Yearly Archives: 2014

Diskettes for the Pravetz

I finally got my hands on some 51/4” diskettes for the Pravetz. They are in good condition and full of old games and programs. There is also a pack of cleaning diskettes for the floppy drive. I’m still looking for more.

20141031_155918I’m inpatient to find a monitor, to see if this dinasour runs.


Restoration of Pravetz-16 Turbo (IBM PC XT compatible)

My software development career started 20 years ago. It’s sound crazy, but when I was 8, I was introduced to my first computer and Turbo Pascal.

Turbo Pascal DOS IDE

Turbo Pascal IDE

My first computer was Pravetz-16. It was something new and interesting for me, and I was hooked immediately.

Years and technology changed, the old Pravetz died from natural causes and was thrown for recycling.

Now almost 20 years later I felt the urge to have my old computer back and stated searching.  It was hard and long search until finally I saw an ad that a scrap depot is selling an old Pravetz computer. Not wasting time I called them and brought it for 100 leva ( around 70 USD ). It was the computer only, with ought the peripherals. Before the deal  I asked them to try turning it on. They said it’s starting, so I have it delivered to me.


Front view of the PC

Except from being full of dust, dead spiders and dirt all around and with some minor hardware problems like the serial board apparently dead. This specimen was almost authentic. It’s still has all the marks from the factory and even a warranty card and instruction manual for the floppy disk.


Warranty card. Expired 24 years ago

From the warranty card I found out that this PC was one of the last produced before the collapse of the communist regime in Bulgaria. The production date is 12.12.1989 and it’s apparently the turbo version with the following specs:

CPU: 80286 at 12 Mhz
HDD: 20 MB
5 1/4″ Inch Floppy drive
LPT printer port
COM port
CGA video card (VDO-3)

The floppy drive instruction manual

Floppy drive instruction manual

The support contact information

Support contact information sticker

The model sticker at the back

Model sticker at the back

Inside of the PC

Inside of the PC

The power switch

The power switch

View from the back. You can see couple of dead spiders over the video card

View from the back. You can see couple of dead spiders over the video card

It took me 7 hours to disassemble the PC, clean it screw by scree and put it back together. Every non electrical part was washed and the electrical ones were cleaned with alcohol solution and an old tooth brush. The old Pravetz now shines as new.

20141029_211651 20141029_211720I also found a keyboard yesterday, and ordered a pile of floppy disks. They should be here soon.

The keyboard

The keyboard

Now I’m looking for a CGA monitor, to be finally able to turn it on and see will it boot. Meanwhile the keyboard will be disassembled and cleaned.


Enabel super user log in on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

In order to maintain higher security level and keep the user from accidental breakage of the system the root user log in is disabled by default. To enable it, open a terminal window and type:

sudo passwd root

you will be prompted to enter the root user password. When done press enter.

That’s it. Now you can work from the command line like super user.

Screenshot-root@home: -home-vpaskov

Installing JD-GUI on OpenSUSE

JD-GUI is a standalone graphical utility that displays Java source codes of “.class” files. You can browse the reconstructed source code with the JD-GUI for instant access to methods and fields.

This java decompiler has GNU/Linux version available for download, but the site don’t mention anything about the dependencies of the package. It’s up to the user to find and install the required libraries in order to run JD-GUI.

For the x64 version of OpenSUSE install the following packages:

  • libgtk-2_0-0-32bit
  • libgthread-2_0-0-32bit
  • libXxf86vm1-32bit
zypper in libgtk-2_0-0-32bit libgthread-2_0-0-32bit libXxf86vm1-32bit

For the x86 version install:

  • libgtk-2_0-0
  • libgthread-2_0-0
  • libXxf86vm1
zypper in libgtk-2_0-0 libgthread-2_0-0 libXxf86vm1