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The 8-bit guy blows up IBM 7496 prototype(?)

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A few hours ago the 8 bit guy uploaded a video of himself hastily trying to get an incredibly rare IBM 7496 Executive Workstation prototype working properly. He proceeds to dremel the sides of a screwdriver and sticks a paper clip inside the power supply, making it blow up. I'm a fan of the 8 bit guy, but on this episode it feels like he was rushing thing much more than he should have. There are plenty of other people on youtube that would have gladly taken their time to work out what was wrong with them.

If you think about it, this system is potentially rarer than an Apple I. With this in mind, would he have stuck a paper clip inside the power supply? It's obvious he's too busy right now, working on all sorts of things, and maybe it's time for him to take things slower and dedicate time into restoration projects like he used to.

If you haven't yet watched the video: 

 

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I guess there wasn't enough progress to report on his new lab/studio/storage space.  But yeah, find the right security bits or just find a way to mangle the screw only.

 

Still, it seems that possibly none of those computers would boot properly.  They should send the systems to other prominent repair gurus to attempt proper repairs.  And maybe some of the more technical ones like Dave Jones could repair that smoked power supply.

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No he is just dumb. Doesn't know electronics. Can't even get the right fuse. And nobody goes shorting out power supplies and then turning them on. I've seen him do other oddball things to other systems.

Edited by Keatah
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55 minutes ago, ChildOfCv said:

I guess there wasn't enough progress to report on his new lab/studio/storage space.  But yeah, find the right security bits or just find a way to mangle the screw only.

You can take those out with a flatblade just fine. No cutting. No grinding.

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22 minutes ago, Keatah said:

You can take those out with a flatblade just fine. No cutting. No grinding.

Yep. Or just check out the local hardware store or even big box Home Depot/Lowes for them. I picked mine up on Amazon Prime for cheap a few years ago. Had it within 2 days for my IBM XT power supply (same bit). This video was rushed and trash.

 

Why didn't he try the monitor in another computer and see if it worked? Why not change the CMOS battery? Why not use a PS/2 reference disk? Why not just ask someone on vcfed or or his own patreons if he was unsure. At least for a starting point for diagnosis.

 

Really disappointed in this video. I've been subscribed to his channel since the iBookGuy or whatever he was and this one takes the cake of crap.

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Push comes to shove, if it has a head, you can use an easy-out set to remove just about anything. I would try the flat blade first though.

 

(Sometimes I wish there was a better retro computing presence in my area, and that I could get my hands on local treasures like he seems to.  I may not be as photogenic, and may have an odd sounding voice, but I have LOTS of experience fixing those old clunkers from back in the day, and know my way around them without issue.  I would happily make a channel and set up a donation system (for the repaired systems), just for the fun of it, if I could get a stream of broken systems to repair and re-home.  Sadly, here in fly-over-country, we lack any such thing. I visited the Silly Valley area once a few years back, and realized that things like this were much easier over there than here, simply because there are more systems in the wild to work with, more resources to obtain them, etc...  I am not gonna fork out ebay prices to do a youtube channel; and there are no "come explore our retro junk!" type warehousing operations here at all.)

 

 

Edited by wierd_w
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Now that I am home from work---

 

This guy is a tool.  What he SHOULD have done:

 

Set the top of the case to the side, with monitor facing upright. Set it to the RIGHT of the open system, so that the power pass-through can reach the connector port on the PSU. (OR, since that is a standard AT supply, get a snazzy ATX->AT converter, and use that-- but be sure the board does not require a -5v rail, since ATX supplies do not commonly supply that these days. Since this is an 8086 inside, I strongly suspect that it does in fact need -5v, which is why I think you should stick with the original PSU.)  Use the monitor's power on switch to activate the system, but connect the monitor port in the back of the computer to a known working monitor, powered separately. It looks like there would be plenty of room to do this, if you faced it so that the "rear" portion of the top cover was facing left, into the right hand side of the open unit. It would make it a little troublesome to use the switch, but it looks like the cords would reach in that configuration.

 

This would keep all HV electronics in their intended configuration, and avoid this kind of dumbassedness, while affording the troubleshooting functionality he sought after.

 

(resumes watching video)

 

The post beep is "System options not set", or at least, that's what my PS/2 era experience tells me.  The inside looks like this came out at about that era. If so, this is just before IBM went into full "STOP THE CLONES!" mode, and started clamping everything down like a nun's underwear with MCA.  This means he will need the appropriate system setup diskette for that unit.

 

(Continues watching)

 

Yup-- Got an ideogram for an unset clock on the one unit with working display.

If I were him, I would use the known working display, and one of the working PSUs from one of the "No post beeps" systems, to investigate the one who's PSU he smoked, since it gave post beeps. That would help identify if the issues in the other "has post beeps but no display" systems have a monitor problem, or a problem with the VGA hardware...

 

(continues watching)

 

Goofy display is likely not a bad character rom. The "shifted display" acts more like bad video RAM to me. It happens right at an appropriate memory boarder, which suggests a bad ram chip. Further, the "Offset display" behavior acts like the system is responding to one of the bunged up characters being identical to a CR reserved byte, and another acting like TAB.  That would give the "On next line" and "X number spaces shifted" behaviors. If the chips are socketed (HAH!), I would attempt swapping chips with some of the other donated units, to see if the problem gets resolved.

 

And no shit sherlock-- that system wants its system setup diskette, not a DOS boot diskette.  IBM was going full proprietary mode, and that system WILL *NOT* BOOT until it gets its CMOS reset, USING THE IBM SETUP DISKETTE. At the very least, you should take the opportunity to replace that lithium battery. While you are fortunate that it has not exploded in there from the 20+ years of storage, it is quite apparent the cell is dead, and unless you want to keep feeding it the setup diskette every time you turn the power off, this is the first thing you should address. 

 

(continues watching)

 

He gives up too easily.  Since there is suggestion that this is a prototype, I would examine the date sequence and lot numbers of the chips inside, and correlate that against released PS/1 and PS/2 series computers, then attempt to use the setup diskettes from those series. There's a chance one could get lucky.

 

EDIT ONE MOAR TIME--

 

Of course, he does not need to try that, since he has THE FREAKING DISKETTE FROM THE BOX RIGHT THERE. (Timestamp 8:11)  The advanced diagnostics diskette is EXACTLY what he needs.  (In fact, if he were a GOOD data historian, he would dump the contents of that disk and make it available, simply BECAUSE the "Allmighty Google" does not have any knowledge of that beast!!)

 

 

 

 

Edited by wierd_w
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6 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Now that I am home from work---

 

This guy is a tool.  What he SHOULD have done:

 

[...]

 

I watched the video last night (just before bed) and even my very limited knowledge of electronics was enough to catch the obvious mistakes -- a paperclip in the power supply? Seriously? -- but I really enjoyed this detailed analysis.  

 

 

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The video was painful to watch. He was clearly in a hurry to get a video made and posted to YouTube rather than setting the computer aside and getting the proper tools and information to proceed. I wonder if this is the result of the pressure for YouTubers to make content so they get paid?

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I'm beginning to see the decline of his channel. It sorta reminds me of the video game crash of '83 really. Like the video game industry was, he's rushing to upload videos to youtube, work on his computer, go to conventions, and everything, and he does it all wrong and things go downhill.

Obviously he has at least some clue on how electronics work, but he's both not experienced enough in this category, he's rushing, and he's careless. That's not a particularly great combination when working with a priceless prototype.

I mean, it's not too late to sort this mess out, is it? There are plenty of technicians on youtube that should be able to repair the computers to working order, then figure out what's wrong with the power supply. The thing is, since it's a prototype, there's a chance that they never even worked properly in the first place. Maybe they should just go to the museums in their current, non-working condition?

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59 minutes ago, mattsoft said:

The video was painful to watch. He was clearly in a hurry to get a video made and posted to YouTube rather than setting the computer aside and getting the proper tools and information to proceed. I wonder if this is the result of the pressure for YouTubers to make content so they get paid?

You betchabottomdollar!

 

And not only that I'm seeing more loud graphics and faster talking. Just more noise overall. Both audio and visual.

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53 minutes ago, bluejay said:

I mean, it's not too late to sort this mess out, is it? There are plenty of technicians on youtube that should be able to repair the computers to working order, then figure out what's wrong with the power supply. The thing is, since it's a prototype, there's a chance that they never even worked properly in the first place. Maybe they should just go to the museums in their current, non-working condition?

How do we know these are prototypes? Has it been confirmed?

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3 minutes ago, Keatah said:

How do we know these are prototypes? Has it been confirmed?

It's not confirmed, but I think there's a really good chance that they're prototypes. Why else would there be no information at all on google?

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54 minutes ago, bluejay said:

It's not confirmed, but I think there's a really good chance that they're prototypes. Why else would there be no information at all on google?

Because nobody bought them. This is IBM- they were probably trying to sell them for $3000 more than street price for an equivalent computer at the time.

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Just now, R.Cade said:

Because nobody bought them. This is IBM- they were probably trying to sell them for $3000 more than street price for an equivalent computer at the time.

That kind of makes sense... But there should have at least been something on google.

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Generally, I have enjoyed his older content.  This is one of those videos I physically shuttered when I saw what he did with the dremel.  WTF!?  Those gouges.  I am far from experienced when modding anything, let alone what he was attempting.  However, I also own ALL of the proper tools I would ever need.  Hell, I took apart a PS4 console that sounded like a jet taking off.  It purrs now.  NO DAMAGE!  Honestly, there was no real review here.  This should have been left on the editing room floor, and replaced with some short filler video.

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22 hours ago, bluejay said:

A few hours ago the 8 bit guy uploaded a video of himself hastily trying to get an incredibly rare IBM 7496 Executive Workstation prototype working properly. He proceeds to dremel the sides of a screwdriver and sticks a paper clip inside the power supply, making it blow up. I'm a fan of the 8 bit guy, but on this episode it feels like he was rushing thing much more than he should have. There are plenty of other people on youtube that would have gladly taken their time to work out what was wrong with them.

 

Watched this yesterday.  I'll agree with you that the paper clip and trimming the security-bit screw were dumb (especially when he says that he doesn't have security bits, which are generally available from Harbor Freight on a walk-in basis).  However:

 

22 hours ago, bluejay said:

If you think about it, this system is potentially rarer than an Apple I.

In terms of units produced?  Possibly.  In terms of relevance to the history of computing as a whole?  Probably not, since it's basically just a PS/2 variant.  Definitely an oddball, but it's still just a PS/2 variant.

 

That said, I'll certainly agree that he seemed to be rushing this video to release, likely because of the dearth of easily-searchable information regarding the machine.  But that really doesn't excuse how he approached the machine(s), or the very half-baked conclusions he came to regarding them.

 

For the most part, his content is typically OK as far as I'm concerned.  Not necessarily a bastion of accuracy, but close enough as doesn't matter.  In this case, however, he really screwed up both procedurally and technically.

 

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Since he claims to have thrown in the towel, we should collectively send him a love-letter asking for the systems.

 

:)

 

He's in Dallas?  That's a day or so drive from here.  I am probably the closest to that area.

 

 

As for historical relevance...  This system is **ISA**.  That means it is JUST before the PS/2 series, and makes it a missing link type system, between the heavy duty trashcan 5150s and pals, and the PS/2 line. 

 

I would very much like to have somebody trace out that "Dont use this slot!" slot, to see if it is in actuality an early design prototype for 16bit MCA, rather than ISA. (or if any other special test lines are exported through that slot.)

 

...

...

 

You know..  Now that I think about it.. I should look to see if there is an FCC ID on the back of that thing from the video.  Part of the submission process for approval is to submit the user documentation, as part of the exhibit. 

Edited by wierd_w

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Its starting to show up in Google, its not a proptype.. but appears to Pre-date their entire POS line of products around 1984-1985.

 

The product/model numbers immediately before and after indicate it was a venture into a niche Restaurant POS system before it was called POS.

 

That's inference.. but then their first POS products that stood alone, and not networked with serial 38,400 connections share a lot of the same case design choices.

 

So yeah.. it might be these are incredibly rare.. exactly because A. They were standalone PC's to be used with cash drawers and printers, B. The line was not continued, they started up the 4680 and POS 500 line of products which are much more familiar today. But they were on an offical product list that Google is finding now. And the reasons for the design choices, like cable mangment in the back for standing on a checkout podium, and the employee turn key style lock preventing access to the drive bays.. and the cash drawer.. made perfect sense.

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I know the 30 is ISA. I'm led to understand the 25 has the same mobo as the 30, differing only in having the monitor built in. Not sure if any other ISA PS/2s exist - don't think so.

 

I got the 30/286 for very specific reasons - it being ISA was one of them.

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