DECmate II Questions

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at
Sat Apr 2 12:27:25 CDT 2016

I have been looking at my DECmate II recently. I got an Italian version of
WPS 1.0 for it and that works fine, except that I don't have an Italian
keyboard so finding some of the characters is a bit tricky. :)


The machine came with an RD51 hard disk. I can't many references to MFM
disks in DECmate IIs. The disk will sometimes spin up and sometimes remains
motionless. I checked all three of the Darlington transistors on the drive
board and they seemed fine (I checked them out of circuit). However, unless
I have any really persistent problems getting the disk to run, I am not
going to bother trying to make it start reliably. 


My main question though is this. From what I can see the WPS software does
not access the hard disk, the manual I have does not mention hard disks. I
executed the function for listing files and it said it found nothing,
whether that attempted to access the hard disk or not I don't know. Should
WPS be able to access the hard disk? Might it have been a later version that
used the hard disk? If not, then would one of the other OSs for the DECmate
II be able to access the hard disk? I don't have any other OSs for it
though, does anyone know where I might find copies?


I also have a graphics option board for the machine, which software actually
uses this option?


Any recommendations for how best to image RX50 diskettes? I want to preserve
the diskettes I have.





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