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The Machine Room is Back!
This is the recovered Machine Room from 2005. Please don't expect wonders. The look and feel of this site is nine years old, and so is its code. Some of the functionality has been recovered while the rest of the site is modernised and restructured. Watch this space!
Top :: Cross References
The following features can be cross-referenced (have a look at the charts page, too):
CPU Clock Rate
The rate at which the CPU works. This is for comparison against same CPU types only! Remember: comparing clock rates for different CPUs is not a measure of speed. See question 11 in the FAQ (about CPUs) for more information.
CPU Type
The make and model of the computer's central processing unit.
CPU Word Length
The maximum number of bits the CPU can handle at once with its hardware and instruction set. This is the thing one refers to when mentioning, for instance, that the PDP-8 is a 12-bit machine, while the Jupiter Ace has an 8-bit CPU.
Computer Hardware Compatibility
Hardware compatibility standards (and de facto standards) that computers share. Have a look at this if you're trying to research how many computers used a certain bus like VME or S100, among other things.
Computer Operating System Compatibility
Operating Systems different computers can run. CP/M should be the most popular.
Computer Software Compatibility
Software compatibility between computers is pretty common. Sometimes it came without hardware compatibility: see all the non-PC compatible MS-DOS machines for an example.
Standards computers adhere to. Well, the good thing about standars is that there's so many of them.
Graphic chips used by the machines
Machines not listed either don't use some sort of specialised graphics chip, or their graphics chip is unknown.
The Graphics resolution of the computer
Most machines are capable of more than one display mode: these have multiple entries in the cross-reference file.
The type and number of the machines' input/output ports. You could use this cross-reference to locate computers that can possibly be connected to similar peripherals (or each other).
Maximum amount of RAM
The size of the computer's memory in kilobytes, when it's fully expanded.
Maximum number of colours
This lists the number of colours the machine's video subsystem can display. This is not the number of colours that can be displayed simultaneously, just the maximum colour resolution of the machine. For instance, a standard 1987 IBM VGA adapter would be listed as having 262,144 (256Ki) colours, although it can only display up to 256 of them at the same time.
RAM size
The size of the computer's memory in kilobytes (1 kbyte = 1024 bytes). Some machines may come with different amounts of memory depending on the exact model or configuration. These have multiple entries in the cross-reference file.
ROM size
The size of the machine's firmware in kilobytes (1 kbyte = 1024 bytes).
Sound chip
If the computer has a specialised chip for producing sound and that chip is known, it's listed here.
Tape Interface Speed
Many of the machines listed here have a tape interface for storing programs onto normal audio tapes (argh, I feel old when I have to explain something as self-evident as this! And I haven't even mentioned paper tape yet). This cross-reference lists the speed of this tape interface in bauds. Actually the unit is bps (bits per second), but on all micros with a tape interface, one baud happens to be one bps (it simplifies the hardware).
Text Resolution
The dimensions of the computer's text modes (columns x rows). Some computers have multiple text modes. You'll see multiple entries for these machines in the cross-reference file.
Total Media Capacity
Many computers that didn't have a tape interface had a floppy interface (some had both, some had none). Some of them came with a floppy drive as standard. This cross-reference lists the total storage space afforded by the floppy controller of each machine. The controller is assumed to be connected to the maximum possible number of drives and the drives are assumed to be using the largest acceptable media. Numbers are in kilobytes. If you see any numbers in excess of 5120 KiBytes (5 MiB), it probably means the machine comes with some sort of hard drive installed.
Units manufactured
This cross-reference category lists the number of units manufactured. Not many computers are listed here, but the information can help you assess their relative abundance.
Physical size of computers
This is where you go if you want to find the biggest and smallest computers around. This category is sorted by volume (the product of the three dimensions of each computer).
Weight of computers
This category cross-references computers by their weight in kg.