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PICOMM computers by Potter Instrument Co, New York?

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  • Steve
    I posted this message over at Erik s Vintage Computer Forum, and I thought that someone here might be able to help, too. Does anyone here know anything about
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 5, 2005
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      I posted this message over at Erik's Vintage Computer Forum, and I
      thought that someone here might be able to help, too.

      Does anyone here know anything about PICOMM computers by Potter
      Instrument Co, New York? Back in the late sixties/early seventies,
      Potter made a 3-axis dimensional inspection machine. It used
      a "traveling bridge" arrangement that could take very accurate X, Y,
      and Z measurements anywhere in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 1 foot volume
      (approximately). Results were displayed on a NIXIE tube digital
      readout and/or on an ASR-33 Teletype. The brains of the system was a
      custom built (I believe) minicomputer known as the PICOMM computer.
      I may be wrong here. It may have simply been someone elses computer
      (a PDP 8?) rebranded. All I know is that it used ferrite core memory
      (by FerroxCube) and it could run a simple version of BASIC. If
      anyone knows anything at all about the computer or the complete
      system, I would sure be happy to hear from you. You can see a photo
      in FILES > STEVE'S FILES > PICOMM SYSTEM.

      Thanks.
      Steve
    • UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT
      Hi Steve, Looking a the pictures, (finally), the form factor of the PICOMM reminds me a little of the HP 1000-3000 families. It may just be my mind playing
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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        Hi Steve,

        Looking a the pictures, (finally), the form factor of the "PICOMM"
        reminds me a little of the HP 1000-3000 families. It may just be
        my mind playing tricks, but I seem to remember similar, and I use
        that term loosely, types of systems custom made for different
        industries, in my case Telephone, for carrier and trunk automated
        routine testing, called CAROT. That system used a custom HP 1000,
        rigged for use by AT&T. Again not sure if I'm sending you on an "Untamed
        Canadian Waterfowl Pursuit"

        On another topic... the SEBHC group is pooling all the docs and software
        related to the Heathkit H-8/89, Is there any interest in doing something
        similar to the Mits Altair, I know you have the Doc's covered, but how
        about the software on period media?

        Just Bob! --my new email address

        Steve wrote:

        >
        > I posted this message over at Erik's Vintage Computer Forum, and I
        > thought that someone here might be able to help, too.
        >
        > Does anyone here know anything about PICOMM computers by Potter
        > Instrument Co, New York? Back in the late sixties/early seventies,
        > Potter made a 3-axis dimensional inspection machine. It used
        > a "traveling bridge" arrangement that could take very accurate X, Y,
        > and Z measurements anywhere in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 1 foot volume
        > (approximately). Results were displayed on a NIXIE tube digital
        > readout and/or on an ASR-33 Teletype. The brains of the system was a
        > custom built (I believe) minicomputer known as the PICOMM computer.
        > I may be wrong here. It may have simply been someone elses computer
        > (a PDP 8?) rebranded. All I know is that it used ferrite core memory
        > (by FerroxCube) and it could run a simple version of BASIC. If
        > anyone knows anything at all about the computer or the complete
        > system, I would sure be happy to hear from you. You can see a photo
        > in FILES > STEVE'S FILES > PICOMM SYSTEM.
        >
        > Thanks.
        > Steve
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • Steve
        Just Bob- Thanks for your input. You re right, the Picomm and HP1000 have sorta kinda similar looks. The HP uses rocker switches and LEDs, if I m not
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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          Just Bob-

          Thanks for your input. You're right, the Picomm and HP1000 have
          sorta kinda similar looks. The HP uses rocker switches and LEDs, if
          I'm not mistaken, and the Picomm uses pushbutton switches with
          integral incandescent lamps. I don't think the Picomm is a relabeled
          HP, though. Didn't the HP line come out in the mid 70's? And the
          guts are completely different.

          I posted another closeup picture of the control panel as it exists
          today. It's with the first picture, at
          FILES > STEVE'S FILES > PICOMM SYSTEM.

          If you're interested, the Vintage Computer discussion on this subject
          is at
          http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/viewtopic.php?
          t=1623&sid=72e332ff1955b4b5ebdd86f95198433c

          Steve
          =========================================

          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
          <ueoguy@y...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Steve,
          >
          > Looking a the pictures, (finally), the form factor of the "PICOMM"
          > reminds me a little of the HP 1000-3000 families. It may just be
          > my mind playing tricks, but I seem to remember similar, and I use
          > that term loosely, types of systems custom made for different
          > industries, in my case Telephone, for carrier and trunk automated
          > routine testing, called CAROT. That system used a custom HP 1000,
          > rigged for use by AT&T. Again not sure if I'm sending you on
          an "Untamed
          > Canadian Waterfowl Pursuit"
          >
          > ...
        • Steve
          I m interested. Now what? I ll check out their site. Steve ... software ... something ... how ... ...
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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            I'm interested. Now what? I'll check out their site.

            Steve
            =========================================

            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
            <ueoguy@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Steve,
            ...
            > On another topic... the SEBHC group is pooling all the docs and
            software
            > related to the Heathkit H-8/89, Is there any interest in doing
            something
            > similar to the Mits Altair, I know you have the Doc's covered, but
            how
            > about the software on period media?
            >
            > Just Bob! --my new email address
            >
            ...
          • UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT
            Hi Steve, The Bell System ones had, for lack of a better term, with turnkey like FP s. Some were the full FP, and I thought they did use lamps, and not
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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              Hi Steve,

              The Bell System ones had, for lack of a better term, with "turnkey like"
              FP's. Some were the full FP, and I thought they did use lamps, and not
              LED's, and others just had power and a couple of switches for Run, Halt,
              IPL, etc. A custom FP may have been cheaper to build than buy from HP???

              So I wonder If Potter, (is it the same as Potter & Brumfield?) just
              bought a turnkey version and made their own FPB? Any pic's of the cards
              or internal layout? Cause that would be the clincher to see if it was
              HP, DEC, Data General, and there were a few more, whose names escape me
              right now...

              Just Bob!


              Steve wrote:

              >Just Bob-
              >
              >Thanks for your input. You're right, the Picomm and HP1000 have
              >sorta kinda similar looks. The HP uses rocker switches and LEDs, if
              >I'm not mistaken, and the Picomm uses pushbutton switches with
              >integral incandescent lamps. I don't think the Picomm is a relabeled
              >HP, though. Didn't the HP line come out in the mid 70's? And the
              >guts are completely different.
              >
              >I posted another closeup picture of the control panel as it exists
              >today. It's with the first picture, at
              >FILES > STEVE'S FILES > PICOMM SYSTEM.
              >
              >If you're interested, the Vintage Computer discussion on this subject
              >is at
              >http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/viewtopic.php?
              >t=1623&sid=72e332ff1955b4b5ebdd86f95198433c
              >
              >Steve
              >=========================================
              >
              >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
              ><ueoguy@y...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >>Hi Steve,
              >>
              >>Looking a the pictures, (finally), the form factor of the "PICOMM"
              >>reminds me a little of the HP 1000-3000 families. It may just be
              >>my mind playing tricks, but I seem to remember similar, and I use
              >>that term loosely, types of systems custom made for different
              >>industries, in my case Telephone, for carrier and trunk automated
              >>routine testing, called CAROT. That system used a custom HP 1000,
              >> rigged for use by AT&T. Again not sure if I'm sending you on
              >>
              >>
              >an "Untamed
              >
              >
              >>Canadian Waterfowl Pursuit"
              >>
              >>...
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >---- SPECIAL NOTICE CONCERNING "SPAM" ----
              >If this message appears to be junk mail that has nothing to do with our group, there are things you can do to prevent receiving more of the same. Go to our Yahoo group's website, sign in, open the FILES folder, and read the text file called "Blocking Spam" for infomation about your options.
              >--- Steve, your group moderator
              >
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Steve
              Bob- As far as I know, there s no affiliation with P&B. I don t have any parts now other than the front panel. I m fairly sure that it was manufactured by
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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                Bob-

                As far as I know, there's no affiliation with P&B. I don't have any
                parts now other than the front panel. I'm fairly sure that it was
                manufactured by Potter Inst, especially after reading other people's
                comments. Rather than repeat a lot of stuff, see what's been posted
                at the other site. This might be a more useable link:
                http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/viewtopic.php?t=1623

                steve
                =====================

                --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
                <ueoguy@y...> wrote:
                > Hi Steve,
                >
                > The Bell System ones had, for lack of a better term, with "turnkey
                like"
                > FP's. Some were the full FP, and I thought they did use lamps, and
                not
                > LED's, and others just had power and a couple of switches for Run,
                Halt,
                > IPL, etc. A custom FP may have been cheaper to build than buy from
                HP???
                >
                > So I wonder If Potter, (is it the same as Potter & Brumfield?) just
                > bought a turnkey version and made their own FPB? Any pic's of the
                cards
                > or internal layout? Cause that would be the clincher to see if it
                was
                > HP, DEC, Data General, and there were a few more, whose names
                escape me
                > right now...
                >
                > Just Bob!
                >
                >
                > Steve wrote:
                >
                > >Just Bob-
                > >
                > >Thanks for your input. You're right, the Picomm and HP1000 have
                > >sorta kinda similar looks. The HP uses rocker switches and LEDs,
                if
                > >I'm not mistaken, and the Picomm uses pushbutton switches with
                > >integral incandescent lamps. I don't think the Picomm is a
                relabeled
                > >HP, though. Didn't the HP line come out in the mid 70's? And
                the
                > >guts are completely different.
                > >
                > >I posted another closeup picture of the control panel as it exists
                > >today. It's with the first picture, at
                > >FILES > STEVE'S FILES > PICOMM SYSTEM.
                > >
                > >If you're interested, the Vintage Computer discussion on this
                subject
                > >is at
                > >http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/viewtopic.php?
                > >t=1623&sid=72e332ff1955b4b5ebdd86f95198433c
                > >
                > >Steve
                > >=========================================
                > >
                > >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
                > ><ueoguy@y...> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >>Hi Steve,
                > >>
                > >>Looking a the pictures, (finally), the form factor of the "PICOMM"
                > >>reminds me a little of the HP 1000-3000 families. It may just be
                > >>my mind playing tricks, but I seem to remember similar, and I use
                > >>that term loosely, types of systems custom made for different
                > >>industries, in my case Telephone, for carrier and trunk automated
                > >>routine testing, called CAROT. That system used a custom HP 1000,
                > >> rigged for use by AT&T. Again not sure if I'm sending you on
                > >>
                > >>
                > >an "Untamed
                > >
                > >
                > >>Canadian Waterfowl Pursuit"
                > >>
                > >>...
              • UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT
                Steve, Thanks for the link to the Vintage list, interesting, as in High School, one of my buddies had a line on getting one of those MinuteMan systems!
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 16, 2005
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                  Steve,

                  Thanks for the link to the Vintage list, interesting, as in High School,
                  one of my buddies had a line on getting one of those MinuteMan systems!

                  Everybody,

                  With regards to the software archive, I for one wouldn't mind "makin'
                  copies" (excuse the SNL ref, I couldn't help myself!) I can produce
                  Altair 8" disks, and paper tape, maybe even cassette tape....maybe? I
                  think I still even have a spool of laminated metallesized mylar around
                  for archive! I'm not sure if my drives are in perfect alignment, (I
                  can't pick up an alignment disc on ebay to save my life!) We could keep
                  binaries on the Yahoo site that could be downloaded and uplinked through
                  the MBL prom type loader like Andy K's site? ...speaking of which, I
                  still can't get any of his binaries to load, with the exception of the
                  4K basic, everything else gives a "CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC" checksum, somewhere
                  in the middle of loading.

                  Anyone else have this problem, or do I just have a "BUM" MBL Prom?

                  I think as long as we apply the roman catholic cannon law on holy
                  relics, to what we do, we can't get into too much trouble on
                  copyrights??? That being that the relic can not be sold, but the
                  reliquary housing it can be sold, with the contents being a gift.

                  So if "members only" need an archive copy of BASIC or DOS, or what ever,
                  they could be made and distributed much like the manual copies you
                  produce, for the media and duplication costs, not the contents.

                  Comments from others? And what software do we have out there to share,
                  er, I mean "archive"?

                  Just Bob!


                  Steve wrote:

                  >I'm interested. Now what? I'll check out their site.
                  >
                  >Steve
                  >=========================================
                  >
                  >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "UEOGUY-H.E.ROBT"
                  ><ueoguy@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >>Hi Steve,
                  >>
                  >>
                  >...
                  >
                  >
                  >>On another topic... the SEBHC group is pooling all the docs and
                  >>
                  >>
                  >software
                  >
                  >
                  >>related to the Heathkit H-8/89, Is there any interest in doing
                  >>
                  >>
                  >something
                  >
                  >
                  >>similar to the Mits Altair, I know you have the Doc's covered, but
                  >>
                  >>
                  >how
                  >
                  >
                  >>about the software on period media?
                  >>
                  >>Just Bob! --my new email address
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >---- SPECIAL NOTICE CONCERNING "SPAM" ----
                  >If this message appears to be junk mail that has nothing to do with our group, there are things you can do to prevent receiving more of the same. Go to our Yahoo group's website, sign in, open the FILES folder, and read the text file called "Blocking Spam" for infomation about your options.
                  >--- Steve, your group moderator
                  >
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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