All Questions

4
votes
1answer
252 views

What happened to EYRX?

In 2001, Eyring Corporation released a 32-bit reconfigurable RTOS called EYRX. I remember downloading the documentation and programmer guide from their Web site. Strangely, no traces of that OS can be ...
6
votes
2answers
463 views

Why was the Hobbit withdrawn from the UK market?

The Hobbit is a Soviet computer which was built to be compatible with the ZX Spectrum, but with some extensions. For example it has more memory and can run CP/M. The Hobbit had favourable reviews in ...
7
votes
3answers
378 views

What were the main uses of the large CRT and light pen on early PDP computers?

My first earliest experiences with "large" computers were an HP-2100 and a sigma-7, using a teletype and punch cards/line printer respectively. I've stumbled upon an old image of a PDP-6 and PDP-6 ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

What was the first mainstream advanced debugger?

What was the first mainstream development toolchain that provided advanced debugging facilities? By "mainstream" I mean something that was available on home computers, not mainframes or super-...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

How is the 320x200x16 graphics mode mapped in the IBM PCjr?

I've read that the PCjr supports a 320x200 pixel mode with 16 colors. But what I can't seem to find is how much memory that takes, how it's organized (chars?) or where it's located in memory. I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Does the TurboGrafX16 store switches and/or flags in RAM?

Based the the specs I found for the TG16, it has 8 KB of RAM. I also found notes in the documentation of many opcodes that there is data stored in several "flags and switches" are these stored in RAM ...
3
votes
3answers
408 views

Pirated spreadsheet software introducing intentional errors?

Was there ever a case of a spreadsheet application introducing intentional floating-point errors when it detected that it had been pirated? Particularly errors that were small enough to go unnoticed ...
1
vote
1answer
288 views

Minimal DOS long filename driver

Am trying to run Latex + Emacs under DOS 5.0, and would currently seem to need long filenames. I have tried the DOSLFN driver but it prevents Emacs from running. I have 4 MB RAM in total. Is there ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

Which pre-IEEE computers had a single precision FPU and implemented double precision floats in software?

Before the formats of floating point numbers have been standardized in IEEE 754 in 1985, different vendors had used many different floating point formats, some of them listed on the Data Format and ...
2
votes
2answers
268 views

How significant/pioneering was the TV Typewriter?

How significant and pioneering was the TV Typewriter, in light of things like calculators with CRT's from 1964 and various other things? I recently read that the TV Typewriter established the standard ...
2
votes
7answers
440 views

Name for rotary dial controllers?

Many years ago I was watching the news when I saw someone on a Sun workstation controlling the display using an external input device consisting of a series of rotary dials. Turning them rotated and ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Unlicensed home computer ports of arcade games

During the 1980s, it was quite common to see unofficial ports of popular arcade games released on home computer systems. For instance, Acornsoft (the software division of Acorn Computers) released ...
8
votes
5answers
618 views

What was the most popular CP/M terminal type?

I'm porting CP/M to a new/old machine (the Amstrad NC200 laptop). Running programs on it is no problem, but running interesting programs (i.e. WordStar, Turbo Pascal and Ladder) involves implementing ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Searching for Swedish Mac game from the early 1990's where you try to sneak out of the house

I was given a funny, obscure game for Mac sometime in the 1994 to 1996 timeframe. Unfortunately I have no idea what the game was called, but I'd like to track it down. The game, which was in color, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the transmeta processor architecture work by binary translation?

Transmeta Corporation produced the Transmeta Crusoe Processor architecture. (Transmeta was also famous for having Linus Torvalds work there at the time.) We can see from the wikipedia article that ...
6
votes
3answers
545 views

Copying tapes “back in the day”

Back when I had a ZX Spectrum 48K, I had a friend that had a 128K and we would swap games for the weekend from time to time. We did try and make duplicates of the tapes (yes, I know, but we were ten ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can anyone help me identify this computer?

In my loft there is a computer with no branding that needs a new CMOS battery, and one that has the branding 'Tri Data' which I can't find anywhere on the internet. It just shows a white screen as ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Ways To Test iMac G3 Before Buying

I am going to buy an old iMac G3 Over the next couple of days/weeks, and I want to make sure that I am buying a system with no problems. I usually ask for the serial number and good pictures before ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

Symbian emulator to run Ngage games

I don't really know if this is the correct place to ask this, if not let me know where I should. I would like to know if it would be possible to run Ngage games on an existing Symbian emulator. There ...
9
votes
1answer
232 views

What exactly did Sony contribute to the original Apple PowerBook?

The first Apple PowerBook laptops were delivered in 3 versions in 1991: PowerBook 100, 140, and 170. These initial PowerBooks were overall a tremendous commercial success for Apple, and are regarded ...
58
votes
8answers
19k views

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

Several ways exist to protect against the copying of games but, when CD-ROM games were first introduced, were there any measures taken by video game developers to prevent the copying of games?
5
votes
2answers
363 views

Why are the internals of NES Gamepaks so small compared to the case?

As you probably know, in the technology world, smaller is generally considered to be better. Companies compete to make the most portable phone, or the smallest laptop, but apparently Nintendo didn't ...
7
votes
3answers
754 views

what OS runs Zip drives? [duplicate]

I came across my old Zip drive and some Zip disks. I am curious what is on the disks, but my Windows system won't run them. Back in the day I thought that these would be the ultimate in archive ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

In IBM SCRIPT/VS, what does DSM stand for in macros DSMFIG, DSMLIST

In (S)GML ancestor's IBM SCRIPT/VS, what does DSM stand for in macros DSMFIG, DSMLIST... ?
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Purpose of two disk drives on the Osborne 1

I recently discovered the Osborne 1 computer, and I noticed it had two floppy disc drives. What was the purpose of including two drives?
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Cross-Compatibility of UCSD p-Machine Versions?

I currently have Apple Pascal (and Fortran, and PILOT) running on an Apple IIgs emulator on Windows. As near as I can tell, it's UCSD p-System II.something. I also have a DOS-hosted UCSD p-System, IV....
4
votes
4answers
487 views

What is the basic logic behind the setting or ordering of keys in a keyboard?

I am a computer science student. I mostly work with computers and I am really wondering about the layout of keys in a keyboard. It is comfortable and easy. My question is this: what is the basic ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Why did Nintendo commission Sony to create a disk reader if the Famicom already had one?

The way I understand it, Nintendo's engineers couldn't figure out how to design a disk system for the SNES, so they commissioned Sony to do it for them. Why would Nintendo do this if they already had ...
3
votes
0answers
193 views

Can you tell me more about this robot?

A robot I can't find information on. I noticed an article and or advertisement in 1985, in the main city-wide newspaper ('mercury') in the city where this robot-factory was located. (I don't have ...
4
votes
2answers
428 views

What's with the empty space on this die?

Here is the Valvo 2650. (Also known by other names, in the UK as Signetics 2650). What struck me about this image is the amount of empty space! If you look at a modern-day chip, say a Skylake or ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the danger involved in trying to write already closed file with Commodore 1541 disk drive?

The Commodore 1541 disk drive and other IEC devices are self-contained computers. The operating system runs on the drive itself. This setup significantly improves the flexibility. As a side effect, if ...
14
votes
1answer
814 views

How does Apple ][gs hardware dithering work?

I haven't been able to find an easily comprehensible description of the super hi-res, dithered 16-color, 640x200 mode of the Apple ][gs. I can tell from the references I did locate, this is a ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Apollo Guidance Computer and heat dissipation

The Apollo Guidance Computer, was built on RTL which apparently can let off a lot of heat, and deployed in environments where we cannot rely on convection to pull the heat away (not only in low ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

Floating Point on Konrad Zuse's computers

From what I understand, with floating point arithmetic, shifting values up and down is important, since a floating point value essentially is an equation like 2e×m. This supposition may be supported ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

What was the first interactive OS to run each command in a new process?

I was prompted to ask this by another recent question about early Unix process structure. The more-or-less contemporaneous systems I'm aware of (built 1960s to 1970s) mostly gave you a software ...
37
votes
3answers
4k views

How did Apple ][ basic programs protect against listing?

I seem to recall from my high-school days that certain Apple ][ programs protected themselves from being listed and therefore modified. If you tried to do it, the machine would simply reboot. How ...
4
votes
0answers
117 views

Is there a comparative analysis of the evolution paths of chips inheriting from TMS9918?

This is primarily about VDP from the Sega Master System game console and video chip from the MSX 2 series computers. Specifically about Yamaha YM2602 (aka Sega 315‑5124) and Yamaha V9938 respectively. ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Process model in early UNIX

I heard recently that the process model in very early variants of UNIX was quite a bit different to the fork/exec model used nowadays. How did it differ from the current state?
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Emulating IRIX on a modern system [closed]

Has there been any attempt to emulate a system that could run the IRIX operating system?
3
votes
2answers
400 views

Starting a multi core CPU as single core [closed]

Is it possible to use a system with a modern, multi-core CPU with older operating systems that only support single core operation? Is this something that needs to be set in the BIOS? Does it depend ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

List of Intel microchips

Where could I find a list of all of the microchips released by Intel, including microprocessors, Rams, roms, storage devices. Etc. I have checked Wikipedia, and they have the processors, but not any ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

How did overstriking on printer terminals work?

The technique of creating special characters by overstriking i.e. superimposing two characters on top of each other was common on typewriters. This was carried over to printer terminals and was used ...
34
votes
2answers
6k views

Did IBM encourage Bill Gates to retain the rights over PC-DOS?

As is well-known, Microsoft's negotiations with IBM to deliver PC-DOS 1.0 with the original IBM PC resulted in: IBM licensing the OS from Microsoft, as opposed to purchasing it outright. Microsoft ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

Differences between normal ARM7TDMI and ARM7TDMI used in GBA [closed]

I was wondering if there are any significant differences between a plain old ARM7TDMI processor and the ARM7TDMI the GBA console uses. I'm interested in learning to program a GBA or an ARM7 type ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Reason for gold lines on old ICs?

A lot of older (ceramic) ICs have a gold-plated line extending from the die cover to the edge of the package. Did this serve a practical purpose or was it just bling? I suspect that it might be what'...
31
votes
5answers
6k views

Using DRAM as a camera sensor?

Back in the days when COMECON (RVHP) was cloning digital ICs usually the first wave of such ICs were in a ceramic package with a glass window (similar to EPROM) to check for bugs and stuff while used. ...
0
votes
3answers
162 views

The earliest a home-computer or home-robot could be interfaced with a camera

What was the earliest date a home-computer or home-robot could be interfaced with a tv-camera or digital-camera . Robots were often based on home-computers . Although I'm asking this question for ...
0
votes
3answers
234 views

What was the first intelligent digital robot? [closed]

Robots have a long history from the (not so) simple mechanical creations of antiquity up to today's fully autonomous models. The earliest ones could only carry out scripted actions, modern ones adapt ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

How to troubleshoot Amiga 600 power issue?

I have an A600 Rev 2D (schematic), which is dead as a doorknob. It was that way when I acquired it some years ago, and it's mostly been in storage since. Between the 5V rail and GND I measure a low ...
41
votes
17answers
6k views

Simplest system to create an emulator for

Next year I'm going to teach a 2-semester microprocessors class to third-year undergraduate EE students. In order to sign up for the class, students need to have completed programming and digital ...

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