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Older Computers, Operating Systems, Etc.

searcher

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#1
Deleted most of my posts. Had some fun with the thread but it seems to have run it's course and some peeps get a bit goofy over long running threads, unless it's their thread. lol

Far too many posts, threads and vids. nmcu
 
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the_shootist

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#2
Reason #261 why I still use Windows XP: Old hardware support
VWestlife


Published on Dec 5, 2016
Windows XP is the last version to support a lot of older hardware, especially parallel port devices such as scanners and Zip drives. Getting an HP Scanjet 5100C scanner from 1998 to work in any other operating system is nearly impossible these days, but in Windows XP it is as simple as plugging it in and using Windows' included scanner software.
I used to have one of those beasts but it was a SCSI based scanner that required a SCSI adapter in your machine to work
 

Irons

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#3
I have an older Dell tower sitting here that runs XP. Runs fine nothing wrong with it.
Mebbe I should clean it out and put it on Ebay!
 

mayhem

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#5
I still have a 24 pin Panasonic sheet or continuous feed printer here that the wife keeps trying to throw away. It also has a parallel port cable to hook it up to.

That thing is part of my history of the late 80's writing code after work, in Basic then starting the printer at midnight, closing the door and let it print for 2-3 hours. Getting up the next morning with my coffee, and going over the printout looking for errors, and then off to work.
 

the_shootist

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#6
I have an older Dell tower sitting here that runs XP. Runs fine nothing wrong with it.
Mebbe I should clean it out and put it on Ebay!
XP was the last great MS OS....Windows 7 was Ok too but XP was solid man! Now I've become a fan of Apple OSX....it just works!
 

mayhem

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#7
I have an older Dell tower sitting here that runs XP. Runs fine nothing wrong with it.
Mebbe I should clean it out and put it on Ebay!
I have one of those also. Pent-II, 2 gig, w/a 500 mg. drive, running Win 2000 server. Has twin monitor video output, and a 3.5 floppy drive. The thing is a tank compared to today's desktops.
 

mayhem

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#8
XP was the last great MS OS....Windows 7 was Ok too but XP was solid man! Now I've become a fan of Apple OSX....it just works!
Now that Linux has matured so well there is no advantage to using the Mac OS. The Mac is running the same chips as a Win machine now, so why pay the steep markup for a name?
 

the_shootist

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#9
I have one of those also. Pent-II, 2 gig, w/a 500 mg. drive, running Win 2000 server. Has twin monitor video output, and a 3.5 floppy drive. The thing is a tank compared to today's desktops.
I used to build those when I was a young buck...now there isn't a desktop in the house....all laptops with a ton of compute power compared to the older ones
 

the_shootist

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#10
Now that Linux has matured so well there is no advantage to using the Mac OS. The Mac is running the same chips as a Win machine now, so why pay the steep markup for a name?
Correctumundo! I just picked up a used 13" Macbook air for 500 bucks because of the insanely thin form factor which will make carrying it around at work much easier but that's it; I'm done buying Mac hardware. I've only bought one Mac I would consider expensive, a Macbook Pro 2012 and even that I picked up used. I have never set foot in an Apple store nor will I ever. I don't use Linux because my company's VPN isn't supported on a Linux OS, but OSX is (as well as Windows) and I work 90% of the time from home.

All that being said I have few complaints with the Mac OS and do have an old IBM Thinkpad I put a solid state drive into and installed Linux. It runs like a gazelle!
 

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#12
Here's the thing. I'm an old machine fan myself ... but saying the reason you're sticking with it is because of a lack of drivers for old peripherals is sad. Drivers are easy to port and code. Any programmer can whip new drivers off for you in an hour. Hell ... an e-mails to the OEM will usually new you the source code which is easily modified.
 

mayhem

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#13
I don't use Linux because my company's VPN isn't supported on a Linux OS, but OSX is (as well as Windows) and I work 90% of the time from home.
Yeah understood, and agree.
All that being said I have few complaints with the Mac OS and do have an old IBM Thinkpad I put a solid state drive into and installed Linux. It runs like a gazelle!
Just like I need a server here, otherwise I wouldn't have a desktop. I've even stopped using laptops. I have 3 Chromebooks that I installed SeaBios on and run Linux instead of ChromeOS. Talk about cheap and lightweight. I find myself sitting here at the island in the kitchen more and more every day on this Chromebook surfing the web. I don't have the need for huge system much any longer. I needed it when I was in business, but not do much now. The server runs a couple of wireless routers and modems for all the devices we have. I also allow my neighbor to use my access point because he has been out of work for a couple of years now and ATT wants $80.00+ a month just for a hard line and DSL. Hot spots don't work that well where we are.

The neighbors have lightly discussed creating a local net here, but I'm the only semi-geek here, and don't really feel like taking on the project at my age.
 

ToBeSelfEvident

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#14
I still appreciate a full-blown desktop. My older quad-core is still chugging along, with Hi-res USB sound and an SSD instead of a spinning drive. XP works well but some entities are dropping support for it, like Dropbox. No problem, I just run Dropbox on a server and then map it to XP as a network drive.
 

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#15
Who would still want to use something so old and limited like zip drives? Also for scanners, you can get those built into new printers.
 

the_shootist

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#16
I still appreciate a full-blown desktop. My older quad-core is still chugging along, with Hi-res USB sound and an SSD instead of a spinning drive. XP works well but some entities are dropping support for it, like Dropbox. No problem, I just run Dropbox on a server and then map it to XP as a network drive.
4 cores is all you'll ever need for a desktop (until the next big change in coding which will drive the need for more cores) at this point.
 

the_shootist

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#17
Who would still want to use something so old and limited like zip drives? Also for scanners, you can get those built into new printers.
I get it but; there's something to be said for old school thinking
 

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#18
Shit, when I saw this thread I thought of the computers I used to maintain B5500, Univac 1004 circa 1960. Really old mainframe stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burroughs_large_systems

B5000[edit]

The first member of the first series, the B5000,[3] was designed beginning in 1961 by a team under the leadership of Robert (Bob) Barton. It was a unique machine, well ahead of its time. It has been listed by the influential computing scientist John Mashey as one of the architectures that he admires the most. "I always thought it was one of the most innovative examples of combined hardware/software design I've seen, and far ahead of its time."[4] The B5000 was succeeded by the B5500[5] (which used disks rather than drum storage) and the B5700 (which allowed multiple CPUs to be clustered around shared disk). While there was no successor to the B5700, the B5000 line heavily influenced the design of the B6500, and Burroughs ported the Master Control Program (MCP) to that machine.

Unique features[edit]
  • All code automatically reentrant (fig 4.5 from the ACM Monograph shows in a nutshell why): programmers don't have to do anything more to have any code in any language spread across processors than to use just the two shown simple primitives. This is perhaps the canonical but no means the only benefit of these major distinguishing features of this architecture:
  • Support for asymmetric (master/slave) multiprocessing
  • Support for other languages such as COBOL
  • Powerful string manipulation
  • An attempt at a secure architecture prohibiting unauthorized access of data or disruptions to operations[NB 2]
  • Early error-detection supporting development and testing of software
  • First commercial implementation of virtual memory[NB 3]
  • Successors still exist in the Unisys ClearPath/MCP machines
  • Influenced many of today's computing techniques
 
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MIavatar

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#19
I always liked those first PDA's with windows CE they had. Compaq Ipaq, Casio Cassiopia, etc.. You could use the built in IR to mess with peoples Tv's.
 

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#20
1986 Wang Advanced PC radio ad (in AM Stereo)
VWestlife


Published on Dec 16, 2016
A radio commercial for a computer store in Hauppauge, NY advertising the Wang Advanced PC, broadcast on 660 WNBC in New York City on August 18th, 1986, featuring DJ Jim Collins as the announcer. The Wang Advanced PC had a faster processor, more RAM, and better keyboard than IBM's PCs, but struggled due to its lack of full IBM compatibility.

1985 PC Magazine article announcing the Wang Advanced PC: https://books.google.com/books?id=xsM...

Received in wideband Kahn-Hazeltine AM Stereo on a modified Sansui tuner.


Oh! Dear Lord! I remember having to deal with guys when I worked at Estee Lauder years ago. Ahh! The horror! I am getting Post Traumatic VAR syndrome! :computer:

:make happy 2:
 

gringott

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#21
1986 Wang Advanced PC radio ad (in AM Stereo)
VWestlife


Published on Dec 16, 2016
A radio commercial for a computer store in Hauppauge, NY advertising the Wang Advanced PC, broadcast on 660 WNBC in New York City on August 18th, 1986, featuring DJ Jim Collins as the announcer. The Wang Advanced PC had a faster processor, more RAM, and better keyboard than IBM's PCs, but struggled due to its lack of full IBM compatibility.

1985 PC Magazine article announcing the Wang Advanced PC: https://books.google.com/books?id=xsM...

Received in wideband Kahn-Hazeltine AM Stereo on a modified Sansui tuner.
They had a Wang tower at Brigade HQs when I was at Fort Ord back in 1989. It was used for one purpose, to "fill in the blanks" on Award Citations. Real expensive replacement for a typewriter. It's the only Wang I ever saw.

If you like old hardware, you would have liked Weird Stuff Warehouse in San Jose [now out of business]. I loved that place, they had everything from old mainframes to rare early Apple stuff. I would spend hours in there when we drove up to San Jose, my wife and kids hated it, they sat in the parking lot waiting on me. Frys was across the street, but I couldn't afford anything there except for the candy bars and popcorn. Nice to look at what the rich were buying though.
 

Professur

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#22
My son has a R60i that he refuses to give up. My old T23 still manages our church's Quicken 2001 quite effectively.
 

Bigjon

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#23
Here is my first homebuilt computer.

These are pictures from someone else's build:
http://www.stevenjohnson.com/big-board.htm



The Ferguson Big Board Computer
Z80 Processor Running CP/M
by Digital Research Computers

In the early 1980's the Ferguson Big-Board computer was offered by Digital Research Computers as a bare board, a kit, or a ready-to-go populated board. It was powered by a Z-80 processor with 64K of RAM and designed to run the
CP/M operating system.

Since home computers had not arrived yet, I decided to build a Ferguson "Big Board" machine running CP/M so I could do work at home. I purchased the bare board (un-socketed) for $125.00 which came with a parts list, specifications, and schematics.

The Big Board was just that. All I got was the circuit board. I had to track down the parts, power supplies, switches, connectors, cables, disk drives, keyboard, and then build something to put it all in.

It took me a couple of months to track down all the parts and ICs for the board. I decided to socket the entire board so it would be easier to troubleshoot and replace the ICs.

Click on images for a larger view

Ferguson Big Board Ad



It took another couple of months to find and order all the additional items needed to make this a functional computer to use at home. I purchased two Tandon 8" floppy disk drives, a Keytronics keyboard, and a Zenith "amber" composite monitor.

The Z80 board, the disk drives, and keyboard all needed cases. When I got tired of soldering, I would work on the cases that everything would eventually be mounted in.

My Ferguson Big Board mounted in the case

I milled the face of a blank case to mount the keyboard in and machined blank rack panels to mount all the switches, I/O connectors, fuse holders, cooling fans, and disk drives. The front and rear panels for the board and for the disk drives were mounted on a metal chassis. They were then installed in oak cases with the power supplies. Every power supply voltage for the Big Board and the drives is monitored on the front panels using green LEDs.
The CPU and Disk Drive Enclosure Back Panels
After $1,000 in parts and working on my Big Board for almost a year from the day I received the board, it was time to connect everything and turn it on for the first time.

To my amazement (and everyone else)
IT WORKED!
And it kept working with no problems.
I ran the Big Board at home for a year before the company I worked for switched from S100 Buss CP/M machines to the new DOS based IBM PCs. My CP/M Big Board was now obsolete.
My completed Ferguson Big Board
My big Board eventually wound up in the attic. Actually, several moves and several attics. In the Spring of 2006, someone in a forum asked if anyone remembered the Ferguson Big Board. I smiled as I read it and decided to take a trip up to the attic.

25 years after building it, I brought it down,
dusted it off, hooked it all up, and plugged it in.


It still works...

Let's see, B to boot, STAT to check the drives, now where's that WordStar disk?



More Vintage Computers
 

the_shootist

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#24
Here is my first homebuilt computer.

These are pictures from someone else's build:
http://www.stevenjohnson.com/big-board.htm



The Ferguson Big Board Computer
Z80 Processor Running CP/M
by Digital Research Computers
In the early 1980's the Ferguson Big-Board computer was offered by Digital Research Computers as a bare board, a kit, or a ready-to-go populated board. It was powered by a Z-80 processor with 64K of RAM and designed to run the
CP/M operating system.

Since home computers had not arrived yet, I decided to build a Ferguson "Big Board" machine running CP/M so I could do work at home. I purchased the bare board (un-socketed) for $125.00 which came with a parts list, specifications, and schematics.

The Big Board was just that. All I got was the circuit board. I had to track down the parts, power supplies, switches, connectors, cables, disk drives, keyboard, and then build something to put it all in.

It took me a couple of months to track down all the parts and ICs for the board. I decided to socket the entire board so it would be easier to troubleshoot and replace the ICs.

Click on images for a larger view

Ferguson Big Board Ad



It took another couple of months to find and order all the additional items needed to make this a functional computer to use at home. I purchased two Tandon 8" floppy disk drives, a Keytronics keyboard, and a Zenith "amber" composite monitor.

The Z80 board, the disk drives, and keyboard all needed cases. When I got tired of soldering, I would work on the cases that everything would eventually be mounted in.

My Ferguson Big Board mounted in the case

I milled the face of a blank case to mount the keyboard in and machined blank rack panels to mount all the switches, I/O connectors, fuse holders, cooling fans, and disk drives. The front and rear panels for the board and for the disk drives were mounted on a metal chassis. They were then installed in oak cases with the power supplies. Every power supply voltage for the Big Board and the drives is monitored on the front panels using green LEDs.
The CPU and Disk Drive Enclosure Back Panels
After $1,000 in parts and working on my Big Board for almost a year from the day I received the board, it was time to connect everything and turn it on for the first time.

To my amazement (and everyone else)
IT WORKED!
And it kept working with no problems.
I ran the Big Board at home for a year before the company I worked for switched from S100 Buss CP/M machines to the new DOS based IBM PCs. My CP/M Big Board was now obsolete.
My completed Ferguson Big Board
My big Board eventually wound up in the attic. Actually, several moves and several attics. In the Spring of 2006, someone in a forum asked if anyone remembered the Ferguson Big Board. I smiled as I read it and decided to take a trip up to the attic.

25 years after building it, I brought it down,
dusted it off, hooked it all up, and plugged it in.


It still works...

Let's see, B to boot, STAT to check the drives, now where's that WordStar disk?



More Vintage Computers
Nice work!!!
 

Professur

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#25

the_shootist

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#26
Can you use windows 3.1 as your main OS?
Oldtech81


Published on Feb 8, 2017
Is it possible to use this obsolete Operating system in 2017? Lets find out!
Brings back memories!!
 

Alton

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#27
Vintage puters> No thanks!

I keep a Dell 610 laptop for XP on a private (NO INTERWEBZ!!) network because, for now, I'm still a diehard Crown amp user for audio systems and they absolutely will NOT port their digital monitoring/control systems to Linux or even Android though most of the audio industry has already done so. Fortunately, other mfrs. also make Windows control for their product so my Dell handles them quite readily too. The following statement intends NO insult to Mac users: using a Mac interface, to me, feels like being in first grade again...no thinking required. I can see it's benefits but I really like to feel like my brain is running on ALL 12 cylinders. Part of doing audio is knowing how to quickly diagnose and adjust/repair whatever failure has appeared. This includes computers, networks and software nowadays. Spent a lot of time on PCs and Windows software so I am quite comfortable working through Redmond errors and foibles.

For all the rest of my computing needs I'm a dedicated Linux user/abuser. No blue screens of death...ever! It just works!

Yeah I learned about computing, and frustration, on a DEC Rainbow/TCP system. Thank God Almighty that's ancient history! Migrated to MSDOS and then on to Windows 2 until '98-2. Had all I could stand and dived into Linux and have been there since.
 

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#28

solarion

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#29
4 cores is all you'll ever need for a desktop (until the next big change in coding which will drive the need for more cores) at this point.
beg pardon...



Virtualization EATS CPUs. I'll probably swap out these 12 core opties for a couple 16 core beasties before too much longer. 32 cores should hold for awhile.
 

Crockett

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#30
Here is some of the stuff I used to work on.
http://www.picklesnet.com/burroughs/gallery/bpgmainframes.htm


An early disk drive 150 heads on each side arranged in 3 zones for a logical 50 tracks.
Awesome drive - and it held a gargantuan 5mb of data for a mere cost of $150,000 (my SWAG at it LOL).

Did you work at Burroughs? Back in the early 70s my parents were friends with a family whose father worked at Burroughs. I spent quite a bit of my youth going to Burroughs Farms near Brighton Michigan, hanging out at the beach with the all those pretty Burroughs girls, and playing a round of golf once in a while. Ahhh the memories that come flooding back.
 

Bigjon

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#31
Awesome drive - and it held a gargantuan 5mb of data for a mere cost of $150,000 (my SWAG at it LOL).

Did you work at Burroughs? Back in the early 70s my parents were friends with a family whose father worked at Burroughs. I spent quite a bit of my youth going to Burroughs Farms near Brighton Michigan, hanging out at the beach with the all those pretty Burroughs girls, and playing a round of golf once in a while. Ahhh the memories that come flooding back.
I was a field engineer on large systems, in Minnesota.
 

mayhem

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#32
FWIW, I have a copy of DR-DOS 5.0 still in the shrink wrap for any younger collectors out there. 3.5 discs, and a full printed manual included. Haven't looked at it in a while but there might even be 5.25 floppies included.

If your interested PM me.
 

the_shootist

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#33
beg pardon...



Virtualization EATS CPUs. I'll probably swap out these 12 core opties for a couple 16 core beasties before too much longer. 32 cores should hold for awhile.
4 cores is plenty for a single desktop, either physical or virtual. If you're going to be running high IO multiple guests concurrently on a physical machine you'll need as many cores as you can get.
 

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#34
Cores. I don't think I could ever have enough processors nor cores for my desktop daily driver.
My limit is money not need.

However, memory is not an issue, 16GB is not a limitation for me, I never run out.

My issue is the OS and software aka apps not taking full advantage of multi-threading etc.

IMHO, software has lagged behind hardware for years.
Can you imagine an OS written from the ground up in assembly language designed for today's hardware?
With all the legacy bullshit gone?
It would fly.
 

the_shootist

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#35
Cores. I don't think I could ever have enough processors nor cores for my desktop daily driver.
My limit is money not need.

However, memory is not an issue, 16GB is not a limitation for me, I never run out.

My issue is the OS and software aka apps not taking full advantage of multi-threading etc.

IMHO, software has lagged behind hardware for years.
Can you imagine an OS written from the ground up in assembly language designed for today's hardware?
With all the legacy bullshit gone?
It would fly.
I think they call that Linux Mint
 

oldgaranddad

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#36

the_shootist

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#38
My $29 Retro ThinkPad T61
VWestlife


Published on Mar 4, 2018
The T61 (along with the X60/X61 series I reviewed previously) was the last of the great ThinkPads, with the classic design and features that Lenovo teased us with in the "Retro" 25th Anniversary ThinkPad, but failed to deliver.
A T61 runs Linux Mint like a dream. Ask me how I know!
 

the_shootist

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#40