From: Jeff Hellige <jhellige_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Tue Mar 27 19:41:31 2001

> My Zenith luggable m.171 8088 also uses this to get into the
>excellent monitor
>program. IIRC so did the Z100 CPMs. One of the great problems of
>286clones was
>they lost all settings if the battery went dead. While there was the
>utility for getting
>the BIOS config. {"getbios.com" ?} many other settings were hard to retrieve
>unless you had the boot disk. The PS/2 reference disks at least had Big Blue
>providing support. There's much to be said for the older dip switch method.
> I was fortunate in getting set-up disks for my NEC 286 Pro-Speed before they
>disappeared into that great abandoned archive in the sky.

        One problem with losing the BIOS settings after a dead
battery was with the hard disk setup. Since it was generally a
hit-or-miss type thing, even if you knew the exact geometry, it might
be hard to actually get the disk set back up and working again while
being able to still read the data. Since user-definable drive types
came a bit later, it was common for people to pick a drive type that
was 'close' and it wasn't always possible to reconfigure it properly
later on. It was always a good idea to at least write down the drive
parameters used, or even tape it to the inside of the cover! It
wasn't bad with the standard drives like the ST-225 or ST-251 but
oddball drives were a problem.

        One thing that appeared a lot in my support of the Z-248's
was that people would be told how to warm-boot the machine and then
they'd inadvertently hit <ctrl><alt><ins> instead. One guy did this
and flailed around in the monitor program trying to get out and he
changed the video adapter settings. Once I got there, I had to reset
it without being able to see the display. Thankfully I worked in
that monitor long enough that I could recall how many times to tab
down until I got to that option and then switched it back.

       Collector of Classic Microcomputers and Video Game Systems:
                      Home of the TRS-80 Model 2000 FAQ File
Received on Tue Mar 27 2001 - 19:41:31 BST

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