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  1. I am working to boot up an old, pristine nanostar running BITS and IRIS, as well as the PC BITS board made by Microtech/Star.

    The nanostar comes up into VCON, but does not yet boot from tape/disk. Does anyone have documentation on the Virtual Console - I'm trying to see if it had commands to read a block from disk.

    Douglas Chadwick

    1. The The 1979 Point 4 Computer User Manual linked here:

      explains the virtual panel from Point 4. There should be a lot of similarities.

      The rest here should make for an interesting experiment. If memory serves ...

      Sometimes in order to boot IRIS, it was necessary to issue a command to the disk controller to begin transfer.
      Assuming that nothing else has been done since the last I-O RESET, try enter the following machine code into these locations ...

      376: 60133
      377: 377

      Then set the Program Counter to 376 and RUN.That should execute those 2 commands.

      The first is a NIOS command (Start Pulse) to the disk controller ( device 33 ). That should cause the controller to read the boot sector into page zero of memory.

      The second is a JMP to location 377 that will keep jumping in place until it is over-written by the last word of the boot sector, which then initiates the boot sequence.

      Device 33 is for DG controllers. (60133)
      Device 27 was more common for Point 4 controllers.(60127).
      Not sure which will work for Micro-Tech.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Doug,

    Thank you for contacting me on this! I would love to talk to you and do everything we can to help.

    Would you be able to respond to your message on LinkedIn or your email I think that is the way we have spoken in the past.

    And by chance, not that it addresses your direct question, but could you take some pictures of the hardware you're working with? We don't have any images of surviving hardware like this.

    Thank you!

  3. HI AJ. This is Cary Carner. Not sure how much help I can be because it has been more than 30 years since I worked with IRIS. Though I used to remember addresses and settings in various drivers, my memory is not what it used to be. I worked for MacDonald Computer and we sold our package to auto part stores and warehouses, initially under IRIS and then made the transition to Unix using IMS. During my time there, we sold Point 4 gear as well as Star Tech, including Star Tech's smaller systems and DLM's. I met Bill Gallucci a few times, but he mainly met with our President, Bruce Adamson. I remember working with James from MicroTech on an installation at Modine in Racing WI in the late 80's. Your site has brought back some fond memories. You can contact me at: