November 2, 2014

Swapping VHB Bootloaders - UNIX PC & MightyFrame

VHB as Volume Home Block vs. Volume Header Block

All AT&T UNIX PC paper documentation and on-screen usage documentation uses the term "Volume Home Block", but never "Volume Header Block".  So in all images and documentation below, please replace in your head as you read, any instances of "Volume Header Block" with "Volume Home Block"
The MightyFrame seems to like (or at least read) the VHB on a hard drive formatted by the UNIX PC.   On startup with a UNIX PC-formatted drive connected, the MightyFrame reads:

"executing loader from drive 0"

October 12, 2014

UMODEM - more than just an obsolete file transfer protocol...

OK, well not really...BUT...since this is the only relevant protocol to transfer files that I can find on the UNIX PC, I'm going to figure out how to get it to run on a modern linux machine.  The FTP protocol that we all know and love today, and still use, seems nowhere to be found on the UNIX PC.

October 5, 2014

WDXT-GEN2 PLUS Winchester Disk Controller Board


I am attempting to install this MFM controller card on an 
ASUS P5A ACPI BIOS Revision 1006 
which first announces as 
Voodoo3 2000 BIOS - Version 1.00.01-SD
(hardware vintage 1999-2000).  
This is successfully booting to an early version of Ubuntu from a Quantum Bigfoot ISA 12Gb Hard Drive.  I want the MFM Drives on the WDXT-GEN2 PLUS to be secondary drives.  This WDXT-GEN2 PLUS controller board is apparently factory defaulted to be the primary drive for any machine in which it is installed.  That appears to be the case here as well, because the machine will not boot with the controller card inserted, but will boot fine witout the card inserted.

October 3, 2014

Networking UNIX PC with linux on Xubuntu

The guys at this Meetup Group tonight really helped me out...
They got my modern Xubuntu machine to talk to my UNIX PC over its COM port.

September 17, 2014

One Backup Tape Found!...well, not really...

When we first received this tape from the former owner & user of our MightyFrame, we were just all too sure that it was for the MightyFrame.  But, as it turns out, it is most likely for a completely different system, from 5 years earlier than the MightyFrame...Point 4 Mark ? series machine.  We'll probably restore one of these systems, too.  We just love this obscure stuff...

Still, it brought up interesting discussions, which are worth documenting for our MightyFrame restoration projects.

A note from the original owner and user of our "MightyFrame One", as we call it:

July 26, 2014

CommVEx 2014 ideas

Thanks to EVERYONE who came by my UNIX technology this weekend, and lent your knowledge of this vintage technology.  These are my random notes, to be organized soon:

July 6, 2014

Reconstructing an AT&T 7300

Several kind folks on comp.sys.3b1 and the MARCH Yahoo Group have suggested that, in order for us to gain a better understanding of the workings of the rare and elusive MightyFrame, that we should get familiar with the AT&T 7300 / 3b1.  

Many say that this machine, manufactured by Convergent Technologies for AT&T, is "functionally equivalent to the MiniFrame".  Even though the MiniFrame and the MightyFrame have significant differences, this certainly seems like a great next step for us.

So, thus begins our journey....

May 21, 2014

MightyFrame Boot Screens

Our next step in restoring one of our Convergent Technologies MightyFrame Machines is to get one of them to boot to a working operating system.  These systems were designed to run CTIX, a Convergent branded version of UNIX, so far as we have learned.

See our search for the CTIX install OS QIC tape.

Meanwhile, for those of you who may be familiar with the AT&T 7300 / 3b1, we welcome your input reviewing our screen shorts of our attempts to boot both of our MightyFrames.

May 11, 2014

Maxtor XT-2190 MFM Hard Drive Reading

In an effort to read data from one of these MightyFrames, we are setting up other machines to read these hard drives:

Pinousts for the Maxtor XT-2190

Maxtor XT-1000/2000 Product Specificication and OEM Manual

Details about this on Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists (MARCH)
Thread One and Thread Two

February 7, 2014

WANTED: Mightyframe CTIX Install tapes

 ( on QIC-24 3M DC 600A cartridges or equivalent )

Photo Courtesy Michael Herzog - Many Thanks!

If you have anything that remotely resembles this, please contact us at 

It would be fantastic to find CTIX and/or MightyFrame manuals also.  
Here's what Google turns up today:


We have also posted this request at the forum

...and on at 

...and on Dev Shed Forums and

...and post on when registration complete (or not...)

...and on Reddit UNIX