[SATLUG] A challenge for all seasoned experts :-)

Daniel Villarreal youcanlinux at gmail.com
Sun Jan 26 20:51:05 CST 2014


Borries,
Have you considered using an old parallel-port Iomega zip drive? I
have a spare one I can loan you, if you need it... if you don't mind
shipping back to NY.

regards,
Daniel Villarreal
http://youcanlinux.org/

On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM, Borries Demeler
<demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:
> THis sounds like a great way to do it - however, I cannot find rbfg.exe on
> any of my windows systems. I looked at win2k, XP and 7. Is there a place
> where I can get a copy or is there an alternative? I did get the floppy
> driver replaced and it is working now. I also tried to read the harddrive
> with my USB adapter, but it must be pre-PATA because it is not recognized.
> In the BIOS it is listed as "TYPE 40". When hooked up directly to the PATA bus
> on another computer the drive isn't recognized.
>
> So, I guess I could copy everything off the drive via floppy now, or
> try to get the rbfg.exe file somewhere...
>
> Thanks for the tip!
> -b.
>
> On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 01:57:20PM -0600, Joe wrote:
>> Definately,  PXE!   Fix that floppy drive. Then you can use a pxe emulator (
>> http://www.lockergnome.com/windows/2006/03/22/create-a-pxe-emulator-boot-floppy/).
>> You still then need a pxe service provider.  You could use a Vm, maybe
>> running Amanda, or some other image management software.  It's a bit of
>> additional work.  But, once it's done, you can boot any computer on your
>> network from the nic and backup or restore through the network.
>>
>> On Sunday, January 26, 2014, Borries Demeler <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 01:20:27PM -0600, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>> > > Borries Demeler wrote:
>> > > >Here is a challenge for all you seasoned experts with previous DOS
>> > experience:
>> > > >
>> > > >I have recently revived an old but excellent spectrophotometer that was
>> > built
>> > > >on top of a 486 motherboard. Miraculously, the motherboard still works
>> > (after
>> > > >resetting the bios with some jumper surgery), but now I am facing a
>> > second
>> > > >hurdle: The spectrophotometer has a bad 3.5" floppy drive that was used
>> > to output
>> > > >the data. All floppies I have tried fail to be recognized, although
>> > > >they work fine on some other computer which has a floppy drive.
>> > >
>> > > Wow.  DOD-3.3 was released in April, 1987.  The i486 was released in
>> > > 1989.  The first thing I'd do is try to replace the floppy drive so
>> > > I could get some sort of input or output.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >  So forget
>> > > >the floppies - don't want to deal with them anyway. There is an old
>> > 3c509
>> > > >network card (isa) in this spectrophotometer that has a (presumably)
>> > 10baseT
>> > > >cat 5 ethernet connector. The whole system is running MSDOS DOS 3.3.
>> > > >The software controlling the spec needs DOS (its not a windows program).
>> > >
>> > > Any possibility of running the program in a virtual system on a
>> > > modern machine?  What's the interface to the HW?  Is it a simple
>> > > serial port or some kind of proprietary connection?
>> >
>> > That's the problem, there are about 6 ISA controller boards in there,
>> > so I couldn't move the system to a newer hardware where that would be
>> > an option, as nice as it would be - but then there would be the question
>> > of making all the interrupts and I/O addresses work as well...anyway,
>> > I don't know how to get around that.
>> >
>> > > >So, right now everything is stored on an old 40 MB (!) seagate
>> > harddrive,
>> > > >which also miraculously still works. I want to first make a backup of
>> > the
>> > > >whole system and then find some backup hardware that can be retrofitted
>> > > >onto the old motherboard in case other stuff fails - the spec is really
>> > > >high quality and I would hate to lose it. The controller boards are all
>> > > >ISA and so I cannot use a new motherboard.
>> > >
>> > > You could remove the HD and put it into a modern system for copying.
>> > > You can use an ide to sata connector:
>> > > http://www.amazon.com/IDE-SATA-Adapter/dp/B000RK89M4 if you can't
>> > > find a system with ide.  My 2005 Dell has an ide for the CD-ROM.
>> >
>> > I could do that, I have one of these devices - good idea, but not a
>> > permanent solution for transferring files.
>> >
>> > > 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FR (ICH6/ICH6R) LPC
>> > > Interface Bridge (rev 03)
>> > > 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6
>> > > Family) IDE Controller (rev 03)
>> > >
>> > > >For now, I would be happy to somehow just get the 3c509 network card to
>> > > >work under dos 3.3 and hook up an ethernet cable and be able to dump
>> > files
>> > > >out over the network. Now I forgot pretty much anything about DOS
>> > networking
>> > > >and wouldn't know where to get the files. I can probably find an old
>> > driver
>> > > >on the harddrive for the 3c509 card, but maybe there is something else
>> > > >available? What is the best way to network this old computer, and where
>> > > >could I find the necessary software?
>> > > >
>> > > >command line ftp, scp, rsync or similar would be fantastic, am I asking
>> > > >for too much? What are my options here? The machine has 4 MB of RAM, and
>> > > >is a 486. I *might* be able to find some more RAM for this if this is
>> > > >necessary.
>> > >
>> > > I'd be interested in how DOS 3.3 addresses 4MB.  Standard DOS was
>> >
>> > Only as a ram drive. It is not until you install a 32 bit OS like win3.1
>> > that you can actually use the RAM > 640 kb. Question is: How do I get
>> > a tcp/ip network set up under DOS?
>> >
>> > > only 640K, but there was the ability to swap memory via the eXtended
>> > > Memory Specification (XMS).  This was in the application of course
>> > > since DOS was only a program loader, not an operating system.
>> > >
>> > > Interesting project.  Good luck.
>> > >
>> > >   -- Bruce
>> > >
>> > > --
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