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.

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