Feeds

Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

28-year-old Seagate spinner, but you'll need safety specs

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Comment A binary dinosaur, with another 28-year-old Seagate drive inside, is still working - in an original IBM 5150 PC's expansion unit.

The 5150 PC accelerated the PC revolution kickstarted by the Commodore Pet, Apple II, TRS-80 (Trash 80), and other wonderful early boxes. The 5150 was a proper system, coming with a keyboard, built-in monitor and data storage. You could even have a 5156 expansion unit and the example in the UK's Binary Dinosaur's museum has one of these.

IBM 5150 PC with 5156 expansion box

IBM 5150 PC with 5156 expansion unit underneath twin floppy drive box (BInary Dinosaur)

It contains a Seagate ST-412 drive. The cable, a massive umbilical, between the expansion box and the PC is thicker than most people's thumb. Adrian Graham, the museum's creator and curator, said of the drive: "The platter housing has a date code of 8326 and the serial number is 132101, so it's … 28 years old."

He hooked up the 5156 and 5150 to power sockets and fired them up: "I had to replace the PSU (Power Supply Unit) in the main unit and dismantle the drive to loosen it up a bit, but it fired up and ran Zork1"

Zork1 running on IBM 5150

IBM 5150 PC running Zork1 off Seagate drive (BInary Dinosaur)

While he was doing this: "One of the tantalum caps on a floppy drive exploded and nearly set fire to the carpet. Next time I'm wearing safety specs."

Exploded Tantalum cap on IBM 5150 PC

Exploded tantalum cap on IBM 5150 PC (BInary Dinosaur)

Has any El Reg reader got a working PC that's older than 28? ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Storage array giants can use Azure to evacuate their back ends
Site Recovery can help to move snapshots around
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?