road trip score: AViiON, Microdata 1600

Dave McGuire mcguire at
Mon Nov 22 18:03:05 CST 2010

   Yesterday my girlfriend and I returned from a hastily-scheduled road 
trip to Maryland; we went to see a friend who is gravely ill.  While we 
were in town, we took the opportunity to visit a few other people. 
Another friend up there is preparing to move, and he dropped a few 
things in my lap since I was there with a mostly-empty car.

   The first was a Data General Aviion AV300 workstation.  This is one 
of the few machines built around the Motorola 88K CPU.  It came with its 
original keyboard, mouse, monitor, and a full set of DG-UX manuals.  I 
don't yet know if it's functional, but according to my friend it was 
running a few years ago.

   The second is something I'm REALLY excited about.  We went to his 
garage and he pointed me at two dusty card-cages full of boards, and 
told me that he picked them up from a college loading dock twenty years 
ago, and that he had no idea of what they were, but there were core 
memory boards in them.  Oh, and there's this lights-and-switches front 
panel that goes with them. (!)

   Upon getting them home and digging around, it appears to be a nearly 
complete Microdata 1600 CPU.  I have the two backplanes with card cages 
and boards, and the front panel, along with some cables.  I lack the 
power supply, but I can build one of those...with that, I think I have 
enough to resurrect the basic CPU.

   Neat stuff!


Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL

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