All Questions

5
votes
1answer
296 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
1answer
187 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
290 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
407 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
217 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
338 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
157 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
165 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
253 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
186 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What init system was used in early Linux distributions?

Nowadays there is quite some debate and controversy over whether Linux distributions should use systemd, GNU Shepherd etc. But all these systems are relatively new - for these examples dating back to ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

Is it possible to upgrade original iMac (1998) memory (RAM) to above 256 MB?

I am looking into buying myself an original iMac, as I want to mess with the older system a little bit. Is it even remotely possible to change the RAM in the system to being over 256 MB? I am willing ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

What's the reason for the the Lagonda Series II dashboard to use a mixture of metric and imperial? [closed]

The title says it all. I'm puzzled if there is a technical (Hardware/Software) reason behind the weird mixture of metric (Celsius for temperature) and non metric (like psi for pressure) in the Aston ...
9
votes
1answer
379 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
237 views

Seeking source code for Balls (Atari ST/STOS game)

I'm seeking the source code for an old Atari ST game STFBalls1 a.k.a STBalls a.k.a. Balls which was released as shareware back in the early '90s. According to the author, anyone making a shareware ...
5
votes
4answers
546 views

Name of Atari ST 3D game?

I've been trying to track down a 3D game from the late '80s/early '90s. It was on the Atari ST and featured simple polygonal (space)ships1 floating over flattish polygonal ground with the occasional ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

What is this old PC truck game?

I've begun to recall a game I played as a child with my brother, and I can't remember what it was called for the life of me. The reason I'm asking for identification is because I remember how much he ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

Run and Gun game with bird creature as the protagonist

I faintly remember playing a 16 bit game as a kid, which is some sort of hardcore run and gun game. I don't remember if it was on a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo. You take control of some bird / ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Looking for a platformer game

All I can remember of the game is that: It was a platformer game The game might have been made in the 90's I think it was a DOS game It was a very colored game The main character was human (I think ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

How to read disk files using CBM specific functions in cc65 with proper error checking

TL:DR What is the reason my kernel_read() function ignoring file errors? I'm trying to understand how to work with files in cc54 using CBM specific functions. My target is Commodore 64 with 1541 ...
12
votes
1answer
347 views

What did Microsoft customize on Windows 95 installation floppy disks?

I have a Windows 95 Upgrade 3.5" DMF installation disk set where several disks were infected by the boot sector virus known as "Chance.A". I'm interested in restoring these to their original contents. ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

How can I edit CMOS hard drive geometry settings on a 1991 PC?

First, I am NOT asking how to use the BIOS Setup utility. I'm asking how to OVERRIDE the built-in settings my BIOS Setup supports for the HD geometry. I have a 1991 NCR PC with a 386SX, on-board IDE, ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Which tape drives were the last to offer backward compatibility with QIC-150 Tape Cartridges?

I currently have some QIC-150 tape cartridges. These are the Imation DC6250 250 MB tapes. I understand that this came out in the late 1990's. I'd like to read these using a tape drive but want to find ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

Cannot find repGL source anywhere [closed]

As stated here, repGL (a library to emulate SGI's IrisGL on top of OpenGL) can be found at this address: ftp://ftp.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de/pub/grafik/. I can see the file, indeed (it's named ...
31
votes
8answers
4k views

How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT

I have this MS-DOS 6.22 machine which maps a network drive to a SAMBA share on a Raspberry PI. The PI is powered by a USB lead from the DOS machine, so the two power up together. The mapping starts ...
11
votes
2answers
801 views

Does the Commodore 64 have the PHX opcode?

Code written for the Commodore 64 sometimes uses the PHX opcode, which should push X onto the stack. There also are plx, phy, ply. These were apparently added on the CMOS versions of the 6502; very ...
10
votes
4answers
603 views

Is the N64 incapable of 2D graphics?

So as many fans are aware, the N64 era was a jump for many games into the third dimension. Games like Mario and Zelda were impacted in a positive way. Others... not so much. While it may seem odd that ...
2
votes
0answers
170 views

Is my Japanese Pokemon Red cart fake or damaged?

I recently got this copy of Pokemon Red (JP). After an indeterminate amount of time (anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes), it will cause my GB Player to crash. I have functional copies of Yellow ...
3
votes
4answers
369 views

Cassettes that used stereo?

One of the tricks many of the early machines allowed was the ability to record an audio track on one of the tape channels, and then turn it on or off using the deck control. I believe the Ataris may ...
6
votes
1answer
224 views

How did the original TRS-80 generate video?

I'm curious how the original (Model 1) TRS-80 generated video. I understand that an RF modulator was used but what kind of circuitry did it use to feed the RF modulator? The TRS-80 Color Computer ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Sources for HP's A Graphics Language?

I'm poking about in the usual places, but not having any luck, does anyone have any good introductory information for HP's AGL, "A Graphics Language"?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Where was the DOS cdd utility from?

I distinctly remember, on the computer I had in the 90's, being able to type cdd D:\bla\bla in the MS-DOS command prompt, to change both the current directory and drive (avoiding having to type D: ...
8
votes
2answers
475 views

What is the best way to connect an old Tandberg QIC tape drive using today's computers?

I currently have a ton of QIC-250MB tapes that I would like to read from (its been 30 years). I have a Tandberg TDC 3600 SCSI interfaced tape drive but I am lost how to connect it. In the past, with ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Is screen wrap on the NES a fault of the OAM?

On NES games such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, entities that get to close to the edge of the screen, whether that be the top, bottom, left, or right side wrap around to the other side of the ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

PDP-10 effective address calculation

How does effective address calculation work on the PDP-10? My understanding is that the instruction code contains an 18-bit address or offset, one bit for indirect, and a register code that's 4 bits. ...
3
votes
2answers
248 views

How to express hi/lo byte of a label in crasm

I am trying to move my project from xa (which I found rather buggy) to crasm, which is the other 6502 assembler that comes with debian. My project contains a lot of lines like ldx #<pname ldy #&...
4
votes
0answers
203 views

Was the character in the Game & Watch series supposed to be his own unique character?

For those of you who don't know, the Game & Watch handhelds were a series of LCD handhelds released prior to the Gameboy that featured one (and sometimes two) player games. Some of these games (...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

SPARCstation 1+ cache block size

What is the size of each cache block in a SPARCstation 1+? The only information I found about the cache was that it is "64K write-through cache, direct-mapped, virtually indexed, virtually tagged, 16-...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

What is the highest version of System 7 that can be run on a Mac SE/30?

My recently restored Mac SE/30 has System 7.0 running on it at present, booting from an original SCSI HDD. I’m missing a few key features, like disk image mounting, which I understand were added in ...
37
votes
2answers
9k views

Why does the original Donkey Kong update the screen in a curtain closing patern?

For those of you who don't know, Billy Mitchell, the former Donkey Kong world record champion was caught cheating due to differences between the original Donkey Kong format, and MAME. In other words, ...
3
votes
3answers
333 views

Allocate 64KB in Watcom C 16-bit DOS

I'm trying to allocate a 64KB buffer in Watcom C 16-bit DOS. I'm using the "compact" memory model as it states [1] that the code segment is limited to 64KB through a near pointer (just offset) but ...
6
votes
2answers
379 views

How costly is it to put things on the stack with the Z80?

Programming languages like C, where any function has the potential to be called recursively, are effectively designed on the assumption that it's okay for all local variables to go on the stack. On ...
5
votes
3answers
532 views

Why was the Amstrad CPC slow at scrolling

As I understand, neither the Amstrad CPC or the Sinclair Spectrum had any support for hardware scrolling, and arcade conversions struggled compared to the C64 or NES. However, isometric 3D games ...
14
votes
9answers
3k views

What was the typical thickness of fanfold printer paper?

Fanfold paper was commonly used for computer printouts from the 1950s to the 1980s. What was the typical thickness of such paper? The answer must be a measure of thickness, not weight. I am well ...

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