4

We are using MEMAC system and this device is using 30 years old Tape Casettes. The company non-exist anymore but they sent me 8" floppy disks so I can have chance to retrieve the files inside and make the tapes.

I extracted files from the floppy and download tools from Dave Pitts' site(http://www.cozx.com/~dpitts/ti990.htm). Now I can able to see the contents of files however I can not convert to tape format or even can not run Memac.obj file and see if it is working or not.

You may see files here. Mr Dave saved my life but know I stucked on creating Tape file or even I can not run this OBJ files.

Does any of you can help me to run this Memac program and help me to make tape file(does it mean compile?)

Yours faithfully, Melic

All files extracted from Images and Image files (Google Drive):

  • For those trying to follow what's happening, linked are two disk image files apparently for an Ti-990 series computer, and the files extracted from those images. The Memac.obj file looks to be in some kind of hex-format, apparently produced by the SDSLNK linker for the Ti-990. The utilities include a program to make a tape image file, so the logical format of the tapes is known. – dirkt Jul 12 '16 at 23:12
  • Could you describe your hardware in a bit more detail? I assume you have an old Ti-990 computer, running a software called MEMAC? Do you want to write a physical tape? If yes, does your Ti-990 have some kind of interface that you can use to communicate with modern equipment, e.g. an RS232 serial interface? – dirkt Jul 12 '16 at 23:14
  • Also please describe what OS you use (DNOS? DX10?) and what software you have available on the Ti-990. – dirkt Jul 13 '16 at 6:38
  • I have some sort of computer but I can not say if it is TI-990 or not but it says it is IP2-110 of Lanng & Stelmans A/C 's MEMAC system.Probably it contains TI-990 bios which helps to load MEMAC program into its EEPROM. In this case I want make a physical tape from the memac.obj file (Yellow Tape). I don't have TI990 I have a simulator only and disk images :D – M.Melih Sönmez Jul 15 '16 at 10:15
2

Answer to "the tape is a Philips Mini Digital Cassette Recorder":

(Please, please include such information when you are asking questions. You are the only one who has the hardware in front of you. We can't see what you have, what connectors it has, etc.)

The Philips Mini Digital Cassette Recorder was used for several computers as data storage, e.g. the Nascom, the DAI Personal Computer and the Phunsy, possibly with formats that are different from the one used in the IPS-110.

There is a service manual and another, very similar manual available. The recorder has a simple interface with 9V signal levels and a data transfer rate of 6 kBit/s, using a simple modulation (length of low part of data cycle). It's different from both the tape types available in Dave Pitts' simulator, so the simulator won't help in figuring out the format. Very likely the IP2-110 has its own hardware for the tape interface, and its own PROM to boot MEMACS from it.

Options to write to tape:

1) Use a modern microcontroller and a few other chips (level converter) to make an interface to the tape you can connect to a PC (serial should be fast enough) That's a nice weekend project for someone who is familiar with microcontrollers and electronics; the manuals have all information that is needed. But you need a person near you who can work with the hardware you have. If there are electronics companies near you, maybe they can find such a person for you.

After the interface works, you still have to figure out the tape format by reading an existing tape, but it's probably something simple like "just the data in blocks".

This is the simplest option, provided you can find someone to do it for you. If it works, please have the person who did it post a summary and make the microcontroller code available on the internet, so other people can profit from it.

2) Find something else to attach the tape to. It looks like the Tandberg TDV 2220 terminal mentioned in the instructions was meant to do this. One of the computers mentioned above would also do, but I suppose all of them are very difficult to find.

3) Try to find some method of communicating with the IP2-110 and use the hardware of the IP2-110 to write to the tape. For that (if it's possible at all), I'd still need information of what other connectors the IP2-110 has (some serial communications port), and one would need to attach a PC to these ports to find out if one can communicate with it. This is also better done by someone near you, and option (1) has a much better chance of success.

3

Partial answer: The file called EXPLAIN on the floppy disk images contains Danish text with { = æ, | = ø, and } = å. Running it through Google Translate, and touching up the result, gives:

The purpose of this text is to explain how the software Memac, Frederikshavn Shipyard 421-424, hangs together, and how to make a new tape.

Memac software includes three bands:

Program Tape:

With yellow labels, made from MEMAC.OBJ.OBJECT on disk or MEMAC/OBJ on floppy. To start Memac up, put this band to the machine first.

The tape is marked with two yellow labels. On the top one is written PROGRAM TAPE, on the bottom one MEMAC 870814.

Data Tape:

With red labels, containing the data that can be changed aboard ship or in the yard. We save 2 bands with latest - as far as possible - version of Anna, and also two bands from HPL.

Also keep a printout the content of Anna, as well as of HPL.

New bands are made as follows:

First record on both sides a little initializing program, MEMACSUP.DATAINIT.OBJ.OBJECT on disk or DATAINI/OBJ on floppy.

Then record on a 256 kbyte IP2-110 with Tandberg TDV 2220 on port J5, Config Tape (see below). In the main menu, select '6' - System Functions. In the submenu select '1' - Get Data From Tape. Insert a existing Data Tape and press 'G' - thus obtained a RAM copy.

Data can now be stored on the new tape using the '2' - Store Data On Tape. Repeat the operation on the other side. Verify then with '3' on both sides. By mistake, boxes tape. Screen says TAPE OPERATION DONE when all OK.

The tape is marked with two red labels. On the top one ist written DATA TAPE, on the bottom one MEMAC 870810.

Config Tape:

with green tags, contains the program that is used to correct the Data Tape. New tapes are made from MEMACONF.OBJ.OBJECT on disk or CONFIG/OBJ on floppy.

The band is marked with two green labels. On the top one it says CONFIG TAPE, on the lower MEMAC 870401.

These disks are available in a version for Anna and a version for HPL.

All the /OBJ files are in Standard Object Code Format as described in the Model 990 Computer Assembly Language Programmer's Guide, pp. 10-17 ff. That means you don't need to compile them, and in principle you must just copy them to tape, using whatever utilities your OS provides for this.

I still don't know what type of OS or what type of tapes you use. The Tandverg TDV 2220 is a video terminal, but I can't see any tape drive on the picture, so that's probably addition hardware. I can't find any information on what type of tape IP2-110 is (if it's a kind of tape), either.

I tried running or linking MEMAC/OBJ on the simplest system provided for the simulator on Dave Pitt's page, the asr733sys.fpy image, but it doesn't load, probably because the I tags at the end are not understood.

So to try this out on the simulator, I need to have some idea about what OS it is for.

  • Dear Dirkt, MEMAC is abbrv. of Main Engine Monitoring Alarm Computer/System. Ip2-110 is 256K Computer with no keyboard but just a Philips Casette module and 2 buttons which one of them is Reset button and the other one is Load button. These 2 Yellow/red/green labeled tapes is used to load program in IP2-110 to run/activate all alarm system in our ship.I can load Green and Red ones but I need yellow one to activate Memac. I found a company who can make me tapes but I can not make tape from the memac.obj file. This is the point I stucked. – M.Melih Sönmez Jul 15 '16 at 10:07
  • BTW there is no MEMAC company left behind only people I can find from the Lanng & Stelman is Mr John W and helped me a lot. He found me 8" floppy disks so I could able to retrieve these files from it. Also Mr Dave saved my life while extracting files from image files and his simulator was amazing. We used all we have but we can not make the last shot :D – M.Melih Sönmez Jul 15 '16 at 10:11
  • @M.MelihSönmez: 1) Even if the IP2-110 doesn't have a keyboard, as long as it has some serial interface it's very likely possible to connect a terminal to it. They must have had some way to debug it. If the IP2-110 controls all alarm systems, it must be wired to the rest of the ship. It also probably has some way to display data, how is that display connected? Please have a look at those connectors, and find out if there's some sockets that are not connected. A photo would help. – dirkt Jul 15 '16 at 21:29
  • @M.MelihSönmez: 2) How exactly does the Philips Cassette module look like, and how it is connected to the IP2-110? What dimensions do those tapes have? When you said you found a company that can make them, do you mean that they can produce new tapes, but don't know how to write data onto them? Maybe it's possible to hook up the Cassette module directly to modern hardware, and use that to write data on tape. – dirkt Jul 15 '16 at 21:33
  • @M.MelihSönmez: Here are manuals for the 9-track tape that is used in the Ti-990; does the Philips Casette module look similar? – dirkt Jul 15 '16 at 21:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.