Malman35
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What is this old thing?

Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:01 pm

Recently my dad's friend (who I call uncle Ken) was going through his atic and found an old word processor/computer thingy. And he said he didn't want is so I thought it would be cool if I could get it to work. My dad said okay but... I ended up not finding anything on the internet about it and since this is the only forum I am allowed on I thought I would ask here.
Btw I think it is a Japanese make
Here are some pictures of what is in the box and the box
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vz5xunbs58t0 ... nJYVa?dl=0

Here are my questions

1) how much is this thing worth?

2)what can this thing do

3) how do I get it to work

4) can I play games with it? :D

I think that is all. ( I hope it's okay I asked here being it isn't really rpi related)

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:23 pm

It is Japanese. Panasonic "personal word processor" with 9 inch CRT display is written on the box.

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sommersoft
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Re: What is this old thing?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:10 am

Well, its what they called a "word processor". And you're right...not much on the internet about this particular one.

I found a website that I think advertises rubbish disposal for business. Someone wants to dump some of these...

Some Yahoo Japan auctions are between 980 - 10,000 yen (~$8 - $80) for similar models (didn't see the 151 PRO! on there)
"We mock what we don't understand." - Dr. Trowbridge

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:58 am

sommersoft wrote:Well, its what they called a "word processor". And you're right...not much on the internet about this particular one.

I found a website that I think advertises rubbish disposal for business. Someone wants to dump some of these...

Some Yahoo Japan auctions are between 980 - 10,000 yen (~$8 - $80) for similar models (didn't see the 151 PRO! on there)
Well it isn't worth a super lot of money so I would like to try to get it to work. So is it possible for me to run it in English and if so what could it do. Also how do I get it to run? Thx
drgeoff wrote:It is Japanese. Panasonic "personal word processor" with 9 inch CRT display is written on the box.
I kinda realized that ;)

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sommersoft
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Re: What is this old thing?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:47 am

Malman35 wrote:So is it possible for me to run it in English and if so what could it do. Also how do I get it to run? Thx
English? I don't know anything about that. You could assume that due to mass production margins, they loaded multiple languages per "market" and seeing that English is pretty widely spoken in Japan, it may have made it on there. How to select language...could be a jumper, a dip switch, program config. On the other hand, that may be a purely domestic model...

What could it do? Well, those were really just used to "word process" (sorry...rules dictate I do that). Its probably just an electronic typewriter. It may have some spreadsheet/charting capabilities. At any rate, they will all be pretty "8-bit". Might be able to run programs off the floppy?

Get it to run? Lord knows. You're running the gambit of unknowns. Power? MoBo components operational? Does it require floppy loaded software (and is any of it available)? Do the peripherals work?

Maybe try and find some of the "U1" user manuals, and give those a read.

If you have a power supply, I'd say clean it really well inside and out. Dust bunnies will get ya! :mrgreen: Once that's done, flip the switch and let it roll.
"We mock what we don't understand." - Dr. Trowbridge

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:48 am

It will have an English font in addition to the Japanese Kanji and Hiragana ones but I would stake money on all the menus being Japanese only. I doubt that an export version of this model was ever manufactured but if it was it would have been fitted with a different ROM and keyboard.

All the software will be in ROM. Word processor only with no possibility to run anything else.

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DougieLawson
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Re: What is this old thing?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:59 am

What happens if you try to power it up? Have all of the capacitors dried out and bulged? Or do you get any words and pictures on the screen?

Have you opened it up and looked at the electronics? Is there any gunge on the board?

There's a couple of "computing museums" here in the UK, does anything like that exist in Japan as they may be interested in your clunky old machine.
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Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:25 am

DougieLawson wrote:What happens if you try to power it up? Have all of the capacitors dried out and bulged? Or do you get any words and pictures on the screen?

Have you opened it up and looked at the electronics? Is there any gunge on the board?

There's a couple of "computing museums" here in the UK, does anything like that exist in Japan as they may be interested in your clunky old machine.
I am really busy right now so I will try plugging it in, in a few days. Sorry about that. Btw there are some floppy disks (I think) but they have stuff like "addresses" and "bank stuff" written in pen on them.

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:08 am

The machine has no hard disk. Floppies will have been the only means for storing documents produced on the machine. It wasn't even a certainty that the floppies could be read on other makes of dedicated wordprocessor or on personal computers.

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:08 pm

drgeoff wrote:The machine has no hard disk. Floppies will have been the only means for storing documents produced on the machine. It wasn't even a certainty that the floppies could be read on other makes of dedicated wordprocessor or on personal computers.
So do you think that I could find some floppy disks that have games on them and that would work with that? Or does it not do that?

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:44 pm

Malman35 wrote:
drgeoff wrote:The machine has no hard disk. Floppies will have been the only means for storing documents produced on the machine. It wasn't even a certainty that the floppies could be read on other makes of dedicated wordprocessor or on personal computers.
So do you think that I could find some floppy disks that have games on them and that would work with that? Or does it not do that?
You have not been reading the previous answers.

I am 99% certain it is incapable of loading anything executable from floppy. It has its word processor program in ROM and that's it.

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:16 pm

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B9 ... 9%E3%83%A9

If you use Chrome browser it will offer to translate the page. Some info on the range of Panasonic models.

InsideJob
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Re: What is this old thing?

Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:10 pm

You have not been reading the previous answers.
I've got some old games on 500K 8" floppy disk we can play! :D

EDIT: oops, sorry, I thought this was the sophomoric humor thread... my mistake.

ewomack2000
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Re: What is this old thing?

Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:44 am

Though probably not worth anything and probably not all that interesting to use apart from a minor historical thrill, it's still a cool piece of technological history. To think one needed that size of a thing to "word process" at one point is pretty astounding. It reminds me of the early "laptops" that would probably asphyxiate anyone gullible enough to put the things on their lap. As mentioned above, a museum may have an interest, but it doesn't sound like this model is particularly rare. You can always keep it as an interesting relic. I still have an old copy of Japanese DOS V on floppies. Years ago I booted it up on a now very obsolete system. Everything was in Japanese, of course (I do know a little, but it didn't help in this case), so I didn't get very far. It was still cool to see an old Japanese system boot up, though I don't really have any desire to repeat the experience, unless I can sell tickets. :D

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:41 am

drgeoff wrote: You have not been reading the previous answers.

I am 99% certain it is incapable of loading anything executable from floppy. It has its word processor program in ROM and that's it.
Sorry about that. miss understood you. Well I plugged it in.... and there was a small red light. when I pressed the on/off button it turned green. but.... nothing on the screen. I inserted one of the card like things (floppy disks i presume) still nothing ( i made sure it was in the right way) I turned it off with the floppy disk still in and then turned it back on. still nothing.

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:35 am

Well I know this thread is like really old but...
I had put it away after nothing had happened when I plugged it in and turned on but just now I had the urge to fiddle with it. ;)
I tried to boot it up but I had the same response.
I opened up the back to look at the insides and I'm not sure what to look for. Any suggestions? And then if I do find a problem how would I fix it?
Here is some pics. I hope they help.
Image
Image
Image

BMS Doug
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:42 am

Malman35 wrote:Well I know this thread is like really old but...
I had put it away after nothing had happened when I plugged it in and turned on but just now I had the urge to fiddle with it. ;)
I tried to boot it up but I had the same response.
I opened up the back to look at the insides and I'm not sure what to look for. Any suggestions? And then if I do find a problem how would I fix it?
Don't put your hands anywhere near the electronics until it is thoroughly discharged, the cathode ray tubes need an enormous DC voltage to create a visible display and the charge can linger in the capacitors for a long time after it is turned off.
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:52 am

BMS Doug wrote:Don't put your hands anywhere near the electronics until it is thoroughly discharged, the cathode ray tubes need an enormous DC voltage to create a visible display and the charge can linger in the capacitors for a long time after it is turned off.
Don't worry, I didn't touch anything. That is why I asked here. ;)

BMS Doug
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:20 am

I would expect this type of machine to turn the screen on as soon as the power button was turned on (when the LED turned green). As the screen displayed nothing it would be likely that the beam generation part of the CRT is not functioning. The most likely cause is a blown capacitor (look for a bulge on the top of the capacitor). If one Cap is blown then the others will have been strained, replacing all the capacitors would be the recommended action.

Be aware that the CRT is an implosion risk, any small damage to the tube could cause it to shatter into razor sharp shards, which could be moving towards you at high speed!

Considering the Risk vs Reward I wouldn't advise proceeding with this.

Best case scenario: You have a working word processor, using obsolete media and obsolete file types.

Worst case scenario: you are injured by the components.
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:34 am

BMS Doug wrote:I would expect this type of machine to turn the screen on as soon as the power button was turned on (when the LED turned green). As the screen displayed nothing it would be likely that the beam generation part of the CRT is not functioning. The most likely cause is a blown capacitor (look for a bulge on the top of the capacitor). If one Cap is blown then the others will have been strained, replacing all the capacitors would be the recommended action.

Be aware that the CRT is an implosion risk, any small damage to the tube could cause it to shatter into razor sharp shards, which could be moving towards you at high speed!

Considering the Risk vs Reward I wouldn't advise proceeding with this.

Best case scenario: You have a working word processor, using obsolete media and obsolete file types.

Worst case scenario: you are injured by the components.
Okay then it isn't a big deal to me if I can't. But I thought it would be cool to take all the insides out and stick in a raspberry pi and all that is needed to make it run. Can I do that safely? I would just unscrew the circuit boards and take them out. I thought I should ask since you seem know about that kinda stuff. :)

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:11 am

I'll be more blunt than previous posters. You clearly do not know enough about CRT displays to proceed any further. Apart from the risk of injury from broken glass there is circuitry to produce at least 10,000 volts (yes 10 kV) for the CRT's final anode. Leave it alone!

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DougieLawson
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:17 am

It depends whether you can survive from a 30KV shock. When I was your age I'd always steer well away from anything with a CRT. It helped that my mate's dad was a TV repairman and gave us the all the warnings about the extremely high voltages on the HT side of a TV.
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mahjongg
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:32 am

Its called a masushita Surara,
translated wikipedia page here:
https://translate.google.nl/translate?s ... edit-text=

Malman35
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:04 pm

drgeoff wrote:I'll be more blunt than previous posters. You clearly do not know enough about CRT displays to proceed any further. Apart from the risk of injury from broken glass there is circuitry to produce at least 10,000 volts (yes 10 kV) for the CRT's final anode. Leave it alone!
Okay so junk it?

drgeoff
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Re: What is this old thing?

Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:04 pm

Malman35 wrote:
drgeoff wrote:I'll be more blunt than previous posters. You clearly do not know enough about CRT displays to proceed any further. Apart from the risk of injury from broken glass there is circuitry to produce at least 10,000 volts (yes 10 kV) for the CRT's final anode. Leave it alone!
Okay so junk it?
Either that or be prepared to pay a professional. Most computer shops (even in Japan) don't have a clue about repairing computer hardware never mind an ancient CRT display. You would probably have more luck with an older guy who was repairing TVs at least 10 years ago.

(Yes, I've been inside tellies since before the bottles vanished from them. I've also been to various parts of Japan about once a year for the last 30 years but never to Hokkaido. Pay my fare from the UK and I'll repair your Japanese wordprocessor, no charge. :) )
Last edited by drgeoff on Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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