Care and feeding of some Lisp machines (TI Explorer and Xerox Star)

James B DiGriz jbdigriz at
Mon Sep 14 22:44:11 CDT 2020

On Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:35:50 +0200
Michael Engel via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:

> Hi,
> for a planned exhibition, I am thinking of restoring two of the
> machines to working state again that are in storage here for decades:
> - A TI Explorer ("Sperry" labeled)
> and
> - A Xerox Star (no idea if ours actually ran Interlisp or one of the 
> other OSes for the Star/Dandelion)

Awesome. I hope there will be online coverage of the exhibition. 


> Some things I could not find so far are the mouse and the console
> cable for the Explorer. It seems that the mouse is related to
> MouseSystems optical mice used on older Sun/SGI systems (but the
> interface might be different?). The fiber optics cable for the
> display (TI part number 2233200 according to the field service
> manual) might be another problem 
> - if you know any details about this, I would be very interested...

This is the same part # listed for the 990, and I would think, lacking
documentation on them, the BS600 and BS800 machines, if using
the CI404 comm board. I don't know how common those were. My college
only started using them after a lightning strike took out some machines
through one or more serial links, iirc. But that may broaden your search. 

From the CI403/CI404 manual

	2233200-0001	Standard duplex fiber-optic cable, 15m

	2233201-0002	Fiber-optic extension cable, 60m
	2233201-0003    Fiber-optic extension cable, 150m
	2233201-0004	Fiber-optic extension cable, 300m

	2233210-0001	Converter module kit, includes: Converter,
			Power Module, and Power Cord.

The extension cables include a connector for connectin 2 cables. 

I may have some more information on the mouse and maybe some cable specs
soon. Talking to some people who likely know. 


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