Einstein - Video / Foto / Program & Hardware testing
I started with a Power 3000 also known as lambda 8300.
The Power 3K was a special model only sold at Fśtter BR here in Denmark. BR was a new toy store back then. The CPU was a Z80 and there was only 2 Kb of RAM. So we got a RAM extension. It was 16 Kb for only 400 kr (62 dollars)
The manual to the computer did open my eyes for Basic and was easy to work with. The only bad thing about the Power 3000 was its rubber keys.
2 years later did my father see an announcement for the Sharp MZ-731. It was really modern technology. The computer had build in tape drive and plotter.
The computer did not have build in basic. That was good and bad at the same time. The computer started up in machine langue. But also had some build in functions as L (Load) S (save) Dxxxxxxxxx (Dump adress to address)
The Sharp MZ-700 and Power 3000 did not have real graphics. But the MZ-700 had 512 char instead. 256 main and 256 "game" char.
Later on I got my own Sharp MZ-700...it was okay but soon I got a MZ-800 instead.
The MZ800 was way smarter. It had 3 voices, one noise channel and reel graphics. The MZ 800 was no fun without the extra 16 kB video memory. With the extra video memory the resolution was 640x200 in 4 colors (80x24 char) and 320x200 in 16 colors (40x24 char).
Like the MZ-700 The Sharp MZ-800 didn't have a build in basic. Thatís smart because it allows you to be free of any kind of basic. There was a special Danish basic. All the command was translated to Danish.
Sharp 800 basic was not very fast, but it was real easy to program. As an example:
10 CIRCLE [2,0]50,130,60,0.5,0,pi/4.0
It will draw a circle seen from the side and only a part of the circle. Red colored.
CIRCLE [color]x-axis,y-axis,radius,angel, start,end
The basic had other features like the command BYE and LIMIT
BYE is a machine code monitor that runs along with basic. Because the basic is in the main RAM and not in ROM you have to use the LIMIT command to Limit the area the basic had access to.
Oh how I love that Sharp ! Actually I just got an extra MZ-800 (06-06-2004) and I have a case modd'ed Sharp already. They a both with disk drive which are very fast. They read about 64 kb in 5 sec and thatís fast when you only got 64 Kb of RAM!!!!
The Sharp MZ-800 could also run CP/M 2.2. It was a bit like DOS from the PC. Here I learned Pascal.
You could get Pascal and Forth to the Sharp, but Pascal under the operation system CP/M was just smarter. I was possibel to make .com files, witch was directly executable from the CP/M system. Nearly all the commands in CP/M was little program. Like format and pip (that means copy).
I also owned a Amstrad CPC464. It was okay to play games on but that was it. The Sharp MZ-800 will be the computer to remember.
Later I got an PC. My first one a 286 12 MHZ 2Mb RAM, 20 Mb Harddisk and later a co-processor. That co-processor and otherís have follow me ever since. The grapichcard was a Hercules witch was capable off showing 720 x 348 but only black and white. A quite high resolution for the time.
To play games I'd had to run a CGA emulation. It worked okay when you think of the weak power off the computer. The graphics board had also a parallel port.
The money was small back then, so to be able to listen to music I made a Covox module. The computer could make sound though the PC speaker, but the sound was really bad. But the Covox was great. I even made a stereoCovox and a stereo Covox at one parallel port.
The next computer was a 386SX (16 bit) .... and later a Co-processor. It was also a nice computer and way better than the 286. It did run windows on the 286, but..... with 2 Mb RAM and the memory was not standard when I got the 286 anymore.
It was an Intel motherboard and although it was Intel it was NOT standard!!!! The board was very fast. The ISA port could run at 16 MHz (the standard is 8 MHz). Later on I overclocked the board to 20 MHz. It doesn't sound much these days, but back then you really needed ALL the power you could get. I also got a sound card. Then I overclocked the machine to 25 MHz, but my sound card didn't work after that, so back to 20 MHz!
In those days you could not change the FSB speed from the BIOS. I had to solder on the motherboard to change the crystal to make it go faster then the 16 MHz.
For a reason I don't know this computer could NOT run IBM dos!!! I used it, but the computer crashed often. Then I changed to another DOS and there was no problems at all.
Then I borrowed a 486SX 25MHz (without CO processor) from my god friend Codex. The first thing I did was to overclocked it to 40 MHz. And it was stable at that speed.
Later I got a 486DX 40MHz (NOT DX2!!!). It's the best CPU ever. Not AMD, but just THIS CPU !!! I got a special motherboard and overclocked it to 60 MHz (NOT standard at all). At this time the fastest CPU was 50 MHz of a DX2 CPU (25/50 og 33/66). But that was trouble. This time it was the local Bus. My local bus harddisk controller could work at max 60 MHz. Some day I tried 66 MHz (still NOT double speed). And printed DIR. That looked strange, so I marked a MK dir. That was the most stupid decision in my life...all data from my HD was gone....and just in about half a sec.
The great thing about running 60 MHz was that my computer did start up twice as fast as my friends DX2 66 Machines. The not so great thing was I could have an Local bus graphics card
Great machine. I could also tweak the ISA port. Actually it was possible to make my graphics card work at a speed about 20% less than a Local bus card. but only in the landmark speed test . But in windows it sucked
Then I got a NexGen (Intel Pentium clone). I was exceptive and had PCI slot. The NexGen was a later to become the the AMD k6. Except this CPU (the NexGen) was really lousy. No Co-processor. And the CPU was RISK CPU (like Intel and AMD today). Thatís smart, but some bud ass stupid motherfucker did think....If this CPU is detected as and 386...that would be smart. So many programs didn't work. WinNT....to name one.
Later they maked a program to "cheat" the programs to see it as another CPU. The funny thing about the CPU was that it was always the same speed. If a game detected it as a 386 it was just as fast as if it was detected as a 486. But that must be the due to the RISK instruction.
The NexGen was the worst motherboard and CPU EVER!!!! But it had PCI, so I didn't have to change any cards when I got my Pentium
My first Pentium was a 166MHz without MMX instructions. It could run 180 MHz in my motherboard, but 200 MHz in a friends motherboard. The MMX CPU has dual voltage, so I just selected MMX at the jumpers at my motherboard and then It run 200MHz.
I also had a AMD k6-2 [AMD K-suck 2] Just because it was cheap and as seciund computer.
Later a Pentium II 233 MHz. That was also a great CPU with NO multiply restrictions. It was possible to run 133x2. But most of the time i just run 100x3 instead of the 66x3.5. It was also a great CPU. The a Celeron 300a that run 450MHz. The Celeron 300a was faster than a Pentium II 300 MHz. The reason was that the CPU run full speed on the cache.
The Celeron was used to make RC5 codes, witch require 100% CPU use. The CPU did run at 450 MHz for a year (24Hours 7 days a week). I did boot the CPU every 24 hours. It was back in the days win98. The boot also free up some memory
The a Celeron 566 that also was easy to overclock. It run perfect at 850 MHz. The Celeron 566 is clock locked. That means it can only run clock times 8.5. But instead of running 66 MHz x 8.5 you just run 100 MHz on the frontside bus and ....... 850 MHz
Now I got a 1400 Celeron that have the PIII instruction set. It runs at 100Mhz x 14. And is NOT clocked able
It works okay, but I'm used to overclocking so this CPU is no fun !
Einstein / Alivecrew