KCbbs in 1987
Look the original Kappa Crucis bbs computer, way back in 1987 when it had
just been moved from a Sperry Micro IT AT type computer on to a real
(swoon!) IBM AT computer.
At the time of this photo the AT has been
turbo'ised by having its 6Mhz clock crystal changed to a whopping high
speed 9Mhz crystal. This was done after reading an article in a Dr Dobbs
journal where someone was excited by the 'astronomical' increase in
performance for the mere cost of a cyrstal. The original mod called for
an 8Mhz crystal but a whole Saturday in February 1987 searching through
electonics stores in Auckland for such a crystal was fruitless.
Lots of phone calls later a suitable 9Mhz crystal of the right physical
size was offered by a ham radio enthusiast who worked part time on
Saturdays for David Reids (a chain of electronics stores in NZ that were
swallowed up by Dick Smith Electronics sometime in the late eighties, DSE
in turn became part of the Woolworths empire shortly thereafter.)
Not long after this picture was taken the 20meg full height drive in the
AT died and a Fujitsu 44meg full height drive was purchased for a mere
The AT had an expensive 1.5meg memory expansion card installed and had
a total of 1860K of memeory.
Just in view to the left is a Micrline u84 matrix printer. It was
common practice at that time to print out the bbs messages every week
and have them on view at the Auckland Observatory where some regulars
there would often provide answers, sometimes hand written to be entered
into the bbs console (not too many people had home computers with modems
Note the orange box on top of the AT. That was an NZ Telecom 1200 baud
modem connecting to the phone on top of it. No auto dialers in those days,
you had to put your finger in the circular dialer and do it the hard way.
Operating System was the first copy of SCO Xenix to arrive in New Zealand.
One of the SCO manuals can be seen at the left end of the lower shelf of
the bookshelf. The rest of the manuals look like various IBM AT types with
an empty SCO box on the upper shelf.
The yellow binders contained various section of the Microsoft Xenix manuals.
These were ex-IAL binders (Interactive Applications Ltd, Newmarket,
Auckland, software developers, taken over by Paxus in 1986, renamed Paxus
Commercial Systems, then closed April 1987 although nearly all staff were
disposed of between August 1986 and Jan 1987). IAL were the New Zealand
Microsoft distributers at that time.
The BBS software was written in C and was a simple files archive system and a
local message manager/display system. It was developed using SCO Xenix and
the Xenix C compiler and development tools.
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Last modified: 19 March 1997.