Still Crazy

960000 - MAD Began

As I wrote in the Still Crazy top page, I got infected with MCA virus around in June 1996. I happened to get my 1st MCA system, 5551-NAB, together with a 5551-Txx and a 5530-Txx. 5551-NAB was a 486DX2/66 system and the latter two were 386DX-20 systems. I knew that all of these systems were very expensive when they were introduced to the market. I didn't have enough knowledge to upgrade 386 machines. It seemed to be difficult to get overdrive CPUs or to get hard drives with larger capacity to meet with it's "strange" interface... Pentium 75/90 were already up on the market and Compaq Prolinea series were sold relatively cheap (though my financial situation didn't allow me to pay for one of those Pentium clones). I decided to scrap those 386 systems and use 5551-NAB as my main system. For long time, I had dreamed to own a PC system with a 486DX2/66 in it. OK, my way of PS/55 started.

I was very lucky that my 5551-N came with associated User's Manual which explained about system configuration. I had no experience with AT clones except "ISA" based PS/55 55note N23SX. 5551-N and N23SX were very different with each other but the way for system set-up using reference diskette was similar and I myself had been familiar with it.

Installed Win 3.1J on the box, transferred some files stored in my PS/55 note N23SX. 51-N run so nicely. 486DX2/66 handled most of Win 3.1J based applications flawlessly. Yeah, that was the way, aha-ha-ha, I liked. And I got INFECTED with MCA virus. No vaccine has been ever made...

In the end of the year, I planned to upgrade Win 3.1J to Windows 95. 51-N had a built-in SCSI. what I needed were SCSI CD-ROM and an "external SCSI cable". There I noticed 51-N (and PS/55s) was very different from other computers.

"Don't you have a SCSI cable for PS/55 for sale?"
"What? SCSI cable for *PS/55*? Man, PS/55 is a relic of the past! Get a new one from Compaq"...

Back in Tokyo, at a PC store in Akihabara, I could get a cable exactly noted to be used with IBM PS/55 which was the last stock of the shop. It was really expensive. I paid JY9,800 for a SCSI cable! 50 pin SCSI cable for AT clone or for Japanese defacto standard "PC98" by NEC cost about JY2,000. It is said "In for a penny, in for a pound". I got a Reply SVGA /A, Reply Vibra 16 and an overdrive CPU kit consisting AMD 5x86-133 and an interposer. Also got a 28.8Kbps external modem and Windows 95A.

I tried to install Win95 on 5551-NAB. It was not so easy. I got a bunch of error messages during installation. It was the first time for me to install Win95 and I didn't know much about it. It took few days to let Win95 recognize Reply SVGA properly and then another one week for Reply Vibra 16. I couldn't understand error message such as "Video initialize failure", "MCA bus time out error" and so on.

I don't remember how I got rid out these errors to use these adapters on my 5551-N. But anyway I could install Windows 95 on 51-N successfully after running setup.exe more than 50 times. Back in those days I was alone in my MCA hobby, I mean I had no friends around me who knew about MCA, computers and software. I just could get information from some PC magazines which provided tips and FAQs about clone PCs and DOS/Windows 95 but nothing about MCA. Setting up external modem and BBS communication software, I accessed to Nifty Serv and reached to FIBMJ Bulletin Board #4 titled PS/55 & PS/2. A bunch of information about MCA and PS/55 were there but I could not understand what the people in the Forum talked about. Following 6 months I sometimes visited the forum and read postings. Day by day, the virus became active. It had been multiplying and developing deep inside me. I downloaded whole of the log files stored in the forum and read very comments in every threads. I learned a lot about my 5551-N and other PS/55s.

I named my 5551-NAB "Nancy".

MAD begun in a little apartment room in Osaka where I lived alone away from my family.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis Ohland, Peter Wendt, William Walsh, David Beem, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Jim Shorney, Tim Clarke, Kevin Bowling, Tomáš Slavotínek, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism - MAD Edition! is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 05 Aug 2021 - Changes & Credits | Legal Info & Contact