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  1. R

    Repurpose an Advantech 5820 micro-ATX

    [SORRY - I dropped this in the wrong forum area. Should be P2 vintage?] I've salvaged from scrap an OEM touch-screen billing terminal based on Advantech 5820 miniATX. It boots to a login screen for a WinCE application on a CF card. The application and WinCE system are password-locked and I am...
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    Basic programming - which language or platform?

    I need to build a simple converter to do some simple arithmetic, string and file manipulations to align two datasets for comparison and graphing. I've used MBasic and QBasic for this sort of thing decades ago, and used spreadsheets and databases for some overlapping tasks. The job is: I have a...
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    Noble losers - vintage before their time

    There's a category of personal computing products that have a relatively short life in the market, but start significant trends that end up making them obsolete. Three examples might be the Palm Pilot, the Blackberry, and the Asus EeePC. They each pioneered aspects of the trend towards...
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    PSU caps very slow charging (G3 iMac)

    I have a machine that won't boot from overnight full power-off, but gradually goes further in the boot sequence for every hour that it is plugged into AC mains. Boots fully after about 5 hours on standby. Once booted, runs perfectly. Standby draws a steady 5-6watts. On another G3 iMac I've...
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    Intel Intellec MDS-80 seen - at the dump

    Not sure where you would place the MDS-80 in architecture, but yesterday I saw the manager of the local landfill recycling service wheeling a trolley along loaded with the three main parts of a MDS-80 - PSU, 2x8" FDD, and main unit with a bank of interrupt keys. I've never seen one before but...
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    Purge USB caches in OSX

    I've recently had a problem with OSX (Tiger) not recognising a USB device. The problem was resolved when I re-installed Tiger as a clean install. So I believe there should have been a way to clear the USB device properties cache, similar to purging Windows Registry items. How do you clear a...
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    Is the mouse a threatened species?

    Recently we are getting a lot of threads about mice and mousenalia. Does this reflect a growing sense that the mouse is heading to be exclusively a collectible vintage item? The manufacturers seem determined to push us all to trackpads, touchscreens and every kind of human interface device...
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    Vector Graphics PROM at auction (not mine)

    Noticed a couple of interesting boards being offered by the same seller on eBay at the moment, at very reasonable starting price: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/330920041396?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649...
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    Sony MP-F51 floppy drive - check and adjust alignment?

    Does anyone know how to get a Mac floppy drive (Sony MP-F51) to run continuously so that disk alignment can be checked and adjusted? I have schematics, but it is not clear what combination of signals are needed at the connector to start the spindle and keep a data read going, so that signal...
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    Macintosh 800k floppy drive alignment

    I have a Sony MDF15W drive that has reading problems and I'm suspicious that it may have lost alignment somehow, perhaps during vigorous cleaning operations. The whole head assembly is held at alignment just by one philips screw, but if that screw is loose there is no obvious base for alignment...
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    Degauss floppy drive heads?

    I'm grappling with a couple of Sony 800k floppy drives from 64k Macs that are very unreliable at reading diskettes that they have written. As these are self-written disks, I don't think alignment is the issue here. The disks can be read by a later Sony "superdrive", but frequently get the...
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    Can a CDROM drive be unstuck?

    This is a long shot. I have a Mac Powerbook G4 in which the optical drive will grab a disk that is poked into the slot, and will eject the disk properly on command. So the drive is recognised and the servos respond properly. However the drive never seems to spin up. I was guessing that the...
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    Freecycle bloopers

    Decided to dip my toe into Freecycle - free and local are both good for me. In the first round of emailed offers, among the baby clothes, "a bit grubby" sofas, and sacks of VHS tapes, was an offer for "2 computer monitors (black and white), old type". Wow! B/W monitor = very old, possibly a...
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    When does obsolete become collectible?

    In my town, our Federal government has just announced a major "refresh" cycle for hardware and software throughout all departments. About 30,000 machines will be replaced, with Windows 7 as the standard desktop. Let's assume almost all the machines being tossed are P4s and Core2Duo. Most of...
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    DMM and CRO Voltage Measurements don't agree

    I'm checking the power rail voltages on an early Macintosh (512k). With a digital multimeter, the voltages check out well within spec - 4.9vdc and 12.2vdc. However, with an oscilloscope, the voltages look like about 3.5vd and 8vdc. There is a small amount of visible ripple within about .2vdc...
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    SunRay 1 thin client

    I've seen a couple of Sun MicroSystems SunRay 1 client units that I could get for very little. Are they any use without a special server? Can they be used with generic keyboards? These ones are salvage rescues. If too much trouble to connect, I won't follow up. Rick
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    How to save a damaged 800k floppy drive

    Given that the Mac 800k drives are becoming harder to find, I've hacked up a fix for one of the common problems - bending the top head assembly spring hinge while trying to clean the heads. The solution is a DIY spring clip to restore proper head closure. It works. I've posted a detailed...
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    Blogs offline?

    I'm getting error messages from the blog server about database failure. Is this affecting everyone? What progress on restoration? Rick
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    PSU capacitors ESR - how to test economically?

    I'm needing to check the state of capacitors in a Sony switch-mode PSU from my Mac IIsi. Putting the continuity tester from my DMM across them, I read resistance rising as the caps charge, then falling back to a much lower value - mostly around 100R but one or two up at 400R. Does this tell me...
  20. R

    Soroc serial terminal recreated - Part 1

    More than 30 years ago, I bought a Soroc IQ35 serial terminal as user interface to my S100 IMS 5000SX system. It saw heavy use in tough conditions for about ten years, mainly WordStar, and CP/M database and financial utilities written in Basic or Assembler. By the time the terminal developed a...