machine survey - Sinclair

This is a discussion on machine survey - Sinclair ; On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 Kevin Reilly wrote: > 1983: Sinclair Spectrum 16K. Christmas present. > 1984: Sinclair Spectrum 48K. Same machine, DIY upgrade. >c1990: Part-swapped original Spectrum for another 48K attached to Opus > Discovery 1. For the really ...

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Thread: machine survey

  1. Re: machine survey

    On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 Kevin Reilly wrote:

    > 1983: Sinclair Spectrum 16K. Christmas present.
    > 1984: Sinclair Spectrum 48K. Same machine, DIY upgrade.
    >c1990: Part-swapped original Spectrum for another 48K attached to Opus
    > Discovery 1. For the really curious I think the other part of
    > the swap was a CB radio. Currently in storage.


    I missed one out here. Sometime around 1987 I bought an 8K Commodore PET
    (technically a CBM model 4008) from my old school for a fiver. It had
    sentimental value because it was the machine I first learned to program
    on back in 1981.

    When I opened it up it was full of old crisp packets and various other
    bits of crap that students had posted through the slots over the years,
    and at least a decade's worth of dust. During the mammoth cleaning
    session I managed to break three legs off two socketed chips, but was
    able to restore them by filing away part of the chip bodies to expose
    the conductors, then jamming sewing pins into the chip sockets and
    bending them over to make electrical contact with the chips. Fired it up
    and it worked perfectly. Try doing that with a dual-core Intel.

    A couple of years later I bought a tractor-feed Commodore printer and
    dual PET 5.25" floppy drives from a boot sale for a tenner. The printer
    worked for a while but was of limited use (like the PET display itself
    it could print upper case or lower case, but not both at the same time).

    The drives were DOA and so full of clag as to be beyond restoration.

    The PET itself died sometime in the 1990s if memory serves. It had been
    in storage for a while and the screen was dead when I turned it on.
    Another of those projects I kept to one side intending to fix, it and
    the peripherals were eventually thrown out in 2004 when my girlfriend
    moved in and I needed the space.

    I still sometimes regret binning the machine itself. There's something
    cosmetically similar sitting on Gene Hunt's desk in the current TV
    series Ashes To Ashes that gives a twinge of nostalgia whenever I notice
    it. I could pick another up on eBay, but it wouldn't be "my" PET.

    --
    Kev
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    "Mrs Lukes was caught beneath the car and taken to St. Joseph's Hospital
    with severely fractured bones. The bones were on their way to
    Woonsocket to spend their holiday." Connecticut newspaper

  2. Re: machine survey

    Chris Young wrote:

    > On 22 Feb 2008 23:23:45 GMT da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    > to MC Daniel Mandic:
    >
    >> P.S.: 1GB???? this is 1996 stuff..... are you sleeping??

    >
    > I don't know anybody who had 1GB in 1996, you were lucky to have 64MB
    > back then. Most were struggling to run Windows 95 with 16MB IIRC.


    Yep. I felt pretty 1337 with 32Mb in my Amiga back then.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

  3. Re: machine survey

    Bohus Krįl wrote:

    > I bought 2 slots of 1GB, but it didn't work in this mainboard, so I
    > let it be and remained with 2 slots of 512MB apacer.
    >
    > B


    dump it

    take a power saving P3 (Cu), or at least a real Ghz-beast alla
    thoroughbred or better, Barton. With KT880, or at least NForce2.

    P4 is nothing good for, except marevelous video speed and power
    consumption. The P3 holds also ISSE1... works well for YouTube!



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

    P.S.: ;-)



  4. Re: machine survey

    Chris Young wrote:

    > On 22 Feb 2008 23:23:45 GMT da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    > to MC Daniel Mandic:
    >
    > > P.S.: 1GB???? this is 1996 stuff..... are you sleeping??

    >
    > I don't know anybody who had 1GB in 1996, you were lucky to have 64MB
    > back then. Most were struggling to run Windows 95 with 16MB IIRC.
    >
    > Chris


    Technically. Sorry! It was technically possible....

    I had ... hmmm 64MB in my A2000/060 and 32MB in my i486DX4/100.

    ~1996 LX chipset... (BX was already finished)... 1GB! 4x256MB 16MX8
    LX too, AFAIK!



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic


  5. Re: machine survey

    I remember starting my current job back in November 1996.

    The Pentium 60 had only recently started to become widely available
    here, and the 486DX/66 and 486DX/100 were in very wide use, perhaps
    being the most common systems in use at the time where I worked.

    As the new person starting in the office, I was given whatever scraps
    were available and told (with help) to build a PC out of them.

    I was given a 486DX/66 which could be easily overclocked to 80MHz, and
    8MB RAM.

    I scrounged around and eventually found an additional 4MB of RAM, and
    managed to put a 12MB configuration together, woohoo!

    I remember back then that many 486 boards had something like 8 RAM
    slots on them.

    The above was fine for me as at the time we were running Windows 95 on
    top of a DOS network protocol stack (DEC ISA network cards with
    jumpers on them).

    My main job back then was UNIX system administration (SunOS and then
    later Solaris), so all I really had to run was an X-Server on top of
    Windows, and a core set of Windows apps. This was all fine.

    We also had a "multimedia PC" available in one of the research labs,
    this had 4MB RAM and the speakers had been nicked. I don't even think
    it met the archaic "MPC1" standards (anyone remember MPC1?).

    I had to laugh when some student had changed the scrolling text
    screensaver to read "Call this a multimedia PC? I've seen more
    multimedia down the toilet."

    Still I think 24MB was the highest amount of RAM I ever saw in a
    single machine at the time, but then again we always were behind the
    times, being in a cash-strapped university.

  6. Re: machine survey

    Digital Prawn wrote:

    > I had to laugh when some student had changed the scrolling text
    > screensaver to read "Call this a multimedia PC? I've seen more
    > multimedia down the toilet."


    Hi Digital Prawn!


    A '386 and a CD-ROM Drive' is a Multimedia PC ;-). Or is this possibly
    one outsay more, which Bill Gates did never say....!?



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  7. Re: machine survey

    > Hi Digital Prawn!
    >
    > A '386 and a CD-ROM Drive' is a Multimedia PC ;-). Or is this possibly
    > one outsay more, which Bill Gates did never say....!?
    >
    > Best regards,
    >
    > Daniel Mandic


    Hi Daniel,

    Yes, you are right. A CD-ROM drive was the key multimedia component
    back then. You have just reminded me that systems from even earlier
    than I remember were indeed classed as "multimedia PCs".

    The earliest multimedia system of any architecture that I remember
    seeing here in the UK was a BBC Master computer with a SCSI interface
    and a laserdisc drive for reading the LV-ROM disks used in the BBC's
    "The Domesday Project".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Domesday_Project
    I saw this sometime back around 1988 in school, although it appears to
    have been released in 1986.
    When the system started talking it gave most of the schoolkids a bit
    of a shock, as we just didn't expect it at the time.

    Another interesting fact I remembered about 1996 was that a CD writing
    drive cost around £600, only supported 1x speed burning of 650MB
    disks, didn't support rewritables, the blank disks were around £7 each
    and coasters were commonplace. By 1998 this had dropped to £250 for
    the drives and £1.20 per disk.

    But how things have moved on very rapidly from then!

    Best Regards, DP

  8. Re: machine survey

    On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 18:39:41 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Duncan Snowden:

    > >> P.S.: 1GB???? this is 1996 stuff..... are you sleeping??

    > >
    > > I don't know anybody who had 1GB in 1996, you were lucky to have 64MB
    > > back then. Most were struggling to run Windows 95 with 16MB IIRC.

    >
    > Yep. I felt pretty 1337 with 32Mb in my Amiga back then.


    I was still struggling along with 2MB. I upgraded to 68030+10MB in
    1998 after I got a proper job.

    IIRC I quickly upgraded that to 18MB when I found a cheap (somewhere
    between 15 and 20 quid) 16MB SIMM at a computer fair I was dragged
    along to.

    My Dad was running a P90 or P120 Tiny PC at the time, I forget how
    much memory it had but compared to my A1200 it crawled. That's
    Windows for you though, there's no way Windows PCs deserved to get as
    popular (for home use) as they did.

    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.

  9. Re: machine survey

    Chris Young wrote:

    > On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 18:39:41 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    > to MC Duncan Snowden:
    >
    >>>> P.S.: 1GB???? this is 1996 stuff..... are you sleeping??
    >>> I don't know anybody who had 1GB in 1996, you were lucky to have 64MB
    >>> back then. Most were struggling to run Windows 95 with 16MB IIRC.

    >> Yep. I felt pretty 1337 with 32Mb in my Amiga back then.

    >
    > I was still struggling along with 2MB. I upgraded to 68030+10MB in
    > 1998 after I got a proper job.


    I remember it was a huge amount at the time, because it's not very often
    that I'm ahead of the curve. In fact, that was pretty much it.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.



  10. Re: machine survey

    Duncan Snowden wrote:

    > 2005: Finally submitted to a boring old PC. But not Windows. Ooooh no.
    > (1.8GHz Athlon or something. Who cares? It's has no soul.)


    Not the power saviest sys, but 'pretty fast' (and) for almost
    'anything'....



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  11. Re: machine survey

    Digital Prawn wrote:

    > > Hi Digital Prawn!
    > >
    > > A '386 and a CD-ROM Drive' is a Multimedia PC ;-). Or is this
    > > possibly one outsay more, which Bill Gates did never say....!?
    > >
    > > Best regards,
    > >
    > > Daniel Mandic

    >
    > Hi Daniel,
    >
    > Yes, you are right. A CD-ROM drive was the key multimedia component
    > back then. You have just reminded me that systems from even earlier
    > than I remember were indeed classed as "multimedia PCs".
    >
    > The earliest multimedia system of any architecture that I remember
    > seeing here in the UK was a BBC Master computer with a SCSI interface
    > and a laserdisc drive for reading the LV-ROM disks used in the BBC's
    > "The Domesday Project".
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Domesday_Project
    > I saw this sometime back around 1988 in school, although it appears to
    > have been released in 1986.
    > When the system started talking it gave most of the schoolkids a bit
    > of a shock, as we just didn't expect it at the time.
    >
    > Another interesting fact I remembered about 1996 was that a CD writing
    > drive cost around £600, only supported 1x speed burning of 650MB
    > disks, didn't support rewritables, the blank disks were around £7 each
    > and coasters were commonplace. By 1998 this had dropped to £250 for
    > the drives and £1.20 per disk.
    >
    > But how things have moved on very rapidly from then!
    >
    > Best Regards, DP


    I see one of the best companies in that project.... (Acorn,
    Philips.....)

    But where is the finite limit for a computer system, to show
    individual, geographical, or limited forecasted happenings, and still
    events, in a manner which would satisfy as it really looks like live.

    As this will never happen, I reduce to this I need...


    Surely a good project (domesday), though. Maybe it can say more than
    many today influenced (we don't give up) information sites!!!



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  12. Re: machine survey

    Quoting messianic light's message of Thursday:

    > what was your first computer and how have you progressed?


    That was the Spectrum 48K, in 1985, after having used my brother's
    Spectrum 48K+ for a while. For some reason I bought a Commodore Plus/4
    in about 1986, but stayed on with the Spectrum too. Then a Sharp
    PC-1246 pocket computer (with a whole 2K of RAM!) at about the same
    time. A friend broke my Spectrum, so I ended up using my brother's
    Amiga 500 a lot in 1988. Then I got a Sinclair QL on the cheap in 1990,
    and picked up a Psion Organiser II LZ at about the same time, and a
    4.77MHz IBM PC by about 1991. It's been PCs of various specs on my
    desktop since then. But in 1999 I got a Psion Series 3a, and in 2000 a
    Psion Series 5mx, which I still have and think of as my main computer,
    not the PC. I had an Amiga 600 from 2000 to 2007, though I gave that
    away, and somewhere I think I still have a Commodore 64C that a friend
    gave me. Oh, and in 2007 I bought another Spectrum 48k.

    --
    Damian - http://damian.snigfarp.karoo.net/
    Put "sausage" in the subject of email replies to avoid my spam trap.

  13. Re: machine survey


    "messianic light" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:06167b61-09b0-48be-b516-39a3a4762a3d@o10g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >I have a ZX81 with detached keyboard not tested yet, but a tested one
    > coming in the post
    >
    > the ZX81 was my first computer, then I went for a Dragon 32
    >
    > what was your first computer and how have you progressed?


    I was a really early starter and founder member of the ACC (Amateur computer
    club) in the UK (run by Mike Lord - whatever happened to him).

    1973 - Own designed 10 bit ULO510 computer appeared in the first ACC
    Newsletter

    1974 - Rebuilt a scrap Honewell 112, 12 bit computer and added lots of
    peripherals including a Creed teleprinter
    you can see it at
    http://www.spencerweb.net/Ian_and_Ju.../the_h112.html

    ca.1981 ZX81 which I expanded with 48KB RAM and lots of own built
    peripherals

    ca.1983 - ZX Spectrum 48K got one of the early ones, I think the serial
    number was 000401, still have it somewhere

    1989 .- Sam Coupe got it just after Christmas and it became my favourite
    computer of all time. The best 8 bit machine ever made.

    ca.1996 gave in to the pressure of getting on the Internet with an IBM PC
    and bought my first Windows/DOS PC but I still use
    the SAM Emulator for quite a few things.

    Brought back some memories.
    Ian




  14. Re: machine survey

    On Feb 21, 9:48 pm, messianic light
    wrote:
    > I have a ZX81 with detached keyboard not tested yet, but a tested one
    > coming in the post
    >
    > the ZX81 was my first computer, then I went for a Dragon 32
    >
    > what was your first computer and how have you progressed?


    Has anbody noticed from the replies here how many people had a rather
    Luddite late 80s/early 90s, where they stopped buying 8 bits but
    refused to make the jump to PCs yet?
    Maybe it was just a recession or something!

  15. Re: machine survey

    On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 DanSolo wrote:

    >Has anbody noticed from the replies here how many people had a rather
    >Luddite late 80s/early 90s, where they stopped buying 8 bits but
    >refused to make the jump to PCs yet?
    >Maybe it was just a recession or something!


    Personally I stuck with 8-bit into the early 1990s because as a student
    it was all I could afford. By the time I got my first paying job and
    could afford something decent, I figured the Amiga was a better machine
    for my needs than any early 90s PC clone could hope to be.

    A friend had a second-hand PS2 that I used to play around with circa
    1991/1992, and it was interesting from an academic point of view to see
    the sort of architecture that was coming to dominate the office
    environment, but as an all-round machine for basic word processing,
    games, graphics and especially sound, the Amiga couldn't be touched. I
    still remember coming home with my first second-hand A500 and having to
    take the next day off work because I'd stayed up until 6am running
    various demo disks and being completely blown away by the quality of the
    AV.

    My the time of my early internet experiences circa 1994 I'd upgraded to
    an A1200 and used that as my internet access box. While it flagged a bit
    as the WWW took off and more and more things became browser based, as a
    straightforward e-mail, usenet, FTP and IRC platform it was great.

    It was really only the combination of CD-ROM gaming and the pace of
    change in browser technology that finally encouraged me to make the jump
    to PCs in 1995. Had I been able to afford a more powerful Amiga than my
    A1200 I may even have stayed with the Commodore machines a bit longer,
    but by then it was clear which way the tide was turning.

    --
    Kev
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"
    Lawyer in US court

  16. Re: machine survey

    On 27 Feb, 16:32, DanSolo wrote:
    > On Feb 21, 9:48 pm, messianic light
    > wrote:
    >
    > > I have a ZX81 with detached keyboard not tested yet, but a tested one
    > > coming in the post

    >
    > > the ZX81 was my first computer, then I went for a Dragon 32

    >
    > > what was your first computer and how have you progressed?

    >
    > Has anbody noticed from the replies here how many people had a rather
    > Luddite late 80s/early 90s, where they stopped buying 8 bits but
    > refused to make the jump to PCs yet?
    > Maybe it was just a recession or something!


    it is probably because most of us went to college where we had access
    to PCs as part of the course, so we didn't need to buy a PC even
    though we couldn't afford one

    my first PC was a laptop b/w which I bought for about £300 in 1995
    after selling the Registration Plate A1 RFC for £1500
    the laptop was burgled from my bedroom when I was in hospital, but by
    that time I had a desktop which I still have
    I only upgraded to a better spec desktop when I needed USB ports for
    broadband about 3 or 4 years ago
    and I bought a 98SE colour laptop shortly after
    now I have a WiFi XP laptop with USB mobile modem limited to 3GB per
    month

    I still have the 4 machines, first desktop, second desktop, 98SE
    laptop and XP laptop
    plus today I got a ZX81 and printer in the post but tested my own ZX81
    and it didn't work

    at one time, I used to give a free 95 computer to any customer who
    paid for a 3 page website at £120
    I can get decent PCs for £50, so I may start doing it again...

  17. Re: machine survey

    Quoting DanSolo's message of Yesterday:

    > Has anbody noticed from the replies here how many people had a rather
    > Luddite late 80s/early 90s, where they stopped buying 8 bits but
    > refused to make the jump to PCs yet?
    > Maybe it was just a recession or something!


    You've got to remember how expensive a reasonably well specified PC was
    back then, compared to what was still available in other formats. In
    about 1990 I think the Amiga was going for 399.00, the ST maybe 299.00
    by then, and a PC that could do the same thing would have been at least
    double. The monitor was a necessity rather than a luxury--the only
    choice was between colour and mono--and all the prices had VAT to add in
    those days too. Secondhand machines weren't that common or cheap, as it
    was still the usual practice to upgrade bit by bit--that was the main
    advantage of the PC as a home machine at the time. No wonder some
    people stuck with their Spectrums.

    --
    Damian - http://damian.snigfarp.karoo.net/
    Put "sausage" in the subject of email replies to avoid my spam trap.

  18. Re: machine survey

    Kevin Reilly wrote:

    > It was really only the combination of CD-ROM gaming and the pace of
    > change in browser technology that finally encouraged me to make the
    > jump to PCs in 1995. Had I been able to afford a more powerful Amiga
    > than my A1200 I may even have stayed with the Commodore machines a
    > bit longer, but by then it was clear which way the tide was turning.


    Hi Kevin!


    I drove the AMIGA (A4000, and then for a long time an A2000 with a
    fully functional 060 Card indeed. The much better Hardware the A2000,
    not in terms of AGA [speed was beside AGA nearly the same. Well, Zorro
    III.... but a Z2 GfX Card is not so much slower IMO, but it was more
    compact and robust, especially the Turbocards did run better at this
    time, except you did await the MK3 Cyberstorm060 for the A4000 ;-).)
    parallel with a PC.

    The times of NT went me to PC more and more. Usenet was possible,
    Internet with 24bit gfx and much crisper and faster GfX, Multitasking.

    I am still not the most powerful PC User and I stop from now on. Some
    surfing (which I do more and more seldomly today.... my surf-times were
    around 1994-1997. Today it's only for information... I can't surf much
    longer than for some hours, it's odd...), some Youtube and some
    pictures from the Universe.

    Off course, a today AMIGA should accomplish that tasks. YouTube, some
    highres pictures, playing music while surfing 100 'Browser Tasks'. All
    without crashing (many internet software is buggy, though, but it
    doesn't take down all the machine, at least, memory protection....),
    and so on......

    Long live the AMIGA!

    For single tasks it is still an interesting machine. It boots in some
    seconds, is ready then immediately, takes lesser power even vs. my
    low.power HiughPower PC... IBM, and it's smoother at processing time.
    And pretty fast, too.



    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  19. Re: machine survey

    Daniel Mandic wrote:

    > For single tasks it is still an interesting machine. It boots in some
    > seconds, is ready then immediately, takes lesser power even vs. my
    > low.power HiughPower PC... IBM, and it's smoother at processing time.
    > And pretty fast, too.


    Sorry for writing so much off topic PC crap and AMIGA babble.


    I am still thinking to use the AMIGA for Usenet. I've tried Windows and
    Linux. Linux is very fast with Usenet (hmmmm, do I need that really,
    with 1024K DSL?), the Windows programs are still the better choice for
    me, even they are slow as crap.

    I can't remember having the same memories going with AMIGA Usenet
    software, as I have met obstacles by using PC kind Usenet-software.
    But Intuinews do have one feature, which I miss on all PC kind stuff,
    even Linux... ;-)

  20. Re: machine survey

    >> The earliest multimedia system of any architecture that I remember
    >> seeing here in the UK was a BBC Master computer with a SCSI interface
    >> and a laserdisc drive for reading the LV-ROM disks used in the BBC's
    >> "The Domesday Project".
    >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Domesday_Project


    I salvated a "Laserdata" brand library periodical databate (InfoTrac)
    that was stored digitally on laserdisks since CD-ROMS were
    not ubiquitious yet. The Pioneer LD-V1000 was used
    since it read data (but was still analog for television)
    http://www.blamld.com/DiscoVision/LD-V1000.htm
    The laserdisk player was popular for video games.
    It was CAV only so it could seek to a specific frame,
    freeze frame perfectly, play at various speeds too.
    http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/...cs/conv_dl.asp

    >> Another interesting fact I remembered about 1996 was that a CD writing
    >> drive cost around £600, only supported 1x speed burning of 650MB
    >> disks, didn't support rewritables, the blank disks were around £7 each
    >> and coasters were commonplace. By 1998 this had dropped to £250 for
    >> the drives and £1.20 per disk.


    I remember being so excited when the HP 4020i was available for
    only US$200-300.[1] I bought one right away and had only coasters to show
    for the first year until the firmware and software errors were corrected.
    I didn't use it enough to trigger the hardware error (bad carriage spring)
    nor did I know about the "secret recall"
    (HP would replace it with the 6020i for customers who complained enough).
    I was /very happy/ to give that drive away once I got Yamaha CD burners.
    They were top rated for mechanism and firmware.
    Of course, they were quickly discontinued
    once the Chinese CD burners flooded the market.

    [1] It was one of the first available for under US $1,000.
    4x read, 2x write.

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