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New England Want to buy Basic/APL IBM 5100

Covers: Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.

eman27182

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
7
About 7 years ago, I have acquired from a friend a bunch of Data Cassettes that are pretty huge for an IBM 5100. Does anybody have one that they are willing to sell? I would like it to have the option to switch between APL and Basic languages since I do not know what is on the Data Cassettes contain.
 

ajacocks

VCF MA Committee Member
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
749
Location
Middletown, Maryland USA
Welcome to the forum, @eman27182 ! There have been a number of 5100 discussions here, so your chances are decent.

You might want to introduce yourself, in the appropriate topic.

- Alex
 

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,476
Location
Connecticut
If the tapes have any written labels, could you provide pictures of those? It is possible someone could recognize what should be on the tape and which variation* of the 5100 is needed or if it was for a different system. The DC300 tape was used by a number of systems and it would be unfortunate to discard a useful tape just because it was not for the 5100.

* The 5100 had a number of options like the serial I/O adapter. There were tapes that only worked with those modified 5100s. Admittedly, that adapter was a very uncommon option. I am not sure any of the existing 5100s have the adapter.
 

stepleton

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
338
Location
London, UK
I know of at least two 5100s out there that have one of the I/O expansion options. Unfortunately it is not mine.

5100s are hard to get your hands on. There was one on eBay that sold yesterday for just shy of $10,000; while it had the switches and keyboard keys for BASIC and APL both, it wasn't clear that APL was functional.

So far as I know, there have been no publicly archived 5100 tapes from IBM. The Computer History Museum in California has an APL tape in their archive, but they have not tried to image it. I have a few BASIC tapes with sticky-shed syndrome and am waiting to do anything with them until I have a good plan for attempting data recovery. If you have any IBM software in your collection, you could have a rare item indeed, and it would be great to if it were archived.

In fact IBM 5100 tapes from any source may be interesting, if only to provide a view of what people did with the machines.

All of this said: it's virtually certain that your tapes are degraded in some way or another. At a minimum, the drive band that spins the tape reels will have broken. It would also not be unlikely for some of your tapes to be suffering sticky-shed syndrome too. All of which is to say: if you do get a 5100 of your own, inspect the tapes before you stick them into your machine!
 

eman27182

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
7
I know of at least two 5100s out there that have one of the I/O expansion options. Unfortunately it is not mine.

5100s are hard to get your hands on. There was one on eBay that sold yesterday for just shy of $10,000; while it had the switches and keyboard keys for BASIC and APL both, it wasn't clear that APL was functional.

So far as I know, there have been no publicly archived 5100 tapes from IBM. The Computer History Museum in California has an APL tape in their archive, but they have not tried to image it. I have a few BASIC tapes with sticky-shed syndrome and am waiting to do anything with them until I have a good plan for attempting data recovery. If you have any IBM software in your collection, you could have a rare item indeed, and it would be great to if it were archived.

In fact IBM 5100 tapes from any source may be interesting, if only to provide a view of what people did with the machines.

All of this said: it's virtually certain that your tapes are degraded in some way or another. At a minimum, the drive band that spins the tape reels will have broken. It would also not be unlikely for some of your tapes to be suffering sticky-shed syndrome too. All of which is to say: if you do get a 5100 of your own, inspect the tapes before you stick them into your machine!
When I get back to my home in a few days, ill take a look at the data cassettes. Ill ask my friend about them, but he gave them to me a while ago since I am into 70s technology.
 

eman27182

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
7
I know of at least two 5100s out there that have one of the I/O expansion options. Unfortunately it is not mine.

5100s are hard to get your hands on. There was one on eBay that sold yesterday for just shy of $10,000; while it had the switches and keyboard keys for BASIC and APL both, it wasn't clear that APL was functional.

So far as I know, there have been no publicly archived 5100 tapes from IBM. The Computer History Museum in California has an APL tape in their archive, but they have not tried to image it. I have a few BASIC tapes with sticky-shed syndrome and am waiting to do anything with them until I have a good plan for attempting data recovery. If you have any IBM software in your collection, you could have a rare item indeed, and it would be great to if it were archived.

In fact IBM 5100 tapes from any source may be interesting, if only to provide a view of what people did with the machines.

All of this said: it's virtually certain that your tapes are degraded in some way or another. At a minimum, the drive band that spins the tape reels will have broken. It would also not be unlikely for some of your tapes to be suffering sticky-shed syndrome too. All of which is to say: if you do get a 5100 of your own, inspect the tapes before you stick them into your machine!
Also regarding the $10,000 that sounds it has gone up a lot in 2 weeks? I did not know that bid existed but i know one that sold less than $2500 back in May, 25th this year so why is the price so random? I also talked to some IBM people in my area and all of them have different price points on when they last sold their machines.
 

eman27182

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
7
If the tapes have any written labels, could you provide pictures of those? It is possible someone could recognize what should be on the tape and which variation* of the 5100 is needed or if it was for a different system. The DC300 tape was used by a number of systems and it would be unfortunate to discard a useful tape just because it was not for the 5100.

* The 5100 had a number of options like the serial I/O adapter. There were tapes that only worked with those modified 5100s. Admittedly, that adapter was a very uncommon option. I am not sure any of the existing 5100s have the adapter.
Here are the photos of some of the cassettes. I have more but I have to dig them up.
 

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Dwight Elvey

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
4,781
Location
Santa Cruz
Before you attempt to play this in any machine, note that the tension band is broken. The tape will not drive this way.
These can be replaced.
Dwight
 
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