image of READY prompt

Wang2200.org

August 4, 2018

After a long haitus induced by scanning burnout, progress is being made once again.

  • ebay turned up something quite rare -- a Wang 2200 COBOL coding form. COBOL? Yes! COBOL was developed for the 2200 MVP along with an advanced dialect of Wang BASIC called BASIC-3, but it didn't get past early beta testing.

    The coding form is sizable -- 14"x12" (35.5cm x 30.5cm).

  • I've updated the links page to include an excellent article by Ernie Smith about the rise and fall of Wang Computers.

  • For the first time in about five years, I've added something to the Stupid Tricks page. Specifically, the new ones start at trick #24. Some of them are specific to BASIC-2, and some of them are actually good and clever ideas. Those are designated by light bulb off to the side of the entry. The most interesting trick was contributed by Elio Fernandez of Argentina. It is quite labor intensive, but he found a bug in BASIC-2 which allowed him to recover the source code from a program which was saved in scrambled mode.

  • I've added a section to the floating point number page which describes the exact algorithm used by BASIC-2 when computing the RND(1) pseudo-random number sequence.

  • Likewise, I've added a section to the floating point number page which describes the algorithm BASIC-2 uses for performing matrix inversion. It isn't described in detail; instead it just links to the document where it is described.

  • That previous document is a goldmine. Since I was there anyway, I drew attention to an article about 2200 math precision and rounding issues. Go here.

  • I added another entry to the bottom of the performance page. It summarizes a 1981 Computerworld article comparing the 2200SVP performance against a variety of other systems on a compute job and an accounts receivable job. The 2200SVP fares well.

  • The section on Wang BASIC-3 and 2200 COBOL was updated to a more complete narrative and to link to some of the related documents which were added after this section was originally written.

January 6, 2018

While going through my inbox, I found an email from two years ago that I had failed to reply to or act on. Wolfgang Hruska had sent some pictures of is Wang PC collection, and links to his web presence. Since then he has added to his collection. His youtube channel has a number of interesting videos, including one showing his Wang PC running Wang 2200 BASIC-2 programs on his Wang PC.

I also went through the links page and cleaned up stale links and added some new ones.

January 4, 2018

Happy New Year!

A few assorted updates:

  • A few months ago I switched hosting service from fatcow.com to dreamhost.com. One advantage of dreamhost is they offer https hosting at no additional cost. It took a few months to get around to enabling it, but now wang2200.org may be accessed from either http:// or https://

  • Years ago I wrote a utility program which can read, inspect, and even make some changes to wang virtual disk (.wvd) images. That program was written in Python, specifically Python 2.7. That was more than six years ago, and the world has moved on.

    I have made extensive changes to the program such that it is bilingual. That is, it works both for Python 2 and Python 3 interpreters. I also added some experimental type annotations to the source code. This doesn't affect behavior but in theory results in fewer bugs.

    The program is linked to from the virtual media page. The zip file contains both the updated source code, a readme.txt file, and a windows executable which encapsulates both the program and a Python interpreter, such that you can still use wvdutil even if Python isn't installed on your computer.

  • I noticed that one of the manuals I had uploaded ten+ years ago didn't have any chapter bookmarks in the PDF, so I added them and reuploaded 2200SVP Introductory Manual.

December 18, 2017

This is it! Pretty much everything Mike Bahia sent me in March of 2016 has been scanned and posted online. There are still a few odds and ends which I'm unsure if I posted already (they were from a previous scanned frenzy) which may still appear later if I figure out exactly what I have.

All of the official Wang publications are easy to decide what to do: scan it, add metadata, and publish it with the same 700-nnnn catalog number in the title. But towards the end, many of the things were 3-ring binders with sundry internal memos and reports. Mostly I simply scanned everything in such binders and published it as a single PDF instead of trying to break it up into smaller coherent documents.

Once again, a big THANKS to Mike Bahia for sharing this information with us. Otherwise this information likely would have been lost forever.

December 16, 2017

December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who has visited the site, communicated with me about the 2200, or is keeping the 2200 flame burning (or at least flickering).

It has been a long year of scanning and more scanning, thanks to Mike Bahia's generous contribution of hundreds of pounds of Wang documents. I'm about 80% of the way through that pile, but then I need to start working on capturing the various floppy disks, hard drives, and tapes to see what treasures are hidden on them. If you have a working Wang system that is capable of reading cartridge tape drives or compact cassette digital tapes, please let me know, as otherwise I'll have to build hardware to do it myself.

After finishing the scanning and capturing the digital assets, perhaps there will still be time to return to improving the 2200 emulator before 2017 expires. A good chunk of it is done (a 2336 terminal emulation is complete); next is to add MXE peripheral emulation to connect to the emulated terminal(s). That emulation will be at the protocol level, rather than emulating the Z80 and peripherals on the MXE card.

Here is the latest batch of documents that I was able to knock out during my week of Christmas vacation. Some of them are from binders of notes and memos that Mike Bahia collected over the years. There really isn't a great way to organize those, so I simply scanned it all, added a bookmark at each tab divider in the binder, and wrapped up each binder as a pdf.

December 11, 2016

December 10, 2016

A very small update. I took an inventory of the cards donated by Mike Bahia. Those now appear on a new page, called spares.

November 4, 2016

Slow progress recently, due to workload and a bit of burnout on this scanning project. I'll get it all done, eventually. This batch is the result of scanning one binder, and then joining a few odds-and-ends PDFs into one combined PDF.

September 24, 2016

September 2, 2016

August 21, 2016

July 30, 2016

July 4, 2016

It has taken months, but I've scanned and assembled a large set of schematics that came from Mike Bahia. They are available along with the other documents on the schematics page.

March 26, 2016

Mike Bahia has dropped a motherload of old documents, software, and hardware on me. Mike, you are a prince! However, it is going to take a long time to scan and organize the documents, and to capture and sort through all the disk and tape images. Recovering some of the files will be difficult because they are on old and nonstandard media.

Although I've bought a new sheetfed scanner to help get through this, many documents contain large fold out schematics and diagrams (11"x17", typically) which my scanner can't process. So I need to work out a better scheme than I have used in the past, which was to scan each page in overlapping sections, then using photoshop to stitch them into one coherent image.

I will be grinding away at it and posting batches now and then as I find time. Here is the tip of the iceberg:

...

(older items are no longer noted)

January, 2001

Web site started