Text encoding Babel. Was Re: George Keremedjiev

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Fri Nov 30 21:44:01 CST 2018

>> I found the bad spot and put a SECTORS.BAD file there, and then was OK.

On Sat, 1 Dec 2018, Maciej W. Rozycki wrote:
> Well, ATA drives at that time should have already had the capability to
> remap bad blocks or whole tracks transparently in the firmware, although

Not even IDE.
Seagate ST4096  (ST506/412 MFM)  80MB formatted, which was still 
considered good size by those of us who weren't wealthy.

> Of course the ability to remap bad storage areas transparently is not an
> excuse for the OS not to handle them gracefully, it was not that time yet
> back then when a hard drive with a bad block or a dozen was considered
> broken like it usually is nowadays.

Yes, they still came with list of known bad blocks.  Usually taped to the 
drive.  THIS one wasn't on the manufacturer's list, and neither SpeedStor 
nor SpinRite could find it!
There were other ways to lock out a block besides filling it with a 
garbage file, but that was easiest.

And, I did try to tell the Microsoft people that the OS "should recover 
gracefully from hardware errors".  In those words.

>> I had a font editor that wouldn't tolerate 3.1, and quite a few XTs (no A20),
>> so I continued to keep Win 3.0 on a bunch of machines.
> Did 3.1 support running in the real mode though (as opposed to switching
> to the real mode for DOS tasks only)?  I honestly do not remember anymore,
> and ISTR it was removed at one point.  I am sure 3.0 did.

I believe that it did.  I don't remember WHAT the program didn't like 
about 3.1, or if there were a real reason, not just an arbitrary limit.
I don't think that the Cordata's refusal to run on 286 was based on a real 

But, the Win 3.1 installation program(s) balked at anything without A20 
and a tiny bit of RAM above 100000h I didn't have a problem with having a 
few dedicated machines (an XT with Cordata interface, an AT with 
Eiconscript card for postscript and HP PCL, an AT Win 3.0 for the font 
editor, a machine for disk duplication (no-notch disks), order entry, 
accounting, and lots of machines with lots of different floppy drive 
types.)  I also tested every release of my programs on many variants of 
the platform (after I discovered the hard way that 286 had a longer 
pre-fetch buffer than 8088!)

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