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7
votes
1answer
192 views

Which pre-ANSI C compilers allowed a ternary expression as Lvalue?

Soon after learning the C language in the late 80s, before an ANSI C compiler was available on the machines I was using, it occurred to me to check if the following compiles int a, b, c; foo() { (...
6
votes
4answers
530 views

Have there been any studies comparing the reliability of relay versus vacuum tube computers?

Computers of the first half of the 20th century generally used relays or vacuum tubes as their logic elements. Each of these components has there own methods of failure, but relays and tubes have a ...
10
votes
3answers
629 views

Is it possible to bend tension back into Atari 2600 joystick contact domes?

So I got these two Ataris, just got them working. I was testing out the controllers and most of them have problems with the joystick not reacting. I opened them up, cleaned them, still have the ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

What was the last release of OS/400 to support CISC hardware?

What was the last release of OS/400 to support CISC (i.e IMPI) hardware? And when was it released?
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive ROM Disassembler

I am looking for a disassembler that supports Sega Genesis ROMs. Ideally, any 68000 disassembler should be able to do this (IDA Pro supposedly does an amazing job but their demo version does not ...
3
votes
2answers
304 views

What, if any, available older versions of Linux distributions does xroach gracefully run on?

I.e. how can I run xroach on a VM? A search on RC for xroach didn't turn anything up. xroach, as I remember it, ran under old versions of X and had a certain number of cockroaches on the root window ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

Why were relays prevalent in early 1940s computers when vacuum tubes were also available?

Many of of the computers built in the 1940s used relays for logic (see here and here): Bell Labs Model I, 1940 Bletchley Park Bombe, 1940 Zuse Z2, 1940 Zuse Z3, 1941 Bell Labs Model II, 1943 Bell ...
13
votes
3answers
874 views

How did the Burroughs B5000/B5500 provide hardware support for implementing Algol's call-by-name?

According to a 2019 presentation about Burroughs Extended Algol, the Burroughs B5000 and B5500 (and presumably their descendants) had “Hardware support for Call-by-Name (‘thunks’)”. It goes on to say ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

How does stack size affect functioning of AmigaOS and programs?

A few weeks back I had an issue with a Python script resetting my Amiga on execution. Someone suggested to change stack size in startup-sequence to 4096. I just read that it can be set up to 2500000. ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I extract the contents of a Windows 3.1 (16-bit) game EXE file?

I have a game that I can play in a Windows 3.1 emulator. Now I want to have a look "behind the scenes" of the game EXE file. I hope to find game graphics (sprites) there. But how can I ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Olivetti P6060 disk images

For a long time now, I've been looking for disk images from an Olivetti P6060, but so far I've found none. The Olivetti P6060 was the second computer I wrote programs on, so making an emulator for it ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Looking for an educational game from long ago

OK so this is really old school. Back in the 1980s, as a latchkey kid, I played on the computers in the library in elementary and middle school. There was this one bizarre educational game that I'd ...
5
votes
1answer
502 views

Why does the JSR operation not jump?

I am building a computer based on the 65C02S, and when stepping through the code, I see strange things happening. This is my code: SEI CLD LDX #$ff TXS JSR someRoutine ... This translates to this ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Which operating systems supported the ECMA-58/ECMA-67/ECMA-91 floppy disk filesystem?

ECMA defined a filesystem for floppy disks which appears to take inspiration from the tape labels used on mainframe and minicomputer tape systems (note the use of "VOL1" and "HDR1" ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

How to perform a DNS lookup in a VXD?

Is there a documented way of performing a DNS lookup in VXD-land? Windows 98 provides TCP/IP-32 VXD that mimics the function of the Windows NT/2000 TDI, however this interface usually works with IP-...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What was the “32-bit” ISA bus (connector) extension for 80386 PCs?

I have a question which is similar to another question on this site: When I was a child 386 PCs came up. When buying a PC, you could read in the technical data how many 8- and 16-bit ISA slots were ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

1980s Commodore 64 game about flying toward tower

Wondering if anyone can help me shed some light on this vague memory I have as a kid. My older brother had a friend who got us tons of pirated games for our Commodore 64/128. I'm trying to recall one ...
2
votes
0answers
596 views

Old computer game about a robot and questions

I'm trying to remember an old game I used to play as a kid. It may have been a Commodore 64 game, not sure. All I remember was you answered questions like for math or something like that and as you ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What happened to Spatial Freedom and the Astroid controller?

I've been doing some research into 3D mice. Pretty much the only game in town is the space mouse from 3Dconnexion. In doing this I discovered that its original designer John Hilton left after the ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Vertical shoot em up from early 80s

I'm looking to identify a vertical shooter from the 80s. The setting is futuristic, with the main ship being able to get upgrades based on the floating bonus which is a letter. One of the was a ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

How can I install debug VXDs from the Windows 98 DDK?

The core OS debug VXDs are provided in the DDK as separate VXDs, as opposed to being packed into a single VMM32.VXD file. Furthermore the readme file with the DDK indicates that copying all the ...
5
votes
3answers
551 views

Was there an analog of local labels in the IBM assembly language?

In the assembly language used in Unix on DEC machines (PDP-11, VAX), one can use numerical labels and refer to them with suffixes "b" and "f" meaning "backwards" and &...
10
votes
1answer
685 views

How do I clean/refurbish an Apple IIc Keyboard?

My Apple IIc is what appears to be the first US model: A2S4000 with version 255 ROMs. The keyboard PCB is marked 820 0108 03 ©1983, and the keyswitches are the "cross" type as seen below, without any ...
0
votes
2answers
345 views

CF partitions not showing up in Workbench

4GB Compact Flash KS 3.1 40.68 WB3.1 Latest WinUAE I just created a Compact Flash (compatible Transcend) partitions under Workbench on latest WinUAE using this guide. Despite following the steps my CF ...
47
votes
9answers
11k views

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

While for other platforms of that era (primarily, Amiga), putting a game on a bootable disk was quite a normal practice, this approach never taken off on IBM PC. Why not? I do remember people having ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Could a Z80 address a total of 128 KB of ROM and RAM?

In a nutshell, could the Z80 address 64 KB of ROM and 64 KB of RAM, or just 64 KB for both RAM and ROM? Unfortunately, I couldn't find an exact and a direct answer to my question while searching. ...
16
votes
5answers
762 views

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

From what I understand of ENIAC, it had a very large number of manually-operated rotary switches which behaved as ROM. While programming ENIAC in the early days required a plugboard, the machine was ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

32-bit PCI riser cards: different types?

[copied from superuser.com] I'm duplicating an existing compact PC; I'd love to replace it with modern components, but for various reasons I can't. I'm having a tough time finding the correct 32-bit ...
40
votes
3answers
5k views

How was a demo mode implemented in arcade machines

On many arcade machines when running in attract mode, they often show a demo gameplay. I wondered how they did this?I guess those are not pre-recorded movies, so I think that they probably ran the ...
9
votes
1answer
538 views

Where are the Colossus schematics?

The Colossus series of electronic computers, considered by some to be the first fully electronic (as opposed to electromechanical) computer in the world, was originally a British state secret. This ...
3
votes
4answers
449 views

What is the first (say early) use of switches (mechanical or electromechanical) for sake of processing (like automatic motor control)simple data?

Switches are intended for just turning ON or OFF the power supply by either closing or opening the circuit. I often wonder how does mankind got idea to use these switch for sake of processing (simple ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

How many kinds of mass-producible ROM is avaliable before 1970? [duplicate]

Back in the days before mask ROM (when invented?) we got core rope memories, or Little Old Ladies memories, which required lots of human labor to build. Were there any kinds of ROMs which were ...
6
votes
2answers
628 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
321 views

What was the specific function of the relay which captured Grace Hopper's famous “bug”?

Computer pioneer Grace Hopper often recounted the story of her team finding the first physical computer bug: While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University in 1947, her associates ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Smallest/Simplest, modern pure relay computer with at least 4-bits data words

There are a lot of designs out there of modern home made relay computers (not just ALUs but real computers -let's call them Turing complete, although Turing complete is not enough for having an ...
5
votes
1answer
304 views

Were Harvard Mark I and Mark II using diodes?

My understanding is that diodes (and other electronic components like vacuum tubes) started to be used in this line of Harvard machines, only with the Mark III computer. Does anyone have some ...
4
votes
1answer
280 views

IBM 650 - how many logic gates?

How many logic gates did the IBM 650 have? I'm used to measuring the complexity of a CPU by transistor count, but the 650 was a vacuum tube machine; the number of tubes would also be an interesting ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

How many 6SN7 tubes did it take to store a bit?

One of the most important components of a computer is a circuit called a flip-flop, which has two stable states (that it can flip-flop between, hence the name); it is used for temporary storage of a ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Can I build a working(ish) vacuum tube byte?

This is a somewhat odd question. I teach a course on media history, and spend some time talking about digital data towards the end. I am interested in building a device to illustrate some basic ideas ...
5
votes
2answers
928 views

Were any vacuum tube computers built with wire wrap?

I'm trying to gain some understanding of how early computers were built; as discussed in What accounted for the cost of ENIAC? the cost of first-generation computers was not necessarily mostly about ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Amiga OS3.9 unable to run iGame error #8000000B

AMIGA CDTV, 68030 MMU, no FPU, KS 3.1.4, WB3.9 + BBs, MUI3.8, Required Libs. I followed all the requirements swapping guigfx with non-FPU equivalent and I'm not able to get iGame to run. When FPU is ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to expand Amiga 500 rev 8 to 1.5 MB with a 1MB trapdoor expansion?

Is it possible to expand an Amiga 500 rev 8 (not an Amiga 500 plus) to 1.5 MB of Chip RAM using an A501+ expansion? It is plug and play or are modifications required? This is the board: Source: ...
0
votes
1answer
235 views

Is there such a thing as a modern-manufactured, flat, fake CRT TV? [closed]

CRT TVs were great, and an absolute must for all classic video games. However, it cannot be denied that it's impossible to buy a new CRT TV today, at least in any kind of normal store, and you rarely ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Cannot “see” a SCSI2SD device from a Mac SE/30 in any configuration

I've got a SCSI2SD V5.2 board connected to the internal 50-pin SCSI connection of a Mac SE/30. The Mac cannot "see" it, in any configuration I've attempted. I have tried: Using the stock ...
2
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
96
votes
17answers
23k views

How was early randomness generated?

Many programs make use of randomness, from BASIC guess-the-number games to encryption key generators. This randomness could have been generated in many, many different ways: hardware, software, ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the story behind 'goto' vs 'go' 'to' in ALGOL-60?

Preamble As Algol-60 had no reserved words, the language keywords had to be specially marked, e.g. prefixed with an underscore with a trailing space or semicolon (_begin _integer i;i:=42_end), or ...
41
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Windows NT 4 emulate x86 on non-Intel platforms?

I've been trying to find more information about non-Intel versions of Windows NT regarding x86 emulation but found very little about it. There is one sentence about it in the Wikipedia page but the ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Which retro system controllers are compatible with Amiga out of the box

I read an article that people were using various means of user input in their Amiga 500 computers as an alternative to joystick. Most notable, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, CD32 / Competition ...
8
votes
4answers
276 views

Applesoft (pseudo) Random Numbers - alternatives?

What are the alternatives (with examples on how to implement) to Applesoft RND(1) command? I have read of people using a completely different algorithm by poking machine code stored in a DATA ...

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