Author Topic: EEVblog #949 - Vintage Australian Made Laptop Teardown  (Read 12030 times)

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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: EEVblog #949 - Vintage Australian Made Laptop Teardown
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2016, 09:43:35 am »
I got a reply from John Blair about this video:

Quote
Dave
... this was the fastest desktop PC of the time, that you could also take on the road.

Actually it wasn't strictly a PC at the time. It was a clone, or IBM compatible even though it was not IBM compatible or a clone. It is unlikley to have been called a "PC". More likely a microcomputer or something else. I suspect this Aussie made laptop was completely legit, and royalities would have been paid to Microsoft and the BIOS vendor unless they wrote the BIOS themselves.

Unlike most of the stuff sold out of the infamous Golden Centre in Hong Kong. The pirated anything and everything. In 1984, I actually saw a clone with the 8 bar logo "IBN" and "Personal Computer". The clone maker's name was "Improved Business Nohow". Well, they didn't "nohow" to spell but they certainly "newhow" to pirate intellectual property. Oddly enough its address is Fuk Wa St., Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong. The street might have been was named after the sounds heard when another raid was about to occur on the Golden Centre. :-DD.

In 1984, Golden Centre was the world's biggest pirate centre of PC AND mainframe software according to The Bulletin magazine. Anyone who visited the Golden Centre in the 80's would certainly remember the roaring trade in pirated software and cheap hardware. I was there in 1984, and I never saw any machine sold that even resembled this innovative Aussie made "laptop PC". I bought a "rotten Apple" there. If I were smart, I would have bought shares in rotten Apple instead  :palm:.
 

Offline kalleboo

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Offline twice11

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Re: EEVblog #949 - Vintage Australian Made Laptop Teardown
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2016, 08:16:14 pm »
It is the CMOS version of the 80186. That's what the C in the beginning of the model number is for.

This is complete bullshit. I am kind of disappointed to not being called out on this. The C80186 is an NMOS processor, specified at a maximum dissipation of 3 Watts and a clock frequency between 2MHz and 8MHz (see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/80186/Intel-C80186.html). I could not find any 80C186 (the real CMOS editions) dating before 1987 on cpu-world.com, so the Kookaburra likely was too early to use a 80C186 (and other CMOS processors might have been too expensive indeed).

There even is a CMOS version of the 8086 and 8088. That version is used for example in the Atari Portfolio (another portable MS-DOS compatible computer that lacks IBM PC hardware compatibility). IIRC only the CMOS version of the Intel processors feature a static design and thus are allowed to be clocked down to 0 Hz. So sleeping while waiting for keystrokes would have been impossible to implement using the NMOS 80186.

This still stands. The portfolio dates to 1989, so a CMOS version of the 8088 was available. Also the clockability to 0 only for CMOS is confirmed by cpu-world.com (it wouldn't make much sense on NMOS, as NMOS consumption doesn't drop to (nearly) zero without a clock). The Kookaburra thus most likely powered the processor off hard, and hat to reset it on every keystroke (with the RAM being static, resetting the processor does not incur rebooting the operating system). You are likely to find a special reset path in the ROM dumps provided here to wake up the system on an external event like a key press.
 


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