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Super Hero
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Super Hero
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Originally Posted By: Geoff Hannis
... for the Psion Series 3a PDA's (oh yes, another classic) and even (and dare I say it) the Psion Organiser II (outed in 1986 and still going strong ... indestructible, in fact)!

Good News! I've tracked down the emulators! I fact the one for the Org2 was sent to me by a kindly soul. I guess the guy simply took pity on me. smile

I'm told that the one for the Series 3a was good enough to be able to develop software for the actual device. Which sounds amazing at first shout. But when you think about it, it's probably how most software for hand-held kit is written. That is, from the "comfort" of an emulator running on a desktop PC, and then finally downloaded (uploaded, blasted ... whatever) into non-volatile memory inside the actual device.


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Hero
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Geoff, if you need any 5ΒΌfloppy disks I have just been in a shop that still sells them, first time I have seen these in blank form for over 10 years


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Super Hero
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Before I ask you to rush out, buy up all the surplus stock, and then stash them away in some cool, dark place, well away from anti-aircraft missile battery radars and stuff like that, we would need to establish exactly what they are.

So called Double Density, so called High Density ... and all the other possibilities. Such details matter to 25 year old disk drives that aspire to work with 8-bit microcomputers of similar vintage.

Maybe you should restrict your purchase to just one box in the first instance and then check them out. OK, don't tell me ... no 5.25" disk drive!

I must admit that I've never really gotten to the bottom of all this stuff, but know a few ... er, wizards who (apparently) have. It's interesting (what isn't), but it's "yesterday's technology", unfortunately.

But wait, better make that "fortunately" ... how many disks (and disk drives) have I tried in recent times, only to be ... um, disappointed with the results (as in, loss of irrevocable data)! frown

Also ... see here! Elephants' graveyard? Sorry Neil, but I can't ship to Jeddah.


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Hero
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Double Density is the answer


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Super Hero
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Off the top of my head:- for our purposes (that is, the 8-bit micro scene) DS/DD (Double Sided, Double Density) at 48 TPI (Tracks Per Inch) seem to give best results.

Some folk reckon that it doesn't matter, and other formats (eg, 96 TPI) work OK as the formatter program will sort things out anyway.

However, I remain unconvinced, as the physical (magnetic, spacing etc.) make-up of these various disks are different, all of which can contribute to (in my experience) unpredictable results.

Bear in mind also that we're talking here about disk drives themselves from an earlier age, some of which may have been heavily used, and not quite within original specs!

I made the dumb mistake a while back of wrecking a "new" (unused) disk with a hard-to-find program on it (specific to a particular sideways RAM board) by attempting to read it from an disk drive of, shall we say, unproven capabilities. Unfortunately the drive wrecked the disk. Playing about with this old kit requires a somewhat different approach, you know. Like proceeding at a measured, gentle pace, for instance. frown

Meanwhile, are you about to 'fess up, then, Neil ... to still having your BBC Micro to hand?


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Hero
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Ain't got no old machines at all, only use a desk top at work cos it's free!


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Super Hero
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Where's the fun in that? frown

I just bet there are tons (tonnes?) of good old kit, some of it probably never used, lurking around in Jeddah.

I once knew of a guy who went out to Riyadh and came back with a container stashed with Triumph Trident motorbikes that the Al-Shurta (or it may have been the Al-Haris) didn't have either the nous, mallam, inclination, or wherewithal to be able to look after properly. As you can no doubt believe, they were simply dumped in a heap out in the desert, and some passing expat, probably out on his weekend camping trip, must have alerted the guy back in London.

So Neil ... keep your eyes skinned when you're out and about, Mate. smile


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Huw Online Content
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Originally Posted By: Geoff Hannis
I once knew of a guy who went out to Riyadh and came back with a container stashed with Triumph Trident motorbikes


When was that Geoff? I heard of many such rumours and tried to track them down for years. Unfortunately, I never encountered them in reality frown

Huw #44780 13/03/10 9:41 PM
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Super Hero
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Well ... the last Tridents were made circa. 1974 ...

But I've actually seen one of them (in Croydon). Single seater, radio tray on the back, and painted (as you might expect) in desert khaki. And ... er, I believe the term is "slightly the worse for wear"!

But surely you must have noticed the mountains of junked cars, trucks, Caterpillar tractors, and all the rest when you were out in those parts. Such dumps were usually encountered just out on the edge of town, and I have spent many happy afternoons avoiding the dog packs in such places.

What were those scrapyards called (in the local lingo)? The name escapes me now. frown

How about Tashliyah ... was that it?

OK ... here we go. Oh, the magic of the internet. Of course, they were Cardinals (rather than Tridents). If you remember, British Police Thunderbirds were called Saints. Here's a bit more. And lastly.


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Hero
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There was a load of old computers belonging to the IT department in a storage area, but as that area has been reassigned the computers along with a load of 'junk' were put up for a scrap sale. I hinted that they should have been sent to the schools or colleges but out here everything has to be new!


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