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Questions tagged [reference-request]

Requests to identify, locate or recommend literature (or other source) covering a specific topic.

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1 vote
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Searching for a QuickBasic 2.0 book (not 4.5)

I'm travelling now to 1986, and trying the 2.0 version of QuickBasic on a 80286, emulated in PCem. (DOS version 3.2) So this question is not about QBASIC, but about QuickBasic. All the books I find on ...
Bahamut123's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
460 views

How can I communicate with a Nintendo DS using the Download Play protocol?

Would it be possible to use a Nintendo DS's Download Play feature over the Internet? I don't have a ton of understanding of how the protocol works, but so far I'm pretty sure it uses a network of ...
Blue Herring's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does anyone have a manual for the SAIL language?

I just came across the SAIL language for the first time. I went to Wikipedia looking for some example code, only to find what is essentially a stub. Curiously, not one of the citations is a manual, ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was 'Maclogal'?

While reading about the ATOLL Checkout Language in the April 1965 issue of DATAMATION (pp 33-35), I came across one letter to the editor (pg 12), discussing the volume required to house the ~1QB ...
Infinite_Maelstrom's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are any CP/M systems still in commercial use today?

I understand that there is a great deal of mainframe-era enterprise software that is still in active use, if not on the original hardware then in emulated environments. Its users keep it running ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 7,551
12 votes
1 answer
260 views

Layout of pre-APM Apple partition map

Page 3-25 of Inside Macintosh: Devices describes the format of a partition map entry. The definition of the pmSig field says: The partition signature. This field should contain the value of the ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,050
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Information about a VGA card named PC-601170-R2

This card is made by Colorgraphic Communications in 1988, and has two VGA ports, and works well with a 80486 computer. I tried to used that with IBM 5150 and other XT clones, but I failed. According ...
Sung's user avatar
  • 389
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Definitive guide to retrobright?

So I have various old computers and peripherals that could use retrobrighting. However, after researching, I have more questions than answers. What type of cleaner/degreaser is best to use or avoid? ...
22 votes
1 answer
598 views

Where is Mike Lesk's (circa 1973) "portable I/O package" for C?

According to Dennis Ritchie's 1993 paper The Development of the C Language: Also during this period, the compiler was retargeted to other nearby machines, particularly the Honeywell 635 and IBM 360/...
Simon Kissane's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
573 views

Is there a list of the differences between the various ARM architectures?

I am in particular interested in the differences between ARMv4 and ARMv7 (I have a particular task in mind), but to make this question more generally useful to future readers, I'll ask more generally ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where can I find the debate around snow-free screen updates mentioned in the Zen of Assembly Language?

Michael Abrash's book Zen of Assembly Language: Volume I (1989) contains a reference to a column in a computer magazine, though the actual source is not cited. From the text: I recall a debate in the ...
640KB's user avatar
  • 1,297
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Resources about 1980s GPCPU video controller designs

Reading about the Fujitsu Micro 7, I found out that it used a pair of 6809 microprocessors: one as main CPU and one as graphics processor. That made me remember that when running old arcade games with ...
airman's user avatar
  • 1,350
5 votes
0 answers
156 views

Looking for documentation or source for CERN Fortran programming aids

In the 1970s, the CERN Program Library for IBM/CDC included a few FORTRAN source analysis tools. As mentioned in CERN Computer Newsletter 141, Q. SERVICE OR HOUSEKEEPING-PROGRAMMING AIDS ... *X ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.2k
4 votes
1 answer
317 views

Where can I find good photos of old chip making equipment?

I recently stumbled upon modern hi-res color photos of ancient soviet chip making equipment from the 80s: https://web.archive.org/web/20220520030420/https://ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/226489.html ...
jhnlmn's user avatar
  • 211
12 votes
1 answer
529 views

Critiques of ANSI/Standard/Full BASIC?

I am preparing an article on the ANSI "full BASIC" effort. I know it was heavily criticized at the time, but Google is turning up a surprising paucity of information. I can only find a ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
502 views

Source For V2/A4 Missile Analog Guidance Computer Schematic?

As a retro computing hobby project, I'm researching Helmut Hoeltzer's (Hölzer's) work on the Mischgerät analog guidance computer for the V2/A4 ballistic missile, with the goal of validating a ...
cmholm's user avatar
  • 351
24 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is there any hard data about type-in programs in the 80s?

In the 1980s, type-in listings were a staple of many home computer magazines[1]. This suggests that they added value to the magazine, and that people did actually type them in. On the other hand, ...
Michael Graf's user avatar
  • 10.1k
9 votes
1 answer
636 views

Does anyone have a DG Business BASIC manual?

archive.org's DG collection has Single User BASIC and Extended BASIC manuals, but no BB manual. Does anyone have a PDF? The underlying question... the earliest mention of BB I can find is from a 1977 ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
322 views

Are there any other historical traces of the earlier versions of the Alternate Multiplex Interrupt Specification by Ralf Brown?

I'm a fervent user of the Alternate Multiplex Interrupt Specification for 86-DOS systems, a method using a common set of multiplexer interfaces over interrupt 2Dh. It was originally developed in the ...
ecm's user avatar
  • 952
2 votes
0 answers
92 views

DEC RdbStar information?

I'm putting together an article on TPC-C, and while chasing down leads its primary author mentioned the RdbStar project at DEC. As he described it, the manager of DEC's storage department (Jim Grey? ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
282 views

Looking for Popular Mechanics issue on BASIC

I remember being captivated as a teenager by an issue of Popular Mechanics that introduced the BASIC programming language. It would have been late 70's or early 80's. Anyone know how to find which ...
JoelFan's user avatar
  • 2,127
12 votes
1 answer
822 views

What publication published an early version of the Apple Monitor by Woz?

This is driving me nuts. I am certain I have a downloaded scan of the source code to the 6502 ML monitor Woz wrote, but pre-dating Apple's use of the monitor. I even remember there was some text ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
10 votes
3 answers
385 views

Any source for German Magazine "Computern mit Kindern", single issue, late 1984?

I wonder if anybody has or knows about a (digital or paper) copy of the single-issue German language magazine "Computern mit Kindern" (Computing with Children), published in Germany in late ...
TeaRex's user avatar
  • 676
11 votes
1 answer
780 views

Is there any public documentation of the LapLink protocol?

Is the protocol used by the DOS Laplink software publicly documented? I seem to remember there were Linux tools that could use it. I cannot find anything useful on their website.
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
12 votes
5 answers
938 views

Has there been any effort to research the undocumented Thumb instructions of ARM7TDMI?

Many CPUs have "holes" in the ISA, where the bit pattern is left undefined. Considering the Z80 and the 6502, many people have mapped out what these undocumented instructions actually do. ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
676 views

Is there any documentation for programming Microsoft Windows Sound System sound cards?

I'm programming my own sound mixing engine and drivers for MS-DOS, but I can't find any documentation for programming for Microsoft Windows Sound System interface sound cards. Was there any ...
knol's user avatar
  • 12.1k
21 votes
2 answers
597 views

Is the "IBM standard character set manual" around?

From Wikipedia's code page article: Originally, the code page numbers referred to the page numbers in the IBM standard character set manual Is any version of this publication available? I'd be ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 668
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the protocol for bootstrapping a Game Boy Advance over a link cable?

One of my favorite features of the Game Boy Advance growing up was the ability for some games to be played multiplayer with just one cartridge - the first player would have the cartridge and all the ...
TheHans255's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
662 views

Early 1982 PCW article about pseudo random dungeon mapping

I am looking for an article from an issue of Personal Computer World (PCW) from 19821 which related to generating mazes/dungeons using pseudo random seeds, what I think are (now) called procedural ...
Greenonline's user avatar
  • 4,386
9 votes
1 answer
261 views

Documentation for the MIT PDP-1X OS

The PDP-1x is a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-1 computer modified to support both ones and twos complement arithmetic, and to include a memory management unit. It ran a locally developed ...
cmm's user avatar
  • 747
6 votes
2 answers
655 views

Where is the literature for Windows 3.1 Batch mode setup?

For the purpose of debugging why the first start of Windows 3.1 after the installation crashes DOSBox, I was looking for a way to automate the installation process. Surprisingly, there is one, the /H ...
aybe's user avatar
  • 7,092
10 votes
5 answers
862 views

Where are the authoritative specs for legacy PC/AT devices still in use in today's PCs?

For example, the 8250/16550 chip used to handle serial communication is still simulated by modern chipsets and is enumerated by ACPI as PNP0500/PNP0501. You can find datasheets for these chips. ...
avakar's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
2 answers
14k views

Best path to learn C64 assembly [closed]

The amount of tutorials, youtube videos, scanned books on C64 programming is overwhelming. What materials would you recommend -- and, importantly, in what order! -- to build a path to programming my ...
dust's user avatar
  • 201
24 votes
3 answers
4k views

Documentation for the ZX Spectrum ULA

I am writing a Spectrum emulator, however I am finding it difficult to find official or reliable information about the ULA, its functioning and its pins. Are there official sources documenting its ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
  • 1,233