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Powertran Cortex

KG7PFS

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
91
Location
Cave Junction, Oregon
> The manual version I have is in the form of 220 pages of GIF images.

You might be interested in something I ran across by accident wile looking at different e-reader types: .CBR or .CBZ format. It seems comic books are scanned a page at a time as image files and stored in .ZIP or .RAR files with the .CBZ or .CBR extension. I thought it might be possible to write an e-reader for older computers that used this format with 0% comression. It would be better than trying to read a .PDF on a classic. In this case though, it just seems like a quick easy way to get old manuals scanned and into an easily distributable format.
 

Ksarul

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
450
I bought a couple to test, but there are several things about this batch that makes me question them. The TI symbol is off (compared to the known good one), and the space between DGS and the date code is missing (this is possibly right though, as that marker varied over time), lastly, the marking is much lighter than expected (again, this varies). I'll look to see what it is that I get once they arrive.
 

Stuart

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
174
Location
Southampton, UK
I ordered one as well, thinking that they looked sufficiently original to be worth a punt. If it doesn't work, I'll ask for a refund.
 

Stuart

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
174
Location
Southampton, UK
Anyone received theirs yet? Mine is two weeks overdue and doesn't seem to have yet left China ...
  • 7 Nov 2021
  • 5:48pm
  • Arrived at Regional Distribution Center
  • JIAXING, ZHEJIANG
  • 4 Nov 2021
  • 12:29am
  • Departed from Local Facility
  • HAERBIN, HEILONGJIANGSHENG
  • 4 Nov 2021
  • 12:19am
  • Arrived at Local Facility
  • HAERBIN, HEILONGJIANGSHENG
  • 2 Nov 2021
  • 4:12pm
  • 27 Sep 2021
  • 8:34am
  • Shipment Data Received
  • 27 Sep 2021
  • 1:33am
  • Tracking number provided
 

Ksarul

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
450
Mine were hung up at the same point for three weeks before I asked the seller what was going on with them. The response was that the post office told them the package was "lost" and that they would have to send me replacement chips once they got additional stock in a few weeks. I really didn't like that answer, as they still showed at least ten chips in stock in their listing, so I asked for a refund--and they provided it. I told them that once they had chips in stock to please contact me and we could complete the transaction then--but so far, crickets.
  • Oct 10, 2021
  • 5:44pm
  • Arrived at Regional Distribution Center
  • JIAXING, ZHEJIANG
  • Oct 8, 2021
  • 12:07am
  • Departed from Local Facility
  • HAERBIN, HEILONGJIANGSHENG
  • Oct 7, 2021
  • 11:57pm
  • Arrived at Local Facility
  • HAERBIN, HEILONGJIANGSHENG
  • Oct 7, 2021
  • 5:57pm
 

burek551

New Member
Joined
May 16, 2015
Messages
1
Hi guys!

I have been lurking here for a while and last year i built a Mini Cortex machine with Stuart's help.
I would like to transfer some of the MDEX programs on Powertran Cortex disk images to Mini Cortex disk images.
What is the best way to do that? I guess i could use MDEX Disk Utility to get a file from Powertran Cortex disk image
to PC, but how do i put that file on a Mini Cortex disk image?
Is there any documentation on the MDEX disk format somewhere, that the emulator uses and that was used to write the MDEX Disk Utility?

Best regards,
Bo/
 

Ksarul

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
450
I suspect that if you look at the downloads page on the Powertran Cortex website, you will find the utility and the cable to transfer disks from the PC to your mini-Cortex. Pretty much all of the Cortex documentation that survives is there as well. As to what was used to build MDEX in the first place, it was done on a Marinchip S-9900 computer. It is highly unlikely you will ever come across one of those machines, unfortunately. I may have the only remaining complete Marinchip S-9900 in existence. . .but I really do hope there are more of them hiding out there.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2022
Messages
1
Hello All

I am new to this forum .
After graduating from university in Electronics & computing in 1982, my first computer was a Texas 99/4a, so was very familiar with programming this machine and created many games. I then saw the Cortex computer in ETI which looked very impressive, but was far too costly for a poor graduate, but I always wanted one.
Well its only taken me nearly 40 years to get one , but I finally picked one up at a car bootsale in Sussex England. Looks very impressive. It has 2 disk drives and also came with an additinal board which looks like an external serial interface. On looking inside it looks like it has quite a few add on boards , but not quite sure what they are.
I was a bit eager to power it up and on doing so pop a few tiny capacitors around the power supply , so will need to replace these before moving forward.
Can someone point me to the right direction as to what these extra boards might be. I believe there were a few add-on in future editions of the ETI magazine but doesnt seem to be too much information on these.

Thanks
 

Stuart

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
174
Location
Southampton, UK
Hello All

I am new to this forum .
After graduating from university in Electronics & computing in 1982, my first computer was a Texas 99/4a, so was very familiar with programming this machine and created many games. I then saw the Cortex computer in ETI which looked very impressive, but was far too costly for a poor graduate, but I always wanted one.
Well its only taken me nearly 40 years to get one , but I finally picked one up at a car bootsale in Sussex England. Looks very impressive. It has 2 disk drives and also came with an additinal board which looks like an external serial interface. On looking inside it looks like it has quite a few add on boards , but not quite sure what they are.
I was a bit eager to power it up and on doing so pop a few tiny capacitors around the power supply , so will need to replace these before moving forward.
Can someone point me to the right direction as to what these extra boards might be. I believe there were a few add-on in future editions of the ETI magazine but doesnt seem to be too much information on these.

Thanks
Hi Colin!

Come and join us over at [https://atariage.com/forums/forum/164-ti-994a-computers/], and post some pics in the [Tomy Tutor, CC40, 99/2, 99/8, Cortex, 990 mini] subforum. There's more going on over there ...

Sounds like quite a find for a carboot sale!

Stuart
 

daver2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
8,787
Location
UK - Worcester
Welcome Colin.

Nice find. I wish I could find car boot sales like that in Worcester!

Do you want to post some photographs of the cards you want help with?

Yes, you should have resisted the temptation to power up. The first rule is not to power up until you have done some testing!

Most likely they are simple tantalum bead capacitors that have popped. Little blue, yellow or brown blobs - but likely black now!

In the worst case, they could have damaged PCB tracks - depending upon where they were when they popped. Although you say there are in the power supply - so you may be OK. But, beware, if you fix the PSU - something else could fail.

Dave
 

JD9995

New Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Leicestershire, UK.
Hello
I have a small stack of Cortices (inc a Cortex II) which I've had since we stopped using them at work in the long distant past. We used them mostly for real time control software research & teaching (assembler, sometimes with a Qbasic front end after giving up on the Forth !) alongside our 9900 dev systems. Also general purpose use in those pre PC days. I have many boxes of floppies of course - now of questionable status - a fair bit of MPE software and well thumbed manuals.

We only used them with ASCII terminals + a bit of 9928 graphics sometimes - still have a trusty Lear-Siegler somewhere.
They're fully IC populated + dual floppies and mostly standard hardware, but with hacks for the disc PLL fix, a 2nd RS232 and the D-type E-bus workaround - although I do have one of the 'rare beasts' :) See attached.
Oh, and a hack RAMdisc using the memory mapper mostly for compilation intermediate files.
We used our own ROM set which vectors RST and NMI to ~instantly shadow boot either MDEX or a comprehensive machine code monitor for development. The MDEX was fairly modded for the RAMdisc, a batch program facility and some other utilities.
The last time I powered one up it couldn't see the discs so needs a bit of TLC there - but I hope to have a session round them fairly soon before deciding their fate :-/
I'm doing some rework of old 6800 pinball and 6502 CNC code and they're ok but it does make me pine for the 9995 in comparison. I've found I still have some 99xx op-codes lodged in my own cortex which is a bit disturbing after all this time :-(
 

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daver2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
8,787
Location
UK - Worcester
Welcome, and it sounds like a nice list if machines.

Don't forget to add your location to your profile. Also, you will be under moderation for the first ten posts.

Yes, I also have 'stuff' lodged in my brain from years ago...

Dave
 
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