ScuzzBlog: Diaries July 2017
Entry 7th July 2017: Post: 1
Seriously, what would any collection be without a Colossus. Well I have
two. Not exactly your Enigma cracking beasts but Colossus all the same
and produced by Colossus Computer Corporation Limited.
It was an odd revelation that a colleague of mine at work had purchased
a Colossus machine at pretty well the same time as I did. Around July
1996. Both were Windows 95 albeit he did upgrade his to Windows 98. I
was sifting through a pile of old floppy disks last night trying to find
some old DOS stuff and came across a start-up disk for his machine. I
was sure he had given me the computer as I had the 4" thick manual and
all the disks. So today I went on the last of my computer hunts.
I discovered the beast hiding below a workbench and somewhat trapped by
a large monitor. Took me a while to extract but was successful.
Dusted the computer down, which is much larger in width than my
Colossus. Love the coloured lights and turbo buttons on these old
machines. First problem was the CMOS and the flat battery. Next was the
checks that the BIOS wanted to do including memory and trying all the
various flavours of DELETE and F-keys to get past the checks and into
the BIOS. Changed date and fired up Windows98. Quite slow to start but
relatively fast once in. Two drives and I managed to fill the D drive in
no time being just 4GB.
I then swapped out a drive. Took me a while as the BIOS would not
recognise three out of the four drives I tried. The 20GB was seen by the
BIOS but not by the OS. I ran Command Com from inside the OS and fired
up FDISK. It picked up the second drive and I formatted accordingly. In
the process I lost the CD Rom.. 25X MAX no less.. Just a CD. I went back
into the BIOS.. that was no help. I also ran the find new hardware on
the machine, no luck. And then when I restarted.. not rebooted I got a
found new hardware and it reinstalled the CD-Rom.
All was fine. Network card and so connected up to the system and just
finished putting on a mini set up. I will connect to the 1200 with the
Ethernet but also plan on mucking around with Ami-PC that I found
lurking in the back of a drawer last night.
The manual just shows how far back we have gone with computer
literature. When I compare the 3x4" five page leaflet I got with the
Win10 machine I got earlier this year it really is incredible how little
information there is now provided. The yellow 'Where do you want to go
today?' leaflet is bigger than the Win10 guide.
Here is what you get with the Colossus.
A 4" thick plastic covered ring binder to hold all your manuals and
First Section: Important: All about the recovery system and what to do
when things go wrong.
Second Section: One inch thick user guide. 12 chapters on how to use the
Third Section: Windows including all your disks and back up disks,
drivers, Internet Explorer, and various drivers for cards and cd.
Forth Section: Another inch thick manual about the pre-installed software.
Fifth Section: Half inch thick guide on the motherboard. Full layouts,
Jumper settings, port settings, memory, processor etc etc.
Sixth Section: Plastic sleeve filled with back up floppies and start-up
Seventh and final section: Registration details and customer support.
Those were the days.... so funny.
Anyway just clocked off and got the old orange on black telling me its
safe to switch off the computer. Kinda ages the poor thing... And on we
go. Two in the morning and haven't been able to use the upstairs all day
because of this bloody hot stuff. Man I hate the summer. Truth is I can
always get warm but its like impossible to get cool.