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Re: It works!

Postby Franko » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:34 pm

Thanks to KenG's generous offer to mail the drivers on disk, I now have a working Micro Solutions Backpack 3.5" drive on my PCjr. Thanks, Ken!

I've got 40 or 50 5.25" DSDD disks from the mid 1980s to early 1990s, and will have to work my way through them. So far I've checked about 10, and have only run across one disk that the PCjr won't read -- one containing dBase II. I was happy to see that my original IBM Macro Assembler 2.0 and assembler working disks were all readable. I also had copies of XLisp and Forth83, but never got into them too deeply. I remember that back in the day I'd bought copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator and a mildly interesting chatterbot program called Racter (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racter), but unfortunately they seem to be missing now.

At this point, here are a few things I'm wondering about if anyone has the time to offer suggestions:

-- I see I have a 3M 5.25" head cleaning diskette, which instead of magnetic media contains a white sheet of a material kind of like a Kimwipe. You're supposed to apply liquid cleaner and put it in the disk drive. Does this seem like a safe way to clean the drive, or am I better off using other methods?

-- In addition to the DSDD disks, I have a certain number of 5.25" DSHD disks labeled "IBM AT 1.6MB" -- these were obviously for a later computer. Is there any chance that any of these could have been formatted for 360K and so I should check them on the PCjr? Or is the fact that they're DSHD mean that physically there's no way the PCjr drive will read them?

-- Although I thought I had an IBM monochrome monitor for the PCjr, I see that it's actually from a vendor called Comrex (model CR-5400). I bought the amber version and found it easier on the eye than the green monochrome monitors popular in that era. It connects to the PCjr with one RCA-type connector. Now I'm wondering if there are other options for displays that wouldn't be too difficult to set up. I don't suppose there's an easy way to connect a PCjr to a current-day HDMI flat-screen monitor? Is there any particular type or model of PCjr-compatible color monitor that's popular and not too hard to find through sources like eBay?

-- As another file transfer option, this morning I ordered an inexpensive RCA PC2200P parallel port compact flash reader from eBay. It's just the hardware and doesn't include any drivers. Will I need drivers to use it with the PCjr? A web search turns up this link: https://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=74344 which is described as being for Windows 95 and 98. Is this likely to work on the PCjr, or is there something better to try?
Franko
 
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Re: It works!

Postby KenG » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:12 am

-- I see I have a 3M 5.25" head cleaning diskette, which instead of magnetic media contains a white sheet of a material kind of like a Kimwipe. You're supposed to apply liquid cleaner and put it in the disk drive. Does this seem like a safe way to clean the drive, or am I better off using other methods?

I use this method. If you don't have the liquid that came with it, 95% IPA works well. Don't over do it, but you should clean it after every disk that doesn't read before trying to read another one.

-- In addition to the DSDD disks, I have a certain number of 5.25" DSHD disks labeled "IBM AT 1.6MB" -- these were obviously for a later computer. Is there any chance that any of these could have been formatted for 360K and so I should check them on the PCjr? Or is the fact that they're DSHD mean that physically there's no way the PCjr drive will read them?

It certainly won't read anything that is on them. You may be able to format and use them as DD, but probably better to just use newer disks.

-- Although I thought I had an IBM monochrome monitor for the PCjr, I see that it's actually from a vendor called Comrex (model CR-5400). I bought the amber version and found it easier on the eye than the green monochrome monitors popular in that era. It connects to the PCjr with one RCA-type connector. Now I'm wondering if there are other options for displays that wouldn't be too difficult to set up. I don't suppose there's an easy way to connect a PCjr to a current-day HDMI flat-screen monitor? Is there any particular type or model of PCjr-compatible color monitor that's popular and not too hard to find through sources like eBay?


If you search here and on VCFED.ORG, you will find options for connecting to a modern LCD monitor. I use a C128DAC and Gonbes 8220 to get to a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor I bought from Goodwill. You do need the PCjr to 9 pin connector to use this, but it gives me acceptable results. There is a better option than the C128DAC, but I don't remember what it is.

-- As another file transfer option, this morning I ordered an inexpensive RCA PC2200P parallel port compact flash reader from eBay. It's just the hardware and doesn't include any drivers. Will I need drivers to use it with the PCjr? A web search turns up this link: https://www.driverguide.com/driver/deta ... erid=74344 which is described as being for Windows 95 and 98. Is this likely to work on the PCjr, or is there something better to try?


I use a different brand that does have DOS drivers. I don't think you have enough memory to load the drivers.

I'm glad the disks I sent you got your backpack drive working,
Enhanced PCjr with a jr-IDE (1GB DOM) and a parallel port side car with a compact flash reader and backpack 1.44mb floppy attached. Tandy video mod.
KenG
 
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Re: It works!

Postby Franko » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:02 am

KenG wrote:I use a C128DAC and Gonbes 8220 to get to a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor I bought from Goodwill. You do need the PCjr to 9 pin connector to use this, but it gives me acceptable results.

Thanks. I see the C128DAC and Gonbes 8200 and 8220 online, but am not quickly finding a place to buy a PCjr to 9-pin connector. Is that known by any other names? For example, did IBM sell it as the "PCjr Adapter Cable for the IBM Color Display" or the "PCjr Connector for TV"?

I ordered an inexpensive RCA PC2200P parallel port compact flash reader from eBay. It's just the hardware and doesn't include any drivers.

I use a different brand that does have DOS drivers. I don't think you have enough memory to load the drivers.

Which brand (and model?) are you using?
Last edited by Franko on Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Franko
 
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Re: It works!

Postby KenG » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:51 am

In the items for sale topic here there is information about some breakout boards for the PCjr. I believe the Video/serial one would fit your needs nicely. TexElect.com

I think this is the F reader I use DataFab MDCFE-SR Memory Card Reader. The drivers are rather large though. I only use it to transfer things from another PC to my DOM on the PCjr. Then I reboot without them. I'm fairly sure they won't fit in a 128K machine.
Enhanced PCjr with a jr-IDE (1GB DOM) and a parallel port side car with a compact flash reader and backpack 1.44mb floppy attached. Tandy video mod.
KenG
 
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: It works!

Postby Brutman » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:56 am

Almost nothing works on a 128K machine; they are pretty much unusable except for BASIC programs and some small DOS utilities.

Life begins at 256K, and life is fun with a jrIDE and 736K.
Brutman
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Re: It works!

Postby Franko » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:58 am

Brutman wrote:Life begins at 256K, and life is fun with a jrIDE and 736K.

It definitely sounds like it. I contacted alanh to get onto his notification list for the next time he gets some together.
Franko
 
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Re: It works!

Postby Franko » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:05 am

KenG wrote:I believe the Video/serial one would fit your needs nicely. TexElect.com.

Thanks, that looks like it should work great.
Franko
 
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