PS/2 Musings

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PS/2 Musings

Postby YetiSeti on Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:20 pm

IBM PS/2 that is. Don't have one myself but I'm pretty sure Otago Uni had labs full of IBM PS/2s (of the 386 variety) in the early 90s. But perhaps not the same model that commands the price in the US.

Found this link to an old (vintage) auction from 2005 on trademe. Check out the comments section. If this auction doesn't take the cake for the most Q&A's for an auction, I'll eat it myself (it's a win-win proposition) :

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Vintage/auction-24705283.htm
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:39 am

LOL! Thanks for posting that link. The comments were a real hoot. It would be interesting to know what the machine went for. Not sure if a model 30 would be worth as much as he wanted, but they have minor collectablty status if they are in good condition.

Despite having a PS/2 (see http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/collection/ps2-286-30.htm) I've decided a microchannel architecture PS/2 would be a welcome addition to my own collection, as it shows a blind Alley IBM moved into (along with OS/2). The model 50s and 80s are of this type so if anyone out there has a nice specimen, let me know. I've decided it would be nice to have the full deal too i.e. monitor, keyboard and mouse.

There don't seem to be that many geniue IBMs of the 1980s in New Zealand. I guess the Asian clones were just too close (and too cheap). :)

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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:12 pm

I'm incredibly ticked off actually - my uncle had an original IBM PC (like pre XT even) in his garage. I poked around it a bit only to discover it was gutted, just the empty (but immaculate) shell. Always wanted to get it from him and rebuild it, but he disposed of it not long before he passed away :(

Did find a ZX-81 tucked away in a box though... it's safely stowed away at my aunt's house, and will get tested and examined at some stage soonish :)
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:58 pm

Yea, XTs are quite rare now. There tended to be business machines so written off and scrapped.

Keep the shell though. Even those are worth keeping. It could have some salebale value to a collector, or you might come across a motherboard at some stage and be able to reconstruct one.

You never know.

Good luck with the ZX-81. Let me know how it goes. The big weakness with those machines from a collecting point of view is the membrane keyboard. It gets brittle after a while and stops working.

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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby Carcenomy on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:42 pm

Actually on the topic of PS/2s specifically, when I did work experience for Clive Wilson Computers back in 2000, they had a shelf filled with old retired PS/2s in the workshop, and a mountain of even older, retired gear hiding out the back. It's like they were stockpiling it... perhaps I should go in now and see if they ever got around to cleaning it up?
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:36 pm

Carcenomy wrote:Actually on the topic of PS/2s specifically, when I did work experience for Clive Wilson Computers back in 2000, they had a shelf filled with old retired PS/2s in the workshop, and a mountain of even older, retired gear hiding out the back. It's like they were stockpiling it... perhaps I should go in now and see if they ever got around to cleaning it up?


Yes, you should. And while you're at it see if there is a spare PS/2 there for me! I've had incredible bad luck with these machines.

I've got two. Both were going when I received them. First one stopped working, and then the second one started Posting a memory fault when I cleaned it (but it's not the RAM)!

I'm attempting to repair both of them but without much luck!

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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby scitex on Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:06 pm

I had an IBM PS/2 model 80 that I rescued from my old work years ago. (I had all the original system disks as well.) It was used for plotting to a Scitex Dolev Imagesetter. I can't remember too many of the specifications but I know it had a fibre optic network card in it. It also had some kind of proprietary Scitex card in it as well. I'm pretty sure it cost a lot when we first got it. It was still working fine in 2001 when it was retired.

Now when I say I HAD it ...... I needed to clear some space so I took it to the dump about a year ago!

How collectable would that model have been?

My old work had 2 of them. Not sure what ever happened to the other one.

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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby Mr President on Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:05 am

I had an IBM ps2 30/286 maybe 19 years ago. I recall you needed a special floppy disk to make any hardware changes. Several years later I had one that wasn't working so I phoned IBM to enquire as to a replacement motherboard. They wanted something like $900. Some time after that there were piles of them at the local auction in Whangarei. I must have got rid of my ps2 at some stage until recently when I decided I wanted one for it's antique value. Got one off trademe for $50. Was a bit disappointed to find they don't have micro channel architecture in this model but I'm holding on to it none the less. Hope I can keep it going for a long time.
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:14 pm

Yes, my first PS/2 (a PS/2 30-286) was not microchannel either which was disappointing. I managed to lay my hands on a Model 70 though, which was.

Both machines work now, although getting the PS/2 30-286 up and going was a bit of a mission. See
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blo ... enture.htm
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby Mr President on Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:24 pm

I just had a read of that. Sounds like a familiar scenario. I hope I can keep mine going.
In your article you stated "72-Pin Simm DRAM". It would be 32 pin RAM in your machine wouldn't it? I'll have to look in mine to check. It would have been an innovation though because the original PCs had dual inline packages for their RAM eh!

So did yours have a harddrive in it when you got it? What about your 2nd one? Either of them got SCSI drives? I had some SCSI drives of about 10 or 20Mb with their own adapter cards knocking around for ages and never realised they were PS2 drives until I got my ps2 30-286.
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:45 am

Yes, that might be a typo. I'll have to check.

Both the machines came with hard drives and both work so I have a spare. I've got a MCA SCSI card which I could attach to my Model 70 if I had a mind, but no SCSI drive (as yet).
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby arjoll on Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:58 pm

Sorry I'm a bit late in on this one....

YetiSeti wrote:IBM PS/2 that is. Don't have one myself but I'm pretty sure Otago Uni had labs full of IBM PS/2s (of the 386 variety) in the early 90s.

Yup, lots of PS/2 386SX machines in the Commerce Building when I did INFO101 in 1993 (just a filler paper in my last year of BCom - WordPerfect, 1-2-3, dBase IV - and an all multi-choice final exam!). 13" colour monitors from memory, no idea what model they were though. The last PS/2 I saw was a 286, MCA, when I worked at Ernst & Young - after Invercargill was 'devolved' from the national firm we used it with a 2400 modem to stay on the E&Y Microsoft Mail network for another year or so until they dropped the name as well.

Carcenomy wrote:Actually on the topic of PS/2s specifically, when I did work experience for Clive Wilson Computers back in 2000, they had a shelf filled with old retired PS/2s in the workshop, and a mountain of even older, retired gear hiding out the back. It's like they were stockpiling it... perhaps I should go in now and see if they ever got around to cleaning it up?

I suspect they would have dumped it or taken it to the e-days. If you're wanting a stockpile of old gear then Jensen Technical is the place, last time I was there he had a Mac 128k, Mac Plus and Mac SE sitting in the showroom under a pile of junk! Pretty impressive collection but very disorganised (and if you know Jens you know what I mean... and if Jens is here he knows what I mean too!).
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby YetiSeti on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:57 pm

arjoll wrote:Yup, lots of PS/2 386SX machines in the Commerce Building when I did INFO101 in 1993 (just a filler paper in my last year of BCom - WordPerfect, 1-2-3, dBase IV - and an all multi-choice final exam!). 13" colour monitors from memory, no idea what model they were though.

That would be a year after me.

While cleaning out my old room in the family house I have recently dug into my recycled paper drawer. There's more than a ream of printer banner pages in there. We sure printed out a lot in those days. The ftp file lists, FAQs, canonical joke lists...The internet was great back then. With printers with names like 'Forest Eater', could they expect much less?

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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:16 pm

YetiSeti wrote:
arjoll wrote:Yup, lots of PS/2 386SX machines in the Commerce Building when I did INFO101 in 1993

With printers with names like 'Forest Eater', could they expect much less?

I remember being introduced to Forest Eater in my first year in 1989. I guess they built those old line printers to last :)
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Re: PS/2 Musings

Postby tezza on Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:30 pm

"Forest eater"??? LOL :D

I have three PS/2 model 30s stacked up in the shed at the moment. It's going to take me a while to get around to them but at least two are likely to be TradeMe items when I do. The biggest problems with the PS/2 Model 30s from a restoration point of view is that Dallas battery which requires surgery.

The floppy drives are not known for their long term reliability either.

I do like their small footprint though and cool cases.
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