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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 22nd Jun 2021, 5:24 pm   #1
MarcoBerti
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Default HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Hello,
this may be a silly question, but I am lucky enough to have a 1986 HP Vectra 286 still working. Very low chassis number, made in California, bought as an HP employee with a significant discount.
An 80287 co-processor has been added, as well as additional memory.
The point is: how can I bring documents that are either on its hard disk or on 5,25" floppies to today's world ? There is a serial and a parallel port: perhaps an USB memory can be connected to the serial port ?
Thanks in advance, cheers
Marco
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Old 22nd Jun 2021, 6:31 pm   #2
Mark1960
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

I think it would have an ide hard drive, so the easiest method might be to get a usb to ide adapter and connect its hard drive to a modern pc via usb to copy the files.
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Old 22nd Jun 2021, 8:10 pm   #3
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Serial port transfer, I have been replicating an old Win95 system at work and the only* way I can transfer files is by the serial port. The easy way is to use Hyperterminal (honestly an awful thing but it works and is available for new machines too) and a null modem cable. Most old versions of windows had it free, the latest is a paid for with 30 day free trial.

*only, I could use an ide to serial adaptor but the flaky things don't really want disturbing, it is the way I got the OS (operating system) files onto the old disk in the first place and it took a few goes to get it working reliably, I used Linux for that, Windows 10 couldn't cope!
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 4:23 am   #4
jimjim1
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

What OS are you using? Both computers please.

Your options seem to be :-

IDE hard drive and USB caddy
Hmmm. Not sure now. Your PC may have MFM or EISA. I think ISA was later.

XMODEM
http://www.resoo.org/docs/dos/free_software/comm1.htm
Maybe Kermit
Putty on modern machine
USB to serial cable on modern machine
https://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-Serial-...Serial+Adapter

Something like Laplink

Networking. Packet driver and FTP.
http://www.georgpotthast.de/sioux/packet.htm
http://www.brutman.com/mTCP/
Filezilla ftp server on modern machine
You'll need an ISA ethernet card that suits a Packet Driver and probably an AUI-RJ45 convertor.
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 5:32 am   #5
MarcoBerti
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Thank you very much for your suggestions: I should have Laplink on a 5.25 floppy. Of course if some software is needed on the Vectra side, it would be an issue putting it on a floppy.
I should have a 486 Compaq tower somewhere, with drives for 3.5 and 5.25 floppies and an USB card, but chances are 95% it won't boot.
The ancient Vectra is running on MS-DOS 3.3.
I could also have an ISA Ethernet card, but again some software is needed. Anyway I'll report you soon !
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 8:54 am   #6
arjoll
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBerti View Post
The point is: how can I bring documents that are either on its hard disk or on 5,25" floppies to today's world ? There is a serial and a parallel port
If the HP used a standard floppy interface, then you could be able to connect it to something supporting a newer OS - most motherboards up to later in the Core 2 Duo era still had a floppy interface. Even if it doesn't seem to support the 5.25" drive on the face of it, you can use something like the HxC2001 software to image - I've managed that with early 80s 100tpi drives on a late 00s motherboard.

Hard drive will be more difficult. It'll most likely be ST506/412 interface; there's a small chance it could be SASI or SCSI but that'd be unlikely. Or it could be a custom one. Your best bet may be something like Fastlynx, Laplink or XTLink (part of Xtree Gold) to another DOS PC with an IDE drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1960 View Post
I think it would have an ide hard drive.
No, 1986 is too early for IDE. Very early examples were in Compaqs that year, but only available elsewhere from mid-1987 and only just coming mainstream around 89/90. I remember in 1990 most pricelists here still had plenty of ST506/412 drives, with IDE being brand new when I bought a Seagate 120 MB (still advertised as Imprimis) in mid 1990. My 286 needed a BIOS update to understand what was going on - the company that sold me the drive burned an AMI BIOS onto an EPROM for me to try, fortunately it worked!
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 9:05 am   #7
woodchips
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Use a 1.44MB 3.1/2" floppy to USB adapter? I have just been copying files from a DOS 486 to floppy and then to a MAC to upload to the web. Seems to work fine.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 8:08 pm   #8
GeoffB17
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

Even older versions of LapLink (for DOS) had a facility where the software could be transferred from one machine to anothe, i.e. run LL on one machine, then when you try to connect to the other machine which does NOT have the software a special prog is transferred, which establishes a link, which transferre the complate LL which establishes a normal connection and proceed from there.

I have a 198? vintage 386sx with both floppy types, which still boots and operates fine. Try your 486 first, and see what happens. If it doesn't work, maybe we can help 'fix' it?

Later computers with more modern connectivity may still have a 3.5" HD drive.

If you don't, ask around. Someone near you may do.

Geoff
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 2:30 pm   #9
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

I would get a USB=Serial device connected to your new computer and wire the two computers together by the serial ports. Remember that you will need a "null modem" cable, which is a fancy way of saying the transmit and receive connections need crossing, i.e. transmit on one computer to receive on the other and vice-versa. Even without flow control you should be able to transfer and 9600 baud or higher without problems. The problem then is getting the communications software on 5.25" floppy for the old computer....
Another possibility is to try and get a 3.5" floppy fitted to your old computer and a USB floppy drive for the new computer, a more long-term approach. I remember having a 3.5" 720k floppy on my old 286 back in the day so the BIOS should support it provided you can get a suitable cable. Many later 286 machines had floppy cables with both edge connectors and pin connectors on for this purpose, if not eBay may be able to help.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 4:19 pm   #10
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

LapLink, Kermit [my favourite], or - if you are desperate - you could perhaps configure the serial port as a 'printer', then use a RS232/V.24 crossover-cable to connect to the serial-port of another computer.

I once did this when needing to recover files from a very old CP/M computer in some lab equipment that had originally driven a serially-connected daisywheel printer; setting the serial-port to 4800-baud let me use a 'modern' computer as the destination device, its serial interface and internal storage was fast enough that it could gobble a 4800-serial datastream without needing any flow-control.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 9:40 pm   #11
Slothie
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Default Re: HP Vectra MK1 still alive: how to save texts ?

I seem to remember some way of using something like COPY /B COM1: xxxxx.yyy to copy over one half of a file transfer program to a remote machine which you couldn't get a physical media to. I think Laplink had this "built in". I have a vague memory of someone I worked with doing it with Kermit from a VAX to a PC, I can't for the life of me remember the details however.
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