First post, by Tenorman
I recently bought a Tandy 1000 TL/2. The machine came pretty standard (8 MHZ 286, 640K, single 720K floppy drive) with the exception of the hard drive having been disconnected and replaced with an XTCF card.
Not being able to leave anything alone, I quickly set to messing with it after testing it all out.
Added a NOS TEAC 55-BR 5.25" floppy drive. I was a bit disappointed to learn that the floppy controller in the TL/2 doesn't support high density drives, and I would rather have used a white drive to match the case, but this works and looks better than I thought it would.
Bought some 64KX4 DRAM chips and upgraded the memory to the full 768K so that my video ram doesn't cut into the base 640K.
Proceeded to fill up all the expansion slots....
-Added an old HP serial / parallel card. This was mainly to get a second serial port. I need one port for the mouse, and I like to do serial file transfers on my machines sometimes, so I wanted two ports. A plus is getting a "real" parallel port instead of just the edge connector that is standard on the Tandy.
-Added a TexElec SAAYM card. Figured it was a good enough place to try this card out as any. Can play back VGM files just fine using SBVGM and the games I have tried that support CMS work just fine.
-Added a Lo-Tech EMS card. This is where things get a bit messy. The upper memory of these computers is very crowded. The XTCF was using D00h, but I needed that so I could have a 64K contiguous chunk of space for the EMS page frame. Used this procedure to pad 16K in front of the latest IDE_XTP.BIN and relocate it to CC00h. http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-65743.html
I also got a nice speed increase from the XTCF by switching to the XTP BIOS. The card had been using the plain XT BIOS which is the most compatible, but quite slow.
-Using Compaq DOS 3.31. The idea here to maintain as much free conventional memory as possible, while getting around the 32 MB partition size limit. In hindsight, it had been quite a while since I had used pre-5.0 DOS and it is missing a lot of niceties. This version of DOS does work fine however and you are allowed 512 MB partitions, which is a ton of space on a 286 machine.
Only a couple of issues: The Tandy specific MODE command won't work on DOS 3.31 and DOS didn't get SETVER until version 5.0. Found a replacement called DOSVER that seems to work well. Solution of "Incorrect MS-DOS version"
The version of DeskMate that came with the computer would no longer run. Version 3.05 from WinWorld PC works fine however. Supposedly Deskmate can also load part of itself into EMS to free up RAM.
-Installed Windows 3.0. Very slow and pretty pointless. Using the Tandy video driver from WIndows 2.x. Besides being stuck with real mode, having only 200 vertical pixels also causes a lot of software not to work.
I think the best use case I've found for the computer so far are the old Sierra games up to SCI0. These all have good Tandy graphics and CMS support, and can also use EMS.
[Compaq Presario 633 | DOS 6.22 / Win 3.1 | DX4 100 Overdrive | 28M RAM | SB16 CT2770A | SPEA Media FX (Soundscape S2000) ]
[GA-6BXC R2.0 | Win98SE | Via C3 Ezra 866 | 384M RAM | TNT2 32M | Voodoo2 8M | SB32 CT3670 | Ensoniq Soundscape Opus]