Making my SORD Computers fully operational

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Making my SORD Computers fully operational

Postby fbal on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:12 am

I open a new post to describe the machines I recently discovered.

A few weeks ago I won an auction on Ebay.fr for a SORD M223 Mark III. Considering the weight of the computer and my limited trust in French Post Services to handle fragile items, I proposed to the seller to pick up the computer myself. The seller, a very friendly man , explained that he was used to work in a computer shop selling inter alia SORD models in the eastern part of France. Unfortunately when he retired, he also moved to a new location and got rid of all remaining documentation, floppies and computers because none of his relatives or friends was interested :shock: . However he proposed me to take the only three SORD computers he had kept.

A few hours later, back home with my car completely full of hardware  :)

  1. SORD M223 Mark III
    The computer starts but has a display problem. I don't know yet the cause: monitor or video controller. I need to investigate.
  2. SORD M203 Mark III with the associated monitor and floppy drives
    The computer starts and displays the usual message « set a diskette and strike any key ». Unfortunately I don 't have any system disks.
  3. SORD M23 with the associated monitor and a cartridge labelled M2-PSW but no floppy controller
    The computer starts and displays the usual message « set a diskette and strike any key ». Or I should rather say «started ». Recently I had a nice white smoke due to a PSU capacitor I have now to replace. 
  4. SORD M343SX with a hard drive and a floppy drive (according to internet, it seems to be a PC compatible)
    I haven't tested it yet because I cannot plug any monitor or keyboard. If I'm not mistaken, the keyboard must be plugged to a specific SORD monitor, that is connected to the central unit with a DB25 connector labelled CRT.
  5. Double floppy drives FD-120
    It seems to be for the M23, however the connectors look strange, certainly not as the connector of the floppy controller cartridge I can see on internet.

I have posted some pictures HERE

Of course I would like to make them fully operational.

In particular I need help to :

    - find documentation for the different models in particular regarding their OS and their configuration, for instance they all have a series of switches on the back but I don't know the meaning.

    - Find system disks for the M223, M203 and M23. I suspect that the M203 and M223 can use the same disks. Most probably not the M23. To be tested.
    The seller told me that the M343SX hard drive should still be configured with DOS.

    - Find a floppy controller for the M23. I guess it will be very difficult due to the rarity of the model...
    I'm wondering as well how to use the cartridge. Is it possible to boot the computer with it ?

    - Understand the pinout of the DB25 connector for the M343SX so I can build a replacement cable to connect any PC keyboard and monitor.

I have also to look at the M223 display problem.

Any information, documentation, copies of software, etc... you might have will me greatly appreciated ! :wink:

Soon I will tell you the results of my on-going investigations...

Franck
fbal
 
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Re: Making my SORD Computers fully operational

Postby Carcenomy on Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:00 pm

You need to talk to arjoll. He's the local Sord guy and knows his stuff.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: Making my SORD Computers fully operational

Postby tezza on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:34 pm

I agree. arjoll is the man on these forums when it comes to Sords.
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