rackandboneman
  • Member for 5 years, 8 months
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What was the first PC/computer to have sound recording & playback support?
1 votes

Arguably, for some definitions of computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGSALY 1943 This was a speech encryption system that did all the things a modern computer would do when recording and playing ...

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Commodore Mouse not recognized by a Commodore PC30-III 286 machine
3 votes

In the age of serial mice, there were two completely incompatible standards that most mice emulated (many had a physical switch to select either of both, eg the popular Genius brand mice) - "...

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What are principles of vector CRT display? Simplest way to drive CRTs?
1 votes

Character generation can actually be done by partially analog style circuitry- and this has been done, for example to generate the on screen numeric readouts on Tektronix 5000/5400/7000 series ...

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Why were relays prevalent in early 1940s computers when vacuum tubes were also available?
0 votes

If one looks at new tube types designed in the 1950s, explicitly for computer service, a few important innovations become apparent: There were designs that dealt with the "cathode interface" ...

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Why did CGA RGBI output leave DAC to the monitor?
Accepted answer
1 votes

Conjecture: Cable material that could cleanly transfer three analog video signals, plus sync pulses and identification pins, over several feet was probably not a cheap, mass produced item at the time ...

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How to SSH from Amiga to remote Linux host
Accepted answer
7 votes

One thing you will certainly need: Patience, a lot of it. Establishing SSH connections with either the client or server side having a very low performance CPU (as in, an 68xxx. I once tried with the ...

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Why didn't early color TV sets accept RGB input?
20 votes

Many TV designs up into the 1970s were so called live chassis designs, which used one leg of the mains input as a reference ground. This saved materials and weight - given some early color TVs used ...

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How to detect a real Commodore 64, THEC64, or VICE emulator in software?
2 votes

One thing that can give emulators away (not reliably, but it might be good enough in practice) is how predictable the results are when you do something that is supposed to yield an undefined result. ...

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Why did 8-bit computers choose BASIC dialects as "de facto" command-line interface, instead of contemporary Shell/Lisp dialects?
3 votes

Unix-style shells are optimized for environments with a lot of files in a relatively stable and fast to access, but complex structure - essentially, shells are programming languages that use files and ...

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Why did computer video outputs go from digital to analog, then back to digital?
2 votes

Cabling costs, for one thing. An 8 bit per channel digital link capable of reliably handling tens of MHz, in the late 1980s/early 1990s, would have looked similar to Wide SCSI in physical ...

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Hard coded hard drive BIOS geometries
1 votes

That custom started in a time where only a few tens of hard drive models plausibly usable with PC compatibles was on the market. This was the time of ST506 (MFM) style interfaces, and installing hard ...

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Part-bad chips other than RAM
3 votes

Intel very likely did this with surplus batches of ROM-equipped microcontrollers - eg if you look closely at the pinout of the 8031 vs 8051/8751, an 8051 wired up like an 8031 WILL behave as an 8031 ...

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Why are PDP-7-style microprogrammed instructions out of vogue?
1 votes

Modern CPU architectures also need to facilitate things like memory protection, so they need to implement restrictions on what machine code can and cannot effect depending on context. You do not want ...

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How can I read a 5¼″ drive on 1996–2007 equipment?
5 votes

Generally, most 1996 mainboards WILL deal with a 5 1/4" floppy just fine IF you use the appropriate cable (which will often NOT have been supplied with a computer or mainboard in 1996). The important ...

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What is between the sectors of floppy disks?
1 votes

Profit for vendors of preformatted disks :) IIRC, many such disks failed when you actually reformatted them (certainly more often than those originally sold unformatted), making it appear like ...

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What is the first (say early) use of switches (mechanical or electromechanical) for sake of processing (like automatic motor control)simple data?
4 votes

Maybe not the earliest, but early and important, and very elaborate uses: Automatic telephone exchanges. Strowger, 1891. Elevator control (early 20th century). Telegraphy, especially teleprinters (...

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Is there any way today to recover/dump 2M disks?
0 votes

Linux systems can support a lot of hardware floppy formats (maybe not ALL that these old tools offered), that is what the various fd* (eg fd0h1722) devices in a classical /dev filesystem are meant for....

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What does it take to recreate microchips like 68000 and 6502 in their original process nodes nowadays?
1 votes

Similar processes/equipment will likely still exist for SSI and especially analog ICs - you could not shrink either of these indefinitely without messing with their robustness/current handling ...

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When did computers stop checking memory on boot?
3 votes

Certainly not before standards for RAM enumeration (SPD serial presence detect) were introduced (with the SDRAM 168pin form factor). Earlier systems needed the memory check to established what memory ...

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What video connections were common in Europe?
1 votes

Some background: TVs of the area before video recorders, satellite receivers etc became common and worked best with a baseband video connection, did have little reason to offer such a connection. ...

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Steps to recover data from Conner CP341
2 votes

From another good answer: "Connecting it to a PC where you can manually set the drive parameters in BIOS is the fastest solution." Hint for finding such a PC: The facilities to manually set such ...

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Was it possible to send data over the phone-line without a modem?
0 votes

The kind of circuitry needed/used to drive a tape recorder that only offers audio connections, for purposes of storing digital data from a computer or similar device ... IS A MODEM. Even if is not a (...

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Why did Windows 95 crash the whole system but newer Windows only crashed programs?
3 votes

Addendum: Some special memory areas (eg the infamous "GDI resources") that all applications needed were extremely limited in size (due to being shared with 16-bit APIs, which needed segment size ...

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Total number of 6502s or 8051s ever manufactured or sold?
3 votes

Regarding the 8051: One in most OSD-capable CRT monitors or television sets ever sold. One in most pre-DVD CDROM drives ever sold. One in most pre-2000s hard drives. A predecessor of the 8051 (the ...

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Why did trackballs disappear?
4 votes

One disadvantage is that they are hard to use for users that prefer using a mouse at high acceleration and with the wrist resting - of course using it with a fingertip like a mouse wheel is possible, ...

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Connecting Iomega Zip (parallel port) to modern PC
0 votes

If an USB-parallel bridge won't work, the most promising way that is likely to help without modifying kernel level stuff (to emulate either a parallel port or ISA-style bus on GPIO pins) is using this ...

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Why plastic cases?
3 votes

Another reason: Simple home computers used relatively slow (both in risetime and in clock frequency) circuitry which was also contained in a relatively small area (making the wiring a less effective ...

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How was microcode implemented in retro processors?
5 votes

There is at least one documented example of one hardware design being used as two different processors via customer specific microcode: Some very small, late implementations of IBMs S/370 (eg those ...

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Can I build a working(ish) vacuum tube byte?
1 votes

Have done so long ago (RS F/F for a demonstration), without introducing brutal voltages, have lost the schematics :( What I remember is that I used an E88CC (6DJ8), with either 12V or 24V as an ...

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What was the first personal computer to use surface mount components?
4 votes

The Epson HX20 from 1981 uses an LCD module which uses surface mount driver ICs.

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