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Late 80s/early 90s MAI Basic Four documentation - anything

SwissArmyTin

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
12
Location
Greenville, SC
About a year or so ago I rescued a sizable stash of MAI Basic Four equipment - a Dual Universe mainframe/mini/tower something, 3 terminals I assume are ASCII (2 model 4314s and one model 4312), a front-loading 9 track tape drive, two enormous printers, and several manuals for the Business Basic operating system and this setup's flavor of UNIX (something called BOSS). However, I have no system manuals, or any sort of hardware manuals or reference for anything I have. In fact, I can barely even find proof online half of this stuff even exists. I have empty binders where some of the hardware manuals would've been, unfortunately the pages themselves were tossed at some point in the past 30 years.

From what I can gather, MAI tailored to business/financial industries, and I know a lot of equipment from those sectors didn't survive for security reasons. I can find plenty of manuals and documents for MAI's equipment from the late 70s to early 80s on places like archive.org and Bitsavers, however the oldest piece I have is the 4312 terminal dated from '86, everything else is late 80s.

Really I'd just like to see anything related to these machines. Manuals, print ads, brochures, literally anything from this era. There's gotta be someone out there also into this super niche stuff.
 

VERAULT

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Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
7,945
Location
Connecticut, USA
Post some photos. I have an MAI mini in the basement with matching HUGE daisy wheel printer and a single portrait terminal. Internal hars drive and 8" floppy drive. I have a post on here a few yeara back when I found it. i have a couple books on bussiness basic but i dont think they came with hardwate manuals. you hwould have a service rep and deal with them.
 

SwissArmyTin

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
12
Location
Greenville, SC
Post some photos. I have an MAI mini in the basement with matching HUGE daisy wheel printer and a single portrait terminal. Internal hars drive and 8" floppy drive. I have a post on here a few yeara back when I found it. i have a couple books on bussiness basic but i dont think they came with hardwate manuals. you hwould have a service rep and deal with them.
I unfortunately don't have many photos at the moment, but here's the hoard right after I got it home and tucked away in a corner:

1.JPG

and a better shot of the main machine before I dug it out of it's former home:

2.JPG
 

GFlamand

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Joined
Jun 2, 2023
Messages
6
I unfortunately don't have many photos at the moment, but here's the hoard right after I got it home and tucked away in a corner:

View attachment 1242265

and a better shot of the main machine before I dug it out of it's former home:

View attachment 1242266
Hi, I currently use a GPX system in my business. Last month the hard drive failed and luckily I had another GPX system and hard drive that used to keep it running. I am interested in buying your GPX440 tower for parts and backup. Let me know if you are interested. Gene Flamand. Thank you
 

VERAULT

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Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
7,945
Location
Connecticut, USA
Hi, I currently use a GPX system in my business. Last month the hard drive failed and luckily I had another GPX system and hard drive that used to keep it running. I am interested in buying your GPX440 tower for parts and backup. Let me know if you are interested. Gene Flamand. Thank you
you are CURRENTLY running one of these for you business? Can you elaborate on this?

And just so you know this thread hasnt been touched in a year and OP hasnt been here since last October.
 

GFlamand

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Joined
Jun 2, 2023
Messages
6
I started my business, A-I Consolidated, in 1976 a year after I graduated from college with a BSEE degree. In 1991 we bought a GPX340 system and had the distribution software heavily customized which is very hard and expensive to replace. I have been able to keep system running since then with no major problems until last month when hard drive failed. I had bought a complete GPX system for backup years ago and was able to replace the hard drive and use current backup to keep system current. I am now trying to get a SCSI hard drive I bought off eBay to work as a backup in case of another hard drive failure. I cannot get drive to work properly with our BIV computer system. OS seems to load onto drive but comes up with numerous errors including PANIC: Drive 0 on SHA 0 not available. Trying to dump 1952 pages., 1 page dumped. Tryin to dump maximum of 4 8/16 way controllers with 64/128kb memory each. DOUBLE PANIC:Kernal mode trap. Type 0x0000000E. Trying to dump 1952 pages. 0 pages dumped. I reloaded OS and config file multiple times and keep ending up with above errors making drive useless. OS boots properly when config file is not installed but other hardware/software does not work properly. Do you know any reason drive would not work with a BIV computer? Doing a DEMON diagnostics I get: WARNING Disk Not MBF Disk. Please advise ASAP. Thank you
 

VERAULT

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Jan 30, 2012
Messages
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Location
Connecticut, USA
Wondering if the SCSI HDD you purchased is incompatible with the SCSI controller on the GPX. I have had mixed success getting "modernish" SCSI devices working on older SCSI controllers. What about a SCSI2SD modern solidstate drive replacement? Cheaper and possibly more reliable in the long run over a spinning disk.
 

GFlamand

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2023
Messages
6
Configuration record is causing errors. Before I try solid state drive, I will try to install ebay drive and copy working HD on to it. Maybe MBF code will be copied to the ebay drive and correct the problem. Have you done this? Thank you
 

norwestrzh

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
82
Location
mount vernon, wa
<snip> .....

Really I'd just like to see anything related to these machines. Manuals, print ads, brochures, literally anything from this era. There's gotta be someone out there also into this super niche stuff.
I think there is a user on this site who has done extensive work with MAI and even built an emulator? Try a search for "ard"??? I think he is in Germany?

I have an old desktop MAI (maybe model is 2000?) and *had* a few monitors but I junked them several moves ago. My MAI used to boot up, but sadly the hard drive refuses to spin up now (Maxtor). I have a little printed documentation for it, but I think that the previous owners depended on the MAI service reps. for most of their support, so there is not much useful information in what I have.

Roger
 
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