On 1/10/11 2:55 AM, Rik Bos wrote:
At the hp computer museum you can find several
documents regarding the PC
It is a shame they orphaned these devices. I have a box of various
PCIB instruments, and discovered
when I tried to do something with them that the PC interface and
software is unobtainium.
I think you can now get the softwate from the Australian museum site that Rik
mentioned. Of course this is no use at all ithout the interface
I've seen at least one HP150 PCIB interface on E-bay. Of ocurse this is
no use unless you have an HP150. From the photos of the PCB thatI've
seen, the interface contained a number of TTL drvies (amybe some PALs, I
couldn't read the numbers), a 40 pin microcontroller, and an HP 48 pin
ASIC linked ot the interface connector (this was mentioned in the HP
Journal article I read). So not easy to figure out.
And OI've not seen any of the insturments for sale at a sane price. I any
case youd need several to figure ito ut, the simpler/slower ones only
used the serial part of the PCIB, which is not a lot of help.
I think I mentioned a couple of years ago how the PC interfaced
instruments are just a bad idea
You don;t need ot convince me of that ;-)
from a preservation standpoint. Take the Biomation
analyzer. Really nice device for
the time, had a SCSI interface to the host for user interface, but the
only supported computer
was the Macintosh II. They never released the communications protocol
And yet people tell me how wonderful the USB-inerfaced 'scopes', logic
analusers and evne multimeters are. Every one I've looked at comes with
vinary-only softare for the currnet version of Windows. There may be a
documetned API to write your own high-level prgrams, but I've yet to see
one where the low-level protocol is documented. Which means I would be
stuck with a particular closed-source OS running on uncoducmented
hardawre. NO THANKS!