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Author Topic: Q&A with Werner Lindner (technical director of the ENTERPRISE Computers GmbH) (Read 31538 times)

Offline Zozosoft

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Quote from: WernerLindner
As I told you earlier we made 70 teacher stations with HDD for Kazakhstan/Kyrgystan. The teacher machine was an original 64k machine, equipped with EXOS 2.1 and teacher cartridge (BASIC 2.1, cyrillic character set, cyrillic printer driver). Due to the 256kB static ram on the interface card the machine had 320k of memory. Therefore we made these stickers. The picture shows the last surviving ones.
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Offline Zozosoft

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Quote from: WernerLindner
ENTERPRISE GmbH had some give aways for customers. There were two different self-adhesive stickers, a ruler with built-in digital clock and two puzzles.
12070-012072-112074-212076-3

Quote from: WernerLindner
There was a plan for a ENTERPRISE Computer Club but I think, it never became reality.
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Offline Zozosoft

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About the "EXDOS - Early version - small hole" I asked it:
Look at this photos about the Floppy Station. I think it is developed
for the early "small hole" cards. For the final cards needed the big
screw washer.
12098-012100-1

Quote from: WernerLindner
yes I believe that too. Probably the Germans got the early version of the controller to start developing the floppy disk station and there was neither a box for the controller, nor there was one for the system bus bridge at that time. This is probably the reason why there is the "naked" edge connector on the fdd-unit, that is shown on the German brochure.
 
The metal tooling was already finished for the German fdd-unit, when Enterprise UK released the final version of the controller incl. the ABS housing. Then they made this big metal washer to fix the new controller in the case. Unfortunately there was this slight change in the contour of the edge connector as well. So the first German drives had a problem with the expansion port connection. The "fingers" on the edge connector were not fully aligned to the contact of the system bus bridge. Therefore there were a lot of floppy disk stations coming back as "non-functional".
 
We had to rework all drives of the first production lotl: We turned the washer upside-down and moved the exdos controller a little bit forward towards the front end. You can see that on your picture, as the stud is not centered in the hole. And we had to remove appr. 1mm from one side of the system bus bridge. That moved this pcb in the same direction. Then everything was working well.
 
And there was another mechanical problem: We had to use the existing system bus bridge. The bridge was designed for sitting in a stand-alone box. The height of it's pcb matches the height of the computer pcb exactly. When mounting the bridge and it's ABS housing in the metal case of the fdd, the edge connector of the bridge was appr 2 mm higher than the computer pcb. Therefore the computer was appr. 2mm above ground on its right-hand side, when it was connected to the fdd. We had to cut these 2mm from the bottom-end of the ABS housing of the bridge to be able to "lower" the pcb. After this conversion the heat-sink of the bridge was sitting directly on ground of the fdd-case. This increased mechanical stability too.
 
The fdd-units worked properly after that conversion and we had no further problems with the drives. All-in-all we had to do appr. 250 units, that we had in stock. It was a nice job and caused a lot of trouble and it was a costly exercise too. But it is a typical example for a variety of problems that Enterprise UK caused themselves by sloppy planning, pressure of time and fading financial resources.


Offline Zozosoft

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Quote from: WernerLindner
attached the documentation for the internal 64kB expansion of the computer, that I made for ENTERPRISE GmbH in 1992. You can see the necessary changes (the additional wire on the first pcb version) on the new/old circuit diagrams. It is the /MREQ-signal, that is additionally inverted and put on pin 1 of both 74ALS30.
 
Of course there were bigger chips available at that time. But it was not the task to make a big expansion. The task was to make 128k machines out of the appr. 350 64k machines, that we still had in stock at that time. No-one was interested in 64k machines anymore, but no-one would have paid extra money for "big" home computers, that were already 5 years old at that time, too :-)

Offline Zozosoft

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From Werner ROM collection some diagnostic ROMs. These used as TEST_ROM, at 04h segment in the cartridge.
DAVETEST: generate some test sound
NICKTEST: display test picture
DIAG 1.0 and 1.1: used in the factory to test the boards. The menu use 15 keys keypad which connected to the Control 1 port. (Use all possible 15 buttons in one Enterprise joy port!) Some test can be started with simple Ext 1 joy.
For the peripherial ports test need additional wires for make input/output signals.
The 1.0 and 1.1 version are same, just the date and version number modified.

Quote from: WernerLindner
The Testgear-software was for the Hypertone-Testgears. These machines were for testing the ready to use motherboard of a machine, not for testing the fully assembled computer. As the EC keyboard had to be attached manually at the later assembly there was a small keyboard, attached to one of the joystick ports to be able to make some inputs. I do not have any information (cabeling, ...) about that.
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12104-112112-2
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12108-512110-6
« Last Edit: 2015.April.06. 17:14:40 by Zozosoft »

Offline Zozosoft

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Another test ROMs. Probably for something automatic testing? Need to find what is connected to the machine.
It is check the FCh segment filled with 55h? If not then fill it and wait for reset. If FCh fill ok then check Printer Strobe signal connected to Ready? Later parts need to discovered...
The Final 64 and Final 128 are same, just the tested RAM amount the difference. At the non final versions, are more difference, probaly the non final 128 made from later (but also non final) 64 version.

Offline Zozosoft

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For these I not have a idea :-(
It is not looks a Z80 code. Probably ROM for the testing machine? Or data ROM for the previous test ROMs?

Offline Zozosoft

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There is the programs for the interesting labels: BASIC CART LOADING AID 1.0 and QUICK LOAD BOMBER CART
A little program developed for loading BASIC programs from ROM. It is make a new EXOS device, which can be used for the load.
The name at the LOADING AID is a ROM: then use LOAD "ROM:" and it is contain only little example program.
At the BOMBER use LOAD "BOM:" and it is contain the well know Bomber game from the demonstration tape.

Offline Zozosoft

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EXDOS version 1.1
It is the German version of the EXDOS 1.0 (as the 1.3 are the German version of the 1.2). Language switchable (BRD/UK).
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Offline Zozosoft

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Quote from: WernerLindner
MEPHISTO Cartridge
Hegener & Glaser originally tried to sell the computer to schools. EC UK is also talking about the possibility of using the EC especially at schools in one of their early prospects. I think, that IS made some system-extension especially for that purpose and the Mephisto was originally equipped with it.

The mephisto eproms (Pupil-20 for the 64 and Pupil-21 for the 128) are early versions of the BRD-extension. The command for the German character set is FONT, furthermore the VLOAD, VDUMP and VSAVE commands all already there. There are two additional commands NET X and ASK. NET X is for setting a channel number to a teacher machine and ASK is for "asking the teacher". But I do not have any further information about these extensions.

I found it is also define a TEACHER: device.
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Offline BruceTanner

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For these I not have a idea :-(
It is not looks a Z80 code. Probably ROM for the testing machine? Or data ROM for the previous test ROMs?
I would suggest not UK in origin: they contain the strings "PULL THE RESET BUTTON. THEN PROCEED" (among others) but in English you would PUSH the reset button. But then why the messages in English...?

Offline Zozosoft

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Something very-very-very interesting coming :ds_icon_cheesygrin:
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Offline Zozosoft

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    • Honlapom

Offline BruceTanner

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:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Is this Enterprise GMBH's creation? The PCB says Copyright 1986, very near the end of Enterprise UK! Z80B and build-in WD1770, now you know why the timings for a faster processor were in the code!