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5
votes
0answers
103 views

Looking for a timeline or overview of implementations/inventions in the electromechanical part of 5.25" floppy drives [closed]

It's not so much about going from full-height drives to half-height drives, but about finer details. Disk rotation drive - when and how was the belt replaced with a direct drive and a flat motor? Who ...
3
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
293 views

How can I send RS-232 serial data to a Tandy plotter reliably?

I recently rescued my Tandy CGP-115 plotter from the attic and had the idea to try and drive it from a modern machine. I have a FTDI CHIPI-X10 RS-232 adapter and installed drivers on a MacBook. I have ...
9
votes
1answer
407 views

Large number of Famiclones

I was looking the other day some NES clone footage, and I was surprised to find out that there is a ton of them. I am wondering, how could they be so many since Nintendo did not use standard off the ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there still no “digital version of PCBs and ICs” software that all future emulators can use?

It strikes me that, in theory, it would be possible to skip the classic approach of emulation and instead literally build a NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 or any console with digital "components", ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Were there any bitmap-based 8080 computers?

Does anyone know of any bitmap-based 8080/8085 (or, failing that, Z80) computers? Background: In the late 70s and early 80s, there were a few hobby computers with bitmapped displays. For example, the ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

6800 I flag at reset

I have written an emulation of the Heathkit ET-3400A microcomputer trainer in Java, mainly to see if I could do it and to get my feet wet in Java. Odd question, but there's a discrepancy (one of many,...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why the change in layout of single and double precision in floating-point registers?

The Intel 8087 supported both single and double precision floating point, but only in memory; the on-chip registers were purely double precision. (Strictly speaking they were actually 80-bit extended ...
13
votes
2answers
900 views

Emulate a text-mode DOS program using a Unix terminal

Is it possible to run a text-mode DOS program in an emulator under a Unix-like operating system (Linux/*BSD/macOS) such that DOS text-mode input and output is done on a Unix terminal instead of a ...
9
votes
1answer
495 views

When did tabs start defaulting to 8 columns?

The ASCII horizontal tab character defaults to 8 columns, which is unfortunate because it's too wide for indenting block structured languages (at least to most people's taste, acknowledging Linus ...
3
votes
0answers
162 views

Why was the IBM 7070 unsuccessful?

In a talk on the IBM 360 and the computers it replaced the speaker at 39:35 describes the 7070 as 'a dog', and elsewhere contrasts it unfavorably with the 1401 (which considerably exceeded ...
7
votes
1answer
455 views

How to transfer file(s) between modern Linux host and HP48 handheld calculator?

Context at the time Handheld graphing calculator HP 48 series - Wikipedia, produced between 1990 and 2003, include infrared and serial communication ports to send and receive data and programs between ...
-4
votes
1answer
343 views

What's the deal with “higan”? [closed]

https://byuu.org/higan/ https://byuu.org/bsnes/ The domain is called "byuu.org". The emulator is said to be called "higan" or "bsnes". The download link for "higan&...
24
votes
10answers
8k views

When did compilers start generating optimized code that runs faster than an average programmer's assembly code?

It is highly unrecommended to write your own code in assembly now since, in most cases, gcc -O3 does magic. But in the ‘80s it was believed that compiled C code takes 4(?) times or more than a well-...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

is it possible to renew a solaris license for an Sun ultra workstation

I have an old Sun Ultra workstation from early 2000s, running Solaris with an IDE called sparcworks. I'm trying to revive it (I have some numerical analysis libraries I want to retrieve and re-use), ...
0
votes
3answers
255 views

Should C be regarded as an Intermediate Language? [closed]

Should C be regarded as an intermediate language on a virtual machine named PDP-11 Architecture (which have a plain memory space and stacks), like opcode to jvm, msil to dotnet, asm.js to v8, which ...
4
votes
2answers
346 views

Why is the Unix epoch January 1st 1970? (In honor of 1600000000 this weekend.)

In honor of this weekend being 1,600,000,000 (1.6 billion) seconds since the Unix epoch, I was wondering if anyone knows why January 1st 1970 was chosen? According to Wikipedia, The earliest versions ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How and why did Intel make the PCI bus “CPU Agnostic”?

Intel invented the original 32/64-bit PCI bus in the early 1990s to replace the decade old ISA bus used in PC's. It was immediately popular (in comparison to Micro Channel or EISA), being both faster ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

Why does the “Mesen-S” SNES emulator require a separate DSP ROM for Super Mario Kart, but *not* for Stunt Race FX?

If I start vanilla "Mesen-S" and load in Super Mario Kart, it says: This game requires a firmware file for the DSP1B chip. If I feed the emulator that "DSP ROM" file, it then ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

What was the first language library to include a GUI grid component?

I was first exposed to GUI libraries in the 80's, and all of them initially included typical GUI objects like buttons, checkboxes, edit fields, and so on, but I don't recall being able to write a ...
6
votes
2answers
767 views

What does “ByteSwapped” and “BigEndian” refer to in the context of video game ROMs?

I have found two different sets of Nintendo 64 ROMs with the same games (which, of course, I physically own). One is labeled "ByteSwapped" and the other "BigEndian". What exactly ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Peripherals needed to run Tiny BASIC interactively on an Intel 8080

I have an Intel 8080 core and would like to build the minimal computer system around it to run Tiny BASIC interactively. I am building this computer on an FPGA, so I am not asking about actual ...
0
votes
3answers
162 views

I need to find a controller card for an apple II 5.25 inch floppy drive, the 20 pin connector wont work on the 34 pin controller card i have

I cant find any adapters or secondary connectors, can anybody get me a link to a working floppy controller card that works or possibly a connector that goes from 20 pin male to 34 pin female? i have ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Were round punchcard holes mechanically stiffer?

The most common punch card format was the IBM 80 column by 12 row, with narrow rectangular holes. However, there were other possibilities, such as a later IBM format that used round holes. That one ...
32
votes
9answers
9k views

What did code on punch cards do with the other six bits per column?

In the fifties and sixties, program source code was typically stored on punch cards, one card per line. The most common card format was the IBM 80 column by 12 row. For source code, this was commonly ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

First implementation of a visual cue for visited hyperlinks?

Who first proposed using a visual cue (of any kind) for hyperlinks the user has already visited? If the individual is not known, what hypertext viewer first offered this feature? My guess would be ...
1
vote
3answers
155 views

What character repertoires were available on teletype typewheels?

Over in my question about input devices with character sets suited to Algol 60, I mentioned using an ASR-33 / KSR-33 teletype with the subscript-10 character ₁₀. I have subsequently been unable to ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

Upping the speed of the VIC-20 tape drive: aftermarket hardware for the expansion port with “rabbit” in the name?

EDIT: I realize from reading the comments that I was bit loose in my use of the word "speed" as a property of the tape drive. What I had in mind was the speed of the data transfer, not the ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

How did the SysRandom work on Palm Pilot SDK 3.5?

I'm looking to port an old game I wrote for the Palm Pilot that relied on the SysRandom function with a predefined game seed. A player could enter a "seed" and the sequence of tiles would be ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the 68000 separate A/D registers save circuitry?

The Motorola 68000 has sixteen integer registers, which was considered a very generous complement at the time it was introduced. They are divided into address and data registers, eight each. Many ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Why did the Burroughs 205 not use bi-quinary like the IBM 650?

The IBM 650, one of the first general-purpose digital computers, designed in the early fifties, used decimal digits with bi-quinary representation for reasons discussed here: Why did the IBM 650 use ...
9
votes
2answers
723 views

Was there an input device capable of entering all Algol 60 symbols with correct appearance?

This question was inspired by recent discussion on early keyboards and character sets, and mention in passing about how the COBOL designers were concerned about not using "non-existent" ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What did the SELECT command do in DOS?

The introduction to Greg Harvey’s DOS for Dummies: Quick Reference (also subtitled Command Reference in the first edition) contains this passage: This book not only gives you the lowdown on each and ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How to get Windows Installer 2.0 installed if it claims “service already present”?

Due to requirements of software I want to install on my win98 SE VM (I grabbed the VirtualBox image from archive.org), i.e. I'd like to install .NET 2.0 framework, I need to install the Windows ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What were the first BASIC interpreters to be programmed in high-level languages?

I've been continuing to revise and expand the Wikipedia article that I started on BASIC interpreters. One of the criticisms was that it was too focused on the microcomputer era (which interested me ...
3
votes
2answers
339 views

How were games and programs written for the C64 in assembler in the 80s? [duplicate]

Were developers using monitors like e.g. "Supermon+64", "Merlin 64" or "Monitor$C000" and cartridges like "Final Cartridge", "Action Replay" (both of ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Joystick adapter from 9-pin to USB

I have still a couple of old C64/Amiga joysticks and I'd like to use them on the New C64, which has USB ports. Is there an adapter from 9-pin male to USB? This 3-year old article references a company ...
4
votes
1answer
291 views

Instructions added with the Intel 80286 [closed]

The 80286 processor added these instructions: ARPL, VERR, VERW, LAR, LSL, SMSW, SGDT, SIDT, SLDT, STR, LMSW, LGDT, LIDT, LLDT, LTR, CLTS. To help understand how this was implemented I am looking for ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Where can I find EVOC20 package for Emagic Logic 2.5?

I know the vocoder was firstly developed by the company Emagic, which then bought by Apple. Now it is part of Logic Pro X and impossible to find the original version, that can work in Windows. Does ...
45
votes
10answers
10k views

Why did 1950s-60s computers have such wide words?

Modern general-purpose computers typically have a 64-bit word size, but looking back in time, we see narrower CPUs. In the early 80s, the 68000 dealt with 32-bit addresses but the ALU was only 16 bits ...
34
votes
4answers
8k views

Why do keyboards have an asterisk?

While we're all accustomed to using * as the multiplication symbol (not to mention other esoteric meanings in programming) it is of course not actually the everyday standard symbol for multiplication. ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

What was the very first device to have an RS-232 serial port

I find the RS-232 standard fascinating as it's one of the standards in computing that's survived--and is still used--for well over 50 years. The only major development has been a change in voltage ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

What was the first file system?

SoftwareEngineering.SE has a question about the historically first hierarchical file system (also a similar local question), but what was the first OS with a file system in general? That is, what OS ...
11
votes
2answers
705 views

Why was SLI for gaming introduced and supported in the first place?

(I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this, please let me know if should post this somewhere else) For a long time, using SLI for gaming has been dying out and for good reason. From what I'...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Best way to swap IBM PC case badge?

A while back, I purchased an original IBM PC (5150). The seller had an improper top case or badge on it, as the badge actually said it was an XT (5160) instead. After confirming that it is indeed a ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Intel processor transistor type evolution

The Intel 4004 used MOS (metal–oxide–semiconductor) transistors. What has been the transistor types used in Intel processors onwards from the 4004 to 8085 to the x86 family of instruction set ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I construct a dial-up network in my home, purely for the kicks?

All the technology in my house is modern, but I want to build a dialup network that I can use to produce sounds from Bell 101/103 (if I can find the proper softmodem) to V.92bis. I honestly don't know ...
4
votes
1answer
269 views

COBOL and processing card files directly

COBOL was the first exercise in design of a programming language by a committee of representatives from competing companies. irrespective of one's opinion of the technical quality of the end result, ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

What was machine-specific about Honeywell FACT?

While COBOL was the first highly successful business-oriented programming language, several business-oriented languages were designed before it in the late fifties, including Honeywell-800 Business ...
7
votes
2answers
316 views

How to transfer software from website to a Classic (SE/30) Macintosh

I have an SE/30 and want to get some software off of vintage-software internet sites. The machine does not have an AppleTalk card, Ethernet card or even a modem attached. What is the best method of ...

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