Laser Compact XT Restoration project


A very dirty computer


So, when I was in middle school/high school, my parents bought me my own PC. It was a Laser Compact XT. 8088@8mhz, 512k ram, 1x 360k floppy. I eventually got a second floppy for it.

Having watched an 8 Bit Guy video(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa0B0hiVqxA) detailing his efforts to restore a one of these machines, I was eventually inspired to dig mine out to try to get it working.

Unfortunately, the power supply and the external disk drive have gone missing over the years. I can build a power supply out of a desktop supply(I have one ordered, should be here in week or so). I’ll probably do without a second floppy drive, at least for a while, though I have ideas on how to hack something together.

An interesting thing I found taking it apart is this:

So, there were a couple versions of this computer. One of them had an ISA slot on the side- right where that header is. The header has the right pin count for an ISA slot. I wonder- does this board have all the other circuitry needed for an ISA slot? No idea. But that could be an interesting mod if I could add one and then maybe an XT IDE board. A hard drive would be a massive usability improvement.

I’m also missing a couple keycaps- backspace and scroll lock- but the stalks are there so I could cast replacements in resin using other keys to make the molds. Or even 3d print them.

I also have some peroxide cream coming for retrobrighting the case.

Then I have to sort out the monitor situation. If I can get a small CRT TV or composite monitor that would be great, CGA looks *way* better on composite than on RGB, at least for graphics.

But for now I have a fun project to resurrect a computer I loved in my youth.

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