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Wang 2200 A/B scientific and 2200 VP Systems
and WSC/30 Word Processing System

Wang from Jim Battle

(2200A/B & T model)
Wang from Bill Hickman
(2200VP model)

Comments from Jim Battle and from Bill Hickman (who so kindly donated these systems) are below the photos.

Comment from donor of the Wang 2200 A/B & T system, Wang expert Jim Battle

Wang system on display with Jim at the Vintage Computer Festival 6.0 (thanks VCF for photo)

Both of my Wangs have the same CPU: 2200-T, which was the last of the first generation 2200 family.  The main thing that differentiated the -A, -B, -C, -S, and -T models was the microcode that shipped with them.  It was a field upgrad to switch from one model to the other, which involved ucode board swaps.  Actually the CPU underwent a redesign between the -A,-B,-C and the -S,-T CPUs.  Some of the cards were the same and the backplane signals were nearly identical.  I think that Wang probably had to redesign it because the earlier ones weren't cost effective anymore, so they took advantage of higher density components.

Click here for photos of the Wang system and peripherals donated by Jim Battle

Your web site says you have a 2200-A CPU.  In fact, it might have been an -A at one time, but the upgrade to the 2200VP was a complete CPU change.  The IO bus is identical between the first generate and the VP family (-VP, LVP, SVP, etc), but the CPU is radically different. Internally the VP is really a very nice design, having good support for 8b and 16b operations.  The first generation CPU operated on nibbles. In the interest of code density, subroutine calls were used everywhere to save a word or two of ucode whenver possible, even if it meant that the code was going to run at 1/2 the speed as a result.

For instance, the 16b memory address register, called PC in the Wang manuals, can be loaded in a single (600ns) microcycle in the VP.  In the 2200-ABCST, it was four (1600ns) microcycles.  However, it was often worse, due to the desire to save code.  So instead of

PC3 = imm 0
PC2 = imm 0
PC1 = imm 6
PC0 = imm 5

(where these are the four nibbles of the PC), the code would often look more like

CALL  zeropc
PC1 = imm 6
PC0 = imm 5 ...

zeropc: PC3 = imm 0
PC2 = imm 0
PC1 = imm 0
PC0 = imm 0

Also, subroutines took one cycle on the call and two cycles on the return, so in total that code would take 16 us on the -T instead of 600 ns on the VP.

The terminal part of it is a 64x16 display.  It was manufactured in 1973.  The CPU is for 1977 or so.  The printer is a modified selectric; although it has a centronics-style connector, the interface isn't centronics.  I suspect there used to be a box that converted protocol from centronics to selectric-speak.  Wang made and I/O card that drove it directly, but this system doesn't have the card (and the system and printer came from the same guy, so that's why I think a piece is missing).

See also Jim Battle's pages on the Wang 2200 including his wonderful Wang 2200 emulator!

Comment from the donor of the Wang 2200 VP system Bill Hickman

Click here for photos of the Wang system donated by Bill Hickman
(2200VP model)

There was a time before Gates, and the small IBM, when the Wang computer and word processors were industry leaders along with Digital and Tandy. I say this because Dr. Wang was the inventor of the Magnetic core memory and after leaving IBM started his own calculator company, soon to expand into the Mini-computer market. I know this because I was a contract vendor for Wang and for a short time owned my own software company writing custom software in Wang basic and installing it and Wang software in their client's new Wang Computers. Hardly a car dealer in America operated without a Wang to calculate and print all the forms.

I still have a working Wang 2200A computer which I have kept all these years, as I spent sooo many hours in front of it coding and testing new software. , and I would like to preserve it by sending it to some museum along with all the manuals for the equipment and for the Basic language manuals, the Boot disks and some game software, and marketing brochures. In its day it cost $30,000.00. I will gladly donate everything I have if you want it and if you will cover the shipping costs to send it to you. I have the following components: 2200-VP CPU 32K with 9 I/O's - 2226B-CRT (which has the keyboard in front like a work station) 20x64 screen - Disk unit with 2 disk drives (7" Disks) and a number of new disks along with the system Boot disks and game disks - The huge dotmatrix printer which came with it wore out long ago and is the only thing missing. All connecting cables and instruction manuals will be included.

The Wang computer I have is the WSC/30 and was in a desk with the printer, as pictured. These three units were the components of the WSC/30, only my disk drive has 2 drives (A and B) and the printer and the desk are now gone. I worked on the 2.5MM hard drive to the right in the picture but very few companies could afford one, so I used Wang Laboratory's for system development. One other difference is that my CPU unit (2200A) was one of the first "VP" processors, which was the fastest 32K processor Wang made for the work stations. I have the 3 component part's documentation, some utility programs and books, and several new blank 7" disks. I not only have the marketing brochure for the equipment, but the 2" thick Wang Basic Programing manual. The desk that held the CRT, Disk drives and CPU (behind the knee well wall), was a very large, heavy-duty metal desk which took up a lot of room and I disposed of it long ago. It was 34" deep and 5' wide. It would have been cost-prohibitive to ship. These components were made sometime around 1978-79.

The Equipment description is:
* CPU - Wang 2200 VP-8 32K with 9-IO's Serial # FN 70062
* CRT - Wang 2226B 20 x 64 - w/ Keyboard Serial # ED 1729
* Disks - 2270-2 7" Removable Serial # EN 4216

Curator's note: Bill very kindly sent this system to us in the Fall of 2003 while Jim donated his in March of 2004.

See Also:

Our pages on the Wang 2200 A/B system and Wang 2200 VP system

Jim Battle's pages on the Wang 2200 and Wang 2200 emulator

Rhode Island Computer Museum's page on the Wang 2200VP

Alan Judson's Wang 2200B-2

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