Mindset-The graphics workstation you’ve never heard of!

July 30, 2019 posted by

The story of the Mindset computer actually
starts in 1984. But for us here in the Dallas area, it sort of starts around May of 2019.
Many of you have probably seen LGR’s video about the Computer Reset warehouse, which
is a place that’s almost like going on an archeologic expedition, only instead of looking
for bones, you’re looking for vintage electronics. Well, even before LGR filmed that, another
YouTuber and good friend of mine, TXDj had filmed a video exploring the depths of this
place and posted the video online. Even though all of us here in the Dallas area, including
myself, had already been to this place many times, there is just no way to see or notice
everything. Plus, things get moved around, and new stuff is uncovered. So, many of us
watched this 30 minute long video by TXDj just to listen to his commentary and look
for neat stuff that we hadn’t seen while there in person. And sure enough, another
local YouTuber, The Obsolete Geek, was watching and noticed an unusual computer in DJ’s
video. He practically couldn’t believe his eyes. It was the Mindset. He had been looking
for one of these for years and never able to find one. And there is was, literally just
sitting upside-down on a pile of junk. So, he immediately called DJ and asked him
to pick up the computer for him, which he did. Unfortunately, it was only the computer
and not the keyboard. And since the keyboard on this computer is proprietary, it’s pretty
important that that be found. So, he emailed our local group and asked anybody who happened
to be visiting Computer Reset, that if they happened to stumble across the Mindset keyboard,
he’d pay them $100 for it. And sure enough, about a week later, somebody was rummaging
through a box of unrelated stuff in an unrelated part of the building and sure enough found
the Mindset keyboard. And then about a week after that, the mouse and joystick turned
up. And so now he has the complete setup, which is good because he’s loaned it to
me and now I can make this video for you guys. And, I think you’re going to find this computer
really interesting, so stick around! So, let’s take a closer look at the Mindset.
Considering this came out in 1984, it has a much more modern look than any IBM compatible
desktop computer of the era, being made of nice curved plastic instead of painted metal.
The keyboard also has a very modern appearance for 1984. Believe it not, this top section
with the disk drives actually comes completely off. In fact, it was considered an optional
accessory. So, presumably, this port would have had some kind of snap on plastic cover
for those that didn’t have the disk drive module. Also, believe it or not, this disk
drive module is more than it appears as well. It actually contains an additional 128K of
RAM for the system, as well as 3 expansion ports in the rear. But, you might be wondering
how you would use this computer in 1984 without disk drives. Well, I will show you that too.
If you rotate this knob on the left, it will unlock these two cartridge ports on the front.
As you can see, these are typical ROM cartridges of the era, only these here are just cosmetic
blanks. There’s nothing inside. But, they did offer a cartridge with GW-BASIC on it,
which means the computer would have booted to BASIC immediately on power up. And since
it has two slots, similar to the IBM PCjr or the Atari 800, the idea would have been
to have different application ROMs that worked together. Although, much like the PCJr and
Atari 800, this never really happened. And, as you an see, when I lock this back, the
cartridges will not come out. OK, let’s mount the drive section back on
top, it actually glides in really easily. OK, now let’s take a look at the rear of
this thing. These 3 areas are the main expansion slots. And these cartridges are actually very
much the equivalent of an ISA card like you might find on an IBM PC or clone of the era.
This particular one is a stereo audio card. And the way this thing works is that the left
audio comes from the main unit down here. And if you have this module then it becomes
the right channel. However, I don’t think there is any software that uses it. Over here
we have what looks like a parallel port card. And sure enough, they call it a printer module.
I really like this setup as it is so much easier to insert and remove cards than a traditional
IBM PC. No need to take the computer apart, no need to remove any screws or anything. Now, what we have here is composite video
output and RF output for a television. Now, what we have over here is a little more complicated
to explain. There is also an RGB video port, this is compatible with any regular CGA monitor.
And then over here is external sync and they also have an auxiliary in and out. The purpose
of this is for video production. So, if you have two video signals that you want to mix
together, for example, something as simple as overlaying some text onto an advertisement
or something, this would be difficult to do in realtime because the two different video
signals would be out of sync with each other. So, this works like the genlock on an Amiga
so that the computer will sync its video signal with an external source, thus aligning the
two signals so that one can be overlaid onto the other. One thing you probably haven’t seen on the
computer so far is a power switch. Believe it or not, it’s on the back of the keyboard.
And unlike most soft-power solutions, it’s an actual rocker switch. But wait, there’s
more. Notice that on each side of the keyboard you’ll find a 15-pin Dsub connector. And,
if you are thinking that looks like a PC joystick connector, you would be right. In fact, here’s
really rare item. It’s a Mindset joystick. It has two buttons, and it is does have analog
movement in all directions. The cable is not very long, but since it doesn’t have to
reach around the back of the computer, it doesn’t need to be very long. And so that
plugs in right there, like so. There are other peripherals besides a joystick. For example,
they have a special mouse. And believe it or not, it has a ball of steel, which is quite
interesting. This mouse is also extremely heavy as far as computer mice go. And it has
the same connector. Also available for these ports was a touch tablet for drawing, and
a video fader switch for video editing. OK, so now I’m going to connect up a CGA
monitor. Now, this particular monitor is just a Tandy monitor for the Tandy 1000. It’s
just a generic CGA monitor, and any CGA monitor should work fine. Now, the thing is, a lot
of people associate CGA with only having 4 color graphics. But, that’s actually not
a limitation of the monitor, that’s usually a limitation of the CGA card. That’s why
the Tandy machines were able to display full 16 color graphics on these monitors. The mindset
can also display a full 16 colors on a CGA monitor. Interestingly enough, the documentation
for the Mindset says that it can display 512 colors, which the CGA monitor is not capable
of doing. I don’t know where the rest of the colors come from. I have a suspicion,
that this computer does have a composite output. And maybe, the 512 colors is only available
on composite. I really don’t know. I haven’t been able to find a good answer for that.
But for the time being, let’s hook up the CGA monitor here and see what we can do. When you power on the Mindset, it shows this
logo on the screen. Which, is actually cooler than just about any computer from 1984. If
you insert an MS-DOS disk, it will boot to DOS. On the surface it would appear to be
just another IBM PC clone. But the MindSet is very different. For starters, it uses an
Intel 80186 processor. That alone makes this computer very unique as there were very few
desktop computers that ever used this chip. The only other one I can think of was the
Tandy 2000. The Mindset sold for a base price of $1,099
with just the base unit and 64K of RAM. Apparently for $1,799 you could get twice the RAM and
a single floppy drive. However, I haven’t been able to find any photos of what a single
floppy configuration would look like. And, for $2,399 you could get the 256K version
with dual floppies, which is what I have here. The keyboard is pretty normal, but I want
to show you these two keys. One is sysconfig and the other is reset. The way these work
is if you hold down the ALT key, and press sysconfig, you’ll get this screen here.
And one of the things you can do is select TV or Monitor, and that will change the color
palette for that mode. So, we’ll leave it on monitor for now. Over here you can turn
the Beeper speaker on or off. Oh and this is neat. You can adjust the screen position
here with the cursor keys. When you are done, you can reset the computer with alt-reset. The Mindset will boot MS-DOS, but it was not
entirely IBM compatible. This was probably one of the reasons it failed in the marketplace.
According to this article in Infoworld, the company had verified it to work with 60 off
the shelf software titles. The magazine listed a lot of them here, but as you can see, most
of these programs are text-based business applications. Virtually no existing games
would work on the MindSet. As an experiment, I tried Planet X3 since it will run on a 256K
system. It appears to start, and I can pick CGA graphics, and PC speaker sound, but then
it goes to this blank screen and the whole computer locks up. So, let’s take a look at some programs that
do actually work. So, apparently all Mindset computers come with GWBASIC, whether on a
cartridge or disk. The one I have here came with a disk version. So, let’s try it out. Listing the directory here, I can see there
are a few example programs. So, I’ll be sure to try those out here. Allright, here is GWBASIC, which looks pretty
normal compared to other IBM compatibles. I’m going to load the sample program called
Saturn. Listing it, I notice they are using a lot of graphics commands. Let’s run it!
What is happening here is they are pre-rendering a rotating planet. You’ll see why shortly.
And there we go. Now, what they are doing here, I’m pretty darned sure could not be
done with BASIC on a regular IBM compatible at the time. They are using some of the hardware
accelerated video features of the computer to do this. In fact, I’m about to press
control-C to stop the BASIC program, and I want you to watch what happens. Yep, I’ll show that again in slow motion.
The program is stopped, yet the sprite keeps moving. Proof, if any be needed, that this
is definitely using hardware acceleration. Now I’m going to load another program. This
one is JSBACH, which I suspect is a musical demonstration. And, when I list it I see a
lot of play commands with notes, which confirms that it is a music demo. Well, lets try it
out. OK, nothing terribly exciting here. It only
uses a single voice and doesn’t sound much any better than this would on a regular PC
speaker. So, nothing to see here, moving along. There is another program on the disk called
AT. Not sure what that means. Admittedly, I have no idea what is going on
here. They’ve created a pac-man figure doing weird things. That’s all I can tell you.
OK, enough of BASIC, let’s move on. This is Vyper. Its the only game ever made
for the Mindset, the best of my knowledge. You can at least hear that whatever sound
chip they are using does at least have more than one voice, but that’s about all I can
say for it. So here we go. I can use the joystick to fly
around this 3D world. There are a few things to take away from this game. First of all,
the game is terribly boring after about a minute of playing it. So, this game gets an
F for gameplay. But, I am very impressed with the graphics. You have to keep in mind that
this is running on a 6 Mhz computer that was designed in 1983 and sold in 1984. The only
reason it is able to play at this speed is because of the vector processor used in the
video chip. In fact, this may be the first personal computer ever to be sold with what
we would call a GPU these days. Also, here’s what it looks like on the CGA
monitor. The colors are much more saturated, which if anything is simply because the limited
palette on a CGA monitor is by its very nature extremely vivid colors. It’s kind of like
the difference between looking at games made for the Sinclair spectrum vs. the Commodore
64. At least from a palette perspective. And the last piece of software I am going
to show you is PC-Paintbrush. This version is designed for the Mindset. These are the
video modes it supports. Only one of these modes has 16 colors. So, we’ll pick that
one. OK, here we go. This looks pretty typical
for a paint program of the era. I’ll just play around here a bit. I’m definitely not
qualified to draw anything exciting. But you definitely have free reign with the 16 colors.
I don’t really understand the palette at the bottom of the screen since many of the
colors appear duplicated. So, what happened to the Mindset? Well, the
company barely sold any computers and went bankrupt the first year. It briefly saw some
use in the video production market, such as this video made for the US Army explaining
how computers work. What you are seeing here are Mindset graphics being overlaid onto of
an external video source. So, the floppy disk dude is generated by the Mindset, everything
else is from a separate video stream. This was accomplished using that video sync feature
that I talked about earlier. I think there were two major issues that killed
off the Mindset. And the first big one was the lack of compatibility with existing software.
Now, this was an easy mistake to make in 1984. In fact, Commodore made the same mistake when
they brought out their Plus/4 series in 1984 which also failed to get any market share
due to the lack of software compatibility. A lot of companies simply didn’t understand
the change that had occurred in the software market over the last two years. The software
market had grown substantially and suddenly compatibility with that existing software
was a more important purchasing decision for customers than to have fancy graphics or sound. According to this info world article, Mindset
officials decided that they already had most of the desirable software included, so they
froze the operating system’s read only memory and thus locked out perhaps 20% of the total
IBM PC software base. However, from what I can see, it was more like they locked out
95% of PC software, especially games. And games…. That was the second mistake.
I mean, yes, there was some small market for video production and things like that. But,
if you’re going to bring a computer to market in 1984 that has advanced graphics and sound,
the primary market for that graphics and sound is going to be games. And Mindset just completely
blew it on that one. There was only one game for the system and it wasn’t even any good.
OK, well, now it is time to take this thing apart and see what is inside. I will note, this isn’t the first time it’s
been taken apart. The Obsolete Geek took it apart when he first got it because the fan
was noisy. He compared it to the sound of a Vespa. So, he replaced the fan with a modern
one. Also, it blew a filter cap, which is pretty common for these old machines. OK, so I’m going to take the Mindset apart.
And, there’s something I wanted to mention right quick about it. So, if you look right
here, you’ll notice there’s a little bit more discolored plastic than the rest of the
computer. And yes, this whole computer could use a retrobrite job, but this isn’t mine
so I’m not going to do that to it. But yeah, you’ll notice it’s a little bit more yellowed
here and the reason is because the power supply in this thing runs all of the time. It has a soft power on the keyboard, just
like Macintosh computers do, but the power supply never goes into a deep sleep like those,
so it stays hot even when the computer is off. Before taking it apart, check out the serial
number. It is number 854. You might think this is a really early unit, but I don’t
think it was made long enough for any high serial numbers to exist. So, this is probably
pretty typical for the surviving machines. Anyway, let’s take it apart. Interesting, so it has like a riser card.
This goes directly to the motherboard, and there’s an identical connector here, which
the disk drive unit goes, so it passes the entire data bus straight through. In order to see the entire motherboard, I’ll
need to take front off as well. Well, I’ve got to admit, I don’t recognize
much of anything on this board. I’m about 95% sure this is the CPU, but even it is not
marked with anything recognizable other than it was made in Malaysia. I did at least get
a high resolution photo of the board. Taking a closer look. These two Intel chips
here are identical, other than date codes. They are both considered slave micro controllers.
If I had to guess, I’d say one of them is for communicating with the keyboard. The other
one could potentially work in conjunction with the video chip. If you remember where
I showed this program keeps running even after I stop the execution of the BASIC program,
perhaps one of these slave micro controllers was doing that job? Obviously this is the system ROM here on a
pair of EPROMs. And here is 32K of dynamic RAM. Moving over to this part of the board, my
guess is these two chips are for the enhanced video. And there is another 32K of RAM over
here. So that gives us the 64K base RAM of the system. Which means, all of the rest of
the RAM must be in the drive expansion unit. Of course, I didn’t expect to see any chips
on this board for disk drive controllers or anything, since I knew all of that would be
in the drive unit. But, what I was not able to locate was a recognizable sound chip. Now, I could be totally wrong about this.
But I did managed to locate a chip over here next to the micro controllers that is an 8-bit
digital-to-analog converter. Basically, this could be used to play digital audio samples.
It is also possible that one of these slave micro controllers is used to multiplex some
square wave voices together. Maybe that is where the music comes from on Vyper. Although,
the only music we ever hear happens during the title screen and nothing else is happening.
So, maybe the main CPU is used for that, and maybe that is why we only hear sound effects
during the game play? One possible way to get an answer would be
to open up this stereo sound module because I’m sure there would be a matching sound
chip inside this one. But I haven’t figured out how to take it apart without damaging
it and since it is so rare, I don’t want to risk it. So I guess the sound will remain
a mystery for now. There’s a few more interesting tidbits about
the Mindset I should mention. Bill Gates was working directly with Mindset
during the development of the very first version of Microsoft Windows. The Mindset was going
to use its hardware video acceleration to make Windows operate at much faster speeds
than other computers. Again, putting it way ahead of its time, as
we wouldn’t see this sort of hardware acceleration used in Windows for almost another decade
after. Also, there is a Mindset on display at the
Museum of Modern Art. And last, there is some credible evidence
that Jack Tramiel, the CEO of Commodore, may have tried to buy the Mindset company either
to bring it into the Commodore brand, or perhaps after he left left Commodore in 1984. He ended
up buying Atari instead. Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about this
rare, obscure computer that was very much ahead of its time, but just didn’t quite
make it in the market place for various reasons. So, as always, I encourage you to stick around
for the next episode and thanks for watching!


100 Replies to “Mindset-The graphics workstation you’ve never heard of!”

  1. Debbie Williams says:

    Looks like if you remove the snap ring on the cartridge it may allow that back metal cover off on the cartridge. Just a thought.

  2. Matt Parker says:

    I wonder if you find another one can you mod it to become compatible with more software?… I'd be really interested in watching a video on that.

  3. Mo Khayat says:

    Why do I like these ridiculous videos?

  4. Houston Helicopter Tours says:

    heard of: yes
    ever seen one in the wild: absolutely not

  5. null1023 says:

    This is an incredibly cool machine, and for once, something I actually knew nothing at all about before.

  6. Terry C. says:

    That was very interesting. Thanks for the video.

  7. David Christensen says:

    Thanks for the education on this machine. I just don’t remember talking about this machine much or at all. It was not at any of the distributors I dealt with that I can remember

  8. Dade Murphy says:

    The expansion modules are cool! Feels pretty "plug and play" for the time

  9. Em P says:

    damn those cpmputers got balls of steel

  10. LCNitro says:

    "Ball of Steel"

  11. hazardous Humanoid says:

    when you just realized he almost has 1 million subs

  12. Halcyon Outlander says:

    Straighten that YouTube picture frame. The one on the right.

  13. tohopes says:

    This computer design seems horrible.

  14. Patrick Barba says:

    (mistery computer)

    hi mr 8-bit guy!, my name is patrick and i am from chile!. when i was a kid my father found a mysterious computer in a factory trash (1997 or 98). it was a very rare computer and i can't remember the name or the model… i remember that it runs basic because all i remember is typing words and only receive SYNTAX ERROR… someday i remember type some random commands and i was able to read a letter. the screen is in green and black background, the keyboard was integrated in the unit and the computer has a printer built-in. i just remember the key PRINT when i touch the printer start to pront the screen. in 1999 i move to my grammas house and when i back to my parents home the computer dissapeared. (go to trash). all those years i think about that computer, i start to see your youtube channel since ibookguy and i enjoy all your videos about old computers and electronics. can you help me with some information? PS: the computer was not an commercial unit, i think its most like industrial one or maybe a secretary workstation. thanks a lot!

  15. jimmyturpin says:

    I recall Amiga and Commodore were really pushing graphics innovation around that time, had no idea about the PC since it was somewhat standardized during that era. Also didn't know Computer Reset was still around, I had to stop going by there because it was too easy to find something I didn't need that I couldn't live without. So for the last 10 years or so I've forbidden myself from bringing anything home that is bigger than a golf ball. One day I hope my work shop is as neat and clean as your presentation area. Thanks for the great videos, I enjoy them a lot!

  16. zyxwvutsrqponmlkh says:

    Proof that they have been raping us on pricing using memory for decades.

  17. VenomStryker says:

    The mouse is heavy because it has BALLS OF STEEL! lmao!

  18. Covenant Lazarus says:

    First of all, how the hell did you find Vyper?

  19. Shamino0 says:

    Yes, that square chip looks very much like an Intel 80186. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80186) a 186 was a square chip with 68 pins. There are 17 pins on one side of that PLCC socket (thanks for a good close-up in the video) so it is a 68-pin chip.

    Of possible historic interest is a common upgrade performed by owners of 8088-based systems (myself included) was to replace the 8088 with an NEC V20 chip (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEC_V20). The V20 was software-compatible with the 80186, ran 30% faster for the same clock speed, and was pin-compatible with the 8088.

    As for PC compatibility, it was not unusual at that time for there to be MS-DOS computers that were not IBM compatible. Any computer with an 8088-compatible instruction set (including an 80186 or V20) and a BIOS chip implementing all the standard INT-21 services could boot MS-DOS. But without hardware that is register-compatible with an IBM PC, it is only going to run PC software that relies 100% on BIOS calls (slow) for I/O, or has custom device drivers (not likely for most applications).

    When I started using PCs in the 80's, the most common MS-DOS/PC-incompatible computer I knew about was the DEC Rainbow (http://www.oldcomputers.net/dec-rainbow-100.html). I think DEC later made a more-PC-compatible model, but the name I remember (DEC Professional) seems to be a PDP-11 compatible system, not PC-compatible, so I'm probably mis-remembering it now.

  20. 0ThrowawayAccount0 says:

    ComputerFusion has tons of old hardware. They are in Bedford, TX IIRC.

  21. Icenesis Wayons says:

    I know that I have the PC paint brush program that I bought some time back at a yard sale and one other program on a disc that the label was missing from, actually it was 2 disc, mask taped together, anyway it was a 4 color CAD type program. It would barely run on an old Tandy 286 and was heavily command based with very few menu's. If this sounds like an old Mindset program? Let me know and i'll try to dig it up.

  22. Questionable Commands says:

    Vyper reminds me a LOT of Star Fox for the SNES.

  23. Jimel Quann says:

    Definitely looks 90s

  24. Eric Leblanc says:

    They failed because they weren't in the right Mindset.

  25. SevenDeMagnus says:

    Cool- that's a lot of retro computers.

  26. VulpesHilarianus says:

    If somebody had spent the time with it, this might've been the first computer to hold the record of creating a 3D fractal with a panning and rotating camera view. It certainly seems powerful enough for it.

  27. Jeffrey Phipps says:

    8042? Hmm… try this manual for the Universal Peripheral Interface
    I think the chip is first mentioned on page 5 with a certain amount of storage and functionality. Several such chips were used as early "glue" chips and basic function chips for sound and such.

  28. Nerd Musk says:

    Interesting. Modern Apple keyboards follow the exact same layout, albeit with a bit more modern USB ports on either side. Very cool.

  29. Galacticboy2009 says:

    'Like' this comment if your ears were temporarily destroyed by the CRT ringing noise at 9:05 to 9:16

    Press F to pay respects for young ears

  30. aegisofhonor says:

    extremely rare computer, I wonder if the touch tablet is there somewhere, one of the hardest accessories to find from any computer; you might have better luck finding an Apple I out in the wild then a mindset touch tablet.

  31. NeenanTheNinja says:

    Everyone in the vintage techtuber space suddenly talking about Computer Reset is like the vintage hardware version of SMP Live lmao

  32. John R. says:

    who else heard the ear piercing sound of a CRT at 9:04

  33. e11aguru says:

    It's depressing that there's only one game for this, considering its capabilities.

  34. Cheese 1337 says:

    have you tried to capture composite signal like technology connections does? (composite to hdmi with adapter then hdmi to hdmi capture card)

  35. tuomollo says:

    Ball of steel should be said by LGR!

  36. J Garcia says:

    You have to feel bad for the engineers who poured their soul into this machine.

  37. Mat Ellis says:

    The Nimbus was a popular educational computer in the UK in the 1980s which also used the 80186 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RM_Nimbus

  38. athosuk says:

    I've got my mind set on you.

  39. Stoney3K says:

    That disk drive port looks suspiciously like the PC/104 bus connector which was common on industrial and embedded systems. It's basically just an ISA bus on a different plug.

  40. Stoney3K says:

    It does look like SubLogic's Flight Simulator (later MSFS) would have become a huge hit on this system over the Apple II or the regular PC.

  41. mashakos says:

    The lack of software could have been overcome if the machine was relevant for a few more years but it seems pretty clear that what actually killed it was the Amiga 1000.
    The Amiga launched a year after this thing, cost half a s much and had twice the ram and subjectively ten times the performance. Anyone serious about video production would have never given this computer a second glance after something like the Amiga shows up. I mean what would you choose for your office, a $2300 machine with no software and 256KB ram or a $1000 machine with 512KB ram and bundled 2d art / video authoring software?

  42. Dolph Handcreme says:

    You are right, it is the CPU, the markings can be found on the underside.
    See here for example: http://www.cpushack.com/2013/01/12/the-intel-80186-gets-turbocharged-vautomation-turbo186/
    The 186 is quite an interesting CPU as it has many features built-in.

  43. Phil Boswell says:

    Would it even be possible to come up with replacement EPROMs to bring this gem into the realms of greater compatibility?

  44. limaCAT says:

    I want an emulator of this thing…

  45. wilcodk says:

    In last '80s when i went to programming school we had Siemens PC-D (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_PC-D) which also used 80186. Besides that the adress for the graphics card was changed from C800 to F800. This ment that any software for the pc's had to be bought or patched by Siemens. The other side effect was that nobody made pirate copies of the disks. Another currisosity was the soft on/off switch that could be turned off by a register in the computer… my only 6 byte assambler program could do this 🙂

  46. Rc World says:

    I love your Channel

  47. Dana Eckel says:

    Neat, too bad some of the extra features didn't catch on with other PC makers in the day. Imagine the best features from this machine mixed in with the best of Tandy 1000, you would have had a gaming machine that would have rivaled the Amiga.

  48. Muetze1 says:

    The marking is on the bottom of the CPU.

  49. TKDman BB18 says:

    So how much would that computer be worth nowadays?

  50. Willeh aka bloody legend says:

    Computer reset has to be thoroughly searched. there are so many rare items in there. it would be sad for them to be lost once the owner passes.

  51. TailsGamingNM says:

    2:43 additional 128k ram in that big box.

    Look how far we went
    smart phone with at least 2gb ram as the size of bottle cap

  52. vidaoTime says:

    if commodore bought mindset before making the plus 4 and failing they couldve beat ibm.

  53. Thomas says:

    To get the stereo cart open, first remove the C clip from the jack, then slide the metal sleeve off. Then it's either screwed, clipped, glued or not held together at all fro mthat point on.

  54. trancelistic says:

    Amazing old pc. Great video as always:)
    Also, am stunned how well that '3d' game runs.

  55. DalekCraft says:

    Suddenly, I want a single location with every vintage computer organized by brand and production date, with each one perfectly restored

  56. ArtAway says:

    Man, I can feel the nostalgia even though that thing wasn't on my childhood. Looking at old electronics like this really feels good. Feel bad when I heard the company went bankrupt 🙁

  57. WoodsyTV says:

    Instant like David keep me coming

  58. tcrime201020 says:

    Could you (or someone else) upload a copy of Vyper to archive.org ?? Seems like it is fairly uncommon and could do with being preserved.

  59. Trantor The Troll says:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Vintage-MINDSET-Computer-needs-TLC/254172750121?hash=item3b2de06129:g:rWQAAOSw3T5b-vCM OUCH.

  60. Abtin says:

    Ahah, the side joystick/mouse ports and the power switch at the back fit the Amstrad CPC philosophy exactly. Actually the expansion ports as well. I always tended to think that this architectural setup generally pertained to what manufacturers and designers had in mind when thinking about plug & play at the time. Amazing to find such common details on other seemingly very distance work stations. Thanks for the video.

  61. Retro-Mechanic says:

    80186 was so rare. I think "Nokia Mikro-Mikko 1" use that processor too =) Computer from Finland 😀

  62. Lord Whirlin says:

    Is it just me… or does Vyper look like the basis for BattleStar Galactica? The Vyper design itself looks reminiscent, as do the enemy ships… way more than is by chance.

  63. Jamie P says:

    But you didn't even demonstrate any of the unique 'graphics overlaid on video' features.

  64. zyllofmitain says:

    YES Please (perhaps on 8-bit keys) give us the full J.S. Bach Partita #3 song (they probably only reproduced the first movement). This piece for solo violin was originally written as a single voice, so it's wonderful musical sophistication if you only have a single voice. a perfect complement to the whole personality of the Mindset. @10:10 I would LOVE to see the code with note names scrolling down synced with the audio!

  65. No one You know says:

    Lol Mac keyboards must have copied the one from this!

  66. No one You know says:

    17:34 do you mean sine waves rather than square waves? They sound more like sine waves.

  67. No one You know says:

    I know what this is! I discovered it through the Wikipedia page for the blitter a couple of years ago and I thought barely anyone knew what it was! I've waited ages for a proper video to be made on it as well as a look at that mysterious Vyper game I had heard mentioned on forums on the internet. I had also not been able to find much technical information either which I have wanted to read about for about 2 years now. The internet claims that the sound is 4 channel. If it specifies a specific amount of channels I would imagine that it would be hardware handled rather than software based.

  68. Wanja Schonecke says:

    Reminds me a little bit on the bfm 186 that i had as a child.

  69. foff Please says:

    NOTFORSALE, yeah I get it, it's not for sale. Is it for sale?

  70. rias gremorypanasonic says:

    Grade Mashin du you can 1 more for me ?
    I have never see dis mashin befor .

  71. Fred T. McCoy Jr. says:

    If only, you could create a version of x3 for the mindset.

  72. Jeroen Taverne says:

    Would it be possible to generate more than 16 colors on a CGA monitor by doing very fast PWM on the digital RGB inputs?

  73. Caleb Bell says:

    In an upcoming video… The only game to support the Mindset… Planet X3

  74. Evan Chen says:

    1:13 music

  75. steve1978ger says:

    "made of nice curved plastic instead of painted metal"… wait what

  76. steve1978ger says:

    anyone with a Bill Gates fetish can skip right to 18:08

  77. Justin Sane says:

    I ran Crysis on this computer, I was a little surprised, decent frame rate.

  78. dogastus says:

    The Mindset computer was used in the Catchphrase TV quiz series in the 80's. Catchphrase was originally broadcast in the US and TVS in England bought the rights to the format. What they didn't have was any details of the controller for the whole show and I designed them a unit which triggered the light and sound effects plus triggering the Mindset animations. Here's the first show https://youtu.be/o0RlmLuMP_s

  79. Teenage Gamer says:

    Next up David ports Planet X4 to the Mindset XD

  80. kaczan3 says:

    LGR will love the ball of steel.

  81. zero0ryn says:

    The RM Nimbus also used the 80186 https://www.thenimbus.co.uk/range-of-nimbus-computers/PC-186

  82. greenaum says:

    A keyboard adaptor is usually a simple thing to build for most computers. Particularly using an AT / PS2 PC keyboard as the replacement keyboard. I don't know for a fact but I wouldn't be surprised if all PC keyboards still supported that mode if you connected the pins up the right way, rather than the USB way.

    Then you just need to know the data format for the host machine. If that's been docced, great. If not, then examining the motherboard and a ROM dump will help a lot. Any keyboard with that sort of long, thin cable usually uses a simple serial connection, often synchronous. An Arduino or PIC can bang that out all day long. Arduinos you can buy for a $2 or $3 US, and programming is a simple USB lead and free software. Easy! You could even prob modify the code from an existing keyboard adaptor.

    I'm saying this, just in case anyone has a machine with no keyboard. Don't lose heart! It's not nearly the worst thing that can go wrong.

  83. greenaum says:

    A slave micro wouldn't be a bad choice as a sound chip. Many early sound chips just had a counter for each voice, maybe a prescaler, and a digital comparator to reset the count when it reached it's limit. Some Sinclair Spectrum software, the ones with the best sound, would use the Z80's own registers as these counters to do real 3-voice polyphony. Each time a counter over / underflows, you flip the bit of the single speaker control bit.

    In this case since there's a DAC you'd prob feed the counter's values to that, maybe added together, but all along similar lines.

    It would be a better choice than for video. Since cheap micros would be useless at data-heavy ops like graphics, compared to the machine's own CPU. The video would be best with custom hardware. A blitter is really just a few counters itself, along with an extra intermediate register to store data in, and a bit of a ULA if you wanna do more sophisticated bit ops than just "copy". But does it much faster than a sound chip needs to.

    So keyboard and sound might be the 2 MCUs in question. Particularly you'd have them separate so keypresses don't mess with the sound generation.

  84. AccountWasHacked says:

    5:54 It has balls of steel unlike the other computers. 😀 lol

  85. echristopherson78 says:

    I've been wondering why TX dj took his video down. Was he trying to keep people from flocking there and overwhelming the family? I know LGR came under fire in some quarters for (supposedly) causing that.

  86. Gilles Geeraerts says:

    Thanks again for such a nice video! There is a service manual for the mindset at bitsavers.org (along with some other documents): http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/mindset/Mindset_Service_Manual_Apr84.pdf From what I can gather (in particular, see page B-6), David correctly identified the CPU. The "slave microcontroller" (at time 16:23) Intel 8415 (bottom in the video) is labelled "IC sound processor". The other one (the 8417) is labelled "IC, KP processor" (no idea what KP means). The document also identifies the ROMs U59 and U60 (they have "1.07 HI" and "1.07 LO" stickers on the computer that David is showing, presumably 1.07 is the version of the firmware) and the two VLSI chips (golden, at 16:56) are identified as "RP Custom" and "RHB Custom". The bitsavers.org website also have firmware version 1.7, so, if my guess is correct regarding the current version, the ROM could be upgraded: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/mindset/firmware/ The website also have firmware for the two "golden" custom chips…

  87. Nokia 3310 2000 says:

    Omg the 8 bit guy has 945k subs! So close to 1M!

  88. Robert Schöni VSL says:

    This place is a dream coming true … but turning nightmare 🥶

  89. Gary Hart says:

    Very Interesting.

  90. Thomas Rosebrough says:

    I know you've had it for a while now, but I just wanted to say how much I love the current 8-bit guy intro. The older ones were all good, don't get me wrong. But the current one is so fun and familiar and the music is such a bop, it always gets me excited for the video.

  91. Patrick Palmer says:

    The Mindset Sound Module seems to have a clip on the RCA connector. I'm surprised you couldn't just take that clip off with a proper tool, or tiny needle nose pliers, and that metal lid slides open? Just a thought!

  92. nakyer says:

    Did the Mindset have any particular monitor they recommended, or was it left to the buyer to find a monitor to use with it?

  93. A fat NPC says:

    Huh, the fan in that seems to be the same kind Capcom uses in their CPS2 A boards. Those things sound like a jet taking off; they are LOUD. I have a video on my channel that should get the idea across.

  94. John Willis says:

    This a fascinating study in How people were thinking then and failed, and How people are rediscovering and re-evaluating their thinking in terms of today. I've heard "we want to get out of the Consumer Market and go B2B only because its more profitable.. over and over".. my ignorant thoughts are always "Why Scale your Business sales downwards? Isn't that betting the farm on One sale? Increasing the odds of failure?" Even in 1984 it seems they were thinking that. Incremental profits like Amazon makes on volume, or Walmart, or Microsoft never seems to dissuade anyone from demonstrated "wrong thinking". Other than Winning the Lottery for 1 out of 400 million people how does B2B ever work? The hardware study is fascinating as well. I worked with a real time Sonic Spectrograph that used the 80186 in college, it scrolled a realtime Fourier analysis of live sound captures sideways. That was the only 80186 based uP machine that I ever thought used that chip. Sandwiched between the 8086 and the 80286 it was literally a missing link. I seem to recall researching why no PC's used that chip in 1987 while in College. The story back then was it was made for the Military and cost too much because it required so many external support chips.. those Slave controllers are probably why it was never used in a Business or Gamers computer, and they were targeting early Video Production houses with the video sync ability.. just a few years too soon.. and couldn't see the forest for the trees.. as a Gaming machine they could have beat the Tandy.. but it wasn't B2B and they didn't have enough capital to survive the start up. And the Macintosh had just been released, GUI interfaces weren't being taken serious at the time.

  95. Hugo QP says:

    Vyper REALLY reminds me of Starfox on the SNES

  96. Burned Corn says:

    How is it that clean?

  97. Viper Jay 5 says:

    1,799, 2,399, you literally say that like it's 18 and 24 dollars respectively. LOL But honestly, this computer is really sweet. I sort of like how it's set up, especially the keyboard ports. Helps for cable management a bit.

  98. MARCELO JAVIER says:




  100. Jason King says:

    That is a really cool looking computer, one of the better retro designs I've seen. Really neat!

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