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Re: [midatlanticretro] Chips that changed the world

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  • Evan Koblentz
    ... I enjoyed the sidebar more than the main article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/may09/8849 -- why Bender s brain uses a MOS 6502. :)
    Message 1 of 11 , May 5, 2009
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      For those interested, IEEE has an article about the 25 chips that changed the world. The NE555 is #1 and the 6502 is #2.

      http://spectrum.ieee.org/may09/8747

      I enjoyed the sidebar more than the main article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/may09/8849 -- why Bender's brain uses a MOS 6502.  :)
    • Evan Koblentz
      ... Our discussion last year about the Top Eight microcomputers of the 70s and 80s was a healthy debate, but I think we should form a special committee to
      Message 2 of 11 , May 5, 2009
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        >
        > Very interesting! I wondow how many of these chips are in the Grabbe collection?
        >
        Our discussion last year about the "Top Eight" microcomputers of the 70s
        and 80s was a healthy debate, but I think we should form a special
        committee to decide which microchips belong on exhibit. The goal is to
        select which chips (a nice round or other significant amount would be
        good) are the "most historic" -- not necessarily the best-selling, or
        best technical-wise -- but simply most important to history.

        Who in MARCH would like to serve on this committee? Requirements: you
        must be people who are known for thinking rationally and having enough
        technical knowledge to make informed decisions about these things.

        Apply to me off-list please.
      • Jim Scheef
        Evan, I think the exhibit should include a long black chip with legs on both sides and one that is that nice beige ceramic color... What s to
        Message 3 of 11 , May 5, 2009
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          Evan,

          I think the exhibit should include a long black chip with legs on both
          sides and one that is that nice beige ceramic color...</tongue in cheek>

          What's to exhibit? They all look alike. If no one is willing to develop
          the signs that explain why the microcomputers already on exhibit are
          important, then a bunch of chips on a shelf in a display case is a total
          waste.

          Jim

          Evan Koblentz wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > >
          > > Very interesting! I wondow how many of these chips are in the Grabbe
          > collection?
          > >
          > Our discussion last year about the "Top Eight" microcomputers of the 70s
          > and 80s was a healthy debate, but I think we should form a special
          > committee to decide which microchips belong on exhibit. The goal is to
          > select which chips (a nice round or other significant amount would be
          > good) are the "most historic" -- not necessarily the best-selling, or
          > best technical-wise -- but simply most important to history.
          >
          > Who in MARCH would like to serve on this committee? Requirements: you
          > must be people who are known for thinking rationally and having enough
          > technical knowledge to make informed decisions about these things.
          >
          > Apply to me off-list please.
          >
          >
        • Evan Koblentz
          ... microcomputers already on exhibit are important, then a bunch of chips on a shelf in a display case is a total waste. Don t be so skeptical. There are
          Message 4 of 11 , May 5, 2009
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            >>> if no one is willing to develop the signs that explain why the
            microcomputers already on exhibit are important, then a bunch of chips
            on a shelf in a display case is a total waste.

            Don't be so skeptical. There are already signs, albeit simple ones, for
            most of the systems that we have on display. As for the chips exhibit,
            it certainly would not be merely "a bunch of chips on a shelf" .... I'm
            only soliciting ideas for what could go into an exhibit, sparked by the
            recent link from Rich C.
          • Jim Scheef
            Evan, A name tag is not a meaningful, informative sign. Signage should explain why each machine is significant - why was it chosen for this best of exhibit.
            Message 5 of 11 , May 7, 2009
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              Evan,

              A name tag is not a meaningful, informative sign. Signage should explain
              why each machine is significant - why was it chosen for this "best of"
              exhibit. Then there should be information about the chips and chip
              families in the exhibit as a whole. And something about how these
              machines were programmed - both the lineage of the BASIC language and
              the machine languages. Something about the operating systems, both disk-
              and ROM-based, would tie the machines to present day computers. Each
              machine had strengths and weaknesses - what were they and why?

              Such signs will not be easy, but with them, the exhibit would be truly
              instructive for visitors. Each sign should be about a half-page of text
              printed large enough so they can be read from several feet away. This is
              a significant amount of work, but most of it does not require someone to
              be at InfoAge and can be done anywhere.

              Jim

              Evan Koblentz wrote:
              >
              >
              > >>> if no one is willing to develop the signs that explain why the
              > microcomputers already on exhibit are important, then a bunch of chips
              > on a shelf in a display case is a total waste.
              >
              > Don't be so skeptical. There are already signs, albeit simple ones, for
              > most of the systems that we have on display. As for the chips exhibit,
              > it certainly would not be merely "a bunch of chips on a shelf" .... I'm
              > only soliciting ideas for what could go into an exhibit, sparked by the
              > recent link from Rich C.
              >
              >
            • Mike Loewen
              ... Why not take a tip from the Computer History Museum? http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/DSCN3460.JPG I like their signs. Mike Loewen
              Message 6 of 11 , May 8, 2009
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                On Thu, 7 May 2009, Jim Scheef wrote:

                > A name tag is not a meaningful, informative sign. Signage should explain
                > why each machine is significant - why was it chosen for this "best of"
                > exhibit. Then there should be information about the chips and chip
                > families in the exhibit as a whole. And something about how these
                > machines were programmed - both the lineage of the BASIC language and
                > the machine languages. Something about the operating systems, both disk-
                > and ROM-based, would tie the machines to present day computers. Each
                > machine had strengths and weaknesses - what were they and why?
                >
                > Such signs will not be easy, but with them, the exhibit would be truly
                > instructive for visitors. Each sign should be about a half-page of text
                > printed large enough so they can be read from several feet away. This is
                > a significant amount of work, but most of it does not require someone to
                > be at InfoAge and can be done anywhere.

                Why not take a tip from the Computer History Museum?

                http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/DSCN3460.JPG

                I like their signs.


                Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
              • Brian Cirulnick
                ... Is it me, or does it look like their signage was designed by someone who s a fan of SUN Microsystems? Between the purple color and the bold sans-serif, it
                Message 7 of 11 , May 8, 2009
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                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Why not take a tip from the Computer History Museum?
                  >
                  > http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/DSCN3460.JPG
                  >
                  > I like their signs.
                  ---------------------------

                  Is it me, or does it look like their signage was designed by someone who's a fan of SUN Microsystems? Between the purple color and the bold sans-serif, it looks like the design for the Sun cases around the time of the Ultra1 and Ultra2.

                  And I guess if you're an Apple fanboi, you'd use Garamond against white.

                  Maybe we should decide what kind of "look" we're going for too; while the text can be plain old whatever for legibility, title cards can be something consistent, a vintage 60's computer-y typeface like I use for "obsolyte!" or something more 8-bit/C=64 like what's on Bill's website...
                • mejeep_ferret
                  ... Many of those chips are after 1980, so they re out of scope for MARCH. ... Not at all! I d love to play with it everyday just to remind myself of the
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 19, 2009
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                    > > For those interested, IEEE has an article about the 25 chips that
                    > > changed the world. The NE555 is #1 and the 6502 is #2.
                    > > http://spectrum.ieee.org/may09/8747

                    Many of those chips are after 1980, so they're out of scope for MARCH.

                    > Am I the only geek left that still finds those
                    > "150 in one electronics lab" kits fascinating?

                    Not at all! I'd love to play with it everyday just to remind myself of the basics and where I began. I think we as a nation are all the poorer for NOT having those readily available in schools and stores.

                    My email digest feed stopped, thus my being offline for a while. As the one who made the CPU-chip display for MARCH, I'd like to keep a hand in this. I kinda started with my web page
                    http://ferretronix.com/stuff/chips/

                    Yes, I need to catch up and make a web page of my "Z80 Ain't Dead" display from VCF East 2008, etc.

                    -- Jeff Jonas
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