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jbdigriz

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About jbdigriz

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  1. Surprised I missed this thread. Nice job, Ralph! Look forward to a PEB version, too.
  2. whtech is such a vast archive, no telling what's lurking in there. 🙂 Thanks Alan for all the great work on Fortran99, TIC, and everything else.
  3. I did see an obit notice for a Larry Kroeker in McKinney, TX ca. 2011. Didn't see the full obit. Tallies with what I've heard. Still want to nail down what ISSS was, but that's going on the stack for now. I'll be interested to follow Robert's take on DF-[SHOW,EDIT] for modern OSes. He may be interested to know that 990 dfm supported tape files and encryption. I don't know if any of the DOS versions did. He may want to take a look at Midnight Commander, too, which bears a lot of DOS influences, possibly DF-EDIT and SHOW included. Looks like maybe he's following up an elder relation's project here? Wish him well with it, and maybe it will bear fruit with a new DOS or Windows version as well. Lot of people building retro DOS boxes these days.
  4. Ok, just looked at Thawdon's website in his history section and the TI connection is known there. It is true that TI restricted use of the software. DFM was part of something called the Integrated Software Support System toolkit. "Unauthorized use of ISSS tools is misappropriation of company records and is punishable by termination." Trying to find out more about ISSS & DPSS. Have to mount the tape and look for more clues. Curious what the whole story is. Is Kroeker still around, do you know?
  5. That would be nice. PM sent with a contact. Also looking for my mirror of their old ftp site. I think it may be there, already released. Lots of co.'s have turned anonymous ftp off for security reasons so I'm glad I got that one. -edit: I knew there was something familiar about DF-SHOW. I haven't found my archive of the CSI unix version yet, but it and the editor were part of a package CSI called dfm, except that the file manager is called "show" and the editor "tx", and I can trace that back to the 990. At least, there is a 9-track reread dfm tape image you can mount on your simulated tape drive in sim990. It's in the TI 990 section of a well-known, widely-mirrored, software archive. I assume the 990 version is where the CSI port came from. ISTR dfm being on my TI S1500, and I'm thinking it's exactly the same code. I would guess that the MS-DOS programs that Thawdon's are based probably derived from the 990 versions, which bear a 1983 copyright date in said tape image. Maybe he knows more? Should be able to implement it on a 4A or Geneve, for that matter. DM1000, etc. are essentially the same thing.
  6. PS. Thanks, Paul, for sharing your recollections of the visit to the Kienzle factory. jbdigriz
  7. Gotcha, the whole "middle computer" thing that was big in Germany. In the US, outside of IBM's midrange systems, this was usually done by "vertical market integrators", like Triad in the hardware and auto parts businesses was. Weird to make an Interdata 7/32 not be general purpose, but they pretty much did. I would be remiss here not to remind everyone that both VCF East and VCFB (Berlin, speaking of Germany) are hosting virtual events this weekend. One of the VCFB presenters is supposed to be showing a Triumph-Adler TA10, which is TA's name for the Diehl dds1 referenced earlier in this thread. http://vcfed.org/wp/2020/10/06/vcf-east-and-vcf-berlin-are-this-weekend/ jbdigriz
  8. Well, I'm speculating a lot here, too. 🙂 I assume by "true minicomputer" you mean 32-bit systems? I know the question has come up before if TI ever considered a 32-bit upgrade to the 9900 or 99K. The answer best I can determine is that no, any 32-bit uP was going to be stack and register based. Or mostly so, if you count those load-store ISA's that have memory-to-memory features, like Sparc. The irony being that you likely could put the entire logical memory of a 990 on-die with zero waits nowadays, and cheaply. Interesting that Kienzle went with MIPS, rather than Sparc, for their RISC machines, considering the prior relationship with TI, which released the Sparc v8 TMS390 series in '92. Maybe wasn't available when Kienzle designed the RISC Unix system. If you go by price, they were certainly selling minicomputers. Here's a list I found, which actually gives some detailed insight in to the technical aspects of some of the 9000 series systems: http://www.cc-computerarchiv.de/CC-Archiv/edv-alt/ge-ditec/ge-ditec-12_90.html Possibly the the workstations mentioned used the 7-XP, X-Link, and KIF file accelerator technology and were maybe PC-based? Apparenty at least some of the 9000 series machines could be clustered over serial networks. But again, I'm speculating. Don't even have any confirmation it was Kienzle that got the Ten-X stuff. I'll have to take this up again later, though. Falling behind on other things. jbdigriz
  9. I see. It might still be worth looking into, or it could be a dead end. Lots of business and social history regarding Kienzle. It does appear systems were sold until 1997-98 at least. Digital passed the enterprise on to an employee held operation, it turns out. After that fizzled, there were a few more attempts mostly by former employees to revive things, but that also seems to have gone nowhere. Apparently something like 30,000 series 9000 systems ( I think these are the 99000-based ones. ) were put in service altogether, though. They were considered reliable systems and were successful, until, of course, the glut of cheap 32-bit PC's ended the minicomputer era for business markets. Technical info is definitely scarce. Kienzle apparently never had a museum like Nixdorf does, either. Some history, and a pic of a 6000 series, here: http://wiki.ghv-villingen.de/?p=4460 More here, with a picture of a 9000 series installation: wz-8892.pdf And here, with some statistics: Das Ende der Computersparte Google Translate is helpful. jbdigriz
  10. Here's an unencrypted link to a software house which apparently still supports the Kienzle systems: http://www.kl-systems.eu/kienzle.htm I would assume then that systems are still in use somewhere, and this outfit may know who still works on the hardware. Maybe some of our German-speaking members in Europe could look into this? It would be great to get some details of the system, ie. Are they repackaged 990's with Kienzle's OS, or are they Kienzle's own design? Pics, docs, etc., appreciated. Even bitsavers has nothing on these machines. From the looks of things, Kienzle would be a logical candidate for having purchased the 7-XP stuff. If so, they would likely have produced a PC clone system, but I see no evidence that they did. jbdigriz
  11. I might be confusing the Kienzle computers with Diehl's, eg. the dds1 bitsy. http://computermuseum.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/dev/dds1/ Pointers to more info, photos on either appreciated.
  12. I need to hold off on attributions for now. I'll have a write-up soon, I hope, if I can get past a backlog of other things that have crept up on my time. Could be. The factory test space is 16 words, too, right? Anyway, I'll post what I find out. That's a possibility. The Kienzle machines supposedly used 990 boards, though, based on what little I've been able to find. Anyone here seen inside one and can tell for sure if they used an actual 990 backplane? I'm thinking maybe they used the TM990 bus instead. I hadn't heard of a 99000 model before, but that could have possibly been based on the BS300, which is essentially a /10A CPU in a 931 terminal case, ISTR. Or, again, a 99K board in a TM990 backplane. But, yes, it could also be an ISA bus machine with a 7-XP add-in. Anybody here seen inside one of the later Kienzles? Yes, absolutely masterful exposition. Thanks!
  13. By way of Johnson Controls, as I understand it, but I'm not sure if they acquired the totality of 990 assets. One of the questions I seek answers to. Anyone here from Siemens or Johnson, or TI, who could provide any clarification here, please chime in. It is one possibility for the Ten-X stuff, too, but while digging through Siemens' vast online documentation several times over the years, I don't recall ever seeing anything like the 7-XP, there. It could have scrolled on off, but there is plenty of 5TI stuff still mentioned, for instance.
  14. I was querying a correspondent about the MMU on the Ten-X 7-XP board and the following is what he reported wrt the 99105: "The TMS99105 had some undocumented macro space (32 bytes) inside the processor. This was 0 wait state memory and I utilized this to implement a variant of the LMF opcode to load the MMU." Probably the same factory testing space you mention above. Whether this applies to the 99000 I'm not sure. Only have 99105's here and haven't got a breadboard set up yet. My contact above is busy with other things at the moment but when he has time that's one of the things I need to ask him about in more detail. What Ten-X docs I have are here: ftp://www.dragonsweb.org/pub/ti/docs/Ten-X/ He also tells me the 7-XP stuff was later sold to a German company, but doesn't recall which one. Anyone has any idea I sure would like to know. jbdigriz
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