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Xerox 8010 Star


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  Xerox 8010 Star by Bill Degnan - 11/13/2011 23:31
The XEROX model 8010 was known as the Xerox Star because that was the name of its application software. Before the Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh, the "Star" is generally accepted to be the first stand-alone commercial computer to employ the graphical user interface / desktop metaphor. This particular system is missing the side panels, wheels, and is not fully operational. The notes to follow describe what steps have been taken to stabilize and hopefully restore this system. Aside from the ugliness of the exposed steel under carriage, the only real problem that I have detected so far is the Quantum Q 2040's drive belt, and possibly some bad RAM. Click image for larger view.

The terminal, keyboard, and mouse of the Xerox 8010 Star. The terminal is powered by the computer and plugs into the back. The mouse plugs into the keyboard, and then the keyboard plugs into the back of the computer near the display port. Click image for larger view.

Here is a close up view of the XEROX mouse. From the underside one can see that this is an optical mouse, not a wheel or ball. Click image for larger view. I am unsure if a special mousepad is needed, but I do have one from a newer system if required.

Somewhere along the line one side panel and the front and top panels were lost. This particular Star started its operational service at Kerzweil-AI in 1983. The controller boards and power supply are in good shape. The display fires up, but the front panel reports an error status 201, which occurs when the system attempts to read the Quantum Q 2040 hard drive. Click image for larger view.

This is an image of the underside of the 43 Megabyte Quantum Q 2040 hard drive. The drive belt needs to be replaced. It will not stay put when running at full speed so I temporarily added a ring of electrical tape on the spindle to hold the belt in place. This little touch allows the system to get a little farther into the boot process. The front panel status counts up from 000 to 201 before bombing out. It's possible that that count is an error code about the hard drive, but it's also possible that the system is simply counting up the RAM, which may be failing at kilobyte 201 out of 256.

I am interested to see what's on these ePROMs, from the IOP board. Click image for larger view.

Many more pictures

  do you still have the Star? by Sean Frazier - 02/27/2012 16:36
cool computer. do you still have it? did you ever get it working?



  Xerox Star 8010 by Bill Degnan - 02/27/2012 23:11

This Xerox Star 8010 is now at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle Washington. I take it they're eventually going to repair the RAM and attempt to load a fresh copy of the OS.



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