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32121Re: The Demo setup for MARCH's Altair- current status

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  • corey986
    Aug 18, 2013
      Agreed most early delivered Altairs didn't have a rom card or teletype interface, but its impractical for us to toggle in a demo every week when we open the museum. This way a few of us who know how to use the Altair can perform a reasonable procedure to be up and running. I'm trying to keep each machine down to minimum since there are more than a few in that room. This does not mean that just anyone can simply turn on the altair and get a demo running, but MARCH staff can.

      Cheers,
      Corey

      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > >Ok so some of you know I'm slowly working my way though the home brew
      > computer room at MARCH making sure we have >something to show for each
      > machine.
      > >
      > >I've been working on what to have the altair do and show. Evan wants it to
      > be pretty early 1975 which is a great idea to show people >what could be
      > done with this giant box before anyone got crafty enough to hook then up to
      > teletypes. So I've been limiting myself to >256bytes and front panel only.
      >
      >
      > Great to hear, but you're mistaken to think the typial 1975 Altair user had
      > a ROM card early on. It was all teletype for storage in the beginning. The
      > way it was - toggle in the entire program or toggle in a papertape loader
      > then feed in the teletype program. You're not really limiting yourself to
      > 256 bytes if you're using any ROM storage. I hope you can see my point not
      > as a criticism of your effort or contribution. I just want to be sure we're
      > not miscommunicating to the public what actually happened, if that's your
      > point. Otherwise I'd not worry about "the historical accuracy angle" and
      > just make it easy on yourself with a ROM card and 32K RAM.
      >
      > What made the SOL-20 such a big thing a full year and a half later is the
      > fact that it came with a single ROM that gave you a ROM monitor program
      > right off. THEN people started adding a ROM to their Altairs. In fact, the
      > most popular ROM for the earliest Altairs was the SOL-20 SOLOS converted for
      > use in a front panel system, called CUTTER. I demoed this on my IMSAI at
      > the TCF last spring.
      >
      > <snip>
      >
      > Thanks
      >
      > Bill
      >
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