S-100 Boards

I recently purchased several S-100 boards from eBay; the prices were good and I figured one of these days I’ll find some documentation for them, or I’ll have the time to chase signals enough to figure out what they do. One looks like an old Winchester MFM or RLL drive board, given the connectors and the number of pins. Another resembles some sort of IDE adapter board. All are by manufacturers with little or no information available. Makes things interesting, I guess. Also have an Alpha Micro AM-919 backplane with lots of slots. Not currently hooked up, still sitting in the shipping box, but should be handy one of these days. Hopefully I’ll come across a set of drawings for it, just to make sure everything is wired the way my smaller AM board is.

Next College Session

Starting the next session on Monday. Systems Analysis and Design Methods, along with Java Programming. I’ve worked as a System Analyst, so I’ll be interested to see what the best practices are vs. what I was actually doing. I already know some of it was wrong, but the corporate culture insisted… 🙂 I did try to work with the users and managers as much as possible to understand the underlying processes and demands.

Also found http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com. Looks like MS must have figured out that you can’t survive on charging people for everything associated with your basic product. They actually have some good training, based on my initial visits. Looking forward to going through several of their programs to see what I learn. The price is good, at least (free).

Next: CLEP and DSST testing. Hopefully, I can bypass about 5 or 6 classes.

Another college session down

Yet another college session down, this time Programming III and Western Civ II. Hopefully, both grades will be respectable. Next up? Not sure yet; I’d like to take a couple of technical classes this time with no “fluff” (don’t tell anyone I said that). However, the tech classes can get kinda busy… Oh, well, so many classes, so few years left to live. Come on lottery! Can you say permanent student?

Ext2Fsd Installation on Windows 8

Ext2Fsd may or may not be directly supported on Win 8. Either way, I couldn’t get it to install without a couple of changes. Your mileage may vary, of course…

Right click on the installation file for 0.51; this is the version that I’m using. Select Properties and then change the compatibility settings to Run as Administrator and Windows 7.

My experience so far has been that everything appears to work properly, but I’m using a file synch program just in case. The initial copying that I attempted missed a lot of files but I might not have given everything time to load properly.

As a note, if you are unable to display the files, check on Ext2Fsd program to make sure the service is started. Otherwise, Windows thinks you have a blank drive.

I’m using Ext2Fsd with a Xubuntu drive to copy my data off. So far, so good…

S-100 and Other Computing History from Dr. Alan Wilcox

For those who might be interested, I met with Dr. Wilcox last year at his home and took possession of a number of items relating to his books regarding the 68000 CPU and his S-100 board. I’ve unfortunately run behind on getting these items onto the ‘Net as he was gracious enough to agree that I could post scans of all of his hand-written notes, etc., so long he received proper credit. I haven’t had time to start that part of the process, but I thought I’d make a quick post of his remaining 68k S-100 board, which was wire-wrapped. I’ve just now started getting enough of a system together to be able to bring some of my boards live, but look forward to booting this board as well as the N8VEM 68k board.

(Sorry, these are a little shaky. I haven’t quite gotten the use of the new phone yet. Will post better pics with wife’s camera.)




Also, does anyone recognize this enclosure/S-100 computer? It has a plain white top and bottom, black front and punched back for several DB25 connectors. It contains a CCS Z80 CPU board and (2) CCS 16K Static Ram boards.



Systemax 223II0 and AROS 1.5.x

I finally had a chance to upgrade my AROS 1.4 installation on my 223II0 (Fujitsu, Alienware, Uniwill, Systemax, whatever) to the 1.5.x distro. Actually, I went ahead and re-formatted as I really didn’t have anything significant installed. Just a quick note that everything worked on 1.4 with no problems, although I had replaced the MiniPCI wireless card with an Atheros-based one (the original was Broadcom).

The first thing to note is that my installation took about 20 minutes, not hours as some report for their systems. Also, everything continued to work out of the box, with the wireless note above. Basically, if you want an AROS laptop and 3D isn’t an issue right now, this might be a really good choice. The Atheros wireless card was $4.95 including shipping. I bought the laptop new in 2003 (I think) and paid dearly…

I noticed that there is a GMA950 driver that I have not yet tried as I’m using the generic VESA driver. This doesn’t seem to be a problem so far but I’m hoping to try the other driver. My integrated video is an old version so it probably doesn’t support 3D, but I like to tinker.

If anyone expresses interest, I’ll try to grab a few screenshots. I’m going to be installing some software over the coming weeks, but so far I’ve been very pleased with the performance of AROS. One issue that I’ve had across the board is using Live Update; it doesn’t seem to work from the Internet, requiring me to download update files instead. Not a big deal, but kind of defeats the purpose.