1980s Vintage Computers
Hewlett-Packard Series 80 - Links
Here are some of the places on the web with useful or well put together info on the HP Series 80.
The best place to start learning about the HP series 80 is the Agilent overview, as this company used to be the part of HP that produced the series 80. Here are their pages that refer to series 80:
Note there are a couple of typos in the above overview. The Centronics printer interface is part number 82949A, and the HP-85 Advanced Programming ROM is singular (but the HP-87 equivalent is a two-ROM set).
The Series 80.org page has some very useful downloads including HP-85 and 87 utilities, several user manuals, a brochure for the HP 9915, as well as some further ROM images. My thanks to vp for his help!
The HP Computer Museum in Australia has a massive collection of on-line manuals and programs to download.
Here is the HP-85B user manual on the web - enjoy!
André Koppel has a lot of documents on the web at http://www.akso.de/index.php?id=hp_series_80&L=1 including several rare manuals such as the HP-87 Assembler ROM manual, the HP-86B Service manual, and very unusually source code listings for the HP-87.
The book Digital Retro by Gordon Laing summarises the design of 44 different computers including four pages on the HP-85.
The Hewlett-Packard Series 80 Configuration Guide is a ten-page leaflet issued in 1981 to show all the available options the owner could buy from HP.
Victor Toth's calculator site has a long piece on his HP-85 including some useful repair tips (this site is a recommended read).
Mike Davies has bought and sold many HP-85s, here are his buying tips.
The HP-41 library contains scans of old copies of the 'HP Journal' and the 'Computer Journal of PPC'. I strongly recommend the July 1980 Journal as this is dedicated to the HP-85, only problem is that it's around 19MB to download. Similarly the December 1982 Journal has an article on the HP-86 & HP-87XM, plus a full description of the 82900A CP/M System module. The PPC journal includes many program listings, but there is no index. So far I have found further articles on the CP/M module, critical of the software for not supporting the serial module.
Martin Cragg's Biblewitness site has several copies of the News 80 magazine, plus some Assembler code.
Datareign Ltd. have a nice HP-85 page, explaining its role in engineering labs.
Guillaume Tello has a great HP-86 page, including tips plus programs for transfering files to and from a PC, and for emulating a plotter.
The following have some good photos of the HP 85:
and these have the HP 86:
A collection of old HP's photographed by Stan Sieler at VCF 4.0.
A company in NZ called Precision Microcircuits currently use HP-85s for driving some of their test equipment.
The HP Series 80 machines did not come with built in floppy drives, these are a very useful add-on. There were a few different types of HP-IB drives made by HP, of these I would recommend the Amigo protocol drives such as the HP 82901M (a dual 5¼" drive) or 82902M (single drive). Both of these were very solidly built and have metal cases. Section C13 of the HP Series 100 FAQ lists some 3½" Amigo drives, I also have a 9121D which works fine with the Series 80. The following is a list of some more HP drives, please see the Series 80 Parts List section on drives to check compatibility.
There is an Easter Egg in the HP Extended Mass Storage ROM.
Please join the Yahoo! group hpseries80.
The HP 9845 project created by Ansgar Kueckes is the home of HPDir and HPDrive - these allow a Windows PC with an HP-IB card to eiother connect to HP Series 80 machines and emulate a disk drive, or to contect a disk drive and transfer files between it and the PC. Disk images can then be transferred to Olivier De Smet's HP Series 80 emulator.
If you are have the time, please try running Kermit for the HP-86/87 and let me know how you get on!
This page was last revised on: 24/04/09