UTek (V) filesystems and boot blocks (with some OT Tek

From: Tony Duell <ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed Jan 26 17:52:19 2005

> The HP9830 is certainly a nice machine. I've got one, and considering it
> has almost all the same features as the Tek 4051 (substitute a
> 40-character, 1-line LED display for the CRT) but came out 3 years earlier

Acxtually it's 32 chracter (8 off 4-character modules). The driver
circuitry is a little odd too, to save on transistors. Electonically,
it's not a 160 cloumn by 7 roww array of LEDs (each character being 5 by
7), it's a 28 by 40 array. No you really didn't need to know that ;-)

> it's definitely comparable overall. I've never had a chance to play with
> my 9830B but I wonder how the BASIC compares to that in the 4051.

The built-in BASIC is pretty minimal, it doesn't even have string
variables. There are add-on ROMs to give string variables, extended I/O
(including some binary I/O features), matrices, plotter, etc.

> True, true. The keyboard leaves a lot to be desired on some models of the
> 9825 though.

True enough. My 9825 has the 'real' keyboard, my 9831 (electically the
same machine, but with BASIC, not HPL, in ROM) has the chicklet one.

> > Of course both HP and Tektronix were not trying to sell to hobbyists, and
> > their machines were far to expensive for most homes...
> Indeed. But my point was that people marvel over the early micros like
> the Altair, etc., touting features such as "first with graphics display",
> "first with mass storage", "first with integrated CRT", etc., and fail to
> realize that there were much more powerful systems available that were
> years ahead of the hobbyist micros. Sure, they were thousands of dollars
> more, but there they were. It offers a much different perspective on the
> hobbyist machines of that era.

I feel somewhat odd saying this to you (with your love of the Apple ][,
etc)... I believe the Apple ][ design was offered to HP, but they turned
it down, the often-stated reason being that they couldn't see the point
of small computers. I have often wondered if the real reason was that HP
were already making superior machines (albeit at about 10 times the
price!), and HP (at that time) were not trying to go for the mass market.
Whether or not that was a good decision is another matter...

Received on Wed Jan 26 2005 - 17:52:19 GMT

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