Xerox Alto on eBay

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Thu Apr 14 12:28:00 CDT 2016

    > From: Josh Dersch

    >> They are 12 sector 2315 packs. You have to duplicate it on a two drive
    >> Alto, since the format is unique.

    > we're able to duplicate packs and write new ones out from disk images.
    > (At the moment it's kind of cumbersome -- involving a PDP-11/44 with a
    > 3mbit Ethernet board, a seriously hacked 2.11BSD kernel and a bit of
    > luck

You mean the RK11 controller can write packs that the Alto disk controller
can read? (As in, the low-level format - preamble, sector header, sector
checksum, etc, etc are all identical?)

Wow, I never knew that - that would have been a useful thing to know BITD -
we had both at MIT (we got the Altos as part of the 3-university Xerox
grant), and although I'm not sure we really needed to be able to transfer
bits from one kind of machine to another, it might have been useful for
something or other.

We did send a lot of files over the network to an Alto, but it was the Dover
printer spooler machine - using a disk pack for that function wasn't really an
option! :-)


More information about the cctalk mailing list