49

The most classic serial solution here was ofc a direct serial connection and Kermit the most versatile software solution. Developed at the Columbia University, NYC, Kermit supported already in the early 1980s several hundred different systems. It's most prominent feature was the ability to run over non transparent and code converted connections. Similar, but ...


21

I personally did not do any data transfer from home 8-bit systems to other systems, but I did do transfers from several older proprietary systems to Unix and MSDOS systems back in the 80’s. We used a null modem cable (serial cable) and software called B.L.A.S.T. which was a commercial product that was ported to a wide variety of systems. It is a serial ...


18

I worked on a project quite a few years ago (late 80's) where a client purchased truckloads of surplus military electronics inventory that he intended to sell into the spare parts market. The inventory documentation came out of a mainframe computer and was printed onto a three inch stack of fanfold green bar computer paper. The project I was hired for was to ...


17

No, there were no adapters for different floppies. Data was typically copied by serial port, if it was copied at all: Programs on some 8-bit computer (e.g. Apple II, Commodore 64) wouldn't run on an 16-bit 8086 PC. There were no emulators (and the original 8086 PC would probably also have been too slow). So stuff you'd like to copy were typically source ...


16

It should be feasible to manufacture NMOS-process parts using 0.6µm equipment that is still in current use. WDC's W65C02S, as well as their other current products, are made at TSMC on 0.6µm, though they are CMOS chips. You would need to obtain examples of the original masks, have them converted to a format usable by the newer equipment (probably whole-...


13

If the IBM Model M keyboard is one of the ones that uses the AT protocol, you may be able to use a passive 5-pin to PS/2 adapter, chained with an active PS/2 to USB converter such as the Belkin F5U119. If it uses another protocol (such as XT or 3270 terminal) you will need a custom-made active converter -- https://deskthority.net/wiki/Converter lists ...


12

The SideWinder 3D Pro has its own protocol, which isn't supported by typical gameport-to-USB adapters. The best you can hope for with one of those is to find an adapter which supports the CH Flightstick Pro or Thrustmaster FCS protocols, and use the fallback mode on the SideWinder. (There's usually a switch on the USB adapter to choose the appropriate mode.) ...


12

I have done my share of transfers between incompatible systems. There were some service bureaus that could convert floppy disks between different systems, and I used some to convert CP/M-86 commercial software for an Altos 586 (my first computer) that had a floppy format not supported by all vendors, which was a common problem when new systems came out. But ...


12

Is this a special signaling mechanism of some sort, No. Buttons are always on/off mechanics. The PC doesn't have any means to detect anything but high or low, according to the threshold (*1) the input circuit has (*2). or does it merely indicate that the switch is dirty? Yes, a dirty switch, a used up one, a broken one, some bad soldering adding a ...


11

There were (and are) a few possibilities to transfer programs* and data between 8 bit Commodore systems and other platforms via floppy disks and other media. Commodore 1541 floppy drives could be modified to read, and to a limited extent, write PC compatible floppies. Commodore 1571 and 1581 floppy drives for 8-bit Commodore home computers were able to ...


10

Switching Tech Tubes I do not recommend to use them because you would need to deal with high voltage and heat dissipation which can be potentially dangerous especially in class (pupils do not act with self preservation in mind sometimes). Relays Very nice alternative. Easy to understand (switch with electromagnet) using single low voltage (5V,12V,48V). ...


8

My suggestion would be to use relays. Still readily available, and while you wouldn't be using vintage parts, there were definitely some computers built with relays. Can't handle as high speed as well as good vacuum tubes, but that isn't an issue here. The good part is that even if you can't see much - which will depend on the relay, you can hear every click....


8

Nice idea. I like it. Tubes et all. My general understanding is that in early computing, pre-solid state technology, a bit would represented by a single vacuum tube. That would be a missconception to start with. A tube doesn't store anything. In 'tube based' computers, tubes (usually triodes) provide a NOT functionality, as AND/OR are made up of ...


8

There are two aspects to this. The cable for the physical connection and the driver for the communications protocol. I suspect with adaptor upon adaptor you are either losing voltage and therefore connectivity or the protocol is getting confused. Your core problem will lie in the communications protocols. There is a defined USB protocol to which ...


8

Are you just looking for a generic PS/2 to USB adapter? Ziotek's SANOXY PS2 Keyboard To USB Adapter seems to have good reviews on Amazon and work well with older keyboards.


8

I successfully got the RK-P400C printing from a serial console (minicom on Linux) today. Here's how to do it for future reference...;) The DB25 connector on the right side is a 25 pin serial port. At the top right of the typewriter there are sets of switches to select font and size, at the far right of those are two switches with the labels "KBI, KBII, EXT" ...


7

I transferred a lot of text documents and spreadsheets/databases from my ZX Spectrum to my Sinclair QL using the Sinclair network, a 80kBps serial network that was inbuilt into the QL and provided by Interface 1 on the ZX Spectrum. This network could connect up to 64 QLs and ZX Spectrum. My Spectrum also had to serve as a print spooler for the QL, as I did ...


6

on ZX (Zilog Z80) we usually used tape interface (save on ZX) which is a serial link in its core. We sometimes connected 2 ZX by it without the tape to copy data for testing ... It can be also used to move data to new tech like PC by connecting tape output to LPT on PC and using emulator load into it (by using tape load...) Or even save the tape as wav/mp3 ...


6

Unless going the SCSI bridge route described in another post, you will very likely need a PC with an ISA slot - such mainboards were only common up to the Pentium 3 era, unless you are using a PC using the PICMG backplane form factor used for industrial control. ST-506 interface drives (aka MFM/RLL) were very dependent on the controller paired to it. A ...


6

The easiest (PnP) approach is definely using two adapters. The first one should be a USB to PS/2 (miniDIN) adapter; This one needs to be an active adapter, such as this one: Avoid using weird smaller adapters like the one below - they probably won't work because they're designed for motherboards that have a PS/2 host, which allows them to be passive (...


6

A laptop of the vintage you mention will most likely have a 2.5-inch IDE, PATA (Parallel ATA), hard disk drive. Of course, you will need to disassemble the laptop and remove the drive to confirm. Once removed, you can obtain a low-cost enclosure, such as this one from amazon, to connect the drive via USB 2.0 to a more modern computer. Most likely, the FAT ...


6

If you're using Linux, there is kernel support for the parallel ZIP disk, at least on Intel architectures; if you're willing to play with the dependencies, it might even be possible to compile the drivers on non-Intel architectures, but I make no guarantees! You'll need to enable the following drivers in Device Drivers: parport_pc (under Parallel port ...


6

You said "The computer is wired directly to the air system". I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I'd infer there is a cable between the PC and the air system, and that cable is most likely connecting RS-232 (or similar) serial ports on the two devices. I think the best starting point would be try to understand THAT interface as fully as possible. I'd ...


5

My condolences. You can hook up that (assumed) ATA harddisk using an appropriate USB adapter (you'll need the 44-pin type for 2.5" drives, thx Brian) - many electronic shops still stock ATA/SATA-to-USB adapters.


4

There were such things as SCSI-to-MFM bridgeboards, such as the Adaptec ACB-4000 or the Xebec 1410. The only experience I've had with this is trying to use Linux (running on a Pentium II PC) to access an MFM drive with an Xebec 1410-type bridgeboard. I was able to establish partial communication with the drive by disabling parity and applying a patch ('...


4

As people have mentioned in comments, you're looking at a lot of work. You are better off trying to locate a MFM controller. If you only want what is on the disc then maybe somebody with a controller would read it for you. That is of course assuming the data on the drive hasn't degraded. While the electrical connections are known and well-documented the ...


4

To answer the gist of your question of I'm building a custom interface unit for a game port joystick. and I would ideally like to design the interface unit to be broadly compatible with different models of joysticks I refer you to some resources of my own past research: History of the Gameport, and analog joysticks: https://mysite.du.edu/~etuttle/...


3

I'm personally intrigued by the use of neon lamps for storage, and although neon logic wasn't employed for anything particularly complicated back in the day, this could be a good application for it. A neon lamp will behave as a sort of switch that will not conduct until a certain voltage is applied, but once it does it will continue to conduct as long as a ...


3

Caveat: I have a hard time to consider this an RC question, as it's as well about actual software development as it is about actual hardware and an actual job. Just because the target involves some 386 doesn't mean any retro knowledge is needed or a retro task at hand. Serial or network interfaces are still common technology, aren't they? First of all, as ...


2

You may be interested in this video about the restoration of a module with 8 vacuum tubes that looks very similar to the one in your video, but is a key debouncer. Details here and here. It's pretty unlikely that the module shown in your video is really "8 bits", unless the mainframe had internal registers that really used vacuum tubes instead of something ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible