Sunday, 11 November 2007

Console Intellivision

In the beginning of the 198x, there was some consoles that perhaps weren't as popular as the newest ones., but some of them were quite amazing when you think about them now.

One of them was intellicovision, they use a ROM cartridge that must be plugged in the console to play the games.

The hand-held controllers have not only the "joystick" (round button), but also 12 digits, and other buttons in the sides of the controllers , depending of the game those buttons are used for different purposes.

The games, ....

There were different games, from the typical shot-up (space invaders, space hawk, ...) to some sport games, like soccer or tennis .

This console was donated by Jesus Guillamon, a friend from Murcia, and still works :

The screen seems to be quite snowy , perhaps the video chipset has been damaged after so much time, but still it's possible to play the games.

Sinclair Spectrum +3

Amstrad bought Sinclair Research in 1985, and after that they produced some Spectrum with tape and floppy disk included.

The last one was the Sinclair Spectrum +3 , that had a 3'' floppy disk.

Below there is a detail of the floppy disk unit:

This unit was buy in Ebay from UK, so it have the UK power jack, but works fine in Europe.

The system tries to boot flom the floppy disk before showing the menu, this would allow this spectrum to boot other operating systems (it seems that there was a CPM disk for the Spectrum ;-), before booting from the rom.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Commodore Amiga 500

This is another historical computer , a commodore Amiga 500, this was the FIRST commodore with a 32 bit CPU , with a compact style (keyboard, disk drive (800Mb) and CPU in the same box). as it was usual in the MicroComputer.

This wasn't the FIRST 68000 Micro Computer, Sinclair for example launched the QL (Quantum Lap) before, but this was the first successful one.

This computer was very advanced for its time, it has a 3.5 floppy drive instead of tape, and internally it has a dedicated graphic processor and another coprocessor for the sound.

A lot of people organized championship (demo scene) to program special effects with this machine, the operating system (graphical interface ) was another big point.

The machine is a gift from my friends of "Harry el aleman", one of the best places in Madrid to drink German beer

Friday, 6 July 2007

DEC 4000/600

This machine was part of RedIRIS , the Spanish Academic and Research Network and was used in the late 198x, and first 199x.

The box in the left is the Main CPU, at the RIGHT there is hard disk cabinet.

The machine has 64Mb, of memory and was used mainly to provide Internet/OSI related services to the Spanish Research Community.

The machine was used, for example, to keep the X500 directory (LDAP is based in this protocol), and also to provide email (not only SMPT/TCP services, also X.400 ).

Also it's very likely that the first DNS server for the ".es" Top level domain were running
in this machine.

Opening the door we can see that there are three hard disks (one seems to be broken),
ethernet (RJ-45/BNC) connection, console connection (with the typical DEC connector) and some serial card for consoles and serial connexions to other hosts.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Casio FX-850

This is an small calculator, with a BASIC interpreter and RAM memory (32/64k), it was made by the well known Japanish Calculator firm CASIO. A relative that was working in Canary Island, when the electronic products were still cheaper than in Spain bought one it for me in 1988, but unfortunelly the calculator fell from a second floor in 1992, and the display was broken.

The calculator has also a memory bank with more than 100 different mathematical functions and programs.

This model was buy in ebay in March 2007, in Thailand, good shipping from there , and was partially functional, I'm still looking for one of the memories to be able to access to the memory.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Apple II : lying in the trash

Sometimes strange things happens , Yesterday I was in the terrace of a Bar drinking a beer with some friends, when a bum started to dig in the trash of a container near our table, he found some computer element and started to try to break a solid square box to remove some cables, after some attempts he leave the container.

After a few minutes I went to the container and what was lying there ? .... a very old Apple II Europlus system, with two 5 1/4 floppy drive !!!

Below is the photograph of the machine after arriving home and cleaning some of the dust

It seems that some keys are missing but my first impression is that the motherboard and floppy controler would work, I will loook for some TV cables to connect the system to the TV and see if nice machine still works.

Unfortunately the floppy cables has been removed, so I will try to build a new ones for the floppies.

About the apple II , this was the second machine build by apple, this machine have a 8 bit processor , and apple start to sell this model several years before the first Mac.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

DEC 3000/400

This old 64 bit system (according to Wikipedia , this models were build from 1992 to 1995), has been donated by a Spanish University.

This machines were the FIRST with a 64 bit processor (Alpha), from DIGITAL, later buy by compaq , now part of HP, nice world, Digital is one of the historic companies. and Unix was first develoved in a "PDP" series machine.

the system is currenly runninng an old operating system named OSF/1:,

# uname -a
OSF1 V4.0 878 alpha

but in the ALPHA chip, you could also run OpenVMS (from Digital), most of the free Unix (*BSD, Linux) and also Windows NT for Alpha !!!

This machine has the following hardware configuration:

DEC 3000 - M400

Digital Equipment Corporation
System conducting power up tests

Devnam Devstat

-------- -------
CPU OK KN15-BA -V7.0-S887-I21F-sV1.0-DECchip 21064 P3.0

OSC 133 MHz
SCC ?? 004 0060 ptr(0) = Not Present keybd(2) = Not Present
NI OK Ethernet Address: 08-00-2B-3F-8F-1A , TENBT


Interesting is that the machine can be opened very quickly: here is an image of the interior , see the FAN row , they don't produce any noise when running.

unscrewing two screws, the rest of the hardware is opened:

showing the memory banks and CPU and the three fan in a row.

As usual with the Digital system, the console uses a "non standard" connector, named "MMJ", and need also a "MMJ to RJ45" cable named BN24J-07 , with and aditional adaptor from RJ45 to DB9 to be used for console, here you can see the rear part of the machine, with the ethernet connector (RJ45 and AUI), the ISDN and RJ11 (modem) connector and then the MMJ , Serial , Parallel and SCSI connector.

To be able to change the root password the system must boot on single user mode, remount the root partition with read write permissions and then change the /etc/password file , deleting the root password "root::0:1:root users:/:/bin/sh:

  • from the boot prompt boot: >>> boot -fl s
  • from the # console mount with rw persmissions: mount -u /
  • Set the console to VT102 : TERM=vt102
  • export TERM
  • launch vi : vi /etc/passwd
  • Contiene with the booting: exit

This is a new addition to the Museum.