Comptuer Corner by Bill Kibler

Clarification of changes seems most appropriate for this corner. Or put 
simply, what is going on? Now of course you might say with what?

New Editor

I finially said enough and am turning things over to Dave Baldwin as your 
next editor. I feel I have made good changes and TCJ is still alive. Whether 
or not those changes have been the best is still open for discussion. I do 
feel however I was unable to keep getting new readers and our format may need 
some adjustment to achive that end. Saying, I just can't do it any longer 
pretty much sums it up.

I have enjoyed talking and dealing with all the readers and will miss the 
phone converstations. I will still take and answer your letters. In fact the 
changes will finally bring about some of the little items that bothered some 
of you. I had always planned on having more than one editor and now that is 

For me it will be a shift back to advancing my career and finding a job that 
better suits me and pays more. I really put my career on hold while trying to 
upgrade TCJ, but you can't do that forever. Dave hopes to hire me back 
sometime in the future as full time editor, but that remains to be seen.

Will I do articles, well yes, in fact I would rather have been doing them I 
think than be the editor. Far too many times I wanted to talk about something 
and was unable to complete the research to do it. With this change, I will 
have the time to catch up on some old projects. Take for instance: Ethernet.

DC or RF

The other day Dave and I were discussing some old projects of mine, and using 
Gemini TV transmitters and recivers for extending ethernet connections came 
up. I bought a couple units to test and they still sit in the box. See the 
idea is based on the fact that TV signals are basically a 4 to 6 MHZ 
composite signal. By that I mean a DC signal that changes from a low to high 
voltage at a 4 megahertz rate. For the TV transmitter to work it must pass a 
sigthly higher rate than the 4 and it should be flat almost to 6 MHZ before 
we have major loss.

Now here is where Dave and I got talking. Dave said he thought ethernet was 
like modems and used a carrier on which the information rode. I said no that 
etherenet is a DC switched signal at a 10 MHZ rate using manchester encoding. 
The manchester encoding guarantees that switching or changes from + to - 
happen often engouh that a clock pulse can be obtained from the signal. Or 
put another way, that no matter what the data to be sent, there will always 
be some transition within two clock cycles.

I did look up a National chip, and yup the physical medium is just a 
switching DC signal of negative variation at a 10 MHZ rate. Having refreshed 
my mind, I still need to take an ethernet output and drive the TV 
transmitter, with a diode on the other end driving a ethernet reciever. Of 
course I think I could also take say a RS422 driver and do the same thing, 
but why not just go for broke and see what happens with ethernet.


So what happened was I got a chance to check out some idea, which was long 
over due. Another area I will need to research and report on is using five 
inch drives in place of 8 inch drives. We have talked about it many times in 
TCJ, but I still get calls. What I need is a full blown article. Especially 
one that shows all the pin outs and options on the different size drives.

When working for Teletek, I discovered that they used a 8 to 5 adapter board. 
34 pin headers where on all the S-100 boards and if you wanted 8 inch drives, 
you used the adapter board. Simple to make and in fact can be wire wrapped or 
soldered together in about an hour. I did have one around I think but not 
sure where it is now. It is only the Drive Selects that need jumpering, 
otherwise all the lines are compatible on the two drive types.

What I see the problem as - too many different options possible. You have 
several different types of five inch drives, and two flavors of three and a 
half drives. It gets so confussing that I can see why others have problems 
keeping it straight. So here is yet another special article I need to grind 
out, getting all the options in one place, with all the pin outs and mods 
needed to go back and forth between sizes.


Since we also talk about advanced and current systems and problems, and since 
I didn't want to be the only magazine to not have talked about Win95, here it 
is. Media hype and then some. Ok that is my opion. Should you buy, nope. Is 
windows NT better, seems so. Would OS2 be a good buy, maybe or maybe not, it 
just depends (on what I am not sure but how about cycles of the moon). My 
answer is to check out the free DOS group and see what they have to offer.

There is a second group, much like Linux working on an alternative to DOS. It 
is sort of like the ZCPR system, a better CP/M than CP/M ever was. Well the 
free DOS group is like that. Trying to break the bonds of MicroSoft and give 
people an alternative to going to windows to get their bugs fixed. I get a 
rather surprised look from people when I tell them about MicroSofts bug 
fixes. They just do them without telling you. Try "VER /R" and see what you 
get. We did it about version 5 or 6 and found revisions from a to j in one 
office. That is about 10 bug fix releases all under one version number and 
without you knowing they have done anything. At least with a free DOS group I 
would have easily available bug lists to check my problem against.

Actually the thing that bothers me the most about the Win95 is the MSN, or 
MicroSoft Network, their option to the internet. A while back one of the 
online service providers was caught doing marketing surveys of on line users 
without their knowledge. My thought is this, we have no way of knowing how 
many hooks Win95 has in it for them to scan your hard drive and read data 
without your knowledge. The operating system is so big now, and difficult to 
know what is happening, that finding out if they are scanning your drive 
while connected to MSN will be almost impossible. Of course they will just 
say they are trying to make sure yours is a legal copy and all, but what 

What next

For me next is issue 76 and then a long earned vacation. Dave will be 
removing about 30 or 40 boxes of back issues from my garage. That will make 
me and my wife happier. Next will be finding some missing books (I hope) and 
sorting through all the old systems. I plan on bringing up a Linux station 
full time and playing with Netware 4.1, and oh yes the Gemini units, and 
maybe even fixing my FAX unit (only died last year and has been waiting ever 
since to be fixed - bad chip in power supply).

I think one area that has dropped too far below use is my Ham equipment. In 
the last three years it has gotten only about 3% use, far too little. Packet 
radio is now 9600 baud and I understand the servers are very much improved 
over the ones I last used. The main problem will just be getting back to 
people and friends I stopped talking with. The idea had always been to just 
do TCJ full time, I see that is not an option for me. I tried, but just 
couldn't quite make it happen. Oh well, better luck to Dave, and thanks for 
keeping TCJ going.

1994 Computing Hero

In June I was finally able to go to the bay area and give David Jaffe his 
award for being the 1994 Computing Hero. I went to the monthly Forth meeting 
and after lunch did my five minute introduction. David took the award and did 
a wonderful talk on what computing was like fiffteen years ago. David sure 
enjoys talking about those old wonderful days and if I keep at it long enough 
we might actually get him to put it down in print.

What is next and for David Baldwin to do is figure out the 1995 Computing 
Hero. I have seen plenty of names cross my screen when researching source 
code that played important roles back in the mid 70s. The question is, are 
they still active supporting users. If you have a name that you think needs 
rewarding, let Dave know now so we can get started on researching their 

I guess one requirement is they be alive and available for personal 
presentation. That doesn't mean they have to live in California, any of TCJ's 
editors will do as presentors, anywhere in the world. Hum, that makes me 
wonder if I can't some how get a paid vaction to somewhere exotic....

The Last Word

Well this is not the final word for good from me, just the last few this 
time. Rick Rodman said he has been presently surprised about my columns and 
their amount of information I have given out over the years (he is doing a 
sorted listing of articles for us). I know I surprise myself when looking 
back at all the work I have done over the past 13 years. It really has been 
fun. But, as always, you have to stop when there is no more room on the page. 
Till next time, keep hacking. Bill, WA6SAZ.

Kibler Electronics, PO Box 535, Lincoln, CA 95648-0535, USA. /
Copyright © 1995, Kibler Electronics.