Thoughts on a datascope

From: Bruce Lane <>
Date: Fri Aug 18 09:37:52 2000

Fellow classiccmp'ers,

        I have an interesting situation here. It's a 12-year old datascope, made
by Atlantic Research (their 'Interview 7500'). I had it apart last night to
clean the innards and replace a noisy fan, and I was struck by how
beautifully made it was. Fully modularized, plasma display up front, dual
floppies, and the entire case made out of that heavy resin-style plastic,
sprayed on the inside with conductive coat for shielding.

        And yet, in the midst of all that gorgeous engineering, there was one fly
in the ointment. The unit boots and runs off an ancient Kyocera(!) 20 meg
MFM hard drive, run from a dedicated controller port on one of the boards.

        Now, I know darn good and well that older hard drives tend to be pretty
rugged, especially the lower densities. However, I have no backups, floppy
or otherwise, for the unit's OS, and I've not had any luck so far finding
boot/run floppies for it. I'm fortunate in that it's still working quite
well, but I'm also painfully aware that I might be running on borrowed time.

        Inrange Technology bought out AR's entire line of datascopes, and I do
have an inquiry going with them. However, I'm not holding my breath due to
the age of the unit.

        The core CPU in the unit is a Motorola 68010, so it's a pretty safe bet
that the OS is not DOS-based. This means the hard drive would likely be
unreadable to a PC if hitched, say, to a WD MFM board.

        Any thoughts on how I can back this beastie up? Anyone done anything with
this line of datascope?

        Thanks much.

Bruce Lane, Owner and head honcho, Blue Feather Technologies // E-mail:
Amateur Radio: WD6EOS since Dec. '77 (Extra class as of June-2K)
"Our science can only describe an object, event, or living thing in our
own human terms. It cannot, in any way, define any of them..."
Received on Fri Aug 18 2000 - 09:37:52 BST

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