All Questions

3
votes
3answers
217 views

Was the picture area of a CRT a parallelogram (instead of a true rectangle)?

This may seem like an absurd question at first, but I've been giving it some thought and I'm genuinely curious about the design details of these devices. I was reading an answer on an unrelated Stack ...
2
votes
0answers
23 views

How did the template cache in CFront work?

I've seen some discussion of how templates were historically implemented in CFront around the web, including here. The link describes the Borland model, which is familiar, and the CFront model with a ...
3
votes
2answers
250 views

Z80 unexpected output

I am trying to build a Z80 computer inspired by Grant Searle's design. I'm starting simple, with just a clock (clocked by an AVR pulsing at at 12.5 Hz for testing), a Z80, and a 8K EEPROM with a ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

DOS networking (Ethernet)

Would like to use a Linksys "Etherfast PCMPC100" PCMCIA network card under DOS 5.0, for file transfer. Am planning to use the "XFS" package to share directories with Linux. Have found an archive file ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Did arcade monitors have same pixel aspect ratio as TV sets?

It is well known that when emulating classic games on modern displays, you need to be careful not to distort the aspect ratio. Generally speaking, CRT screens were 4:3, and specific pixel aspect ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Expanded Ram Options for the TRS-80 Model 100 possible into the megabyte range?

I have a trs-80 model 100. I have all the option rams used. I've seen some quite useful ideas from other collectors on the internet for other TRS-80 model computers of using mouser electronic parts to ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

What was the “biggest” or the “greatest” task ever performed by MITS Altair 8800? [on hold]

We know that computer is used for many things, to control many things, to do many jobs, as server, to control airplane traffic, and many things a computer can do. But I am curious about the MITS ...
10
votes
6answers
917 views

Part-bad chips other than RAM

In the early eighties, you could buy half-bad 64k RAM chips at a discount. Some cost-conscious manufacturers such as Sinclair and Tandy took advantage of this, buying eight such chips to make a 32K ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Which developer set the precedent for use of the Shift key for safety (or skipping) at startup time?

Which developer set the precedent? I began wondering after recalling that Mozilla Firefox starts in safe mode if Shift is held at application startup time. Predecessors … I'm certain that Netscape ...
11
votes
2answers
740 views

Examples of operating systems using hardware task switching of x86 CPUs

Intel IA-32 architecture a.k.a. x86 offers hardware task switching capabilities since 80386. It includes TR (task register), memory segmentation features such as Task State Segment, task gates, call ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Identify this 1990s-era educational game featuring kohlrabi

I have fond memories of several educational computer games from school circa 1993–1998. Possibly from MECC, but I haven't found this game on any lists of MECC games as far as I could tell. It's a ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

What was the first keyboard to have browser forward/back keys?

I know they have been around for a long time, for example this 2003 commit has support for them. What was the first...?
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Was sneakernet a job description?

'Sneakernet' is a colloquial term for moving data by walking back and forth with a removable digital medium such as a floppy disk or tape in your hand. In 'IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems', page 533, ...
1
vote
0answers
97 views

Preservation of old Computer Shopper magazines?

I am sure many of you remember the gigantic Computer Shopper magazines of the 1990's; but Computer Shopper actually dates back to sometime in 1979, and still exists in electronic form today. In my ...
3
votes
3answers
174 views

Gotek drives for MS-DOS (plus few more constraints)

I have installed two gotek device instead of two old unworking floppy disk drives (in particular on an Olivetti PCS 86). And the result is something like this: (The one on the right should the the A:...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Where can I find and download emulator of Altair 8800 with Intel 8080 processor for Windows?

I would like to look back to the very beginning of personal computer when Paul Allen and Bill Gates started their debut. So I need to find an emulator of the MIT Altair 8800 with Intel 8080 processor ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Components (hardware and software) and prices of fully working business installations of Apple II systems in 1982-1986 [on hold]

To work effectively with business applications (spreadsheets, databases, text editors, etc.), 1982-1986 systems based on Apple II(e) were equipped with a fairly large set of extensions and peripherals....
3
votes
1answer
191 views

(Modern?) Examples of Creative Computing/Ahl benchmark being used?

I've recently written a Wiki article on the Creative Computing benchmark. I was wondering if anyone has examples of it being used outside Creative Computing? I've found one example in Compute!, but I'...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I Interface a PS/2 Keyboard without Modern Techniques?

I'm attempting to build a Z80 homebrew computer to teach myself the basis of electronic design. I planned to start from something simple, like a ROM, some SRAM, a video chip and a Z80-PIO. I'd like to ...
-1
votes
2answers
164 views

Why can't BIOS be accessed in 64bit mode on Intel/AMD chips? [on hold]

I was interested in a possible rewrite of dos to dos 64bit. In my research I found several references that state all current motherboard BIOS interrupts are not accessible from 64bit Long or 64bit ...
4
votes
0answers
105 views

What would happen if the DHR jumper was enabled on a Rev A Apple //e?

The Apple //e originally did not support Double HiRes graphics (DHR). The engineers realized they could double their hires and lores X resolution shortly after the introduction of the machine, so the ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Main board of the original Game & Watch (Ball)

The Game and Watch was a series of single-title games consoles created by Nintendo from 1980 until 1991. Each machine contained a custom LCD screen (containing images related to the software), some ...
0
votes
3answers
190 views

How were early computer monitor signals used to breach security? [duplicate]

In the mid 80's, several national news outlets showed people able to reproduce a computer's monitor's screen at least 100ft away. 1) How were early computers compromised like this? 2) Were there ...
7
votes
1answer
527 views

Who established the original F1 desktop BIOS key and why did laptops use a different key?

It seems early on IBM, MS, and DOS clones established a standard of holding the F1 key down during boot to access the BIOS setup. Yes there were a few much less common combinations that used the DEL (...
2
votes
0answers
62 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
800 views

First language designed to be embedded?

Some languages like Python, Lua, and Tcl are designed with the intention that you can easily embed the interpreter into some other native program. For example, many VFX applications like Nuke, Maya, ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

SNES PPU die photo

The heart of many classic home computers and game consoles was the graphics chip, yet these tend to be less well-documented than the corresponding CPUs. Still, there are die photos of two of the most ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Nintendo change its mind about 68000 SNES?

Compared to its main rival from Sega, the Super Nintendo has a weaker CPU but a more powerful graphics chip. According to http://web.archive.org/web/20080505070423/http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive?

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive? I have some data I would like to retrieve from a really old 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk, but have no working computer than has a drive to read ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

When did hardware antialiasing start being available?

An important step towards 3D gaming was the ability to scale sprites or tiles by nonintegral factors. Examples of the former from the eighties were the arcade games Pole Position, Outrun, Space ...
6
votes
0answers
137 views

qemu emulating MS-DOS cannot access CD-ROM

I am using qemu-system-i386 on a Windows 10 PC to emulate an MS-DOS system. I have installed MS-DOS 6.22 successfully from disk images from original Microsoft media. I am starting qemu using this ...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

De facto standard width of a business computer

A very interesting article about an interesting, late (in more senses than one) and little remembered computer: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/28/30_years_on_the_story_of_the_memotech_mtx/?page=...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Which original retrocomputer OS's are still maintained and updated today, for original hardware?

I would like to know which original Operating Systems that run on retrocomputers are still being actively maintained and updated. This only applies to retrocomputer OS's that may still be used on ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

Test emulated 8080 CPU without an OS?

I've found a few 8080 CPU test suites available, but they all assume CP/M or a similar OS is already present and running - they call BDOS for I/O, etc. I'm working towards being able to run CP/M on my ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

Apple IIGS: Is there a way to boot and run an Apple II OS in E0/E1 in native CPU mode?

Apple //GS: Is there a way to boot and run an Apple ][ OS in E0/E1 in native CPU mode? No GS features are required. 1MHz clock like on previous Apple2s is perfect. The reason for needing this is ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98

Do you know which is the latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98? At the moment I have an Opera 10 working fine; it is very lightweight but very outdated. I assume that software that works ...
37
votes
11answers
5k views

What is the oldest computer capable of running a modern version of Linux?

A bit of a trivia question: What is the oldest hardware capable of running a modern Linux-based operating system ? By this I mean being capable of running a fairly recent Linux kernel, in some form. ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Creating a new locale.library language support for AmigaOS

Looking through the LO (localisation) disk for Workbench 3.1, I see that the language files are binary. I'd like to create a Gaeilge (Irish) localisation file. How is this done on Amiga? Update: ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Did CP/M support custom hardware using device drivers?

MS DOS Ver 1.0 did not have OS support for device drivers. DOS ver2 added support for device drivers in the config.sys file during boot with the "DEVICE=[path][filename][parameters]". Did CP/M have ...
0
votes
2answers
287 views

Why did Steve Jobs say that Darwin is a kernel? [closed]

In this video, Steve Jobs introduces Mac OS X (in the year 2000), this is a snapshot from the video: He says that Darwin is the kernel for Mac OS X. Now the following is a diagram of the Mac OS X ...
11
votes
1answer
514 views

Inglish parser on the Hobbit (1982 video game)

Most adventure games, to keep the parser simple, might just have some simple rules, which accepts verb + noun or a cardinal direction, and simple things like that. That's almost a CFG, so in Backus-...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Commodore PC-1 power supply measurements off

I have a Commodore PC-1 with a busted power supply. I have no desire to fix it as I don't have the know-how it is already 30 years old It is difficult to debug / find replacement components So I ...
8
votes
4answers
710 views

How much data could a home computer store on an audio cassette?

The use of audio cassettes for storing data for home computers was a great example of repurposing an existing invention. Cassettes were sold in a variety of capacities, and labelled with their audio ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How to transfer file from one disk to another in Apple //e (Applewin)

For the nostalgia, I'm going through Apple Pascal - A Hands-on Approach using AppleWin. There are four disks, pascal0 through pascal3, and for some reason pascal0 is missing a file called SYSTEM....
6
votes
1answer
279 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. ...
80
votes
20answers
17k views

Have programming languages driven hardware development?

Programming language development has been influenced by hardware design. One example from this answer mentions how C pointers were, at least in part, influenced by the design of the PDP-11. Has the ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did blanking of screen on C64 SAM enable better quality speech synthesis?

There's this old piece of software still present in today's Windows called SAM that enabled C64 to speak. I remember that we could choose either screen on and worse speech quality or screen off and ...
5
votes
3answers
399 views

Can the Commodore 64 display 26 rows of text?

I seem to remember some demo, or a game, which displayed 26 rows of text (that's one more than the usual text mode resolution of 40x25). My memory of it is very hazy, but at least is corroborated by ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

How to reset/recover password on Ascend/Lucent “SuperPipe 155” ISDN router

I am trying to set up a second-hand 1990s era Ascend/Lucent "SuperPipe 155" ISDN router for use with some of my 90s era computers, but I don't know the router's password and the instructions I found ...
5
votes
0answers
175 views

What is the timeline of NASA ground control computers?

In the movie "Hidden Figures", NASA receives an IBM 7090 in 1961. What is the subsequent timeline of the primary computing means for flight planning and orbit calculation? Specifically, what was the ...

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