Vintage Software Collection

 

Yesterday All Things DOS started to add TOSEC (The Old School Emulation Center) Apple II program collection. This collection of over 1,000 vintage Apple II Disk images is available free to our valued members. As always membership to All Things DOS is free. Ed is still working to complete this vast collection. Currently he has only completed program starting with the letters A-F. This is in addition to our vast collection of early DOS programs. We will update our site as this project progresses. This morning Ed added a collection of over 200 vintage Commodore 64 disk images to our site.

Currently All Things DOS has not attempted to use either set of programs to build disks for our systems. We just haven’t reached the point where our collection is ready. Once we do so, complete instructions for using these images will be added to the program page. For now I am sorry to say you are on your own. Please share with us you experiences including what works and what doesn’t so that we may share the good and the bad with our members.

It is the goal of All Things DOS to provide a collection of pictures, software, manuals, tips, and tricks to as many vintage computer systems as possible. Currently All Things DOS is a project ran by Ed and Tom.  There are just the two of use. Both of us are disabled living on a limited income. We can’t afford to buy all the vintage computers we want, nor do we have the time to do everything we want with this site. We ask all our friends to please share pictures, information excreta about their vintage systems and experience. Anyone interested in becoming part of the All Things DOS team please contact us for more information.

Don’t let are name fool you we are not JUST about DOS based computers we are about all forms of vintage computing micros, minis, and main frames, we love them all.

Donations

20130518-194648.jpgtoday All Things DOS accepted the donation of a collection of vintage computer systems. Including two old TRS computers several Mac computers, a compaq portable II and more amount these are several printers.

Ed brought the compaq portable in to his office to test it, but needs to download the diagnostic disk so he cannon figure the system bios. Expect more on this soon.

There is also a Macintosh M0001, the worlds first Mac. Ed has been looking for one of these for awhile so excited to get into it. However at this time they do not have the mouse for it, Ed is hopping he can get this vintage system up and running soon. If anyone has a PDF of the hardware manual, the can send Ed at ed@allthingsdos.com that would be great. He also needs the tool to open the M0001 case.

Stay tuned for a complete inventory, pictures, write ups and more to come as Ed and Tom dig into their newest finds.

All Things DOS continues to look for vintage equipment to restore and add to our growing collection. Feel free to contact our webmaster at webmaster@allthingsdos.com or call him at (702) 517-3885 we are looking for original equipment, software and manuals. Also needed is a digital camera for Ed to use when working on the vintage systems. As well as a FireWire adapter for a PC to allow them to digitizer movies for posting on the site.

IBM DOS Game Library

In an effort to make All Things DOS more valuable to our valued membership. WE have been working hard to make our extensive program library, image gallery, and magazine articles available to our members. Today All Things DOS has made over 100 vintage DOS Games available to or members at http://allthingsdos.com/ibm-dos-games/. Please check out our addition and share it with your friends.

The program library is available free to our members. You must be a member and logged into our site to access these files.  Membership is free.

Images wanted

AllThings DOS is putting a call out for original picture of vintage computers and equipment. Please send us pictures of your vintage computers inside and out.

Vintage Computer Images

IMG_0013All Things DOS has added hundreds of vintage computer images to our site. Check out our Image Gallery for free access to these images.

Stay tuned as we update our program library and collection of vintage manuals access of which will be limited to members logged in to our site. Membership is free.

The best laid plans of mice and men

Data General 3/12 computer

Data General 3/12 computer

Yes our name is All Things DOS. Originally the site was going to concentrate on the Original IBM Personal Computer the IBM-5150 PC. However being geeks things don’t always go as planned. And by the way DOS did not start with the IBM PC it was around long before then DOS stands for Disk Operating System, the first DOS Ed worked on was RTDOS (Real Time Disk Operating System on the Data General Nova 3/12 mini computer. Which by the way was taller than Ed so much for the name Mini.

Apple IIe

Apple IIe

Here at All Things DOS the decision was made to include all early computers anything over about 35 years old. For the record the Apple IIe computer did offer a DOS program though in the early days Ed never used it His experience with the Apple IIe dealt with writing Basic programs something he has long since forgotten.

Changes to our Site and more services

Due to a fault WordPress update. All Things DOS Suffered a major data loss earlier this year we are working to restore the lost files and images as fast as we can. Please check out our new layout and let us know what you think. All Things DOS is now offering repair and restoration services as well as Web Design through our parent organization Lost eBits Publishing visit our Sales, Service, and Training page for more information,

Tom

Just a quick note for all those who have gotten to know Tom. He is in the hospital again more throwing up blood. I’ll update the post when we know more.

The Final Countdown!

Ed has been working on my IBM and expansion unit for the last three to four weeks now. It’s not because Ed is just taking his time, but because there are so many other things going on in his life. I am actually surprised that he’s gotten as much done as he has.

Now that the final stage of assembly is done, Ed has been trying to get the boot drive configured, so he can run a low level format. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, in order to use a drive for the first time, or in many cases, the first time with a new controller, the drive had to be low level formatted, then Fdisk had to be run followed by a standard Format. All that had to be done before the operating system could be installed. Luckily the installation of the operating system, or OS only took a few minutes.

Well that’s how it is supposed to work. However there are some combinations of drives and controllers that just don’t like to play well together. So other programs are there to help. In this case, a nifty little bit of code called Spinrite. Spinrite is a great utility to completely wipe a drive, and allow the low level format of older drives. The program is pretty system dependant though. You don’t want to run Spinrite for Windows on one of the first hard disks because the low level format is missing. Low Level Formatting was made obsolete with the advent of newer smarter hard drives.

So that’s where we are right now, or to be more specific, that’s where Ed is right now. I know there were two versions of Spinrite in the software collection I gave Ed when he took the computer, but neither of us know just yet if either version will get him through that final stage.

Ed is and always has been my best friend. So I will give him all the time he needs, and hope that it won’t be much longer. After all, you can’t just take a vintage IBM to a computer repair store in Las Vegas. The very first thing they will tell you is to buy a new computer.

So I will say to Ed: Thank you very, very much. I hope you’re feeling better, and above all, I hope Alice goes smoothly from this point forward just so you won’t have to work on her, and that will be one less thing you have to worry about.

I can’t wait to see all the pictures and the documentation. We’ll be posting Alice’s final rebuild as soon as Ed has her up and running. We’ll be including data sheets for each and every piece of hardware installed. We’ll also include a pic of each part on each data sheet too. Once we have all of the data sheets assembled, we’ll create a binder which you can purchase here through our page. The binder will include instructions for installing each piece of hardware, how to set the IRQ, if one is required, and programming considerations.

As always, please feel free to contact use here by clicking on the Contact link. Leave your comments, questions and suggestions. We would love to hear from you.

Children of the 60’s

Those of us born in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s have a unique perspective on life and technology. We grew up and watched the world change around us. We watched as video games came from the arcade and into our homes. We watched as early gaming systems became more and more powerful, and we watched as the personal computer made it’s way into our living rooms. Names like Commodore, Apple, Radio Shack and finally IBM were commanding and demanding more and more attention.

By the time children of that time frame made it their teens, they saw a completely different world than the one left behind. Transistors were making way for new IC chip technology, which meant that some of the items on our homes could be made with far fewer parts, and far smaller than the same thing manufactured only 10 years previously. At the same time though, IC chips were themselves a new growing industry. There were only a handful of locations on the planet where these new chips could be manufactured. Circuits were tiny, yet chips manufactured back then don’t come close to the complexity of new chip designs.

It was the advent of the home computer that drove IC chip production and eventually made the transistor obsolete. Think about it. When was the last time you saw a ‘New” transistor radio being sold at the local drug store, electronics store or even big chain locations? The same thing happened with fuses.

Edison and Marconi were both experimenting with radio waves and equipment during the late 1800’s using equipment that would be considered crude by today’s standards. So while the first radio receivers relied on crystals; there was no effective way to amplify their volume. And while Marconi was explaining to the world how on Dec 12, at 12:00 PM, he received the first ever Trans-Atlantic radio broadcast.

It wasn’t until 1905 to 1907 that the very first fuse radio receivers were being developed. An American named Lee de Forest, a competitor to Marconi, set about to develop receiver technology that did not infringe any patents to which Marconi had access. He took out a number of patents during the two years between 1905 and 1907 covering a variety of developments that culminated in the form of the triode valve in which there was a third electrode called a grid. He called this an audion tube; the very first tube amplified tube radio. From there it took only

Transistors were developed beginning in 1947, and within only a couple of years, the size of radios went from large cabinet sized furniture pieces that sat next to a wall, or in a corner to something that could be carried in a coat pocket. Components also shrank in size and number as transistors made their way into every aspect of our lives. And while the transistor made things simpler and more reliable, the next phase in electronics development, the IC was just around the corner.

IC chips replaced not only the transistor, but diodes, capacitors, and other electronic components. That made it possible to create entire circuits on a single layer of silicon. That small piece of silicon would then become the new backbone of the electronics frontier, and again, the children of the ’60’s were there to watch it all happen.

The first IC chips in computers were very simple in comparison to today’s’ massively compressed circuitry designs. Yet their use effectively made the home computer a reality. If not for the creation of the IC chip, computers would still be quite rare, and only a handful would probably be in use, simply because of the size requirements to duplicate the circuitry of the IC chip using standardized components. Those components were not nearly as reliable either.

Think of it this way. Your home computer has enough transistors; over 3 million in fact, that in order to create a circuit board to contain just them, not including diodes, capacitors, etc. the circuit board would be well on the way to becoming the size of the wall on the side of your home. And that is just one chip.

So yes, we children of the 60’s have seen a lot of changes. In fact there were more changes in the 1960’s alone than in the previous hundreds of years. It’s a wonder we were all able to keep up.

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