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My small collection

fxg

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Bucharest, Romania
Hello everyone, this is my first post :)

Well, I've gathered a few machines, but I'm still looking:

ICE Felix HX-85
ICE Felix HC-90
ICE Felix HC-91

ITCI Prae [this one is quite rare]

Texas Instruments Compact Computer - 40 [TI-CC40]

Sinclair ZX-81

Nixdorf 8810 [12kg 286 laptop :)]

Compaq Contura Aero 4/25 [it's not quite vintage, but it's the smallest 486 I've ever seen]

Mac Classic [with printer, which seems to report an error]

DEC PC3100 [I know it's not vintage, but it's a really nice machine]

I'm getting a Commodore 64 today [with monitor and tape deck], and sometime this week I'm hoping to get hold of an ITCI Cobra.

I also have a few interesting cards, like a Spea Fire i860 [professional CAD/CAM card, with 10MB VRAM and an Intel860 64-bit RISC processor on an ISA board] and a few others...

So, what do you think?

It's not that much, but i'm putting in quite some effort. It seems that there are few vintage machines available in Romania, and we don't have acces to eBay & stuff...
 
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NathanAllan

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I've never heard of ICE or Nixdorf or Prae! Cool! Can you get any pics?? Do these machines have any unique characteristics? What types of machines are they?

Welcome to the Forum, too, those are neat machines with bragging rights! Did you mean there are a few like not that many or quite a few where you are?

Nathan
 

fxg

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Bucharest, Romania
ICE Felix and ITCI are both romanian companies.

The ITCI Prae is a rare machine, AFAIK there were only about 200 produced. [mine has serial number 138] and most of them were lost. It was supposed to be a Spectrum clone, with a twist. Basicly, it runs on a russian Z80 clone, 64K RAM + 64K ROM. Mine has a bit of a problem with the RF module [it connects to a TV] and the output is weird, but the machine works.
It's said to run CP/M, altough I've never seen it, and time doesn't permit me to test that. Furthermore, it runs with a cassette deck and has a weird extension that I don't really recognize.
It has an internal power adapter, and the whole unit is pretty thin [like the ZX-81], but very large. It's an interesting piece, and there's little to no information available about it.

ICE Felix - ICE is actually an acronym, and stands for "Electronic Computer Factory" [in Romanian Intreprinderea de Calculatoare Electronice]. You can find more info on the HC-85 and the HC-91; the HC-90 is right in the middle. "HC" stands for Home Computer.

Nixdorf did quite a few machines in it's time, before it was took over by Siemens. They did a few products for end-users, but most of their products were aimed at professional appliances [they did quite a few research machines, specially with Zeiss].
My Nixdorf laptop has a small problem with the display, although it boots. It's a wire issue, but it requires a bit of time. I'll take care of it :)

I have some pictures of them at home and I'll post them soon. You really have to see the size difference between the Prae and a ZX-81 / TI-CC40 :D
 

fxg

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Bucharest, Romania
:biggrin: I just got my first Commodore ever :biggrin: Don't laugh, they're pretty rare in my part of the world.

I've got the C64 with monitor, tape drive, 5.25" floppy disk unit [1541] and a mouse ?! :-? Of course I have the power supply and a few tapes.
Everything works great, I loaded the games from the tapes and everything is fine. trouble is I don't have any floppies to test the unit... But I'll get to that :)

I don't know what the mouse is for, but it obviously communicates with the unit, because if I'm command mode, I get numbers and symbols when I move it. Also, in games, the right-button act as "Fire" button. Anyway, it's there...

As I said, I do have a few pictures of some stuff in my collection. You can find them here:

http://acoustiq.ath.cx/Collection/

You can only find a few pictures; I still need to take pics of all the stuff.

Also, today I came accross an interesting HDD. It's a double-size 5,25" drive, weighs in about 1,3Kg, and it has a capacity of 330MB [SCSI 50pin]. It's a Seagate ST4376N and it's huge... I have 3 double-size drives, but they're all 3,5" MFM / RLL.

I also found a 16bit ISA network card. The thing is that it has 5 UTP ports :) It seems that the network part is managed by some AMD chip, but the whole thing is managed by an Intel P82586 / SZ468 chip. There are also 2 memory chips [80ns].

And, to top it off, I found a system-on-a-card [16bit ISA], with a 486 DX4 100MHz, 2x 72pin SIMM slots [I found 2x32MB FPM], and all the I/O you might need [2xIDE, FDD, 2xRS232, IEEE1284, AT keyb - external connector, and an Award BIOS to top it off. The bad part is that the video part is supposed to be on a daughterboard that I don't have.

I also found a few other cards, like a Sound Blaster 32PNP with 8MB, a WD Paradise 128k, an ArcNet network card [BNC] and a 40MB IDE HDD [Seagate ST351A/X].

I know it's a big post, but it was a good day for me and I just wanted to share :)
 

carlsson

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The Commodore 1351 mouse is used in the alternative operating system GEOS (can today be downloaded for free), some paint programs such as Advanced Art Studio if I recall correctly and a few games like Arkanoid II. Unfortunately, the mouse is not compatible with Amiga/Atari. There was some 3rd party mice to the Commodore 64 as well, the Neos mouse comes to my mind but probably even more. They were all slightly incompatible, so some software was selectable to support all.

I know in Hungary, the Commodore 16 and Plus/4 became popular when they dumped surplus machines. Maybe it never happened in other Central and Eastern European countries?

Also, Bulgaria had an interesting computer industry with their Pravetz machines. Although Romania obviously had their own computer industry, did you get some exchange between the countries?
 

fxg

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Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Bucharest, Romania
I'm not sure what kind of mouse it is; on the bottom it only says "Commodore" and a serial number. It looks like this: http://cyclurba.free.fr/pbi/image/Commodore mouse.jpg

As fas as I know, few Commodore machines got into Romania. But maybe I'm wrong...

As far as bulgarian computers go, I've seen a few around here, but in very small numbers. There was no official exchange; they were mostly smuggled into the country, but were pretty hard to use, given the cyrilic alphabet.

And be assured, despite being an awful country, we did have quite a few manufacturers [from the top of my head, I'd say about 7 or 8, and that's not bad at all for such a small country].

PS - excuse the spelling and such; it's way too late...

EDIT - I'm really new at this, so excuse the noobism™ : how do I transfer C64 software to floppies? What kind of floppies do I need and what transfer utility do you recommend?
 

carlsson

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You need some sort of special cable, most commonly XE1541, XM1541 or better. They plug into the parallel port on your PC and to the disk drive in the other end. With a bit of electronics skills, you can build your own cable (even I did!) or otherwise you can order a cable from some reseller.

If you are using Windows 2000 or XP, you can use the transfer program cbm4win. If you still are using Windows 98/ME or older, you are pretty much limited to booting into DOS mode and use Star Commander.

The floppies you need are 5.25" soft sectored, double density 48 tpi. Double sided if you want to flip them over and use the back side, even though there is a risk to pull loose dirt particles that has been collected in the dust filter and scratch the disk surface. I have successfully flipped 5.25" disks for 15 years without any noticeable damage, but maybe it depends on which environment you are operating in. I have successfully used soft sectored 96 tpi disks as well, but they should not be confused with the 5.25" high density floppies once used on PC computers.

Btw: as far I as I'm concerned, your English is perfectly fine.
 

fxg

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Messages
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Bucharest, Romania
Yesterday I came accross a mainboard from a Sanyo MBC-555. Obviously, since it was dismembered, no trace of the CPU was found [8088] nor the coprocessor [8087, althogh I'm not sure it was ever there; it was optional]. The previous owner is making an amplifier out of the case :cry: and I couldn't persuade him to change his mind...

I also found a nice graphics card, but I'm not sure what it is so far. It has dual VGA 15-pin output, a 72-pin memory slot and a bunch of Texas Instruments chips all over + a Cirrus Logic 5401. It's on a 16 it ISA slot and it's pretty long. It also has an array of old-style memory chips [the ones standing up] and a few dip-switches. I'm trying to find out what it is...
 

pls

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Aug 14, 2006
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Topeka, KS
FYI Nixdorf also manufactured cash registers; all Montgomery Ward stores that I know of in the USA converted to Nixdorfs in the late '80's from clunky, mechanical NCR's.
 

fxg

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Bucharest, Romania
I didn't know which cable to make for the C64 transfers, so I did a 2-in-1 [Extended + Multitask]


XMAdapter.jpg


...and the whole thing cost me about $2. Thx for the links, carlsson ;)
 
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carlsson

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Whee, cool. And cheap components too. Did you get four Schottky diodes, the DB25 with housing, two DIN6 with housing, cabling and that little box all for approximately $2 ? Or maybe you had a previous supply to pick from.

XE1541 is mainly useful for 64HDD and some older software. XM1541 is the only type that works on Windows 2000 and upwards, as well as Linux.
 

fxg

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Aug 15, 2006
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Bucharest, Romania
I had the little box hanging around [it's the CMOS battery case from an old Compaq Desktop DX/25]. The rest of the stuff I got for less than $2.

I have a few PC's at home, with OS' ranging from Win95OSR2 to 2oo3Ent, so I guess I'm covered :)

As I said, I have a picture for size comparison concerning the ITCI Prae. In this picture, you can see it next to a ZX-81 and a TI-CC40. It's huge :D

Another image showing a few of my HDDs - image - There's a normal IDE HDD [on the right], in the middle is a double-height 3,5" RLL drive [the 2 from the lower side are regular IDE], and a huge Seagate double-height 5,25" 330MB SCSI drive :D
 
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Chris2005

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Pennsyltucky LOL LOL
at one time there were Russian computers and stuph on ePay pretty cheap (not shipping though I guess). I'm sorry I didn't take advantage of the oppurtunities :(
Sorry didn't read the entire thread, just the beginning. My eyes are getting tired lol.
 

fxg

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Aug 15, 2006
Messages
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Location
Bucharest, Romania
@Terry - it might be steel, the thing weighs in almost 2Kg.

@Chris - There's lots of good stuff on eBay, but I can't make an account. Mainly because my cards are not useful on the net [there's only one kind available in Romania for online stuff and I don't qualify], Paypal is not available, etc... I do my "vintage" shopping mainly on local forums and flea markets...


One more picture of the HDDs - image - this is for height comparison. I even put a 2,5" laptop HDD, just for the hell of it :D [the HDD next to the laptop one is a Seagate, 3,5", but slimmer and shorter than the others. I just put it there to make a ladder :rolleyes:]
 

Chris2005

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Pennsyltucky LOL LOL
that's actually the best (and cheapest) place to find vintage stuph, locally. But I was talking about a few years ago where alot of this stuph could be had for alot less then these days. There's was some groovy stuph to be had cheap if you kept an eye our for it. Now you got to pay through the nose :(
You'll keep finding stuph if you keep looking though. Don't lose heart.
 

fxg

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Bucharest, Romania
This is one of my obsessions [next to my car and... well that's it :D] and I'm not giving up ;) On sunday, the largest flea market comes alive a couple of blocks from my home, so tomorrow I'll be there scavanging.
Hopefully I'll have something to brag about tomorrow afternoon :D
 

fxg

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Aug 15, 2006
Messages
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Location
Bucharest, Romania
Amazing. There was NOTHING there! Well, at least I found a CMOS battery to replace the one in my Contura Aero toy...
 
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