The assembly contains the reset switch, indicators, key switch, etc was also
released by two screws. I then discovered that my suspicions were correct. One
of the cables to the reset switch was too long, and had got in the way of the
keyswitch. When I had turned the latter I had ripped off the former! A quick
dab of the soldering iron and all was well.
I was also right about the wait-state link, and changed that to software-selectable.
I noted that the 1.2M floppy drive was a Teac FD55FG unit, and that the
Winchester was a half-height Seagate unit. No un-heard of Taiwanese rubbish
here! Further, the unit was all equipped to easily take a second Winchester,
the power cable sitting there waiting.
The main board on the base of the unit contains the 640K RAM (18 x 256K chips,
plus 18 x 64K – 18? Yes, parity RAM.), the 80286, socket for 80287, real time
clock/calendar and battery, keyboard support. and general logic. Like most AT
boards, the CHIP’s chip set is used to provide most of the general purpose
There are three “expansion” boards fitted. A full length Winchester / floppy
controller board; a full length EGA colour board, also containing the parallel
port; and a small dual serial-board, one DB25 being on the same board, plus a
cable going to the second DB2S, mounted on one of the rear expansion panels
corresponding to an unused expansion slot.
The monitor is a 14″ TVM one (although it actually has a “Copam” label on the
front). It is a dual-mode one, switching automatically between CGA and EGA
modes as required by the graphics board. On the rear is the mains-in socket,
plus a cable going to a 9-way D-type for plugging into the EGA board. There are
also four pots, two “Vertical size” and two “Horizontal Centre”, for adjusting
the display in each of its modes.
On the front is an on/off switch, power-on indicator, brightness control, and
colour balance control. There is also a three position Display Mode switch that
gives a full-colour picture, or a green only or amber only one. I can’t really
consider this to be an awful lot of use, as it is easy to software select text
of your own colour choice anyway. Unless anyone else knows of a good reason? I
bet some people can’t work out where their colour has gone, or don’t even know
they’ve got it!
The keyboard is “AT-style”, whatever that means. It has three groups of keys.
On the left are 10 function keys, then there is the main alpha-numeric and
control cluster, and on the right is the numeric pad, screen control cluster.
The main cluster is slightly non-standard in that it has the four cursor keys
repeated in a straight line at the bottom right hand corner.
There are three LEDs to indicate Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock. A couple
of swing-out plastic legs under the keyboard can be used to tilt it, and this is
the way that I find it most comfortable.
Key action is a la IBM, in that each key contains a “click” mechanism. It’s not
a bad keyboard at all.
An A5 ring binder containing the documentation comes with the system. As seems
to be happening quite often with both hardware end software these days, there is
JUST too much manual for the binder, making it awkward to use unless you remove
one of the smaller sections.