Getting started with HP9000/200

Tony Duell ard at
Sun Sep 24 19:05:57 CDT 2006

> Hi Tony
> > 1) What softwware do people recomend? HP BASIC looks reasonable,
> > actually, it does at least support named procedures with formal
> > parameters. Anything else reocmended?
> HP BASIC is quick to put together and powerful. The documentation is good

It certainly looks to be a good version of BASIC.

> and available (as you've seen, or got). I think the documentation was one of
> HP's strong points with these machines.

Well, the hardware docuemtnation of the machines themselves is not to my 
liking, but the docs I've seen on the DIO cards is good. And the 
programming manuals are certainly clear and seem to be complete.

HP used to produce excellent documentation, that much is certain.

> HP Pascal gives you the speed, but you'll definitely need more memory ...

How much memory? My 9817 has 2 megabytes.

> > 2) How much RAM do I reasonably need. If I pulled one of the 256K cards
> > from the 9816 so I could add a DIO I/O card, would the machine still be
> > useful?
> My programming career started with HP9816s' with only the 256K on-board RAM;
> that was using Basic 2 originally, then Basic 3.  And we got by - the
> company didn't want to spend any more than it had too!  That was in civil
> engineering & construction where we were able to put together costing,
> critical path planning, and some envelope & pre-stress design software.
> Whilst it is certainly constraining, so you'll probably be ok with one
> add-on RAM card for a lot of things. Later on, I got involved with a land
> surveying package, which besides being able to do a multitude of cadastral
> calculations, included a fairly comprehensive CAD facility.  That definitely
> needed more RAM, and was standardised with a 1MB add-on card.  For all above
> software, the only IO we did was RS232 for HPGL plotting, so only needed the
> built-in port.

I'm likely to be doing a lot of interfacing and not that much processing 
if you see what I mean. I susepct 512K would be enough for that. I can 
certainly give it a go. 

> > 4) Anything elase I need, or should keep an active lookout for?
> Probably 913x/915x spare hard drives, unless you're able to get the drives
> at

I am going to have to see if a 9133 can low-level format a drive -- the 
actual machanism is a standard unit (ST225 or something like that). I am 
told it can, and I do have the command set somewhere, so it might be 
worth experimenting. 

Of course the drive unit in the 9154 is very much HP custom, with a 
_strange_ interface (parallel 8 bit data bus for head 
positioning/control, and then the raw data lines for read/write). So no 
real chance of using something else there.

How useful is a hard drive? I know the previous owner of my 9817 ran it 
from a 9122 floppy drive only.


More information about the cctech mailing list