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PCD2 CPU card - unknown manufacturer, unknown switch function 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Well, after I realized that the battery of the "CPU board" is dead, I tried to remove the CPU card. This was a small disaster, because I have to figure out how to dismantle the rest before I can pull the card itself. But I survived, so here is a picture of that 386SX ISA-Bus card, plugged in my Siemens PCD-2:

I have no clue what function that switch on right has. It is NOT a switch for CPU frequency (already test with LANDMARK Speedtest).
The card is not a typical industrial CPU card, because almost all of these cards are smaller/not full sized cards. May be someone knows the manufacturer of this card ?

Added later: I have also open questions about this Multi-I/O Floppy + IDE controller card, an Acer controller chip is visible...

I've figured out 4 of 7 jumper easily (located on the right side), enabling/disabling Parallel- and Serial interface. One of the more left located jumper is for Floppy enable/disable.
But two of them are a mystery for me. It seems the outer most left jumper disables the Game Port, but if I choose the lower position for this jumper, Floppy LED is always on, regardless of the fact, that Game Port is also disabled. Very strange...

Added again later:
It looks like this one:
That means, NO Game-Port DISABLING is possible :-(
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Another Siemens PCD-2 - but surprisingly with a Intel 386SX CPU ?! 
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 06:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Recently I found another Siemens PCD-2, but this one was totally different from the other.
The main difference - instead of a Intel 286 CPU, I found a 386SX CPU (20 MHz), but still inserted on a CPU card (no "classic" mainboard inside).

There was also no proprietary Siemens BIOS used, instead, I found an AMI BIOS:

Chipset was still from OPTI, a lot of SIMMs can be also found on the CPU card.

I had to replace the 3.5" floppy drive (this happens not often), a Seagate 3144AT (IDE) runs fine (almost fine, the drive already makes some noise, but at the moment not too loud).

But Arkanoid II is running well, so I guess I am satisfied also with a 386SX PCD2 :-)

Somebody else already replaced the 286 CPU card with a better CPU, too.
See "related Link", may be this PCD-2 here was also already modified in a similar manner.

If you're curious about the original PCD-2, look at my page >here<.
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Siemens PCD-2 monochrome monitor adapter 
Saturday, May 2, 2015, 04:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Having a bit time, I created a monitor adapter for my Siemens PCD-2.
The Siemens monochrome monitor has no own power supply, it gets its power by the DB9 connector (strange!), means +12V on pin #2.
I had to cut the connection between pin #2 from the mda/cga card and pin #2 from the monitor, and also had to get 12V from elsewhere. This is my solution:

Now I will hopefully be able to use also an EGA card (without 12V power supply) with my multifrequency monochrome monitor (this monitor model is *very* rare).

See original manual page of the Siemens PCD-2 at "related link" below.

See also my web page about the Siemens PCD-2 >here<.
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*VERY* old skool char only game - ZZT from Epic Megagames 
Friday, February 27, 2015, 11:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
For those IT oldtimers, "Nethack" is well known for several platforms, even for CP/M-80 Nethacks predecessor "Rogue" is available.
"Nethack" has still its own living community, especially for LINUX.

But there was also a more colorful variant available, "ZZT" from Epic Megagames.
It uses the special characters from IBM PCs screen font of the text mode, which is still present even today in modern 8-core i7 Personal Computers.

But take a look for yourself (Startscreen Ezanya World):

After a few steps in front of a pub (Hic!):

Talking with the barkeeper:

Using a torch (in a dungeon, only for 20 seconds!):

You can be dead very fast, so you will have hours to practice (to survive longer) ...

I tried it also on my old PC with monochrome screen, it has a mode for it:

There is also another blog entry about it:

And there is also a modern version named "DreamZZT" available (Mac OS X, Windows ....).

See related link for a download possibility.
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Fun with Hercules Graphics Adapter - my Amstrad PC1640 still make it... 
Saturday, February 14, 2015, 12:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
Resurrecting a defunct Kalok hard disk drive in my Amstrad (Schneider) PC1640HD30, I was a bit unhappy about the fact I own for this computer only a monochrome monitor (PC-MD).
So I was looking for games which could be run with a hercules graphics adapter.
There are some (even Prince of Persia), but most of the game copies I found were configured only for VGA (or EGA). And so also the beautiful CHESSMASTER 3000 ...
But thanks to Ebay, you will be still able to find an original game box with the disks:

These disks were not in a suitable floppy disk format, but the game itself is not copy protected, so I was able to install it on an other computer with a 3.5" floppy disk drive.
Then I packed all files with ARJ and -v360 option and copied it on several 5.25" disks.
Finally I unpacked it on my Amstrad and yeaaahhh it immediately runs:

The picture isn't sharp enough to show that it is similar to an Atari ST screen with a SM124 monitor, it's really crisp sharp and makes lot of fun - even if the computer plays against itself ;-)
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