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1answer
49 views

When was the Game Boy Pocket released in Europe?

You'd think this would be the simplest thing in the world to find out, but Wikipedia and all other sources just mention the USA and Japan release dates -- not the European one. I have no idea why ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Help installing Windows NT 4

I need to install Windows NT 4 on a pentium computer with Windows 98 installed on a Fat32 partition 160 GB drive. I made a 2GB Fat16 primary partition before this c partition with partition magic, ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Macintosh IIci not booting

I have an old Macintosh IIci that worked until a few weeks ago but now doesn't turn on anymore. When I press the power button on the keyboard all the lights on the keyboard and the one on the main ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

Is there a possibility for a user-defined IRQ hardware vector on a Commodore 128 in C128 mode?

When an IRQ occurs, the 6502 microprocessor and its derivatives in the C64 and C128 push the status register to the stack and then load the contents of a two-byte vector at memory address $FFFE/$FFFF ...
-1
votes
1answer
161 views

Has Microsoft withdrawn from the backward compatibility in the following case? [closed]

Ïn the document "Microsoft MS-DOS CD-ROM Extension 2.1" (MSCDEX) is answered positively an user's question about possible embeding of more functions in INT 10h. Did this mean that newer CD-...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

How can I restore the VDC RAM to usable text mode after clearing memory for hi-res graphics?

So, I've got a C-128 with only 16K of VDC video RAM. I've finished my lovely high-resolution graphics routine on the RGBI display and want to exit to BASIC with a functional 80-column text screen, ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did the 8087 need a special socket?

The IBM PC included a coprocessor socket for the 8087 floating-point unit. Logical enough; some customers wanted to use the 8087 to make numeric calculations run faster. But why was the 8087 designed ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

CDC 6600 system console

The CDC 6600 system console was a vector drawing system with a single font that also provided a way of drawing simple graphics (Wikipedia). In simple terms how does this vector drawing system work? ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Record definitions with IBM COBOL and IMS

A common technology stack for line of business applications in the sixties and seventies was IBM COBOL with the IMS database. I'm curious about how the combination handled record definitions. COBOL ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

While playing on zdoom screen recorder doesn't record game play [closed]

While playing doom through zdoom screen-recorder records nothing. Only sound is audible from the recorded video. Screen recorders used: Free cam Apowersoft Bandicam I have used above screen ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Clear description of MS BASIC number → string conversions?

I'm failing to find a concise document that describes the formatting used by (6502) MS BASIC when converting internal FP numbers to text for display in PRINT, STR$, etc. I know it has a leading - or ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Can I restore an S/38 program to a current IBM i?

The IBM System/38 or just S/38 was an IBM mini-computer launched in 1978. I don't know when IBM stopped marketing it but their AS/400 was released in 1988 and it was very easy to switch from the S/38 ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

How can I format a higher capacity 3 inch disc on a regular CPC6128?

A standard Amstrad 3 inch disc can be formatted to CP/M Data format on the machine: single sided, single track, 40 tracks, 9 sectors/track, 512-byte sectors, no reserved tracks, 1k blocks, 2 directory ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

Early multifunction laser printer with a fixed scanning head?

I was working for a Hungarian magazine in the early 90s which had the most curious device: a laser printer which had a pass through scanner on top ie you laid down a page and it dragged it under a ...
17
votes
15answers
3k views

Were any IBM mainframes ever run multiuser?

Now of course there is a sense in which they were – some mainframe installations supported thousands of users! But there is a distinction. Consider the familiar fixture in so many 80s computer science ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

What was the first database to start compressing in situ?

The obvious way for a database to store data is with each record in a contiguous chunk, and each field having a fixed size and offset in the record. Joel Spolsky praises that way of doing things: ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

How did the DEC RP06 respond to unscheduled power off?

The DEC RP06 disk drive was a remarkable piece of hardware. It seems to have been the last generation of drives that used rigid magnetic disks in removable packs, before their replacement by '...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

Why did mainframes have big conspicuous power-off buttons?

Some fascinating stories in this discussion thread. It starts with discussion about computers overheating, but about halfway through the thread, it switches to discussion of mainframe installations in ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

PC Task performance

What sort of performance I can expect from PC Task 4.4 on Amiga 500 + 030 50MHz MMU, 64MB RAM? Would it be possible to run Windows 3.11 / 95 and have any real use from it?
2
votes
0answers
105 views

Why did Gran Trak 10 cost so much?

In 1974, Atari released a driving game called Gran Trak 10. The development prototypes had used real car steering wheels and pedals, but it was realized these were too expensive, so they were changed ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Why did MacOS Classic choose the colon as a path separator?

I mean, all other OSs that I know of use some form of slash as a path separator, so why did Apple choose the colon?
4
votes
3answers
911 views

How was it possible to run IBM mainframe software in emulation on HP?

... At least, without getting sued into the ground? According to one of the answers to What was the most critical supporting software for COBOL on IBM mainframes? We installed a new HP replacing an ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

What was the most critical supporting software for COBOL on IBM mainframes?

Over the past half-century, one of the largest trends in the computer industry has been the replacement of mainframes by microcomputers. Not total by any means – there are still many mainframes in ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Labels in cc65 inline assembler with #define macro

In general, it is possible to use inline assembler statements within C macros, for example #define toscreencode(C) (__AX__ = (C), \ asm("cmp #$60"),\ ...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

Internet services that are still compatible with devices (phones/pdas from 2000-2007) [closed]

Though I can identify some technologies like following, I would like to know which ones will surely fail and which ones are worth to test on my old Palm, Symbian, WindowsCE,... Web Issues with ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

Sony PVM Connections / Composite Signale

I am trying to learn more about different video formats. I have a SONY PVM9044QM and want to understand the different connection options. So I understand, that Y/C equals S-Video input. But what does ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

How to remove Virus:DOS/V_Sign from a DOS 6.22 system

Fresh install of dos 6.22, unfortunately there appears to be a virus in MBR, each time I get Virus:DOS/V_Sign when re-using floppy from this machine. I can't connect HDD to modern PC, any idea how I ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did decimal arithmetic slow down VisiCalc?

There is an excellent article about VisiCalc that goes into all the details about what happened and why, highly recommended if you are interested in that part of computing history. I was reading this ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

8086 duration of program

I have the following assembly code for 8086 MOV AL, [BX] OUT DX, AL The bus clock frequency is 1MHz. Access to memory is done without WAIT, and to I/O with one WAIT tick. How I can calculate the ...
1
vote
0answers
104 views

Failure modes of old motherboards vs new motherboards [closed]

I have a question regarding the difference in common failure modes between an older motherboard such as the ABIT BP6, and a new motherboard such as what you might find in an Intel NUC. What is a ...
8
votes
2answers
450 views

Origin of Ctrl-Alt-Delete key combination to reset

The Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination to reset is known to me to work on older PC/MS-DOS PCs, some versions of Atari TOS, on runlevel 3 / multiuser.tager Linuxes (it can be disabled). The older of ...
13
votes
2answers
848 views

How were 4-digit IC part numbers assigned?

It seems that integrated circuits of the 1970s tended to have 4-digit part numbers. This includes not only the ones that came to be well-known like CPUs (Intel 4004, 8008, 8080, 8085, 8086, 8088, ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Amstrad CPC 6128 - Key cap spring missing

Of course the unthinkable happened and I lost one cap key spring while cleaning the keyboard. I am still searching but assuming all things went south, what would be the best solution to replace them? ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

How to identify the filesystem for an old SCSI drive?

Back in the day, SCSI was the way to go. I remember my high school having a single 5Mb Sider hdd connected to an Apple //e - which seemed awesome after endlessly swapping floppies. Not long after, I ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

How did wave soldering work? [closed]

While it is not used as much nowadays, wave soldering was a big advance in the productivity of manufacturing electronics, compared to soldering all the components by hand. It consists of placing all ...
4
votes
4answers
334 views

Using a GSM (2G) cellphone as a modem to send code

I am quite a newbie to retrocomputing, and I don't know if such a question should be asked here. But I hope maybe some of you could help me. I started reflecting on ways to send data without the ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Amstrad CPC 6128 - Bench Power Supply Connection Setup

I am definitely at the very beginning of my refurb-journey and learning every step now on the way ... I struggle with the following: I saw a video by Noel's Retrolab where he troubleshooted a CPC. He ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

First time using an Amstrad CPC 6128 Disc Drive [duplicate]

I recently got my first Amstrad CPC and started refurbishing it. Now I wonder, I saw a video, on someone using the RPM test tool for the Amstrad. I found the download online, but this question might ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Were there “higher level programming” macro packages for the IBM Macro Assembler?

The IBM/360 Macro Assembly language was quite powerful, allowing non-trivial compile-time string manipulation. Did macro packages exist which would facilitate programming at a (slightly) higher level, ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Was the ProDOS beep part of the kernel or just a commonly duplicated piece of code?

On the Apple II, system beeps were typically just the 'Control-G' beep noise. However, many ProDOS-based applications from Apple Computer abandoned the firmware-based beep routine and instead used a ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

How does Symphonie Pro actually work?

I just happened upon this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tNizdyx-DE It's a selection of Amiga music produced using a program I've never heard of before: "Symphonie Pro". Does ...
7
votes
1answer
247 views

What was IBM’s early attempt at an OS/2 office suite?

I definitely remember that sometime after OS/2 was introduced - while it was still in its very early days - after the breakup from Microsoft, long before Warp - IBM announced with great fanfare a ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Why user-assembled kits?

Many early computers were sold as self-assembly kits (you get a box of parts and an instruction leaflet and have to solder them together yourself). For example, the Altair was priced at $439 kit, $621 ...
12
votes
4answers
835 views

Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

Cassette, being cheaper than a floppy disk drive, was a popular storage medium in the 8-bit era. Some computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, just provided a port to plug in an existing cassette deck....
9
votes
2answers
649 views

Did any 8-bit CPUs use dynamic memory for registers?

According to https://jamiestarling.com/project-8088-the-8088-cpu-pinout/ One thing to note – the 8088 registers are made from dynamic memory cells – they have to be refreshed. The minimum clock speed ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Could the 6502 have worked with an Altair-style front panel?

I have fond memories of programming the 6502, though I never did any hardware hacking with it. I notice that the Altair, with its iconic front panel, was based on the Intel 8080, and from then on, ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Menu in Octapolis

I have been retrogaming with Octapolis on an emulated Commodore 64. Starting up the game presents a menu offering a choice between one or two players, and between music and sound effects. But I don't ...
6
votes
3answers
870 views

Why does -z and -n exist in most shells and /bin/test?

The test command on Unix-like systems provides two special syntax forms for checking whether a string is empty or not: test -z "$foo" # the length of $foo is zero test -n "$foo" # ...
7
votes
1answer
480 views

80387 transistor count

In 1985, Intel released the 80386, a particularly complex and sophisticated microprocessor for its day, consisting of 275,000 transistors, a rather large number for the day. How many transistors went ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

Why were pack-in games not usually incorporated on the console mainboard?

In the old days, game consoles were usually sold with a pack-in game, including some iconic titles like 2600 Combat and NES Super Mario Brothers. This makes sense; it provided clear value for the ...

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