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 Vendex Headstart II XT View next topic
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Cobolt



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm having trouble booting this old machine, keeps insisting the keyboard is missing. the lights on the keyboard lite when I unplug\replug but it still wont acknowledge the keyboard. I can't remember if these old machines where component specific or not, I don't belive my parents still have the original KB for this machine(still have the original mouse though!). There is also the posibilty that the KB controller is shot. Though I did just use this machine about 5-6 years ago and backed up the HD (a whooping 42 megs!) and didn't have the original KB then now that I think about it. really the only reason i wanted to keep this machine was to play around with assembly on its old 8088. This is the machine I first programed in GW-basic on(21 years ago now(1992-2013), so I thought it just might be nostalgic to begin to learn assembly on the same machine. if the KB controller is shot though I'm not sure if there is anything I can do for this poor old lady.(and back in FEB {2013} one of these machines sold on EBAY! sorry i missed it.)
stats:
Vendex headstart II
running MS-DOS 3.32
8088 running 4.77MHZ(9.44 turbo)
640K mem
42MB hard disk
1.44MB 3.5"
740KB 5.25"
Realtek VGA(there are 4 old style chips on the board so I'm guessing 32-64K video ram)
the ISA controller card actually has TWO HD hookups.

If anybody has one of these machines or something like it I'd be interested.
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Puckdropper
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Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 749
Location: Not in Chicago

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That class of machine often used an "XT-style" keyboard (83 keys) rather than the "AT-style" (101 keys). Many aftermarket keyboards had switches to switch from one mode to another. You might need to try a different keyboard, look for a switchable or an 83-key model.

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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 567
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It was common for MFM hard-disk controller cards to have 2 connectors---just unusual for people to be able to afford 2 HDD's at that time.

Given the nature of VGA, it's likely the VGA card has at least 256K of Video memory---maybe even 512K/1M (if in fact it is VGA).

You may want to verify that 5.25" drive as well. Unless it's a complete oddball, it'd be either 360K or 1.2MB...
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Cobolt



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

the KB hookup is a PS\2, the mouse is a PS\2 style but has a different pin layout.

I'm pretty sure the 5.25 was 720K... formatted something like 500 or 600 if it boot all the way up I'd double check. your right though 360K sounds more correct.. I used to have software that was on 5.25" 1.2MB disk and couldn't use it cause the drive wouldn't read them.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 567
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
the KB hookup is a PS\2, the mouse is a PS\2 style


Not sure what you mean by that. Are both mouse and keyboard connectors the same size (most AT keyboard connectors were larger than PS/2)? It's unusual for a keyboard of that age to be PS/2. Look at this photo:

http://trastero.speccy.org/cosas/droy/imar3/image008.jpg

If the keyboard is like the one on the left and larger than the mouse, then it's an AT (actually XT/AT) keyboard.
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wdegroot



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 487
Location: pennsylvanai

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

all the xt variants had some differences
the original xt and clone keyboard had a larger dime sized connector
the at ( 286) used the same connecor
but a AT keyboard would npot work on an XT.
there oftem was a switch even hidden in the hinge / leg.
the smaller pc/2 keyboard came mush later even many nbewer pc's still had the larger connector.
so.,.,, unlkess the ps2 keyboard you have is really the same one that came with that pc. it likely is wrong and will gibe problems or more likely not work at all.
OF COURSE as I said many computers even xt 8088 did not follow the IBM and true clone pattern.
and it could be anything.
one possinbility / work around is to use an older kb and a big didn to small ps2 did afapter

also usually f11 and f12 were not supported by an 80988 computer.
another more remote possibility is some irq or other conflict. changing a video card or hd controller and tunning off the on board controller may fic wierdness.

a 16 bit iso video car often work in an 8 bit slot.
use tape to avoid shorts
I had a machine that was giving me fits
the dealer GAVE me a different video card and a different style cpu
all was happy
he knew.
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Cobolt



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

well the KB hookup is in the front of the machine and is PS\2 small 6 pin with plastic "alignment" piece. the mouse hookup is in the back takes 11 pins and no plastic "alignment" piece. they are the same size. if there is a way i could upload a picture to show just what i mean i would. My parents purchased this machine when most people who were into computers were buying 386/486 machines and they paid way too much for it.
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Puckdropper
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Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 749
Location: Not in Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If you'd care to email me a photo, my address is Puckdropper @ yahoo . com I'll upload it to the website.

FWIW, there's also a Tandy-style keyboard. 6-pin DIN rather than the 5-pin DIN most others used. Yours still sounds like a PS/2 style, though.

_________________
>say "Hello sailor"
Nothing happens here.

>score
Your score is 202 (total of 350 points), in 866 moves.
This gives you the rank of Adventurer.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 567
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
the mouse hookup is in the back takes 11 pins and no plastic "alignment" piece.


Wouldn't happen to be an old "Bus Mouse" would it (aka: Microsoft InPort)?

Look at the top of this photo (even though it's only 9 pins, not 11) and see if it may match:

http://img.tfd.com/cde/BUSMOUSE.GIF
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Cobolt



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's it, i guess it is only 9, the 'extra' 2 that i thought were holes are the lower triangle areas. And there's even a few headstart(explorer) models on ebay right now!.

I'm begining to wonder if the problem I'm having with the KB is the fact the 2 I've tried to use are 104key with the extra window keys and menu key. one is a straight ps\2 the others an AT with a ps\2 adapter. I don't know if i still have a 101key model around. I don't know why that would matter but its a thought.

I used to be pretty good with these old machines but i guess I'm getting out of practice. At one time I could make all most any machine work. Not anymore it seems.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 567
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
I'm begining to wonder if the problem I'm having with the KB is the fact the 2 I've tried to use are 104key with the extra window keys and menu key


Likely, since you're trying to put a "solely-AT" keyboard on what's apparently an "XT-class" system. There's differences between the two keyboards (largely the bidirectional interface didn't exist in XT keyboards):

http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2keyboard/#A%20History%20Lesson%20FN

Find a XT (or XT/AT switchable) keyboard and that problem should be solved.

Also, don't expect much from the mouse either; drivers for it weren't very popular in most software, and it died a relatively quick death:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_mouse
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wdegroot



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 487
Location: pennsylvanai

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

if you keyboiard has a WINDOWS key it will not work
a keyboard with f1-f12 MAY work if it can be switched to XT mode. the SCAN CODES are different and even a genuine AT keyboard will NOT work.
when you find a keyboard with a switch on the underside
even hidden in a LEG. it may or will have f11 anbd f12 vut these keys will not do anything on an XT class computer.
be aware that sometimes the WRONG setting on the black slide switch is RIGHT as the swiths sits in a recess and can be turned areound oif the Keyboard has been opened.
OR try the OLDEST keyboard you can dind
possibly some were auto switch. a tandy keyboard has f11 and f12 even on tandy xt class machines but likely will NOT work.
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