IPC info (longish) was: Re: HP IPC (update)

From: Joe <rigdonj_at_cfl.rr.com>
Date: Fri Apr 12 08:42:04 2002

    Here's a message that I send to Brian ("Brian_at_oldcomputers" <brian_at_oldcomputers.freeserve.co.uk>) in response to his questions about the IPC.


Hi Brian,

  First, General info.
  Have you seen this web site <http://www.coho.org/~pete/IPC/integral.html>? I helped Peter when he got his IPC and he has posted a lot of general information about the IPC there. It also has some disk images that you can download. There are images there of all of the disks that come with the IPC. I've been intending to set up an IPC web site but I don't know when I'll ever get to it.

  Second; ROMs.

  Thgere are only two ROM options available to the public for the IPC. (the Software Engineering ROM and a Technical BASIC ROM). You will notice a door in the center of the back cover of the IPC. That's where the operating Systems ROM is located. Open the door and look at the box that's there. It should have a label telling you which version of Unix is installed in the machine. Most of them came with version 5.0 but there's also a version that's marked 1.something (0, I think). (verified later as 1.0) Despite what Peter says on his web page, the first IPCs came with an older version of Unix. According to the sales literature, HP wasn't even sure that they were going to offer Unix version 5.

   One of the options for the IPC is Technical BASIC in ROM. If the BASIC ROM has been installed there is supposed to be a sticker on the OS ROM box that says that BASIC has been installed.

  The "ROM" is actually a small CCA (Circuit Card Assembly) that contains the ROMs. If you buy that ROM you install it by opening the door and pulling out the OS ROM box then dissamble the box to remove a small CCA that contains the OS ROMs. You then plug the BASIC CCA unto the OS CCA and replace both of them in the box and reinsert the box in the back of the IPC.

  The other "ROM" option for the IPC is the "Software Engineering ROM". However this one isn't a ROM either. It's a full sized expansion card that mounts in one of the expansion card slots at the bottom of the back. This name is very misleading, it's really a full set of HP-UX in ROM. It will be obvious if this ROM is installed. One of my IPCs has something that's really odd. It's serial port card that says option 001. It's not listed in the HP catalogs but it turns out to be a Software Engineering ROM with a serial port card piggy backed onto it. So it has both cards but they use only one slot. Wahoo!

  There was a third ROM for the IPC but it was never sold to the public. That's the Service ROM. The Service ROM replaced the OS ROM entirely and could be used to troubleshoot machines that would not boot. I do have one of the service ROMs.

   External drives:
   I may be able to help you with software once I'm able to connect a 2nd drive onto mine so that I can readily duplicate disks. FWIW the IPC supports the HP 9122D and 9122S external floppy disk drives. The S model has a single drive and the D model has dual drives. There's also a 9122C drive but it's a quad density drive. The IPC will use it but there's some incapatiblity problems with it. The D and S drives are the same as what's in the IPC and you should be able to copy directly between the IPC and them. I have some of those but I have to sort through them to find a good one (see below).

 The IPC also supports a number of other drives including the HP 9133 and 9134 drives. The 9134 is a hard drive only and the 9133 is a hard drive and a floppy drive in one box. I think HP also says that it will support the 9153/9154 drives. Depending on the letter that follows the model number those hard drives range from about 15 to 40Mb. That doesn't sound like much these days but it's more than enough capacity for the IPC.

  I presently have three drives that I'm using on the IPC; a 7958B, a 9133 and a 7945. The one that I use the most is a 7958 which has a capacity of about 150Mb. It's inteneded for a medium size business computer and is not listed as being compatible with the IPC but I've been using it for years and it works fine. The 7945 is also not listed for the IPC but it seems to be working fine also but I've just been using it for a short time. The IPC is also supposed to support the HP 9125 5 1/4" floppy drive but I've never played with one of them. I did try to use a HP 9127 5 1/4" floppy drive on the IPC but I couldn't get the system to recognize it.

   The reason that I mentioned the drives is because I've been trying to install all of the IPC software that I have onto a single drive. If I can do that then I could simply copy everything to another drive and set up a new system. But I'm having touble getting things to work from the hard drive. The diagnostics is one example, it works fine from a floppy diks but it will not run from a hard drive! I'm no expert with Unix so I'm trying to get together with a friend of mine that is and perhaps he can figure out what's wrong.

   BTW I should tell you to be carefull with HP's double-sided disk drives, like the one that's used in the IPC, the 9122 and the 9133. They have a bad habit of gumming up and then they don't open all the way and you have to pry the disk out and force a new disk into the drive. If you have any symptoms like that DON'T USE THE DRIVE! By not opening all the way, it will cause the top head to catch on the disk and rip it off the drive! Two of my IPCs and all by 9122s are acting that way right now, that's why I can't copy disks at the moment. The fix isn't difficult, you have to remove the drive from the housing, take the sheet metal cover off the drive and then use solvent to remove the old grease on the sides of the dives where the part that holds the disk moves up and down againt the frame. I usually use alcohol and just pour it ove the drive and work it around and then wipe up the alcohol and dissovled grease. I use pressurinzed solvent such as carburator cleaner to get into any tight places. But you have to
 be careful with that stuff, it will dissolve many plastics. I'm also careful not to let the dirty alcohol get on the heads. After the mechanism works freely, I relubricate it sparingly with a good quality grease such as gun grease. The finally step is to clean the heads thoroughly. Then replace the cover and reinstall the drive.

   Here are the steps to get the drive out of an IPC. Unplug the power cord. Open the top cover/carrying handle then open the printer cover. In the bottom of the storage compartment next to the printer you will see two small screws. Remove them. Close the printer cover and case cover to get them out of the way. Remove any expansion cards in the back, then remove the two screws that hold on the back cover (one of each side). The back cover has hooks at the bottom that engage the rest of the machine so open the top of the back cover first then unhook it at the bottom. You will see the back of the drive on the left. Unplug the power cable and data cable, remove the one screw at the back of the drive and you can then pull out the drive.

  Reverse the steps to reinstall the drive. But first check that the eject button and it's spring is still in it's hole. (The drive is the only thing that holds them in place and they can fall into the bottom of the machine). There's a switch above the two cables on the back of the drive, make sure it is in the down position.

   The software that I have includes; Unix version 5, utility software that goes with the SE ROM, Technical BASIC (disk version), C compiler (I think it includes an assembler), Fortran, Micro-Track, Plot-Trak, Calculator, DataComm, MultiPlan and TK! Solver. I have all the manual for these as well as all of the user's manuals for the IPC. I also have the service manuals for the IPC.

   Technical BASIC:

   I'm sure that you noticed that I kept referring to Technical BASIC. That's because the IPC was intened to replace the HP-85 and HP envisioned that most user's would use it as an instrument controller runing BASIC. But it appears that that's not what happened. I've never seen an IPC set up as an instrument controller. I think the Unix scared away most of those users. However I STILL see lots of HP-85s in use! In fact, I was watching an episode of This Old House awhile back and they were using a HP-85 to measure numerous tempatures in a house to check for insulation efficiency. But getting back to Technical BASIC, HP offered it in a ROM and in a disk based version. One reason that I know that HP was serious about using the IPC to replade the HP-85 is because they printed four different manuals for it. There is a Programming Techniques manual, an I/O Programming manual and a two volumes of Technical BASIC reference manuals. In contrast, the C compiler manual is only about 20 pages long (but they did include
 the Motorola data manual for the 68000 and K&R's Unix manual).

   Whew! That's enough for now. E-mail any other questions and I'll try to answer them.


At 12:32 PM 11/25/01 -0000, you wrote:
>Hi Joe
>I am very interested, I don't know anything at all about it. Unfortunately I
>don't have any software to run on it either.
>The one I have has a Unix ROM in it, I don't know if there were other ROM's,
>anything you can tell me will be very welcome.
>Is there any chance of you copying any software I will obviously pay you.
>I am really looking forward to hearing from you, I have been waiting for
>several years to find someone who knows about the Integral. You are only the
>second person I have come across with one or should I say Six
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Joe" <rigdonj_at_intellistar.net>
>To: <brian_at_oldcomputers.freeserve.co.uk>
>Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2001 6:58 PM
>Subject: HP Integral
>> Hi Brian,
>> I found your web page about the HP Integral while searching the net. I
>> have six Integrals and I can tell you anything that you want to know about
>> them if you're still interested.
>> Joe
Received on Fri Apr 12 2002 - 08:42:04 BST

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