At long last JANE, a MicroVAX II companion to TARZAN, is ready!
JANE is a custom-built MicroVAX II computer.
For a console, JANE has a built-in LCD VGA display and uses the enclosures’ USB port to connect to a USB keyboard. This makes it possible to do work or just monitor JANE without a need for a separate terminal or terminal emulator.
JANE has a total of 7 fans, all of them silent, so she can be quietly placed and run anywhere.
For years I wanted to have a MicroVAX II that would be livingroom-friendly, i.e. quiet and nice to look at. After about a month of construction, two power supplies, three custom PCBs and six quiet fans, the homebrew MicroVAX II is ready.
The VT320 terminal has a “width” adjustment coil – but on one of my terminals at least it coil does not offer a very good range.
Something degraded (or de-magnetized) over the years and made the display much narrower than it should (has been).
L201 is an adjustable coil marked “WIDTH”. It is placed in the circuit in series with L202 (“H-LIN”). To extend the horizontal range, a magnet can be placed on top of coil L202. This offers a constant width offset in a range not achievable by trimming using just L201.
I used a 1/8″ rare earth magnet (Radio Shack 641895), but any similar strength and size magnet can be used.
Here is a screen shot showing the best achieveable width using just L201:
L202 can be seen at the center of the photo:
Here is L202 with a magnet stuck on top, and the resulting image:
The resulting image is actually shrunk narrower. So flipping the magnet caused it to expand:
After many hours of web searching I have found a MATLAB distribution from 1982, which is in the public domain.
It was a port of MATLAB for the “NeXT” system [UNIX] which was done in 1991. Essentially a collection of 72 FORTRAN source files, it only needed removal of excess [EOF?] characters padding to make them compile together and work as “MATLAB.EXE”.
Here is a simple MATLAB session:
* * Welcome to OpenVMS (TM) VAX Operating System, Version V7.3 * * MicroVAX II * *
Username: system Password:
******************************************* * Welcome to OpenVMS VAX V7.3 * * * * Running on a |d|i|g|i|t|a|l MicroVAX II * *******************************************
Last interactive login on Friday, 2-APR-2021 20:54 Last non-interactive login on Sunday, 28-MAR-2021 22:46
$ run matlab.exe
< M A T L A B > Version of 25 May 1982 Ported to NeXT 30 Nov 1991 Ported back to VAX 18 Mar 2021
HELP is available
<>a=[1 2 3 ; 4 5 -6 ; 7 8 0]
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. -6. 7. 8. 0.
14. -4. 23. -4. 77. 68. 23. 68. 113.
Type HELP followed by ... INTRO (To get started) NEWS (recent revisions) ABS ATAN BASE CHAR CHOL CHOP COND CONJ COS DET DIAG DIAR DISP EIG EPS EXEC EXP EYE FLOP HESS HILB IMAG INV KRON LINE LOAD LOG LU MAGI NORM ONES ORTH PINV PLOT POLY PRIN PROD QR RAND RANK RAT RCON REAL ROOT ROUN RREF SAVE SCHU SIN SIZE SQRT SUM SVD TRIL TRIU USER CLEA ELSE END EXIT FOR HELP IF LONG RETU SEMI SHOR WHAT WHIL WHO WHY ANS EDIT FILE FUN MACRO ( ) ; : + - * / \ = . , ' < >
“DIGITAL’S BID FOR A COMEBACK”, David E. Sanger, The New York Times, May 14th, 1985
“One of the most important pieces of its strategy will fall into place Tuesday, when the company introduces its Microvax II, a computer that puts one of Digital’s most successful minicomputers on a chip.”
The machine is a desktop version of the VAX 780, the star of Digital’s minicomputer line. It will sell for a base price of about $20,000 – less than a fifth of the price of its older cousin. […] The Microvax II will extend the VAX line in the opposite direction, toward desktop users rather than mainframes. […] The new machine’s biggest selling point is that it runs hundreds of programs available for the larger VAX machines, winning it enthusiastic reviews from engineers and scientists, long Digital’s most loyal following.
”It’s dangerous; there are a lot of things we don’t know, […] We know that in the long run, this is the direction Digital has to go. […] We didn’t go after digital watches, hand-held calculators, home computers, […] We are committing ourselves to picking the best projects, the toughest problems. Growing any faster […] would be suicide.’‘ – Ken Olsen
“The problem for us now is that computers are getting too easy to make. Anybody with a collection of integrated circuits and an instruction book could screw them together […] What we have decided to do is far harder: a single, integrated system.” – Ken Olsen
”People are disillusioned about PC’s right now, […] The machines are great for working alone. But the future is in making them work together.” – Ken Olsen