Brian H
  • Member for 4 years, 11 months
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Which is the first non-assembly (and binary) language to write operating system(s)?
10 votes

In 1985, Commodore was rushing to get the Amiga to market so it could compete with the just-released Atari 520ST. As a way to accelerate the software development, Commodore hired Bristol-based ...

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When was the 6502 second sourced?
9 votes

A good indication of the date and the terms can be found on the first page of Synertek's "SY6500/MSS6500 Microcomputer Hardware Manual". The date of this publication is clearly indicated as ...

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Identifying motherboard and CPU
13 votes

Apart from the unrecognized branding on the CPU (ceramic; upper-right in photo) chip, this appears to be a bog standard ISA '386 motherboard, probably running at 25 MHz. CPU looks like the right ...

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The march of progress before microchips
Accepted answer
3 votes

TL;DR Before the use of integrated circuits in computers, the technology was so completely hamstrung by available component technology that it only proceeded at a "glacial pace" measured in ...

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How to get the inner dimension for Amiga Intuition window with GIMMEZEROZERO Flag?
Accepted answer
4 votes

The intuition.h file (looking at Kickstart v2.04) defines the Window type to contain the following member variables: /* These variables have the mouse coordinates relative to the * inner-Window of ...

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Could the Z80 do interference-free video as the 6502 could?
5 votes

TL/DR; As you stated in the question: "Many cycles don't need RAM access, but many do, and which particular ones do and do not depend on the instruction mix. There is no "do nothing" ...

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Who considered multimedia capability a liability for a business computers, and why?
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20 votes

TL;DR While multimedia capabilities were not considered a liability for business computers, some of the qualities that were lacking in the early multimedia-capable computers were enough to disqualify ...

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What bit do the BBRn/BBSn opcodes check?
Accepted answer
6 votes

This documented appendix from WDC that describes how to use macros to replace these instructions (e.g. for the W65C816) provides the following equivalent set of instructions for BBSn PAGE0_BYTE, ...

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What's the point of the CPS-2 suicide battery?
Accepted answer
14 votes

This was an anti-piracy measure. If a "bootlegger" wanted to duplicate the board, they would only have access to encrypted ROMs, thus making it impossible to reproduce the arcade board with ...

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Why do drives occupy memory on Amigas
25 votes

You use the Amiga DOS ADDBUFFERS command to add (or remove) the configurable buffers for your drives. ADDBUFFERS adds buffers to the list of buffers available for a drive. Although adding buffers ...

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Booting from SD card on a Compaq LTE 4/75 – DOS 6 works, Windows 95 doesn't
0 votes

You didn't specify what you are using for an emulated environment to create images, but I'll assume it is DOSBox. I routinely use DOSBox to create DOS disk images on my modern Linux machine and ...

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Is "component video" synonymous with "RGB"?
3 votes

TL;DR The reason it is confusing is because the transition to HD introduced new terminology for video display standards. "Component video" is for HD the popular/layperson terminology, but is ...

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How did Apple IIc daughtercard expansions work?
5 votes

All the Apple //c machines from September 1986 onward have an additional 34-pin header on the motherboard designed for memory expansion boards. Apple offered their own expansion board which support up ...

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BASIC on the Vectrex?
Accepted answer
14 votes

This excellent article on the history of the Vectrex notes: At the 1983 Summer CES in Chicago, Milton Bradley gamely announces a prototype Vectrex Graphic Computer System in development. The ...

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Digital to analog in an old 35mm film recorder
Accepted answer
7 votes

I've never used one of these devices, but I can see from the photo that the device has the typical inputs you'd find on studio equipment at the time, and for many years after. It appears to accept ...

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Spontaneous movement and game crashes from active-low joystick routines
1 votes

Assuming the FIRE button on joy1 is pressed, then your joypad1 should store the value %11101111. In order to check this, using your constants: lda joypad1 and #JOYSTICK_FIRE bne JoyNotFire ; handle ...

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Is there a standard interface for connecting debuggers to emulators?
Accepted answer
14 votes

The popular VICE emulator for Commodore computers supports connecting to its in-built monitor using TCP port 6510. You can test this easily by loading the emulator, then Settings → Machine → Monitor → ...

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PS/2 Keyboard not working on Windows 95 and MS-DOS
1 votes

Many vintage PCs have a PS/2 port that can be configured (via jumpers, BIOS, or both) to work as either PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 mouse, or combined keyboard+mouse with a Y-cable adapter. Having the port ...

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Atari800XL Composite video black and white problem
8 votes

Based on the information provided, I'd recommend the following first steps: Clean the monitor jack on the 800XL using contact cleaner. Inspect the monitor jack while inserting and removing the cable ...

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Can Alice be hacked to use more than 2MB Chip Ram
Accepted answer
4 votes

TL;DR The Amiga AGA Alice chip can only support 2MiB of CHIP RAM because it has 20 address lines, and thus allows 2^20 (1M) by 16-bit memory access. The first Agnus chip found in the A1000 only ...

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According to Steve Jobs in 1981, what computer privacy issue was "very very hot in the media" at that time?
-1 votes

Steve Jobs was probably referring to the abortion issue, which was framed by SCOTUS as a Privacy issue, and was a rapidly growing source of division in American politics in the early-1980s. The SCOTUS ...

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How to write Apple IIgs .po disk images to Floppy Disks with an older Mac
Accepted answer
4 votes

It is rather straight-forward, technically speaking, to share both 3.5" floppy disks and their image files between a Classic Mac (e.g. MacOS System 7) and an Apple IIgs. This because both systems ...

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Belated ascendancy of dynamic linkers
18 votes

I have to disagree, to some extent, with the framing of your question. While it is correct that limited RAM in early micros made it a valuable resource to conserve, it is not the case that shared code ...

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Were there any filesystems support tag based key-value pairs before the 90s?
6 votes

AmigaOS, first released in 1985, made extensive use of key/value attributes that could be defined by the user in a GUI and recognized by any tool. (e.g. an application/program). This was done using a ...

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How do I save Commodore BASIC programs in ASCII?
6 votes

If you have a mechanism for moving files to and from a modern computer, then you can use bastext to transcode most variations of Commodore 8-bit BASIC between ASCII and tokenized forms. This is an ...

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How do I detect if AmigaDOS dos.library/CurrentDir() fails?
Accepted answer
5 votes

The only thing CurrentDir() does is change the lock in your process structure that is used as the process' current directory, and return the old value. So, it is the return value of Lock() applied to ...

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What to do with stone age x86 computers?
Accepted answer
3 votes

The hardware is modern enough such that to the best of my knowledge nothing would exclusively run on them but not on a current PC This statement partially answers your question, given that the idea ...

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PET as a terminal
12 votes

I don't have any experience with the exact modification you are talking about. However, I think it is a relevant point that the design of the firmware for Commodore microcomputers included a "...

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Running WarpCopy64 on an emulator
4 votes

Using VICE 3.4 on Linux, I am able to activate the Ethernet cartridge peripheral in the emulator and launch the WarpCopy64 server. To fully test, I'd just need a Windows machine on my LAN to run the ...

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What are people using old (and expensive) Amigas for today?
7 votes

Your question seems to assume that there must be some practical need for owning a classic Amiga computer today, and that the price of the machine in the marketplace should be reflective of this ...

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