New Toys!

Seek advice, give advice or tell others about your repair and restoration projects

Re: New Toys!

Postby caluser2000 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:18 pm

Good score.
The Acorn never falls far from the tree.. x86 GUI whore.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:49 am

Cheers.

Still need to fix the fan on the old PSU, and last night I had two new dramas.

512KB RAM instead of 640KB RAM on one machine, hoping I just need to reseat the chips in the expansion card, although I do have spare 4164 chips if needed.
But the worst of the two was that my repaired (professionally) MDA display from ages ago has started shaking again. I haven't even so much as touched the damn things, just powered them up last night to test my newly created SimCity backup disks!

My theory on the display, just a theory, is the transistor in the PSU is being overloaded possibly by slowly shorting caps. I'll need to send it in for a repair (epic pain to organise that but at least I know a guy). I thoroughly agitated it last night by leaving SimCity running for 20 minutes.

p.s. don't play SimCity on a 4Mhz XT unless you have a math co-pro or a lot of patience
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 pm

Some new software aquisitions, not something I'd normally write about but there was a few suprises.

Whenever I get PC software on 5.25 inch disks from trademe, they almost always do not work at all. They have either grown mould or starting flaking - as a result of this I rarely bid over a few bucks. However, my last two purchases, oh my lord was the condition nice.

I now have:

FirstChoice 3.5 for DOS on perfect floppies with manuals
MS Works 2.0 for DOS on perfect 5.25" floppies, manual, quick start guide, + about 5 other books from the time period AND the receipts for all!
MS Works 3.0 for DOS with perfect 5.25" floppies
MS DOS 5.0 upgrade with perfect 5.25" floppies and perfect condition manual + quick start guide
QuickMenu II and a few others with manuals/disks.

Stoked!
Haven't looked in to the PC XT issues yet, with spring upon us I've been distracted with my fishing hobby :S and now instead of working on my old girls, I'm cleaning up my spare car to throw on trademe.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 pm

whoops, forgot I'm grabbing a 386 in a few hours, so I'll be doing something vintage tonight
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Re: New Toys!

Postby tezza on Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:35 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:Whenever I get PC software on 5.25 inch disks from trademe, they almost always do not work at all. They have either grown mould or starting flaking - as a result of this I rarely bid over a few bucks.

Yes, I've found the same. It's a real lottery depending how they have been stored.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby Paul on Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:46 pm

I just received a box of 3M brand 5.25" 1.2MB blanks, ordered off ebay.com. Cost me about $30 including shipping, but worth it as they are still in the sealed box and they are perfect. Very cooperative vendor too despite having to be asked if he would ship to NZ.
First think I'm going to do is install SCO Xenix 286 on my AT :)
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:06 pm

Yeah every disk I've had sent from the US have been perfect. Wondering if it's humidity or temperature or something?

Last bits I got from the US was SimCity original boxed and IBM PC DOS 2.10 (both disks). Sealed disks, normally blank disks, that I've got locally have been great though.

I did do some testing on kiwi-moulded disks, I know tez has too, and you can actually clean them if they're valuable enough.
I cheated a bit for my testing and just used an isopropyl wipe through the drive window - it worked but I missed a spot (curses). Wasn't a valuable disk, just wanted to try it :) Also tried swapping the donut between disk cases and that worked out quite well - haven't used that technique to revive any rare OEM disks yet but the trial went well.

Is your AT a genuine IBM? If so, congrats :) Let me know if you need anything, I've got quite a few spares stacked up at the moment.
Still need to order a PC-AT case, have been putting that off as my wallet has been scared.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby tezza on Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:37 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:Is your AT a genuine IBM? If so, congrats :) Let me know if you need anything, I've got quite a few spares stacked up at the moment.

Spidey, you don't have a spare genuine AT keyboard do you? Not an extended one, but one with the function keys down the side...similar to the XT/PC, but only for the AT of course. If so, I'd be interested.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:07 pm

Unfortunately not a single one :(
I'm very short on genuine keyboards myself, most of my machines have either generic or Commodore PC keyboards attached :S
At some stage I'd planned to bring some IBM keyboards in to the country but will be a while yet.

My spare bits are mostly expansion cards and hard drives etc.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:39 pm

Aww poor 386 was a bit far gone.

Completely as advertised, and still happy with the trade (considering I got a Commodore monitor with it for the C64!!) but the poor girl had spilt her battery.
About ten traces broken, and two SMD components fell off as well as a factory-wire-fix. Powers up but yeah it's gone - no keyboard, floppy controller wont initialise, interrupt problems and occasionally the ROM startup misspells words. Memory/CPU etc fine

Some useful parts though, WD Caviar 80MB IDE and a 1.44 drive in 5.25" bracket, 8 x 30pin 256KB SIMMs as well as what appears to be a standard form factor AT PSU (from the tower era), and a perfect condition Commodore AT keyboard.

Quite an impressive startup on the Commodore 386 however. It tells you the details of every single test, never seen such an informative bootup before. The keyboard port did work for a few minutes at one point which let me access the built in BIOS too which was quite sufficient for a machine of that age.
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