sol-20 + Helios II system score, plus plea

From: Jim Battle <>
Date: Sun Jun 10 23:14:39 2001

Well, sometimes great things just happen when you aren't looking.

Friday night I got an email from a woman who lives 10 minutes from me. She
was moving and had a Sol-20 with a Helios II disk system and would I want
to take it?

Needless to say, I did. I'm a happy guy. Well, I was before I got it, so
maybe I should say even happier guy.

There are two problems: although she had about 8 8" floppies, only one of
them appears to be hard-sectored, which I think the helios system
was. Second, although there is a very nice persci manual, the manual
containing the technical information (programming, schematics, theory of
operation) for the two-board disk controller wasn't to be found.

So, a few pleas:

1) Does anybody have the technical docs for the P.T. disk controller for
the Helios system?

2) Does anybody have any disks images for the Helios? Any disks? Bob Stek
was kind enough to supply me with a copy of a listing of the source code
for PT-DOS, but OCR'ing and correcting over 200 pages of source code in a
very small font might be too much to take on.

3) What should I do with my one disk that might work with this system?
        3a) Just try and boot off of it
        3b) Try to tune up the persci disk (and maybe make it worse) then boot the
        3c) Find a service that specializes in recovering data from old disks

On 3a, I'm discouraged from doing this as the cabinet is full of dust and
spider carcasses. If I do a thorough job cleaning, then perhaps as long as
I'm there I should adjust things.

On 3b, has anybody done this (back in the day)? Is it for mere mortals, or
does it really require special skills to prevent making things even worse?

On 3c, does anybody know how much that costs for doing just one disk? Ten
disks? Are there any risks of the disk getting trashed?

My ultimate hope is to get PT-DOS running on Solace. I know it is a pain
to dig out old docs, but if you have them, please contact me and I'll try
to work out something with you to make it worth the effort.

(BTW, a few weeks ago I updated Solace to fix a few bugs and add a few
minor features -- it is at version 2.3 now:

Jim Battle ==
Received on Sun Jun 10 2001 - 23:14:39 BST

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