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2
votes
0answers
39 views

Serial Braille DOS driver on XP or higher?

Friend uses old braille displays in his company, but their producer does not exist, they use serial port and there is problem with either drivers (Ethernet) for <= Win 98 or serial access on NT+ on ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

What was the screen refresh rate of the Lisa and original Macintosh?

According to https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Joining_Apple_Computer The Apple II displayed white text on a black background. I argued that to do graphics properly ...
9
votes
2answers
354 views

How to view register contents on the PDP-11 console?

I have a PiDP-11 kit, which emulates a PDP-11/70 console. I've been using it as a launch point to gradual learning about the original machines and so far have been able to read/write memory and launch ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Finding replacement LEDs for Commodore gear?

Around 1984, Commodore transitioned from using round LED bulbs for power and drive indicators to rectangular ones. Some of these could be quite wide, like the ones pictured for a 1571 disk drive. They ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

IBM PS/2 Model 56 486 SLC2 Faceplate replacement

I'm trying to track down a replacement faceplate for an IBM PS/2 Model 56. Mine was broken during shipping. Anybody have any ideas where I could find one?
6
votes
2answers
342 views

8 registers in the 9440?

Looking over the 9440 spec sheet, a question arises. The very first line notes that it has eight registers... eight? There's the four AC's, PC, carry bit (all 16-bits for that one!) and... what? On ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Importance of obeying Apple II IRQ priority

In the Apple II, DMA and IRQ priority is determined by a daisy-chain system, in which a card may only assert an IRQ or perform DMA when all higher-priority cards allow it. I understand the importance ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Need help with lifted pads/traces on a TRS-80 Model 100 PCB

The worst imaginable thing you can think of happened. I've tried making a minor repair and it all rolled downhill like a snowball and now I have significant damage. Extent of Damage The pads got ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Bad floppy drive in T1910CS 486 laptop

I've recently picked up a Toshiba T1910CS 486 laptop. It's in OK shape, with a 500MB hard drive and DOS installed. I also ordered a USB floppy disk drive and some floppy disks so that I could install ...
8
votes
4answers
884 views

What graphics sytems used display lists?

As near as I can tell, there seems to have been roughly speaking two schools of thought when it comes to graphics hardware among early consoles, what I will call the Atari and Texas Instruments ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

When was the “Director” role added to Game Development? [closed]

Obviously, crediting a "Director" was borrowed from the cinema industry. It was a new trend in computer game development in the late 1980s and early 1990s to embrace the story-telling aspect of a ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

Early computers without screens or sensors

I understand that only either nonelectromechanical computing devices or electromechanical computing devices were ever developed by humans. I also understand that the first electromechanical general ...
11
votes
2answers
814 views

Did all integrated Commodore PET monitors always use 60 Hz refresh?

All models of the Commodore PET line had built-in monitors, and at least the U.S. models had 60 Hz refresh. For the European models there was no need for compatibility with European television ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the last VLC Media Player version for Windows 98/98SE/ME? [closed]

What is the last VLC Media Player version for Windows 98/98SE/ME ?
5
votes
2answers
155 views

When was the first 3 state IC produced?

This was prompted by a question on the electronics site (which was asking why only an open collector variant of a particularly old part existed and how it could be part of a data bus). This was a ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Is this really an Atari 2600?

I saw this labeled as an Atari 2600. However I thought all 2600s had toggle switches. This has flat switches. Its also all black, while all the ones I've seen have fake wood trim. Is it real?
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why didn't the 6502 have increase/decrease opcodes for A?

In 6502 Assembly, we can use INX and INY to increase the value stored in X and Y. They can be decreased with DEX and DEY. However, it seems that there are no such instructions for A, like INA or DEA. ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why isn't the WDC 65816 available in “externally” 16-bit versions?

Actually, unless there are actual design notes from WDC available, the question is really one too long for the title field: "What, precisely, are the disadvantages of having a version of the WDC 65816 ...
8
votes
2answers
346 views

What PC graphics tech outperformed Sega Dreamcast in 1999?

The Sega Dreamcast was released in 1999 (1998 in Japan) at just the time that the competition for 3D graphics on PCs was intensifying. It's my assumption that a high-end 1999 Pentium II PC with 3Dfx ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Looking for a BASIC decruncher: inserting spaces between keywords

Many dialects of 8-bit BASIC allow ‘crunched’ source; that is, most spaces can be ignored between keywords: 10 FORX=1TO10 20 PRINTX,X^2 30 NEXTX After Microsoft BASIC-80 Rev. 5.x, however, spaces ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

Role of Termcap under contemporary unices

A word of caution regarding this question: I'm more a userland than kernel person but have this nagging concern which I think belongs to kernel. When configuring a system one decides on peripherals ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

64GB compact flash not booting up in DOS

I have purchased a 64GB compact flash UDMA card and am unable to boot up in DOS. The machine I'm running has a Pentium 1.6Ghz process in it just to give you an idea about how "modern" it is compared ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

What happens on the Straight-8 when changing to a non-existant data field?

The extended memory controller on the PDP-8 (the original one, sometimes called the Straight-8) apparently had difficulty when selecting a datafield that didn't exist: On machines with 8K or more, ...
9
votes
5answers
479 views

Has there ever been a instruction set architecture that did not require instruction decoding at all?

I am studying basic principles of instruction set architectures and am considering what it would take to not have any instruction decoding at all. I.e., all the control lines of the computer would be ...
10
votes
1answer
249 views

Why were index register contents on IBM 7090 subtracted in forming the effective address?

On IBM 709/7090/7094 mainframes, the effective address of an instruction could be modified by the contents of an index register specified in the instruction encoding. That much is a fairly standard ...
64
votes
9answers
7k views

Why is the processor instruction called “move”, not “copy”?

Many processors have an instruction called "move" (sometimes spelled MOV) which copies data from one location (the "source") to another (the "destination") in registers and/or memory. It does not do ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does UNIX ed not have a prompt by default

The line editor ed in UNIX/Linux has a "command mode" and an "insert mode" and there is no visual way to tell which mode you are in. However, there is a -p option that causes it to display a prompt ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Using MAI DT4315A as a terminal for RaspberryPI or other linux system

I have an old MAI DT4315A that my company was going to throw out. I'd love to get it setup as a terminal for a linux based system or raspberry pi, just for fun. However, I've never completed anything ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Does the TELCOM program on the Tandy Model 100 support any Unix terminal–like control codes?

I've been connecting my Tandy Model 100 to a serial port on a Linux box via the TELCOM program with some success. The main downside is that in whatever the default terminfo/$TERM setting it gets, a ...
27
votes
1answer
9k views

Did the Windows 95 screensavers use hardware acceleration APIs?

The windows 95 is known for introducing a couple of classic screensavers including: Maze, Pipes and starfield among others. It looks like DirectX is a collection of multimedia APIs but for this ...
0
votes
1answer
164 views

Spider and snake in a square

In the game you were a spider which could run from one wall to the other. The snake could either destroy your net or you. If you reached another wall the room where snake could move got smaller. If ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Running DOS, Windows 3, and Windows 98 from one FAT32 partition?

I'd like to setup a Windows 98 SE system that boots into the included MS-DOS 7.1 command line, and which can also run Windows 3.11. I've seen various disjointed posts online that suggest this is ...
32
votes
7answers
11k views

Did the computer mouse always output relative x/y and not absolute?

I am experimenting with a graphics pen and tablet and it got me thinking about the difference between it and my mouse. One huge difference is that the tablet's working area covers the whole screen, ...
3
votes
1answer
324 views

Is there a git build for Windows 9x

Obviously, given age, doesn't have to be as secure and fancy and the modern builds, but is there there a git build for Windows 9x, just like there is for Windows XP? Also wondering whether there is a ...
-4
votes
1answer
174 views

Why did Western Digital name their drives “Caviar”? [closed]

I'm asking in Retrocomputing because the Caviar line of HDDs was released in the most recent era of retrocomputing. Does anyone know why they named the line "Caviar"? Why do they associate Sturgeons ...
5
votes
0answers
143 views

PET LOAD command and the < key

I remember reading (probably in some issue of the newsletter of the PET Benelux Exchange (PBE)) about a strange effect during tape loading of a PET program. Back in the day, I tried it and it worked. ...
11
votes
2answers
719 views

Limitations for Color Usage in NTSC

In a well known letter to Philip Timmermann, Robert Yannes describes C64 color generation hardware as capable of producing any color (the palette was fixed, of course, but chosen semi-arbitrarily and ...
7
votes
4answers
645 views

Self-modifying code in commercial games for the (S)NES, Gameboy, Genesis/MD, PC Engine, Atari, etc

I'm curious if there are any extant examples of commercial games for classic consoles (let's say, pre-32-bit era here) which make uses of self-modifying code. As far as I know, all the systems I've ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Do the holes in Jacquard loom punched cards represent input data or program code?

I think they represent data because I feel it is a mechanical machine which is fully configured and the holes decide only that the thread related to each hole must be moved or not. Thus the holes ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Were Artworx and Dynacomp the same?

Back in the day my copies of Creative Computing always had a two-page add from Dynacomp somewhere in it, like this one. Tracking down some of the programs, it appears they are also almost all also ...
2
votes
3answers
156 views

Semis and spaces in MS-alike BASIC PRINT commands

With the exception of DEF FN and the handful of direct-mode commands (CONT, LIST, etc), my interpreter is running most programs, but layout remains an issue. Here are three lines from the BASIC ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Can't boot FAT32 larger than 2GB, unlike Fat16

Why can my PC not boot Fat larger than 2GB (Fat32) in legacy mode, but FAT16 and NTFS work fine? It just gives me a non-system disk error, while booting the same (Dos boot disk) files under Fat16 ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are old computers so vulnerable to temperature changes and moisture?

Interesting discussion by someone thinking of procuring a PDP-11/34, though having difficulty finding suitable space for it: https://www.reddit.com/r/retrobattlestations/comments/dztvci/...
1
vote
3answers
186 views

How can I clean the RF-Out jack of the SNES

I have got a Snes which is in pretty good shape. My problem is that the RF jack is very dirty and corroted. I haven't tried cleaning it because I think I could accidentally break it. (The jack is ...
8
votes
1answer
712 views

Did any significant programs or environments take advantage of the Rexx which came with PCDOS 7 (aka PCDOS 2000)?

Being an Amiga fan, I have a fondness for the Rexx language. On that platform, almost every significant program supported ARexx, allowing a high degree of interoperability and customability. So when ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

What early computers were only able to print numbers?

According to this paper (translation), one of the early soviet machines, M-1, was only able to print decimal, and not alphabetical numbers. Which other early electronic stored program computers (i.e. ...
3
votes
4answers
367 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

SID to WAV converter that exports per channel separately

For a C64 SID project of mine (https://soundcloud.com/c64er) I was using an converter almost 10 years ago, but it is missing now with its name... I researched many sites, but no lucky. Is there any ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

SCSI to USB interface

I just took the hard drive out of my old beige Mac G4 (don’t know if it still works). I haven’t used this computer for the longest time and I’m interested to see what is on the drive. Is there an ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

INPUT with comma vs. semi

I certainly don't recall this at the time, but I'll ask to be sure. According to the GW-BASIC documentation, a semicolon between the INPUT prompt and the variable suppresses the question-mark prompt. ...

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