PDT-11/150 down

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Oct 18 14:54:11 CDT 2006

Roy J. Tellason wrote:
>> Of course, even the original 5150 had a serial port--most people just tend
>> not to think of it as such.  Namely, the keyboard interface.  When the AT
>> came along, it was fully bidirectional.
> Interesting thought.  I have some XT-class hardware around still,  but it's 
> been so long since I've messed with any of that I can't remember -- do you 
> _have to_ have video or other cards in there to get past POST?

I'm pretty sure that it's been a fundamental PC feature from day 1, 
annoyingly. Presumably IBM took the view that serial consoles were for minis 
and mainframes, and that a PC was a desktop with a screen and so should always 
have a video board (even if it was text-only)

[wonder what the first application that treated a PC as a server was? Quite 
possibly some form of BBS software, but it'd be interesting to know]

>>> Makes me wonder how well SCSI would have fared had it been hot-pluggable
>> >from the start, as that seems to be the main benefit of USB (even if the
>>> Microsoft guys can't seem to get the software side of it right!)
>> You're forgetting how much voodoo factor there was to SCSI.
> I've never personally found SCSI to be all that hard to deal with.

Nor me. The trick for me was always to buy good-quality cables and 
terminators, and to adhere to maximum cable lengths. I've had far more trouble 
getting pairs of IDE devices playing well together than I've ever had getting 
SCSI stuff working.



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