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IBM XT w/four HDDs, color printer

dreddnott

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Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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318
Location
Hesperia, California, USA
This is the one I described in the Warehouse updates thread in the Your Collections forum.

Tragically, the 5153 color monitor was destroyed on Monday, the one day I wasn't there to stop them.

The rest of the system made it upstairs fine, and I set it up to display composite output on a rather small Viewsonic prototype LCD TV. Looks quite charming.

It boots DOS 2.10, doesn't know the time or date, and won't take a current date (or maybe I'm entering it in the wrong format). Y2K issues?

The Tallgrass Technologies hardfile/tape drive apparently has three hard drives or some bizarre low-level partitioning scheme: drive letters C, D, E, and F all have data on them. C is the internal IBM drive (might be 10MB, might be more), D is 15MB, and E and F are both 10MB.

They show up in the custom TG BIOS as three separate drives, and not in FDISK at all (weird), but I'm not 100% sure. It's large, and probably long enough to hold 3 3.5" HDDs, but these were not common in 1983, or thereabouts. The system would not boot without the TG hardfile attached (it requires a 25-pin cable that's female on both ends, probably SCSI).

I'm pretty sure the whole shebang dates to fairly early in the production timeline of the XT - a lot of the file modification dates are quite old, although I found one or two rogue files from the early 1990s.

No games that I could see, but I didn't finish exploring all four drives. It has DOMS, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect 4.1, Cougar (CMS), and a bunch of other mysterious thingums. There's a folder on one drive that contains three or four database files that are several megabytes each(!), but I'm not 100% sure what they actually contain.

I'll do more exploring tomorrow, and possibly rescue the entire system from the evil clutches of trueCycle if I can. ;)

I don't have pictures yet. I'll try to remember to bring my real digital camera to work tomorrow!

P.S.: when it runs the memory check, it claims to have 320KB, not sure how it's organised inside - I'm still afraid to crack it open.
 
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dreddnott

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
318
Location
Hesperia, California, USA
Okay, I got a database program called "PCFILE" running, and I noticed there was a set of database files called "CAMPAIGN" in the folder so I opened them - lots of Southern California (Inland Empire & High Desert) names, with lots of doctors and association presidents listed (plus the Daily Press publisher).

Ooh, fancy, it does lowercase for names like McGILL.
 

dongfeng

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Nov 16, 2003
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1,348
Location
London, England
Date shouldn't be a problem, are you entering it as mm-dd-yyyy ? I wouldn't think it would be set up for a European or Asian date format but you never know :) Or it might have a clock card that has a dead battery.

Very interesting about the drives, you really need to open it up to tell us more about it :D

XT parts are nearly always dated - ink stamps on the case metal lid and front, as well as on a sticker under the right hand drive bay. If your lucky, there may also be the manufacture tag on the PSU cables still attached!

chkdsk c: will give the drive info, size and memory. You can also double check the memory by the dip switches on the mainboard, occasionally you lose a bank, but reseating the memory usually fixes that.
 

dreddnott

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
318
Location
Hesperia, California, USA
The internal IBM HDD is 10MB, created Feb. 1985. Not bad for an XT with a half-height 5.25" floppy.

The TG-6135 hardfile's "drives" don't give a date to CHKDSK - but the front panel has an interesting LED layout. There are four LEDs in a 2x2 grid labeled 1, 2, 4, & 8, which light up in different combinations when I do disk access on the hardfile. Above the LEDs is the text "HEAD/TRACK SELECT".

I'm going to take a break and take some pictures.
 
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