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Xerox Alto

 
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sdinet



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Xerox Alto Reply with quote

My newly acquired Xerox Alto is shipping to me tomorrow, Can't wait to get it!!! Will upload pics and video as soon as I get it, and maybe even be lucky enough to get it to fire up!
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kb7sqi



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 488
Location: Winston Salem, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I can't wait to see pics. Very Happy [/list]
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helf



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How the *hell* did you find an alto? I've been wanting to get my hands on one of those for years. Please post lots of pics Very Happy
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An ALTO?!

Holy crap. It's the machine of legends!
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sdinet



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah I do feel VERY LUCKY to have found it, but trust me I paid dearly for it (plus $450 for freight, YIKES).

My goal is to get it working, I am hopeful but terrified at the same time, because if I encounter issues there is no documentation, peer assistance, forums or parts to help me repair it.

I plan on video taping the entire process, starting with the unveiling, will keep you all posted!
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itomato



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 302
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some truly great Alto documentation at bitsavers.org.

* schematics

* disc system

* hardware reference pt. 1

* hardware reference pt. 2

* software reference pt. 1

* software reference pt. 2
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NeXTsociety



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 453
Location: Grass Valley, CA.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sdinet wrote:
yeah I do feel VERY LUCKY to have found it, but trust me I paid dearly for it (plus $450 for freight, YIKES).

My goal is to get it working, I am hopeful but terrified at the same time, because if I encounter issues there is no documentation, peer assistance, forums or parts to help me repair it.

I plan on video taping the entire process, starting with the unveiling, will keep you all posted!


Know I know why you have been selling some Cubes. Laughing

tj
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How very cool, well done, surly a milestone and has got to be the centerpiece of the collection.
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure if you need any additional assistance, Bruce Damer of the digibarn has at least one Alto II in his collection as well as some software. It's possible he might also have some knowledge on the Alto as well.
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sdinet



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alto arrived today!!! I need some advice, any best practices on how to safely reform the power supply using a variac? Some say slowly turn from 10% to 100% power in 10 seconds, others say increment 5% ever 30mins, others say 5% increments every 2 hours and allow 30mins for the power supply to cool off in between each increment....
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sdinet



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, I got it fired up and reformed, the voltages appear to be stable! But now I am completely stuck, just a warm humming sound and blank screen. I think I need some professional assistance =(
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blank as in what? No picture at all or picture with a cursor?

If I'm not mistaken, you need the OS disk pack to boot off of.
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scarecrow



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 23
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: ALTO User's Handbook Reply with quote

http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/xerox/alto/AltoUsersHandbook.pdf
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sdinet



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes you are correct, I need to boot via the Disk first. And there lies my problem. It appears the CRT and the Alto is in GOOD working order, however it appears there is something in need of repair with the Series 30 Disk Drive, I smell a burnt resistor somewhere, but cannot visually locate it. My next step will be to find the bad component via a multimeter, will keep everyone posted! Videos/Photos to come soon!
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