PCWs 25 worst tech products of all time

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Tue Jun 27 17:00:04 CDT 2006

> > If you want a PC-incompatible that has a
> > 7220 as the graphics 
> > controller, get a Rainbow :-) [Yes, I know there are
> > custom chips in the 
> > 'bow, but IIRC, they're also used in the VT100, so
> > they're not that rare]
>  Just one of the more common hi-res crtc's that came
> to mind. The NEC APC has them, 2 in fact (methinks). I
> do have a Rainbow, but it doesn't have the color
> option (or color graphics option?). The 7220 IS a

There's only one option, it adds colour graphics (but can also display 
graphics on a mono monitor). If you have the colour monitor, the standard 
text comes out in green (always, that's fixed in the hardware).

> worthy candidate for an FPGA recreation IMHO.
> > Juat be glad it's not an HP150-II. That thing has 5
> > gate arrays in it, 
> > and IIRC thate's not that much documentation on them
> > in the technical 
> > manual (which I do have). Come to think of it, the
> > plain HP150 uses some 
> > SMC chip for the video, I can look up to see which
> > it is if you like.

OK, I've found the techref...

Fro the original HP150 (9" CRT). the text (alpha) video system uses an 
SMC9007 + quite a bit of logic including a character generator ROM and a 
HAL16L6. The bitmapped graphics system uses a custom chip, 1820-3091, and 
yet more logic.

For the HP150-II (12" CRT), the gate arrays are : 

ELMER (real time clock, baud rate generator, handshake ports, etc)

PAMELA (address decoder, DRAM timing/control)

KAZE (garphics RAM control)

PACIFIC (video controller)

Some early machines (including mine) have a daughterboard in place of the 
ELMER chip. That contains only standard parts, and can be traced out...

> > Actually, I would like one, but Tandy 2000s are not
> > at all common in the 
> > UK, and I can't afford the shipping on one from the
> > States.
>  yeah, and I want an RM Nimbus. If you don't have one,
> I really need to ask why not? As cool as the 2000, and

I think I do haev a Nimbus somewhere... Never done much with it, though. 
My interest in RML stuff is mostly concerned with the 380Z...


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