Modcomp Minicomputers Related - Preservation and Repair

devin davison lyokoboy0 at
Tue Nov 5 22:47:41 CST 2019

Greeting. Its been a while since I have posted here. A while back I picked
up a large Modcomp classic minicomputer. Recently the person i picked the
computer up off of gave me a call to come and get many books and software,
among much more hardware. I have picked up hundreds of 9 track tapes. The
modcomp computer mainly ran the real time os MAX, however i also found many
tapes for a unix variant for the machine, that supported real time
operation as well.

I am trying to preserve things as best i can, I am set to pick up 3 more
machines, and among the tapes and documentation, Space is running out fast.

I am curious if any of this documentation has been archived already, if
not, i can get to scanning it in my free time. I have documentation on
everything. The hardware, the software, os code, everything.

The tapes are another issue all together. They were stored in probably the
worst possible place, in a area of extreme heat and humidity. Some are
musty, others look like new. I do not own a 9 track drive, i was thinking
it would be possible to get a 9 track drive with a scsi interface attached
to a more modern Linux system to dump the tapes to images. If anyone here
has suggestions on how to read off the tapes or where to find a drive, it
would be most helpful.

As a last resort, I have a 9 track drive that is attached to my pdp 11/34,
however i have not gotten that system into working order yet either, and am
unsure of if the drive is working yet.

I was also given an old emulator for the system,m written for linux. I have
not gotten the software to work yet. I need to be sure the software is not
still a licenced product and that the company is gone before i post it.
Perhaps someone here can find out why its not working. On a modern debian
system, it attempts to run and just exits, without any info as to whats

Any help or suggestions on how to best preserve the documentation and
software is most appreciated. I am undecided on what to do with the
hardware yet. The hardware is fascinating, and there is a bunch of it,
however it is quite large and is taking up a large portion of space. The
hope is to at least get one running to test out and see if i decide to keep
a system after that.

--Devin D

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