Xerox Alto on eBay

Jerry Weiss jsw at
Thu Apr 14 12:32:26 CDT 2016

On Apr 14, 2016, at 12:28 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at> wrote:
>> 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! :-)
> 	Noel

Not only that, but we used Diablo Drives on RK05 Controllers.  If you had a mix 
of Diablo and RK05 drives, the order and termination was a bit tricky but it worked.

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