interesting.
Just before the event closed, I took a few minutes so I could go
upstairs to the computer room and take some photos of the KA-10(which
I'd have to say is my favorite vintage computer), when my friend and
exhibit helper Mike came through the doors of the computer room, pointed
at me, and motioned for me to come with him. I had been talking to two
very nice young gentlemen who had a lot of questions about the KA-10,
and had to beg their forgiveness as I had to leave. I followed Mike
down the stairs, and a big crowd of people was there. I didn't realize
it, but the awards ceremony was going on while I was upstairs. Mike
guided me to Mike Brutman, the event organizer, and he presented me with
"The Most Interesting Presentation" award! I was completely stunned.
I never would have thought that a couple of tables of old calculators
with hand-written signs would merit such an award, but I was very
honored and humbled to receive it.
The event was very well-organized. The Living Computer Museum+Labs
staff and volunteers did an amazing job getting the museum set up for
the exhibits, with tables, tablecloths, and chairs all in place and
ready to go when we arrived Friday. Mike Brutman was fantastic! He was
so nice, accommodating, and supportive of my exhibit (which, by
definition, was somewhat outside the "Vintage Computer" realm), as well
as doing a completely amazing job of organizing such a complicated
event. Everything went off smoothly, from the set up Friday night,
through the two days of the event, awards Sunday after the doors closed
to the public, and tear-down and haul out. Our exhibit was the last
one out the door, as it's rather tedious packing these old machines up,
making sure that they are cozily packed within the crates with a lot of
padding in between them. It took my about 2 days to get everything
packed to head up there, and we had a little over two hours to repack it
all after the event closed...we were running like banshees to get
everything packed safely and loaded into the van.
The trip home went smoothly with no problems. I was totally exhausted
Monday afternoon when we got home. Mike and I unloaded all the crates
and stuff from the van into the museum building, and Mike headed home.
I went to the house, sat down on the sofa and turned on the TV, and was
dead to the world when my wife got home from work a few hours later. I
don't remember anything from the time I sat down until she got home.
I haven't unpacked anything yet...I needed a day yesterday to get a
bunch of errands done, and reply to a backlog of Emails that stacked up
while I was away and didn't have time to tend to them. Later this
afternoon, I'll get everything unpacked and back on the display shelves,
and test 'em out. Hopefully everything will work fine after the trip
I want to take this opportunity to thank my long-time and cherished
friend, Mike Weiler, for taking three days off work to come help with
the exhibit. He was a real trooper, helping people understand how to
use the machines, manning the exhibit when I wanted to wander around and
look at the other exhibits and the new machines at the Living Computer
Museum+Labs (including the awesome KA-10 PDP-10 running in the machine
room upstairs...what a treat!), as well as fielding questions when I'd
get engaged with a visitor discussing these old calculators. Not to
mention all of his help packing the stuff up before we left, hauling all
the stuff into the museum when we arrived Friday afternoon, helping get
the exhibit set up and organized, tearing everything down and packing it
up after the event closed and hauling it out to the van and getting it
all packed in for the trip home, and helping to unload it all once we
arrived home. Along with all of that, Mike was a godsend in terms of
helping me keep my cool when I'd get stressed out about stuff. There's
not a ghost of a chance I could have done all of this myself.
I'd also like to thank Mike Brutman for all of the effort and
determination it takes to successfully pull of an event like this.
It was all stunningly well-done!
My thanks also go out to the other exhibitors at the event, many of
which who came over to visit the Old Calculator Museum exhibit and
compliment us about having these old machines running and available for
visitors to touch and operate.
Last, but certainly not least, thanks to the Living Computer Museum+Labs
staff and volunteers for all of the work and support that they provided
for this event. The venue amazing, and makes a perfect place for a
vintage computer festival.
With the success of this year's event, only its second time in the
Pacific Northwest, it is sure to grow even more next year. I am
looking forward to next year's VCF/PNW, where I plan on doing a similar
exhibit of old electronic calculators from the Friden Calculating
Machine Co., with an example of every line of calculator that
Friden/Singer made available for visitors to play with. I just hope my
friend Mike will be up to doing again it next year.
Just before we left, Erik Klein, the organizer of VCF/West, held in
Mountain View, CA at the Computer History Museum during the first week
in August, came to me and invited me to bring the Wang exhibit down to
the event his summer. I was surprised that there'd be interest, but he
was emphatic that it'd be wonderful to have the exhibit there. I was
honored by this request, and told Erik I'd do all I could to try to make
it to this event. Perhaps if I make it, I'll actually have printed
signs to identify the stuff rather than hand-written signs that I made
"on the fly" as we were setting things up, because I ran out of time to
make decent signs. :-) It's a long trip down there from the Portland,
Oregon vicinity, but I'm going to do all I can to make it if at all
The experience was amazing. I've never done anything like this before.
I discovered that there's really something special about seeing people
amazed by how much things have changed since the 1960's. The
calculators really make it so clear just how amazing it is to have an HP
calculator emulation running on a smartphone...and that the smartphone
has far more compute power, storage, and capability than all of the Wang
calculators on display together, with the emulated HP calculator running
far faster than the original calculator it emulates. It's really crazy
just how far we've come in 50 years...and I just can't even begin to
envision what we'll have 50 years from now. I wonder if the tech we
use today will be on display at vintage computer events in 2069?
A funny note. The whole time I was there on Saturday and Sunday, I was
wearing on my wrist a classic HP-01 wristwatch/calculator. A total of
five people noticed it and commented, and of the five, three knew what
it was, and two were just curious about it because it caught their eye,
but they didn't know what it was. The two that were curious were
completely blown away when I demonstrated it to them. I would have
expected that more folks would have noticed this big gold hunk on my
So, that's my "trip report". To all the ClassicCmp'ers that came to the
event, thanks for coming. See you maybe down at VCF/West, and, fates
willing, next year at VCF/PNW.
The Old Calculator Museum
In a previous thread I asked for a couple of specific pages from Byte magazine, which I got (thanks to all, especially Peter, for helping out!) But that brings up a bigger issue (no pun intended.)
About a year ago I found the Byte scans on americanradiohistory.org and started reading from the start. I found that those scans were less than great, with many missing pages, pages out of order, pages scanned at resolutions too low to read, and a few other problems. I went searching the web for other scans and, with a few exceptions for individual issues, found that ALL the collections of scans seemed to be the same ones, with the same bad pages.
I certainly appreciate the considerable effort of whoever did those scans, but I think Byte is too important to not have good scans available. Perhaps a project to get those good scans created would be something worthwhile for the members of this list to take on. I realize what a huge project it is. Just going through the currently available scans to find which pages are bad or missing is a large and time-consuming effort. But my opinion is that it is important and worthwhile.
"He may look dumb but that's just a disguise."? -- Charlie Daniels
"The names of global variables should start with? ? // "? --?https://isocpp.org