How to lose most of an an entire collection in one shot

Warren Wolfe lists at
Sun Jun 21 16:49:41 CDT 2009

Tony Duell wrote:
> Sure, but most HP machines have HPIB :-). The HP120 doesn't properly 
> support the HPIB port in the BIOS (IIRC there's no BIOS function to read 
> from an HPIB device) so you pretty much have to talk to the 9914 
> directly. Not a big problem, but if you get it into the wrong state you 
> may find you can no longer talk to the disk drives.

Yes, that's true.

> For talking to instruments, I prefer to use an HP9000/200 machine with a 
> second HPIB port (HP98624). Firstly there's much better standard software 
> support for the HPIB interface, and secondly, if one of the instruments 
> 'hangs the bus' (likely in my case as I might well be repairing said 
> instrument), I can still talk to the disks.

Second ports are always nice.

> And then there's the attributesm which are set on a character line basis. 
> Basically, every character is either normal or enhanced (decided by bit 7 
> of the chracter code). You can only have one type of enhancement in a 
> given line. So you could have normal and underlined characters in the 
> same line, but you can't have normal, inverse, and underlined characters 
> all in the same line.

Okay, I'll grant you that was a bit weird.  Honestly, though, it was 
never an issue for me, or the original owner.

> Another problem is that AFAIK there's no official way for a CP/M program 
> to set the parameters of the serial ports (not even the 'printer' port). 
> The serial chips are on the terminal processor bus, there's no direct way 
> for the application processor to talk to them. There's an undocumented 
> way to run code on the terminal processor (in that at least one HP 
> application does that), but I can't find out how to do it.

I don't know how 'official' it was, but I had PORTSET.COM which directly 
set up the serial port from the CP/M side.  Er, it RAN on the CP/M side, 
and set up the ports.

> I'd much rather have an HP9000/200....

An attorney's office near me had the HP-125.  When they upgraded, I got 
their old system for a song.  Nobody I knew was getting rid of an 
HP9000/200.  This was before eBay, and I really didn't have a good way 
to find specific equipment.  One takes what's available.  Still and all, 
I very much enjoyed using it, and it was the first machine I had that 
would be a reasonable terminal, HPIB controller, AND general purpose 
computer.  Also, they were SLEEK.  So, scoff if you want, but I liked it 
just fine.  It probably would have been more difficult than average to 
repair hardware problems on it, but in about 15 years, I never had one.


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