Computer Relics - Sinclair

This is a discussion on Computer Relics - Sinclair ; Chris Young wrote: > On Fri, 2 Feb 2007 12:36:27 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin' > to MC Ian Rawlings: > > >>On 2007-02-02, Tim Fardell wrote: >> >> >>>Not on a PC. The PC's 720k format was ...

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Thread: Computer Relics

  1. Re: Computer Relics

    Chris Young wrote:
    > On Fri, 2 Feb 2007 12:36:27 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    > to MC Ian Rawlings:
    >
    >
    >>On 2007-02-02, Tim Fardell wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Not on a PC. The PC's 720k format was 9 sectors, 80 tracks.

    >>
    >>A floppy disc is a floppy disc, which was his point. PCs used 720K
    >>format with rigid sectors, Acorn Archimedes as 800K IIRC with rigid
    >>sectors, and macintoshes used variable sized sectors by speeding the
    >>disc rotational speed up and down as the head got closer to the
    >>outside of the disc or the inside of the disc.

    >
    >
    > And the Amiga managed 880K without any nasty hardware tricks.
    >
    > Chris
    >
    >

    Well the whole Amiga Disk interface was a nasty trick, and it did have
    *some* hardware although most of the nasty bits were in the software ...
    It did make it a great disk copying machine though as it could handle
    *any* soft sectored fixed speed DD format purely in software.

    There even used to be a pod + utility that pulsed the motor on signal to
    get the drives in sync then did an analog copy just like the classic
    dodgy speccy tape2tape on your mate's dad's hifi while your mate ran
    interference to keep his parents out of the room!

    The Amiga disk change detection and the latched Motor On signals were
    also non-standard and fairly vile and required mods to the drives or an
    extra circuit board in the external drive case.

    --
    Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
    ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk [at]=@, [dash]=- &
    [dot]=.
    *Warning* SPAM TRAP set in header, Use email address in sig. if you must.

  2. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2007-02-02, Chris Young wrote:

    > And the Amiga managed 880K without any nasty hardware tricks.


    Yes but IIRC it did so by using linked lists from one file entry to
    the next, which saved a lot of space, but made the discs very slow and
    an error in one file could lose all the files after it. I know I had
    more issues with Amiga floppies than I did with Atari ST or Acorn
    Archimedes.

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  3. Re: Computer Relics

    On Fri, 02 Feb 2007 19:22:02 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Ian Malcolm:

    > Well the whole Amiga Disk interface was a nasty trick, and it did have
    > *some* hardware although most of the nasty bits were in the software ...
    > It did make it a great disk copying machine though as it could handle
    > *any* soft sectored fixed speed DD format purely in software.


    Erm, so you're saying that the nice flexible disk controller was a
    nasty trick? Just because it wasn't a crappy standard PC one?

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  4. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2007-02-02, Chris Young wrote:

    > Erm, so you're saying that the nice flexible disk controller was a
    > nasty trick? Just because it wasn't a crappy standard PC one?


    ISTR that it *didn't* have a nice, flexible disc controller, it had a
    rudimentary "disc controller" built into one of the custom chips and
    was flexible because the CPU was doing most of the furtling itself.
    End result was that it was an ace copying machine though, only mac
    floppies defeated it, due to the trick floppy hardware speed changing
    thing.

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  5. Re: Computer Relics

    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    ....
    >>Nah, they only dropped vinyl when the CD began to domincate and vinyl sales

    >
    > dominate! WHAT THE HELL IS DOMINCATE..?
    > Hmmmm, answers on a postcard to....
    > (doubt it'll catch on like wot chuntey did)


    Sounds like a George Bushism


  6. Re: Computer Relics

    On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 01:19:19 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Duncan Snowden:

    > Yeah. As Rupert points out, it's Dixons


    Or should we call them "Currys.digital"?

    > (in the guise of PC World this
    > time) getting free publicity out of dropping a long-standing format
    > again. Audio cassettes, VCRs, CRT tellies, now this.


    You forgot old-fashioned film cameras (although they still sell the
    accessories IIRC)

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  7. Re: Computer Relics

    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    > dominate! WHAT THE HELL IS DOMINCATE..?
    > Hmmmm, answers on a postcard to....
    > (doubt it'll catch on like wot chuntey did)



    Hi spike1@freenet.co.uk!



    An anagramm by Spike!?


    Although, better domincated then domincutted ;-)
    (nice anagramm)


    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic



  8. Re: Computer Relics

    On Feb 2, 6:28 am, j...@arcade.demon.co.uk wrote:

    > An 800K disk is just a DD/720K/blue/single-hole disk formatted to
    > 5 sectors of 1024 bytes on each track. Similarly, a 1600K disk is


    No it isn't (at least, not universally). It is perfectly possible to
    write 800K 80cyl/2side/10spt/512bps disks on a PC.



  9. Re: Computer Relics

    On Feb 2, 3:23 pm, Ian Rawlings wrote:

    > > And the Amiga managed 880K without any nasty hardware tricks.

    >
    > Yes but IIRC it did so by using linked lists from one file entry to
    > the next, which saved a lot of space, but made the discs very slow and


    The 880K came from the gapless low-level format, not from the
    filesystem. Paula (and whatever replaced Paula in later Amigas; I
    stopped tracking Amiga hardware after the B2000) was a basic homely
    girl who just did sync recognition, clock recovery and DMA. Tell her
    to start reading and she'll listen for a sync word and read the whole
    track into RAM. It's your responsibility to decode the results and
    determine which sector was read first.


  10. Re: Computer Relics

    On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 13:47:55 +0000, Jamie wrote:
    >
    >I bought an ethernet card from PC World a week ago - my old PC didn't
    >have one and I needed it to set up a "wireless router" (oxymoron [1])
    >I'd bought the day before - and it came with an effing floppy with the
    >drivers on! My computer may be old but hasn't had a floppy drive in
    >it for years - buggers didn't mention that on the box.


    BIOS update for a 3Ware 7500 RAID card? Boot from a DOS floppy! (Not
    only a floppy but good old DOS too).

    Just what you want on a server with no floppy drive installed and a
    knackered, proprietary floppy connector.

    Wasted best part of an afternoon on that mind-boggling ****. [1]

    I fully expect to still be using floppies 50 bloody years from now. And
    I thought I was Jack the Biscuit with my +D interface...

    Frink

    [1] Answer? Boot from the Windows98 partition! Yes, an honest-to-god
    Win98 partition on a Linux server, there purely and solely to boot Linux
    via loadlin.exe. Excellent.

    --
    Doctor J. Frink : 'Rampant Ribald Ringtail'
    See his mind here : http://www.cmp.liv.ac.uk/frink/
    Annoy his mind here : pjf at cmp dot liv dot ack dot ook
    "No sir, I didn't like it!" - Mr Horse

  11. Re: Computer Relics

    Jamie wrote:

    > I bought an ethernet card from PC World a week ago - my old PC didn't
    > have one and I needed it to set up a "wireless router" (oxymoron [1])
    > I'd bought the day before - and it came with an effing floppy with the
    > drivers on! My computer may be old but hasn't had a floppy drive in
    > it for years - buggers didn't mention that on the box.


    Really? Mine's 18 months (or so) old, and it has one. I'll admit I was a
    bit surprised when I bought it, but there it is.

    > Nor did the installation instructions mention that I'd need my
    > Windows disc too, which happened to be 5 miles away...
    >
    > I hate PCs.


    Don't we all?

    > [1] As was the divot in Comet who answered my explicit question...
    > wrongly!


    Tch. As bad as Dixons, that lot.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

  12. Re: Computer Relics

    Doctor J. Frink wrote:

    > I fully expect to still be using floppies 50 bloody years from now.


    "Hello, Stannah tech support. You're stuck halfway up? Have you tried
    switching it off an... okay, there's no need for that kind of language
    sir. Do you have a boot floppy?"

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

  13. Re: Computer Relics

    Duncan Snowden wrote:

    > "Hello, Stannah tech support. You're stuck halfway up? Have you tried
    > switching it off an... okay, there's no need for that kind of
    > language sir. Do you have a boot floppy?"



    Hi Duncan!



    Was that from Tape or Life ?



    Best Regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  14. Re: Computer Relics

    On 15 Feb 2007 01:26:16 GMT, "Daniel Mandic"
    wrote:

    >Duncan Snowden wrote:
    >
    >> "Hello, Stannah tech support. You're stuck halfway up? Have you tried
    >> switching it off an... okay, there's no need for that kind of
    >> language sir. Do you have a boot floppy?"

    >
    >
    >Hi Duncan!
    >
    >
    >
    >Was that from Tape or Life ?
    >
    >



    No, it was from "The IT Crowd"

  15. Re: Computer Relics

    Lister wrote:

    > No, it was from "The IT Crowd"



    I like the timing (Regie) the Tape Machine is beginning to play


    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic


  16. Re: Computer Relics

    In article <45d2531e$0$1345$834e42db@reader.greatnowhere.com>, Duncan
    Snowden writes
    >Jamie wrote:
    >
    >> I bought an ethernet card from PC World a week ago - my old PC didn't
    >> have one and I needed it to set up a "wireless router" (oxymoron [1])
    >> I'd bought the day before - and it came with an effing floppy with the
    >> drivers on! My computer may be old but hasn't had a floppy drive in
    >> it for years - buggers didn't mention that on the box.

    >
    >Really? Mine's 18 months (or so) old, and it has one. I'll admit I was a
    >bit surprised when I bought it, but there it is.


    Well OK. It had one for a while when I first built it, but it was only
    borrowed so had to go back in the older computer which then went to my
    office.

    Luckily I had another old computer at home to borrow one from again.

    >> Nor did the installation instructions mention that I'd need my
    >> Windows disc too, which happened to be 5 miles away...
    >>
    >> I hate PCs.

    >
    >Don't we all?


    Of course. I've only just got an XP machine for work, and plan never
    to use Vista - I wonder if I'll be able to hold out forever.
    >
    >> [1] As was the divot in Comet who answered my explicit question...
    >> wrongly!

    >
    >Tch. As bad as Dixons, that lot.


    All the same now aren't they? Still, the only up side of them is that
    they have stuff one can get ones grubby mitts on right NOW. Otherwise
    it's all online and mostly via work these days.

    On another note, when is the Speccy emulator for the Wii coming out?

    --
    Jamie

  17. Re: Computer Relics

    Jamie wrote:

    >>> I hate PCs.

    >> Don't we all?

    >
    > Of course. I've only just got an XP machine for work, and plan never
    > to use Vista - I wonder if I'll be able to hold out forever.


    Well, I've never used an MS OS on any of my own machines yet, and I
    don't plan to change that any time soon.

    >>> [1] As was the divot in Comet who answered my explicit question...
    >>> wrongly!

    >> Tch. As bad as Dixons, that lot.

    >
    > All the same now aren't they? Still, the only up side of them is that
    > they have stuff one can get ones grubby mitts on right NOW. Otherwise
    > it's all online and mostly via work these days.


    True, true. I rail against them myself, but the joy of handing over the
    readies and walking home with new toys the same day is sometimes too
    hard to resist.

    > On another note, when is the Speccy emulator for the Wii coming out?


    Beats me. I always live at least one generation in the past. It's
    cheaper that way.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

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