[vcf-midatlantic] Blit Express Lives!

Kenneth Seefried kjseefried at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 18:50:18 EST 2016

From: Systems Glitch <systems.glitch at gmail.com>
>The Blit Express is a high resolution (1664 x 1200 mono, forget the color
res) >workstation graphics card from Bell Technologies.

Thats the one based on the Intel i82786, right?  Awful chip.  It sold as a
way to turn a 386 system into an alternative to something like a Sun
3/160.  As we say in the South, bless their hearts.

> I'm guessing there were sort of specific system requirements for it,
since it
> doesn't seem to like MFM/RLL drives, which of course would've been very
> common then.

If it's the i82786 based one, it's kinda picky about hardware configs (I
seem to recall it required an unusually big memory region) but I ran it in
a bunch of different systems (Intel and Compaq PCs at least).  I'd go
through the normal ISA bus IRQ/mem window/IO addy/etc diagnostic dance.  I
don't recall if I ran them with MFM/RLL disks, but I definitely ran them
with ESDI disks.

> There's almost no information on the Internet about these. Apparently
mine is a
> beta unit (don't know if they ever made it into production).

Yours might be a beta, but the Bell Tech Blit certainly went into
production and was reasonably successful.  I have the X10 (yes, 10 not 11
and not the home control protocol) source around here *someplace* but will
probably never find it.

There's some stuff out there if you look hard enough.  As I recall, at
least the early X11 tapes came with the support source.  Nosing around
whatever is left of the Interactive and SCO Unix in the i386 era history
will certainly turn up something.

Tangent: anyone remember the Bell Tech HUB-6?  ISA bus 6-port serial
cards.  Sold tons of them back in the day when SCO shipped product instead
of failing to profit through litigation.  Good times.


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