Giveaway: antique and nostalgic PC

As said before, I am getting rid of my past.

For year and years I’ve kept my first PC, as a kind of monument. But now it’s time to say goodbye to that too. As the machine is quite a milestone in the history of computing I guess (hope) there is somebody out there who can give her a place. I’ve tried something likewise before. Perhaps I’m to sentimental about this, but at least it should make a good story.

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The machine is an Olivetti M24 (known in the US as the AT&T 6300). Almost as old as the first IBM PC, but with some interesting differences.

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The original IBM PC had a 8088 processor. Internal 16 bits but with an 8 bits bus. The main reason was the unavailability of 16 bits support chips. These were available on time for the Olivetti; it is powered by the full 16-bits 8086 processor. Running at a whopping 8 Mhz (instead of the 4.77 in the IBM) with a separate 8087 numerical co-processor.

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The is motherboard is mainly covered with RAM chips. A whopping 640K

 

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To mount expansion cards a so called “bus converter” board is fitted. Note the fat power cables. On this board an AST “six-shooter” is mounted which offers things like a second a second parallel and serial port. This machine has it’s own parallel serial and serial connectors. In those days this wasn’t always the case for a PC. Imagine to have to buy a complete expansion board just to attach a printer…

The original IBM PC required a separate Color Graphics Adapter which would give you a 320*200 image. The Olivetti has on board 640*400 proprietary graphics. The popularity of the machine resulted in many software packages like Lotus 123 and later the Borland Turbo Graphix Toolbox providing a driver.

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In the early PC days a hard disk (Winchester Drive) was not a standard option. I added one later on, no less than 10 MB. Note the handwritten sector notes on the sticker. I’m not quite sure about this disk still functioning. In case you want to get it spinning smoothly I’d advise a bicycle mechanic to check the bearings. No kidding, it did the trick last time.

In case you are bored stiff with this story, sorry about that. Nostalgic mood. In case you are really interested: she’s all yours. Shipping is not included, and she is on a strict 220V diet.

<Update>She has found a new home</update>

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  • http://odalet@wordpress.com Olivier

    sob. This remember myself getting rid of my 1st PC too a few years ago. It was quite a similar machine though more recent: I started learning C language by myself when I was a teenager. My dad had bought (for quite a bit money) a wonderful Amstrad PC1512 (It was very famous in its time). It provided a specific graphics adapter that was compatible with the ugly CGA 320×240 4colors/4 palettes mode but could also display 16 colors in 640×400 (or 480, can’t remember) mode… well that was nearly EGA or VGA. We had extended the original hardware:
    – 128 Kb RAM so that the original 512 Kb could grow
    up to 640 Kb,
    – A 20 Mb filecard hard disk on a full length ISA extension card: that was huge compared to my original two 5″1/4 low density (that means 320 Kb) disk drives.

    At this time, I was running MS-DOS 3.2 or Digital Research Gem Desktop (I didn’t have Windows 2.0) and a Borland Turbo C 2.0 compiler.

    And yes, my proc was also a 8086 @ 8Mhz

    memories, memories…

  • http://codebetter.com/members/pvanooijen/default.aspx pvanooijen

    Auch.. Found quite a pile of them. Threw them away allready .. sorry..

  • unruledboy

    the problem is that I could not find working 5.25 floppies…..

  • http://codebetter.com/members/pvanooijen/default.aspx pvanooijen

    @Chris YFGI :)
    http://www.computermuseum.nl/
    I have contacted them

    @unruledboy What I did was connecting the 5.25 floppy disk to the floppy connector on the MoBo of my curent PC. The mainboard connector and the power supply connector havn’t changed over the years. Having done that I could read the content of all my old 5.25 floppies.

  • unruledboy

    that’s really old, my first pc is 386, with 4M ram and 100M harddisk, and the brand is AST which was bank-corrupted many years ago…

    and yes, that pc is still there, working:) but anyone know how to get the old data? there’s no usb, no diskette(5 inches) and no network(OMG…)

  • http://chrismissal.lostechies.com Chris Missal

    It might sounds “funny”, but I’m completely serious when suggesting that you donate it to a museum! There are computer science museums out there that collect machines from all different time periods.

  • jbland

    Wow. Memories…. learned C and Unix on that puppy in undergrad