VOGONS


A couple of retros I'm working on.

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Reply 160 of 452, by Vipersan

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You have the makings of a very nice 5200 there Hamby ..
Now you vave me wondering what Prom hardware it was used with ?
Probably something like my old Micromaster 1000 (LPT port driven)
and you have more than the standard number of simms..
jealous much ??
😁

Reply 161 of 452, by Hamby

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Vipersan wrote:
You have the makings of a very nice 5200 there Hamby .. Now you vave me wondering what Prom hardware it was used with ? Probably […]
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You have the makings of a very nice 5200 there Hamby ..
Now you vave me wondering what Prom hardware it was used with ?
Probably something like my old Micromaster 1000 (LPT port driven)
and you have more than the standard number of simms..
jealous much ??
😁

I'll get whatever information I can for you, and let you know.

Part of the reason I've mostly let it sit there until I can A) get a battery and B) figure out if I can replace the BIOS chip, is that I want to dump that hard drive over the network to one of my main computers. That requires replacing the ethernet card and installing some software. Heck the whole 100megs (92 actually...) zipped up would probably take what... a minute?.. to upload to someplace on the internet from my modern desktop.

I'll try getting some screenshots of that software in action, maybe that can help you identify the prom hardware. I know the terminal software they used is called "HiTerm".

Reply 163 of 452, by IanB

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Hamby wrote:

Memory Test... so I guess I have an Award BIOS?

Seems that way, but that's a different looking BIOS again and appears to be from 1990 (the existing patched ones are both from 1989)

I'd like to see a dump of that BIOS and the VGA BIOS as well.
You can do that from the debug prompt, type the following followed by enter on each line:
DEBUG
N BIOS.BIN
M F000:0 FFFF 8000:0
R BX
1
R CX
0
W 8000:0
N VGA.BIN
M C000:0 FFFF 8000:0
W 8000:0

You should end up with 2 files, BIOS.BIN and VGA.BIN, please post them here.

(This assumes that DEBUG.EXE is available on the machine in your DOS path, if not create a DOS boot floppy with DEBUG.EXE on it and boot from the floppy)

Hamby wrote:

Maybe... If I can afford it, I'd be happy to pay the expenses for the parts, burning and shipping, plus a little for his time.

I can do one for you sure but I'm also in the UK so shipping might be a bit expensive.
However, based on Vipersan's experience, I would need to patch your actual BIOS version as it's different again.

Last edited by IanB on 2018-01-28, 17:42. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 164 of 452, by Vipersan

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No restoration for the T3200 as it stands ..
I've opened her up only to find the left hinge is broken away from the case ..
It was only anchored by 2 screws one of which is missing ..the other connected to a plastic post which _was_ part of the case ..now unattached and broken clean off ..
I suspect the powerful springs had a lot to do with it..
..I must have a look around inside before I apply power again..as that missing screw might still be in there somewhere ..
In light of the cracked screen ..I suspect this will be turned into a desktop unit.
At least it boots to DOS with the external VGA output enabled.
rgds
VS

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Reply 165 of 452, by jaZz_KCS

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Vipersan wrote:

Does anyone know what is involved in using a 3200 with an external KB ?
rgds
VS

Sure enough, that's easy.
The T3200SX have an external AT Din5 keyboard connector. By factory default, these are sealed off with a breakable plastic cover.

You have to break it out, and youll be able to use a standard 101 AT keyboard or (with one of the old adapters) use PS/2 keyboards as well, like I do here..:

OFXMLj7l.jpg

Note: The T3200SX will look for an external keyboard upon booting, and if one is found, the internal one is disabled (this varies depending on BIOS version). Sometimes for me, it wont detect, which is corrected by restarting, maybe I have caps going bad slowly...

If the NumLock light is on after the BIOS post-beep, then it works and is detected correctly.

PS: The external VGA should be on by default BIOS settings. It should mirror everything to a CRT if connected.

Reply 167 of 452, by jaZz_KCS

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PS: I have the exact same breakage on the screen part as you described above, albeit when everything is put together and screwed tight with 6 screws it still holds and works as intended for me.

Reply 169 of 452, by jaZz_KCS

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Vipersan wrote:

btw JZ ...
what is this for on the underside ?

That's the expansion slot where an optional modem could be connected (that would run on COM3). As one can see from the "LINE" plastic breakout. (same breakout type as the keyboard connector on other side).

This is where I found a nice place for my CMOS battery mod (3xAA rechargeables that are immune against creeping loading currents)

OeZ4PDfl.jpg

PS: I just found out that the T6400 series used DRAM memory cards in a PCMCIA slot (predecessor to PCMCIA it seems) 😮

Reply 170 of 452, by Vipersan

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Looks like I still have issues Ian ..
I suspect bios related ..
Gone back to my original bios today to boot to win3.1 and test the floppy drive cable ..
All good ..
Just popped the modded bios back in and although passes bios tests ..and starts DOS (or at least it appears to)..
..will not accept Keyboard commands ..
..System halts and waits...as I need to press a key to continue the boot ..on account the network card has been removed.
after pressing 'any key'
a good few seconds later 'Bad or Missing Command Interpreter' appears..
a few seconds later a c> prompt asking me to tell it where it is ?
I have to assume DOS has started ?
and no further progress is possible
nothing can be entered after the C prompt ..??
I cant list a directory ..or change to the A drive

a strange ascII string appears somtimes ..this can take also a good few seconds..
Normally I can do this with my original bios ..but not with the modded bios.
My first thoughts are that it is confused possibly by the keyboard interpreter ?
All this is with the Connor drive presumably autodetected ?

rgds
VS
'

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Reply 171 of 452, by Vipersan

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Had an Idea ..
since I now have a working floppy drive ..
How about I try and boot a win98 startup disk ?
Well it did boot and I can look at the directory of A
..and C:
where I can see windows in the list..
so I simply dont understand ..
Perhaps it is simply the Connor the bios doesn't like ?
anyway ..I have a 2gb hard drive on order ..so will try a fresh install of win 3.1 on that when it arrives..
my brain hurts..
🤣

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Reply 172 of 452, by jaZz_KCS

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That's why I always use CF or SD adapters. Even if you get a new drive working, it will need to be replaced anyways soon-ish. So why not go the safe route all the way. You can easily take out the SD or CF cards here 'n' there and make backups, and even if one dies, you can eaily replace it 😁

If it's the hard drive sound you're after though, you cant be helped 😁

Reply 174 of 452, by IanB

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Vipersan wrote:
Gone back to my original bios today to boot to win3.1 and test the floppy drive cable ..All good .. Just popped the modded bios […]
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Gone back to my original bios today to boot to win3.1 and test the floppy drive cable ..All good ..
Just popped the modded bios back in and although passes bios tests ..and starts DOS (or at least it appears to)..
..will not accept Keyboard commands ..
..System halts and waits...as I need to press a key to continue the boot ..on account the network card has been removed.
after pressing 'any key'
a good few seconds later 'Bad or Missing Command Interpreter' appears..
a few seconds later a c> prompt asking me to tell it where it is ?

XTIDE is a translating bios to support drives larger than 528MB and I suspect it is translating the geometry of the old Connor drive. This would mean the arrangement of sectors is messed up when using it with the old drive as it was formatted without translation. It would probably be usable again if you used FDISK and reformatted when using XTIDE but I've never used a drive under 1GB with XTIDE so I don't know for sure. Perhaps it's a bug and it shouldn't be translating such small drives.

The other possibility is that XTIDE is using the same workspace as some driver loaded in config.sys or autoexec.bat so you could try renaming them under the old BIOS so they don't load and see if it makes any difference with the modded BIOS.

Reply 175 of 452, by Hamby

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IanB wrote:
Seems that way, but that's a different looking BIOS again and appears to be from 1990 (the existing patched ones are both from 1 […]
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Hamby wrote:

Memory Test... so I guess I have an Award BIOS?

Seems that way, but that's a different looking BIOS again and appears to be from 1990 (the existing patched ones are both from 1989)

I'd like to see a dump of that BIOS and the VGA BIOS as well.
You can do that from the debug prompt, type the following followed by enter on each line:
DEBUG
N BIOS.BIN
M F000:0 FFFF 8000:0
R BX
1
R CX
0
W 8000:0
N VGA.BIN
M C000:0 FFFF 8000:0
W 8000:0

You should end up with 2 files, BIOS.BIN and VGA.BIN, please post them here.

(This assumes that DEBUG.EXE is available on the machine in your DOS path, if not create a DOS boot floppy with DEBUG.EXE on it and boot from the floppy)

Hamby wrote:

Maybe... If I can afford it, I'd be happy to pay the expenses for the parts, burning and shipping, plus a little for his time.

I can do one for you sure but I'm also in the UK so shipping might be a bit expensive.
However, based on Vipersan's experience, I would need to patch your actual BIOS version as it's different again.

I'll try doing a rom dump tomorrow. I've never shipped anything from the UK, is there any way I can figure out what the costs will be? The chip, of course, your time, of course, and the shipping cost.

Reply 176 of 452, by Vipersan

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Hamby wrote:

Vipersan... maybe your master boot record got corrupted somehow?

I dont think it is corruption Hamby...as the Connor works just fine with the old bios even after being accessed by Ians bios ..
I haven't made any changes of course under the new bios ..as I can't access the drive correctly.
No ..I think Ian is closer with his 'geometry translation theory' ..
..and since I dont want to destroy the contents of the ..still functional Connor ..
I'll wait and try a new OS build on the larger 2gb drive I already have on order.
I'll keep you guys posted
rgds
VS

Reply 177 of 452, by Vipersan

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just had a delivery of 5 disc cmos batteries with the pig tail leads ..(ordered a couple of weeks back from AliEX)
So maybe I can get on with my T4900CT now.
I was hestitant to reassemble this laptop fully without replacing the cmos batt on account of the inaccessibility factor..
Almost full strip down needed just to change it.
rgds
VS

Reply 179 of 452, by Vipersan

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Hamby wrote:

Y'know, Vipersan... I had a shot at a T4400X (or XP?) a few months back.... T4400... with vga gas plasma screen. It was beautiful, but I waited too long...

No point on dwelling on what might have been buddy ..
regrets can be painful
rgds
VS