Polymorphics 88 at VCF 7.0

Copyright (c) 2011 Herb Johnson all rights reserved. last edit June 14 2011.

Polymorphics 88 at VCF 7.0

I acquired my Polymorphic 88 from David Director in May 2011, after a conversation where he mentioned he had the system. Here's a Web page about his history, and his history with the Poly 88. I got it just in time to take it to the Vintage Computer Festival - East 7.0, where it was examined and compared to Bill Degnan's Poly 88 system. This Web page discusses the Poly 88's at the show.

For more about Polymorphics, check my Polymorphics Web page which is one of my many S-100 Web pages.

Poly 88's at VCF-E 7.0

[poly at VCF-E]

At the VCF East 7.0 show in May 2011, I brought my just-acquired Polymorphics 88 to show with Bill Degnan's displayed Poly 88 system, also recent to him. Bill also showed his Poly at his SWTP 6800 table.

At the VCF show, Bill's chassis was tested and verified by Jonathan Chapman, the exhibitor at the table where my Poly was unboxed and shown. A Cromemco ZPU Z80 card was verified by Jonathan to run on that chassis at the show. Other cards in Bill's system included an audio card, RAM and other cards not yet verified.

This is is my Poly, fresh from the box. The box was opened for the first time in decades at VCF. ON the table is an AC isolation transformer and Keyboard in bubblewrap, from the box. The two manual binders are covered in cassette tapes. Behind the Poly are various S-100 cards, from the table's exhibitor as I'll explain later.

Here's a look at the rear of my Poly system, s/n 17XX (I've obscured the serial number.) Here's an image of one of the Poly cassette tapes, includes BASIC. This image shows the Poly manual binder in Poly orange, on the top of the box.

This image shows the chassis and cards of my Poly. Five S-100 slots. There's the Poly CPU in back, a 64K card in the middle, and the Poly video card in front. Behind the card cage is an interface card for the parallel keyboard and the serial.

Here is my Poly on exhibit, with various S-100 cards. To the right is part of Bill Degnan's Poly chassis.

Here's a look at Bill Degnan's Poly system on display, shown with his SWTP 6800 working system connected to a model ASR33 Teletype. Bill restored both system and TTY. Bill's Poly has holes in the front. Here's a closer look at Bill Degnan's Poly system. Note the holes drilled in the top, front, and (not shown) back to dissipate heat. Bill acquired his Poly recently and looks forward to copies of my Poly's documents for his restoration. Bill's Poly has the Poly video card, less a few chips like the video ROM. I'm working on finding one of those for Bill. - Herb

Content of the acquired system

See my restoration Web page for a list of manuals and tapes.

I recieved an original set of Poly 88 hardware manuals, in the orange binder; and some copies of software manuals and various other documents, in a black binder. Two Polymorphic brochures were also in the mix. There are several Poly tapes and several tapes made by the previous owners.

After the show

Over time I'll work to restore this system. Bill Degnan also has plans to restore his system and we are discussing the details between us. Here's a Web page about my progress with that system, and probably some discussion with Bill.

This Web page led to discussions with Dwight Elvey, who used his restored system and PC software to recover Poly tape files. My discussions with Dwight, and links to his files, are on this linked Web page.

Herb Johnson
New Jersey, USA
here is how to email @ me

Copyright © 2011 Herb Johnson