Questions tagged [hardware]

For questions about the components of retro devices (computers, etc.)

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4
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2answers
1k views

How does the Everdrive handle all the special chips and stuff that were put in cartridges?

The "Everdrive" is very intriguing to me. Having been continuously disappointed -- not to say appalled -- by every single emulator I have ever tried, for every single console, I've given up ...
5
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2answers
750 views

How can I connect this 3-pin Slot 1 CPU fan to my system that uses a 2-pin connector?

I'm trying to put a new CPU cooler in my 1999 IBM Aptiva 2163-580 (which has an Intel 440BX chipset, in case that's relevant). The system uses a Slot 1 CPU. The old cooler had a 2-pin connector, which ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Peripherals needed to run Tiny BASIC interactively on an Intel 8080

I have an Intel 8080 core and would like to build the minimal computer system around it to run Tiny BASIC interactively. I am building this computer on an FPGA, so I am not asking about actual ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Did the 68000 separate A/D registers save circuitry?

The Motorola 68000 has sixteen integer registers, which was considered a very generous complement at the time it was introduced. They are divided into address and data registers, eight each. Many ...
11
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2answers
680 views

Why was SLI for gaming introduced and supported in the first place?

(I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this, please let me know if should post this somewhere else) For a long time, using SLI for gaming has been dying out and for good reason. From what I'...
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2answers
192 views

What does “cycle-accurate emulation” mean? [duplicate]

Note: I've attempted to ask this question several times in the "Arqade" category. Just like with the "History" category, anything I ask there is deleted by their broken bots soon ...
5
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1answer
387 views

On Amiga, what happens when I write to $DFC5A0 by mistake?

I'm fixing a game (TV Sports Basketball) that tries to write in audio data (using the range $DFF0A0 to $DFF0D0) but for some reason (bad programming), the index is sometimes (not always) bogus MOVEA.L ...
3
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1answer
247 views

When did the faster versions of the NMOS 6502 become commercially available?

The 6502 was released in 1975 with an advertised speed of about 1mhz but I can't find reliable information on what year faster versions became available (was 2mhz possible at launch?) or what the true ...
4
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1answer
148 views

What is the interface of the proprietary memory card connector in CDTV

Is this an IDE or something completely different. Could it be used to connect gotek?
6
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2answers
233 views

How can the number of cylinders be different from the number of tracks?

In the IBM PC 5150 documentation, it is stated that the floppy drive has 40 tracks, 8 sectors/track and 512 bytes/sectors, for a total of 163 840 bytes of data. It makes sense, 40x8x512 = 163 840 ...
2
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1answer
198 views

Could the STC Executel possibly have had any games available?

Could the STC Executel possibly have had any games available ? It had a very small inbuilt CRT screen on the right side. It looked somehow impressive with how it displayed things on the screen, a very ...
5
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1answer
214 views

How does DMACON/R registers on Commodore Amiga platform work?

I have a specific question about the DMACON/R registers found in Commodore Amiga range of computers. As you may know they are the DMA control registers that controls all the DMA channels used by the ...
6
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2answers
280 views

Were any M68000 systems capable of generating a “spurious interrupt”?

When an interrupt occurs on a Motorola 68000-family processor, it enters an interrupt acknowledge state, which continues until one of three signals are asserted: An external device places the ...
6
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1answer
108 views

Was the Ram Turbo the only 3rd party Interface 2 ROM cartridge interface for the ZX Spectrum or were there others?

One of the original Sinclair peripherals for the ZX Spectrum was the Interface 2 which provided joystick ports and also a slot for ROM cartridges: The cartridges did not catch on though and only ...
13
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7answers
2k views

What happened to exposed address pins/address bus?

This could be a question for the Electronics StackExchange, but I figured that if I couldn't find any info about it it might be more of a Retrocomputing thing. I've been poking around on Google and ...
4
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3answers
279 views

Does the Sega Megadrive 2 have built-in protection against reverse polarity

I have a spare universal power supply with regulated voltage up to 12 volts, max 1500mA. It has replaceable tips, where you can reverse polarity. As I understand the MegaDrive 2 (European / Australian ...
2
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0answers
111 views

Help debugging a circuit/code for Z80 and TMS9918ANL

I am working on designing a Z80 computer that utilized the TMS9918ANL for graphics. I am currently just trying to make sure the TMS9918ANL is working, so I hooked up the control pins the bus (...
0
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6answers
323 views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using retro hardware vs. FPGA emulation vs. software emulation? [closed]

As someone who recently become interested in retro home computers of 80's and early 90's I'm wandering what are the differences between using a real hardware, FPGA based hardware emulators like MiSTer ...
20
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8answers
5k views

Which CPUs, if any, had an 8-bit address space?

Even the Intel 4004, which had a 4-bit word size, had a 12-bit address space. I'm wondering if any commercial CPUs had an 8-bit or similar address-space for programs, data, or both. I'm particularly ...
16
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7answers
7k views

Did any computer use a 7-bit byte?

In an answer to Why did IBM System 360 have byte addressable RAM I wrote regarding the choice of byte size: 7 bits would be a perfect match for ASCII, but engineers would instinctively recoil from ...
11
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2answers
624 views

Performance of the Rekursiv

I happened to find out about the Rekursiv today. Rekursiv is a processor that attempted to implement OOP concepts directly at the hardware level. Since it never got fully developed, I wonder what ...
3
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1answer
217 views

Atari ST series - bombs on boot

I have a faulty Atari 520STFM additional 4MB ram installed. It shows bombs on boot. I understand bombs are sort of code indicator of what is malfunctioning in the system, similar to what Guru ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Can I rewire a compact Macintosh SE or other compact Mac to play RCA Video?

I would like to take a compact Mac such like Macintosh SE, completely neglect the computing part of it, but be able to feed the CRT tube with an external video feed through Analog RCA cables. (Yellow ...
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0answers
85 views

Frozen horizontal width coil in old CRT monitor

I have an old Apple IIe CRT monitor which could use a small horizontal width adjustment. Unfortunately, as I try to rotate the hex key in the coil with a CRT adjustment tool, it doesn't want to move. ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Swapping endian-ness on the 68000

In the 80s, the two great 16/32-bit desktop CPU architectures were the x86, used in the IBM PC and compatibles, and the 68000, used in the Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh, early UNIX workstations and ...
6
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1answer
207 views

Which x87 first acquired the ability to flush denormal to zero?

On modern Intel FPUs, you can set a flag to cause all denormals to be automatically flushed to zero. On some workloads, this improves performance. I cannot find any mention of that flag in the data ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Did playing sounds on the PC speaker keep the CPU busy?

The IBM PC and early successors came with an internal speaker that could play simple sounds. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_speaker However, because the method used to reproduce PCM ...
20
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3answers
2k views

How was the 80186 incompatible with the IBM PC?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80186 The 80186 would have been a natural successor to the 8086 in personal computers. However, because its integrated hardware was incompatible with ...
6
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1answer
330 views

Was sector size under software control on the original IBM PC floppy drive controller?

The original IBM PC used a 5.25" floppy disk format of two sides, 40 tracks, 9 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector, for 360K per disk. As I understand it, a significant amount of disk space ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What was the second most common incompatibility in MS-DOS machines? [closed]

When the IBM PC was released, it did not take long for people to figure out that there would be a big market for compatible machines. The first wave relied on MS-DOS as the compatibility layer. The ...
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5answers
1k views

Pulling my hair out over a 4-bit architecture, there ought to be some law here somewhere, is there? [closed]

I am trying to build the most simple CPU possible. And doing it on bread boards. There is a popular movement, one of the biggest protagonists of that being a certain Ben Eater, who is a good teacher, ...
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3answers
161 views

'What' used spare memory on the TMS9918?

'What' used spare memory on the TMS9918 Video Display Controller? By 'what', was it Something pre-installed on the computer like Bios or Basic or something, I assume the main cpu s themselves were ...
5
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2answers
194 views

Why does the Galaksija's latch include some kind of address remapping?

The Galaksija has a 6 bit latch used for various bits and bobs, notably the part of the scanline counter which contributes to character generation, but also, it has a bit for clamping A7 high, and ...
1
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0answers
218 views

Is the thirty something year old RJ45 jack as small as it will ever get? [closed]

Why are micro-ethernet adapters not a thing? A physical adapter that takes our thirty year old standard sized RJ45 jack on one side and and plugs into a TabletPC on the other. Every other form of ...
4
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2answers
292 views

Aside from legacy systems, are there any contemporary uses for magnetic core memory?

Core has some interesting properties (nonvolatility, high reliability, resilient to radiation) that might make it useful in some situations. I know early versions of the computers on the Space ...
7
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0answers
134 views

Need help checking an ADC0808 / ADC0809 chip in a arcade shooting game

Main Question: How can I check a ADC0808 chip to determine if it needs to be replaced or if my issue is something else? Any advice you can offer is SO appreciated! ADDITIONAL INFO When the arcade is ...
1
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4answers
485 views

Is this a computer screen in 1956, and if so, what is it displaying?

The photo below shows what may be a CRT for the TX-0 (transistorized experimental computer) in 1956, referring to what may be a CRT on the left side, not to the CRT on the right side . If that is a ...
45
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2answers
10k views

Why does the 80486 take longer to execute simple instructions than complex ones?

The 80486 processor can execute many instructions in a single cycle, such as a register-to-register add instruction (ADD EAX, EBX, for example), which one would generally assume is fairly complex, ...
0
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2answers
223 views

What is the brand and model of this AT chassis case from the early 90s?

A friend is trying find the original brand and model of this old 1990’s generic case. An ad from computershopper would help.
11
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8answers
5k views

Why were optical drives not used as secondary storage instead of magnetic drives?

What prevented optical drives from being used as the dominant secondary storage like the magnetic disk drives, in PCs? Was it entirely technical limitation or other issues like late development and ...
2
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1answer
198 views

Who built the first electric/electronic adder?

The first electricity-based adder presumably used relays. (The electromechanical relay was invented for the electrochemical telegraph for repeaters in 1831 by Joseph Henry (1797-1878). I can't figure ...
23
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7answers
4k views

Was it possible programmatically to manipulate the volume as well as the pitch on computers with no sound chip?

On early versions of many 8-bit computers like the Apple II, Spectrum, and even the IBM PC, there was no sound hardware other than the simple "beeper". Programmers made sound by hitting a hardware ...
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2answers
198 views

Why did computers settle for instructions with multiple machine cycles instead of investing into larger ring counters? [closed]

On the 8080 and 8085 microprocessors, a LDA instruction took 13 timing(or T) states to execute. This could be solved by using a ring counter that could generate said 13 T states,as well as having ...
9
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1answer
233 views

Did the Samsung SPC-650 have any hardware or firmware differences to the genuine Sinclair Spectrum+?

There was a clone of the Sinclair Spectrum+ in South Korea called the Samsung SPC-650 that looks identical to original British version with just an extra model number/logo. It even retains the ...
6
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1answer
225 views

Did the Timex Sinclair 2068 and the Sinclair ZX Interface 2 use totally different hardware and software techniques?

Sinclair released an add-on for the Spectrum called the ZX Interface 2 that provided joystick ports and a cartridge slot. It wasn't successful and only a few cartridges were ever produced. In the US, ...
1
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2answers
207 views

Reusing original Palm memory cards

I have a number of non-functional older PalmOS devices (of the 68000 processor variety, not the later ARM processor models). I'd like to be able to reuse the memory cards from these in new ...
7
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2answers
475 views

How do you use the INHIBIT pin on the Apple II bus?

Pin 32 of the Apple II bus is a signal called /INH (short for "INHIBIT"). Some of what I found online about using this pin for an Apple II expansion card suggests it was inconsistently implemented ...
8
votes
1answer
267 views

How Amiga A590 autoboot ROM and bootable floppy disk works?

Commodore A590 was a peripheral hard drive and memory expansion unit for Amiga 500/500+ computers. It provides SCSI and XT-harddrive controller and 2MB Fast Ram. Here is the Big Book of Amiga Hardware ...
8
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1answer
322 views

Which computers used the Intel 82786 graphics chips, and what sort of commercial success did that chip attain?

In the late 1980's, Intel offered the 82768 graphics chip, with specific support for windowed environments. I remember it being covered in Byte magazine, but don't remember seeing any applications of ...
11
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0answers
292 views

Why would installing Windows 9x on a Sager NP8200 or Wedge 466/DX2 laptop brick the system?

In the setup.txt file on the Windows 95 and 98 CDs (located in the \WIN95 [Windows 95] / \win98 [Windows 98] folder), which contains important information on setting up Windows and solving or working ...

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