All Questions

6
votes
4answers
1k views

High-end PC graphics circa 1990?

I remember CAD being a major driver for PCs with high-end graphics cards; specifically AutoCAD was rising quickly in popularity around 1990 as PCs were able to compete with very costly CAD ...
5
votes
4answers
161 views

Getting Music Functioning for Raptor: Call of the Shadows (1994)

I can't get the music audio working for the 1994 version of Raptor. Does anyone know how I can remedy this? I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, but here goes. I have an ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Will the circuit work normally if different chip speeds (eg 8088-2 and 8255-1)

Old processors came out with support chips. That is, there was a family - the processor and its chips. Over time, the same kits came out with higher frequencies. Will the circuit work properly if ...
4
votes
4answers
943 views

Why does this Apple //e drops into system monitor when booting?

I recently purchased an Apple //e online as well as a BMOW Floppy Emu in order to emulate some disk images. After working with it successfully for awhile, this monitor consistently appeared in lieu of ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Software Failure after RAM upgrade Amitek Hawk

I have Amitek Hawk for my A1200, the board came with wrong RAM and apps were crashing with 8003 Guru error. After contacting the seller I was told by mistake wrong SIMM was shipped and I received a ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

How to load into FAST RAM on Apple IIgs?

The Apple IIgs (last, ROM03 version) came with 128K of standard RAM and 1M of FAST RAM. The distinguishing characteristic of the FAST RAM is that code running from there can run at 2.8 MHz instead of ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Why do Early DRAMs (e.g. 4116) have a negative Column Address Set-up Time?

Early DRAMs have a multiplexed address bus. Briefly speaking, to access a word, one needs to... Put the row address on the bus, and latch it using the falling edge of /RAS signal. Put the column ...
3
votes
5answers
261 views

How to teach the Z80 to count milliseconds and microseconds like Arduino?

I make a homebrew (for hobby) game console on Z80A, and I need help. Now I'm stuck - I need to be able to count milliseconds and microseconds in the code. For example, how it is done in Arduino : ...
7
votes
1answer
722 views

What is this Amiga 2000 mod?

I got an Amiga 2000, board Rev. 6 Does anyone know what is is? (click to enlarge)
45
votes
4answers
9k views

What did the 8086 (and 8088) do upon encountering an illegal instruction?

Preface: This question does in part intersect with Use of undocumented opcodes, but targets especially the 8086 instruction handling. I was reading Tanenbaum's "Operating Systems, Design and ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

PlayStation 2 Slim with analog A/V output having noise interference issues

I'm having an odd issue with the aforementioned system, the A/V receiver is a RCA STAV-4180 unit, and being from 1996, it's still a great unit. So far, while it's tape output for recording does have ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Reserving extra directory blocks with cpmtools?

I'm trying to create a boot disk for the Kaypro II (from scratch). I've been using cpmtools to generate file system images for other platforms, mostly with success. However, the Kaypro II has this ...
10
votes
2answers
367 views

Why are my VGA vram to vram copies so slow?

I'm doing some mode x programming and I noticed that my vram to vram copies are much slower than I expected. My copying method was described by Michael Abrash in his Graphics Programming Black Book ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

SGI Octane and Octane 2 fail to boot

(Following up from Monitor for an SGI Octane?) I booted both my Octane and Octane 2 machines for the first time. I have a monitor connected via a 13W3-to-VGA adapter, but no PS2 keyboard or mouse yet....
11
votes
1answer
453 views

What is this Amiga 1200 mod?

I got an Amiga 1200 off ebay and it works great, board looks perfect, no leakage, no bad traces, nothing, and yet I have this mysterious mod I've never seen before. Does anyone know what it is?
2
votes
1answer
100 views

ISVs in the mainframe and minicomputer eras

In the eighties, there was a vast flowering of small independent software companies. Business and productivity software for the IBM PC, all manner of novelties for the Macintosh, games for the ...
-1
votes
0answers
210 views

Program-files/data-files in RAM on retrocomputers? [closed]

Question/Questions How many program-files could be in RAM at one time ( See the update below )? How many data-files could be in RAM at one time ? Was it possible to 'somehow' set a data-file as ...
4
votes
3answers
148 views

How did console flexowriters connect to their computers?

Several early computers (e.g., KDF9, LGP30) used Friden Flexowriters for console functions. What was the nature of the connection between the Flexowriter and the computer? Was this something we ...
7
votes
2answers
373 views

Is there data for programming language popularity pre year 2000?

Besides the TIOBE Index, which ranks programming language popularity by search engine hits and seems to have data reaching back to the year 2001, are there other sources with some form of measure for ...
7
votes
3answers
344 views

Why did scandisk exist?

As far as I can tell, chkdsk as been part of DOS and Windows since day one. However, in later versions of DOS, chkdsk was shipped along side scandisk. As of Windows 98, running chkdsk will result in ...
22
votes
17answers
6k views

Was self-modifying code possible using BASIC?

Was self-modifying-code possible using BASIC? Parameters: On commonly affordable home-computers before 1984 Code that changes its own instructions while it is executing Using BASIC only Not using ...
10
votes
3answers
784 views

Did Apple bundle a specific monitor with the Apple II+ for schools?

Sometime in 1980 (or maybe 1981) my school district purchased its first batch of Apple II+ computers. I remember vividly they had absolutely no idea what to do with them, and so the machines were ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Historical speed of linear programming solvers

A few years ago, I remember seeing a video of Ray Kurzweil discussing how linear programming was an example of how software (algorithms) - independent of hardware - is also getting faster (...
24
votes
3answers
5k views

Why did Intel abandon unified CPU cache?

When Intel introduced the 80486 in 1989, they included their first on-chip cache, ostensibly to compete better with Motorola, who had been including on-chip caches for 5 years (MC68020, 1984). Unlike ...
4
votes
2answers
262 views

Desk computer with embedded CRT, 8" floppy

Back in 1981, my high school's computer classes were something like Computer Programming I and II, which taught BASIC on the Apple ][+, and a Computer Programming III class. In the III class, a ...
2
votes
3answers
233 views

What are some notable historic keyboard designs with unusual colours? [closed]

I remember that many older computer or terminal keyboards were quite colorful, and apart from grey and white, often featured some orange, red, green or blue keys. I have seen some in computing centers ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Pac-Man-like: Playing a Excavator bucket or mining drill on a cable

I remember playing this game on the C=64 in the late 80s or so. It was 2d 'platformer' arcade game where you have to clean the screen from pills like Pac-Man, but in a different way. You would always ...
4
votes
3answers
233 views

Can someone explain this algorithm used to compute the auxiliary carry flag?

I'm debugging my 8080 emulator and I've gone the route of comparing it to the output of another tested emulator to see where I went wrong. When calculating the auxiliary carry flag, I used this ...
2
votes
3answers
164 views

Paging vs. segments in the Z8000

Having post-dated either, I came to understand the difference between paging and segmentation to be that the former refers to fixed blocks while the later can point anywhere. To do so, the segments ...
3
votes
0answers
151 views

90s game about a man with a revolver fighting demons

The game I'm trying to identify is a side-scrolling platformer where the protagonist is a man wielding a six-shooter revolver. I think I played a demo or shareware version as it only contained one ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

What was the first x86 CPU to use a cache of any kind?

I believe the 80286 had a prefetch instruction queue, but did it have any other forms of cache? Was the 80386 the first x86 CPU to have a cache?
1
vote
0answers
173 views

Mid-1980s 808x computer with 24-bit graphics

I remember seeing a computer with 24-bit graphics at a computer store in the mid-1980s. It was not a normal PC with a high-end graphics board installed; the graphics came standard, possibly with ...
12
votes
1answer
805 views

Why the DOS extender and DPMI were unavailable to DOS programs on 286 standard mode of Windows 3.0

An old article on Windows 3.0 from PC Magazine (June 11, 1991, page 348) said that: Using standard mode, the Windows DOS extender and DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI) are available to Windows ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

ISA Extension cards using more than 64kB

Related to my previous question around VGA framebuffer being limited to 64kB I started to wonder if there was any extension cards (or similar) using more than 64kB of address space in linear fashion, ...
6
votes
3answers
994 views

Why VGA framebuffer was limited to 64kB window?

VGA framebuffer was fixed to 64kB at A0000h. Right after that there’s MDA/CGA framebuffer at B0000h. I am not sure, but I recall VGA did have to support CGA and its framebuffer, but was there any ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

What was the reasons for DEC engineers to choose MMU page size in VAXen?

MMU page size in VAXen is just 512 bytes. Such a small size causes increased number of MMU page walks and leads to TLB thrashing more often. Current tendency is to have MMU pages as big as 2 Mbytes. ...
37
votes
1answer
6k views

Fixing obscure 8080 emulator bug?

I'm using the cpudiag.bin from http://www.emulator101.com/files/cpudiag.bin to test my emulator. I've already implemented the CP/M CALL function at 0x05, offset the program at 0x100 and fixed the ...
50
votes
6answers
10k views

How did old MS-DOS games utilize various graphic cards?

Nowadays each graphic card has some driver in operating system that translates some (typically) standard API such as OpenGL, so that programmers use some standardized API code to tell graphics cards ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

How exactly do all control signals in 6502 work?

I'm trying to make a 6502 replica in Logisim. I want to know what exactly each control signal in 6502, how the clock cycles work and additionally I would like to see an example of these control ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Why was the Sega Genesis marketed as a 16-bit console?

The Sega Genesis / Mega Drive's main CPU, the Motorola 68000, was a 32-bit processor. Couldn't Sega have marketed the console as a 32-bit device? Or is there a technical distinction about how the ...
5
votes
4answers
710 views

Was the output of the C64 SID chip 8 bit sound?

Was the output of the C64 SID chip 8 bit sound? I know that SID is not sample based, but instead generate its sound using sine waves and white noise. So is it correct to say that the audio ...
0
votes
1answer
329 views

What was the first Linux distribution?

I desire to know what was the very first Linux-kernel based operating system, what we can call today a "distribution" even if the term wasn't used then. The Wiki article doesn't give a clear answer, ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

When did various PONG systems overflow/crash due to points?

Edit: Given the many different versions of the game Pong, which version allowed you to accumulate the highest score before the game would crash, reset, or otherwise not just give you one more point? ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

When did Linux kernel become libre software? [closed]

In this video, Richard Stallman claimed that Linus Torvalds created Linux kernel as a proprietary software and then liberated it ('liberated' is the term Stallman used). Assuming so, when was the ...
0
votes
3answers
638 views

Was Hurd kernel created as a modification of Linux kernel?

As I know, shortly after Linus Torvalds liberated the Linux kernel it was implemented in GNU operating system which is since then known as GNU/Linux or GNU+Linux. From the GNU article in Wikipedia I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What LISP compilers and interpreters were available for 8-bit machines?

What LISP or LISP-like language compilers and interpreters were available for 8-bit microcomputers? Criteria for "8-bit" include that it should certainly run and execute non-trivial programs given no ...
3
votes
1answer
348 views

Z80N multiply compared to MC68000 [closed]

According to this answer (How did multiply instructions work in the various 68ks?) the MC68000 can take up to 70 clock cycles to multiply. The ZX Spectrum Next's FPGA based Z80N has a MUL DE ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

Did the first version of Linux developed by Linus Torvalds have a GUI? [closed]

Did the first version of Linux developed by Linus Torvalds have a GUI (not necessarily Iconic but something simpler like Midnight Commander)?
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Where can I read the article from Personal Computer World, Nov 1978, which introduced the 8th Rugg/Feldman test program?

I'm trying to track down a copy of PCW from November 1978. I am looking for an article on benchmarking BASIC. They introduced an 8th program to the 7-program Rugg/Feldman test and I'd like to read the ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

When and why would MacinTalk say “open-apple hold”?

I'm trying to confirm a vague recollection about the text-to-speech PlainTalk / MacinTalk software shipped with Macintosh computers. If my memory is right, this would have been around 1994, and based ...

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