Monthly Archives: September 2014

Chips, chips, chips

Back to the computers again, after the post office took a week to deliver a small envelope sized jiffy bag from California. Anyhow, it did arrive, so ultimately all is not lost.
The TRS-80 took a road trip and came home. It was stripped down (lid off, motherboard shield off) in this picture.

trs 80 motherboard

That has to come undone next, and sorta flips up out of the way. Kinda.

floppy and serial cards

Taking care not to break the ribbon cables (again), the floppy drive board (left) and serial card (right) are accessible. The new chip looks a lot like the old one:

floppy chips

It now asks a question it never has before..


This now makes the heads seek to and fro, making a noise akin to a PC on POST, hunting the floppy drive (DRZZ-DRZZ-ddddrrrt).

BASIC listing

The thing still doesn’t boot and I need to research more to see if it’s possible to get it to display what it reads off the disks on the screen. Progress though.

Attention then turned to the Compaq.

I ordered these two beasts on Friday. They arrived here today.


NEC V20 and an Intel 8087. V20 has some 186 instructions and is faster than the 8088 whilst being 99% compatible. Been a long while since I’ve had a V20 powered machine, and the 8087 helps out on programs that use it.

To begin, we have the info screens in CheckIt showing the computer’s stats and benchmark:

8088 stats
8088 benchmark

Shut it down and threw the two new chips in, remembering to slip the DIP switch for the co-processor:

processors in situ

Power it back up and run CheckIt again:

V20 stats
V20 benchmark

Oh yes. that’ll do nicely. Believe it or not, it makes a noticeable difference to the computer.
It’s slowly on the road to being a hotrod!