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13
votes
1answer
503 views

What is the prototype of the Eastern Bloc videoterminal Videoton 340?

Several decades ago, the Hungarian company "Videoton" manufactured a videoterminal for which I couldn't find a Western prototype. It likely existed, as the device had been assigned a "ES" number, ...
17
votes
1answer
263 views

Did any Mockingboard game use the VIA timers or interrupts?

There were only a small number of games that supported any of the Apple II sound cards such as the Mockingboard. From those games that used the Mockingboard, did any of them utilize the on-board VIA'...
14
votes
3answers
553 views

Looking for an “Inspector” or “Detective” game (BASIC?)

I'm working on an emulator for the Soviet mainframe BESM-6. Among a few games written for it there was a game called "Inspector" (or "Detective"). Its code didn't survive; the only mention of it I can ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I create a split-scroll effect in an NES game?

Games like Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 were able to scroll the playfield but not the status bar: The status bars are clearly too big to be sprites, yet they don't scroll with the ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

Why does my Macintosh SE FDHD only see 2 of the 4 megabytes of RAM?

I have a whole bag of 30pin SIMMS so I thought I would see about upgrading the 1 MB of RAM in my Mac SE FDHD to 4 MB. The original RAM had four sticks of OKI M41256A. These SIMMs have 8 chips each. ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Actual code written by Ada Lovelace?

I have seen some claims that Ada Lovelace was the first programmer. Is there any actual code to back this up?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How do modern .bat files differ from old MS DOS .bat files?

I'm wondering how modern batch files (.bat) are different from MS-DOS .bat files? There are some commands that feel more "modern" and don't seem like something you'd see in an older system. How do ...
163
votes
3answers
40k views

What algorithm did Microsoft use to dither colour in early versions of Windows?

In the late 1980s to mid 1990s, most consumer-class video hardware was not capable of displaying greater than 16 colours at a time. To create the illusion of greater colour, software often "blended" ...
43
votes
5answers
6k views

Can a PET 2001 be physically damaged from BASIC?

In the early 1980s my primary school was the proud owner of a Commodore PET 2001. There was a commonly held belief among the young geek fraternity that there existed a BASIC command—perhaps a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can the Gotek floppy emulator be made to work with classic Macs?

The Gotek floppy emulators are really popular in the retro scene. I have one modified (firmware update) to work with my Amiga 500. Can one be made to work with any of the classic line of Macintosh ...
4
votes
1answer
348 views

My Macintosh SE will not boot to hard drive. Can I boot from ROM?

I have a Macintosh SE. It's the version that has a stock 68000, one floppy drive and one hard drive. I believe the hard drive is dead. It spins up but all I get is a flashing question mark in the ...
9
votes
1answer
589 views

Restore original ROM on PalmOne m515

I've recently bought an old Palm m515 PDA. It seems that the previous owner has removed some of the built-in applications like Calendar and Contacts from it, because when I want to start them it says ...
8
votes
1answer
943 views

Why is my Sega Genesis/Mega Drive II getting frozen?

My Sega Genesis/Mega Drive II get stuck (the image on the screen seems frozen) after some incidents that occurred to it. It doesn't matter when that is happened, which game did I play or even how hot ...
46
votes
8answers
6k views

How were Western computer chips reverse-engineered in USSR?

The British ZX Spectrum computer had many clones in the Eastern Bloc. It seems many of them were built using Russian-made chips from the Angstrem factory in Zelenograd in/near Moscow. The Russian ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

PAL NES in USA, 50Hz vs 60Hz

I was wondering if there existed a way to fix the difference in the running speeds of a PAL NES to run on TV's in the United States? Be it some converter or messing with the NES itself.
83
votes
7answers
26k views

Why would a NES game use an undocumented 1-byte or 2-byte NOP in production?

Reading the NESdev wiki page on CPU unofficial opcodes, I see a few games use an undocumented 2-byte NOP instuction in production: Puzznic, F-117A Stealth Fighter, and Infiltrator use $89 #i. Beauty ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Can removing a cartridge from an NES (or any other cartridge-based game system) damage the hardware or software?

On some cartridge-based video game systems (NES, Game Boy Color, etc.) it is possible to remove the cartridge while the game system is still powered on. What kind of damage can this behavior do to ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

MSX Assembly/Basic programming documentation

I'd like to try to create software (and maybe simple games) for the MSX standard. I know I have two ways to do so, either I use MSX Basic or Z80 assembly. I think that Z80 assembly is more powerful ...
5
votes
0answers
249 views

R.O.B can't move up or down

I got this R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy for the NES), first time I turned him on his arms wouldn't close, so I took him apart and cleaned him. I put the gears back into place. After turning him on ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

What are some names of professional music software for the Macintosh Classic / SE?

I'm not asking for opinions, recommendations or reviews. I'm looking for professional, graphical music creation software for the classic line of Macintosh computers. I'm not looking for mod or ...
10
votes
1answer
327 views

Apple II: HPLOT crashes system. Why?

While I was writing a program on an Apple IIe, I set up access the graphics page using softswitches, and then tried to draw on it, but the system crashed so hard I had to do a Control - Open Apple - ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

How were bugs reported for compilers that shipped on and were installed via floppy disks?

Take the Microsoft C 1.0 compiler for example. It shipped on multiple 5.25" 360K disks, and when it ran on machines without internal hard disk, so users had to switch floppies between the editor, ...
52
votes
5answers
10k views

Which Linux or BSD distributions do still support i386, i486 or i586 CPUs?

Unfortunately Debian kicked out Pentium 1 (i586) CPU support from its 32-bit PC port (named i386 for historic circumstances) for its next stable release Debian 9 Stretch. (Then again they complain ...
12
votes
1answer
455 views

How are File Timestamps recorded in classic Mac OS?

When I save a file it has a 'Created At' and 'Updated At' Value saved as well. I would like to know HOW these values are saved? Are they saved as an integer representing a number of seconds since 1904?...
8
votes
3answers
888 views

Anybody restoring Adventure, an early interactive fiction game?

Advent made the rounds of PDP-10 computers in about 1975. I once got ahold of the source code in FORTRAN and recoded it in, of all things, Turbo Pascal, but I never got around to thoroughly debugging ...
61
votes
7answers
14k views

Where did the popularity of the `i` variable come from?

I have heard that the reason the i variable is used so much is because there was an old computer where each variable could only be a single letter and that reserved the variables a through h as ...
6
votes
2answers
854 views

Looking for Win95 game with vector graphic

The game I can't remember the name of was like this: You controlled a triangular space-ship which could fly from planet to planet and could land on it. The planets had gravity which made it not so ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Found an IBM 5291. What is it, from when, and how much is it worth?

So, I found one of these: (It's as if it's new, it wasn't ever used, it sat on a bookshelf next to an old CRT monitor, it also has every part). On the front there's a small gray box with the text ...
11
votes
1answer
461 views

Modern vector display driver?

I have an old Tektronix Type 611 Storage Display sitting in storage, which I would some day like to get working again. I have the full repair manual on microfiche from Tek. It is essentially an ...
7
votes
2answers
325 views

NES only works when I press reset

My aunt gave me her old nes, it was really dirty. I opened it up, cleaned it really good, cleaned the games too. I had to get a new power pack and av cables for it. I plugged everything into my TV (...
6
votes
4answers
441 views

Hercules to COM<->USB adapter - is it possible?

I have a 486 (also another 286 mainboard) with a Hercules card, the plug is the same as RS-232. Is it possible to connect the output with serial port USB adapter and simulate Hercules-compatible ...
10
votes
3answers
630 views

Anyone remember how to write the Apple ][ HIRES pages to disk to make screenshots?

The Apple //e had 2 HiRES video pages, HiRES animation involved switching between the 2 pages and redrawing the screen. A really early way to take an in game screenshot was to dump the computer with ...
10
votes
2answers
915 views

What CPU did the HP85 have?

The HP 85, the portable scientific computer from Hewlett Packard in the 1970s, didn't use an off-the-shelf CPU like a Z80 or 8088. Instead, HP designed a custom CPU and used that. Was this CPU used ...
6
votes
3answers
343 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
263 views

What is the format of the syntax tables in Apple II Integer BASIC?

In Paul Santa-Maria's disassembly of Integer BASIC (text version), you can see the syntax table split into two parts, SYNTABL and SYNTABL2. I've seen references to the tokens being stored in reverse ...
7
votes
1answer
416 views

Was there a dual-core PowerMac G5?

I have a PowerMac G5 which I have recently succeeded in getting running with a Mac OS X 10.4. I was in for two big surprises: Firstly, the computer runs very fast, even with heavier software like an ...
9
votes
3answers
460 views

How do I store data and/or code in AUX RAM on an Apple //e?

Despite owning several Apple IIe's, I've never gotten around to doing any major programming on them. I hope to change that. Anyway, how did programmers actually use the expanded RAM seeing that a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Atari 2600 has no sound, no video. Any advice?

I have 2 Atari 2600s. I got them both at a garage sale. I plugged them both in with a coaxial adapter. No sound, no video. I opened them up, didn't see any shorts, the boards looked good. There ...
14
votes
1answer
569 views

Did the Macintosh Classic series use DMA to display video?

I'm learning more and more on how the original Macintosh series worked. I can't, however, find information in my research on how the Mac's video generator accessed the video RAM. My assumption is ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Sinclair choose the Z80 for its range of home computers?

The Sinclair computers are known for their low cost compared with other computers that were popular in the early 1980s. This is why they had membrane keyboards, or that rubber stuff in the case of the ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

IBM PS/2 Model 53 Not Powering On

I bought a PS/2 with the intent of robbing it's case for a restomod project, but since that is on the backburner right now I decided to see if it would work. When I flip the power switch, the PSU ...
10
votes
1answer
978 views

How does the Mac SE/30 send video to the analog board?

I can't seem to find where the video signals leave the digital board of my Mac SE/30 and travel to the analog board that is connected to the monitor. I even searched for pinouts online but I guess my ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum use a membrane keyboard?

As a kid, I always had problems with the keyboard. Membrane was hard to come by and expensive. I did not have Kempston/Protec. So I had to play on the keyboard. I was using QAOPMN combination, and ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Writting DSK images onto a 3'' floppy for Amstrad/Sinclair computers

For a project I'm working on, I need to write some disks to test on my Amstrad CPC 6128. I've got some 3'' inch blank disks, and all my Amstrad computers (CPC and PCW) have 3'' inch disks, as well as ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What did the Supercard “patch” program actually do to GBA and NDS ROMs to make them playable?

The Supercard is a flash cart for the Game Boy advance which can play ROMs and other files off of assorted flash memory. I recently found my Supercard SD and Superkey for NDS, which acts as a ...
6
votes
2answers
726 views

SheepShaver failing to install application; Not Enough Memory

I am trying to install "Kid Pix Deluxe 4" on Mac OS 9 using SheepShaver on Ubuntu 16.04. A problem I am having is that when I try to install it, I get an error saying that I don't have enough memory. ...
13
votes
5answers
600 views

What computer first facilitated multi-precision arithmetic

While early microcomputers were often 4- or 8-bit designs, with larger word sizes coming later, that pattern did not hold for their predecessors. None of the earliest computers used a word size that ...
5
votes
2answers
463 views

Compaq Contura Aero 4/33C - moving data to CF/IDE disk - No operating system detected

I've got a Compaq Contura aero 4/33 laptop with original DOS system installed. As the HDD is old and dying, I've decided to copy the drive to a CF card on a CF/IDE adapter. After connecting the drive,...
6
votes
0answers
190 views

What is the model of the Emachines Etower 366i2's Monitor?

I've an old 1999 Emachines Etower I want to restore. I have all the original parts except for the monitor. It just isn't a complete set without it. Does anybody know the specific model of that monitor....
22
votes
2answers
604 views

What API did the “math box” provide?

Some classic vector arcade games, such as Battlezone and Red Baron, were based on the 6502 CPU. The processor wasn't fast enough to do the 3D computations, so a co-processor commonly known as the "...

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