Zilog Server

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Zilog Server

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:42 pm

Price is ridiculous, but forgetting about that.

Does anyone have any info on this? I didn't even know Zilog made any machines? Really curious.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/vint ... 152791.htm
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby Gibsaw on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:35 pm

You may yet be correct... "Zylog" is not necessarily the same as "Zilog".
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:36 pm

Ohhhhh

Edit: rechecked auction, he spelt it wrong, but the case has "Zilog" engraved
Also an RT-PC listed, awesome but price too excessive for NZ.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:06 pm

Appears to be one of these.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:29 pm

I've asked a couple of questions... It'd be nice if one of these days, a vendor took the hint and came here to talk about a system. I won't hold my breath though.

Q: A System 8000. However, much like old IBM stuff, unless you know some very specific people, it's practically unsupportable even by vintage hobbyists - It's a niche player that didn't last long. Not "common" and very INTERESTING, but not a milestone box. It would be a shame to see it junked, but no NZ'er's going to pay $2k for it. Do you really want to see it go to a good home or are you just hoping it's worth something? :) dsakey (173 ) 11:58 pm, Wed 23 Jan
Q: I'm sure you probably think my previous question is slightly rude, but I'm just pointing out that there aren't many people in NZ who can even identify this box. It just won't carry the desirability of the well known "milestones" like an Altair 8800, IBM 5150, '77 Apple II, '84 128k Mac etc. My focus is Apple II's... but I really suggest you talk directly to the local vintage community on classic-computers DOT org DOT nz SLASH forums about this box and the RS6000. dsakey (173 ) 12:21 am, Thu 24 Jan
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:29 am

Awesome find on the datasheet, I couldn't find anything on google.

The other box isn't an RS6000 though, it's an RT PC tower which is rarer (was the precursor to the RS), which of course I'd love, but untested/non-working going much beyond 100-200 is too much because any replacement parts would cost huge to get from the US. I rewatched the RT PC episode of the Computer Chronicles yesterday, good watch, I love it when Gary teases them about the upcoming faster 386DX models.

He's local to me too so I could pick up and pay cash. Just crossing fingers he relists at a lower price rather than just keeping it in storage - longer it stays in storage the harder it will be to revive (so I've found anyway).
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby Gibsaw on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:55 am

I wouldn't have the RT PC unless it was 100% working. IBM will support a box for a long time from a spare parts perspective as long as you have a maintenance contract, but it is expensive.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby SpidersWeb on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:43 am

I'd be looking at ebay for bits, but there isn't much there at the moment, just a replacement hard drive, and it's rather pricey.

So yeah, if non-working it could be a big investment money and/or time wise.

I see he's lowered his price, still a little too high for my liking, but I'm wondering if one of the new-appearing-IBM collectors with big wallets might grab it. I know nod10 is filling his garage so he has equipment to repair when he retires - so he *might* be a candidate - but $500 is still hard to part with these days.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby TRS80 on Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:21 am

We used these one of these machines in my BCOM course in the mid 80's. It used a Zilog Z8000 processor, a Unix type OS and approximately 20 Wyse 50 terminals.

Not sure why learning Pascal programming was important in an Introduction to Business Computing paper but it was the 80's!
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby Gibsaw on Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:52 pm

Pascal was regarded as THE teaching language. It was generally assumed that it would teach concepts and also be useful various UCSD pascal P-code interpreters that were around.

Hell, I did my computer science degree at auckland during a time of transition. Started doing pascal, moved on to "C" then C++ then Objective C, plus various forms of basic and assembler and finally these days , the whole course is in Java from whoa to go, just after I finished. :D

I actually like to think I got the best scenario...
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby recycled on Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:01 pm

Machine code is a bizarre choice for a productive language. It is probably no better or worse a choice than any other high level language if the programmer is proficient with it. However to get the most out if it, you also need to have an intimate knowledge of your hardware. Just on portability, you can end up with machine specific restrictions confounding even the simplest machine code routines 'ported' to another system with the same processor even! (The entire range of Acorn machines using the 6502 variants are a prime example). There is also the demand that an employer may place on your requirement to make the code supportable - not exclusively by you, but your workmates who maybe grew up using FORTRAN, and then what are they going to do when they see your code interspersed with mnemonics like SWINE? Not like you for sure! My favourite comment in code - 'It was hard to write, it should be hard to read', and then no further comments, second favourite comment 'bloody 68000' in assembler code for an ARM processor, (converted sound tracker player). A reasonable high level language and a development environment will improve your productivity, maintainabilty (not a real word?) and code portability immensely - even the IDEs available for machine language that I've used have had a 'pseudo' high level language to remove a total dependance on raw mnemonic coding. I agree that some knowledge of the instruction set for your target processor can help in code 'optimising' after compiling (some compilers can have different ideas about what is required by the programmer, speed, compactness or 'just compile'), but it's the 21st century and compilers are generally very good at producing 'final' code. Then there is the argument for Java and virtual machines. Write your code once, run on ANY device in it's virtual machine without changing anything. (Thank you Microsoft for messing this ideal up). Take the 'Hello World' example and show me the SAME MACHINE CODE that will work on a PC, iPad and Commodore 64. (There are websites devoted to 'Hello world' and so far I have not seen one example of machine code that will do this, yet).

I love 6502 and ARM 'machine code', love being able to show the guys I work with my latest clip of 6502 or plugging away at ARM code to while away a dull afternoon, but it is no way going to impress the boss when he wants some script that can be started at the click of a button to fetch reams of records and flick out the overdue guff in a half an hour deadline - read Visual Basic here, uggg. I applaud anybody who takes code down to the metal, but today you only get a higher Nerd Factor rating for using machine code, kind of like self modifying code or using 200 GOTOs in a 500 line basic program because you don't want somebody to find the LET LIVES=3 in your latest game. Then again, there is the part in the film Independence Day, where, based only on a decaying radio signal the entire invading alien armada's operating system and underlying processor architecture is deduced and defeated with a bit of machine code produced on an apple powerbook, so we know it is the most powerful language in this galaxy, perhaps more people should be using it ;o)

Back to the server, for it's vintage, if it is not a SASI drive (the fore runner to SCSI) it will be some generic MFM probably run from a Seagate (formerly Shugart) controller any way. SASI would be a problem, but for the others, replacement drives are abundant, and devices that simulate the original 'disk hardware' are available. The biggest problem will be getting a suitable OS for the zilog beast if it is a Z8000. Not sure that 16/32bit CP/M was overly popular! (I've got an 8MB MFM drive, kept it because of it's physical size to show how far PC HDD tech has come, but for the right 'hundreds of dollars price' ;o) I'll part with it so somebody can get their archaic server to run, no guarantees that the disk still works mind you).

If the computer is a runner, and the seller really does not know how to connect up a terminal to check, pretty much any 8bit machine you can name will do a very good impression of a terminal easily. (And the first time I used an apple Macintosh was as a terminal, so that would be my choice - despite the Appletalk networking!) I don't know if you've tried it, but there's even 'term.exe' (hyperterm for you 32bit people) in windows for this, or at least there was in the old versions of windows that had windows.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby TRS80 on Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:38 pm

Gibsaw wrote:Pascal was regarded as THE teaching language. It was generally assumed that it would teach concepts and also be useful various UCSD pascal P-code interpreters that were around.


Yes.... this wasn't Comp-Sci though. It was a required paper for all commerce students that would go on to do things like accounting, marketing, commercial law and occasionally IT. Always seemed to me that teaching something about databases would have been a lot more use. Mind you that would have been dBase II or similar at the time so maybe not.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby arjoll on Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:27 pm

TRS80 wrote:Yes.... this wasn't Comp-Sci though. It was a required paper for all commerce students that would go on to do things like accounting, marketing, commercial law and occasionally IT. Always seemed to me that teaching something about databases would have been a lot more use. Mind you that would have been dBase II or similar at the time so maybe not.

Otago's INFO101 in the early 90's was dBase IV. Was actually quite handy when our firm switched from the Ernst & Young ISIS-CA system (Ingres running on Ultrix servers with Windows clients running under WfWG 3.11 with Win32s - those were the days - I was the rebel network admin who dared to run it under Win95 before National IM approved it!) to the first Windows version of CA-Systems. Horribly buggy, but being able to drop out to a FoxPro command window and type in old dBase commands was very useful!

We also did WordPerfect and 1-2-3 - those were the days....1-2-3 on an XT taking 9 minutes to recalculate a forecast model :D
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby TRS80 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:58 pm

arjoll wrote:Otago's INFO101 in the early 90's was dBase IV. Was actually quite handy when our firm switched from the Ernst & Young ISIS-CA system (Ingres running on Ultrix servers with Windows clients running under WfWG 3.11 with Win32s - those were the days - I was the rebel network admin who dared to run it under Win95 before National IM approved it!) to the first Windows version of CA-Systems. Horribly buggy, but being able to drop out to a FoxPro command window and type in old dBase commands was very useful!

We also did WordPerfect and 1-2-3 - those were the days....1-2-3 on an XT taking 9 minutes to recalculate a forecast model :D


Seeing we have taken this so off topic.... dBase IV was a horrible bloated beast. I spent a lot of time in the early 90's converting dBase III applications to dBase IV and it was a real challenge to get this to run well. Then FoxPro came out.... what a revelation. I remember doing a lot of conversion with the pre-release Foxpro 1.0 Beta which had a record limit but otherwise seemed fully functional. It had to be one of the ultimate database tools for MS-DOS. Foxpro for Windows (up to version 2.6) wasn't so great but I can imagine the challenge of making that work and maintaining code commonality with the MS-DOS version. Crazy thing is that even in 2013 I still have a couple of people using an old Foxpro 2.6 app that I wrote in the early 90's.
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Re: Zilog Server

Postby SpidersWeb on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:49 am

I won the IBM RT server package at $250.
I am one step closer to owning 'all the things'.

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