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Thanks to all who responded!

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  • Chris
    From your responses I think I will select cctech on Classiccmp, as I m already buried under too much spam :-) Some years ago I left alt.folklore.computers
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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      From your responses I think I will select cctech on Classiccmp, as I'm already buried under too much spam :-) Some years ago I left alt.folklore.computers because of all the spam.

      It's nice to know that there is a SAGE sage out there. It was reading about Whirlwind and its "rebirth" in the 9-25-1964 issue of LIFE magazine which led me to study computers and computing when I went to college and thus my interest in that machine and my eventual collection of that module (Register Driver Type I Serial No. 3 :-). Before that I had been considering radio or TV broadcasting or the recording industry. The page in the magazine should be at:

      <http://books.google.com/books?id=rUwEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA115&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=true>

      As I said in the note, although from Rochester, NY I did go to school in Pittsburgh at what was then Carnegie Institute of Technology during the second half of the 1960's. For those who might be interested, the head of the EE department at the time managed to acquire a retired military computer, a UNIVAC Athena, which was the launch control computer for the Titan I ICBM. A number of these were distributed to various colleges in the mid 1960's and it least at CIT given over to the undergraduates. There is a website at:

      <http://www.silogic.com/Athena/Athena.html>

      on our activities with the Athena and it has also grown to cover other computers at CIT/CMU during that time frame. There are a number of photos, including some of me :-)

      Another thing I collect is old "switch and light" computer front panels from back in the daze, mostly minicomputers, and some of them from the actual machines I worked with. Unfortunately, it's been over 10 years now since I found my last, a Modcomp II and I still
      don't have a straight PDP-8 panel (although I do have an 8S and as I was trying to get it right in front of the scrappers, I ended up just taking the whole chassis, however leaving behind the power supplies and TTY interface which were mounted elsewhere in the rack. :-)

      As to Micro's, I'm mostly a Motorola man and in addition to several D1 and D2 kits have SWTPC and GIMIX systems and some other stuff.

      73, Chris Hausler
    • Evan Koblentz
      ... Nice. You should visit our museum someday (contact me for a private tour). Our collection includes a UNIVAC 1219, which is also a military system. ...
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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        > Carnegie Institute of Technology during the second half of the 1960's. For those who might be interested, the head of the EE department at the time managed to acquire a retired military computer, a UNIVAC Athena

        Nice. You should visit our museum someday (contact me for a private
        tour). Our collection includes a UNIVAC 1219, which is also a military
        system.


        > Another thing I collect is old "switch and light" computer front panels from back in the daze, mostly minicomputers, and some of them from the actual machines I worked with. Unfortunately, it's been over 10 years now since I found my last, a Modcomp II and I still
        > don't have a straight PDP-8 panel (although I do have an 8S and as I was trying to get it right in front of the scrappers, I ended up just taking the whole chassis, however leaving behind the power supplies and TTY interface which were mounted elsewhere in the rack. :-)

        You'll find that most collectors here, on cctech, etc. go to great
        lengths to obtain full systems. We feel that getting just the panels and
        ignoring the actual systems / power / peripherals / etc. is a bad thing.
      • Mike Loewen
        ... Chris: I have a modest collection of SAGE hardware: http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/SAGE/ I also maintain a site which lists appearances of
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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          On Fri, 30 Dec 2011, Chris wrote:

          > It's nice to know that there is a SAGE sage out there. It was reading
          > about Whirlwind and its "rebirth" in the 9-25-1964 issue of LIFE
          > magazine which led me to study computers and computing when I went to
          > college and thus my interest in that machine and my eventual collection
          > of that module (Register Driver Type I Serial No. 3 :-).

          Chris:

          I have a modest collection of SAGE hardware:

          http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/SAGE/

          I also maintain a site which lists appearances of SAGE hardware in
          films and TV:

          http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/Q7/

          I'd like to see pictures of your Whirlwind module.


          Mike Loewen mloewen@...
          Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
        • J. Chris Hausler
          Hi Evan, ... Yes I would love to see your museum and will try to do so in the coming year! ... In one sense I would agree it would be nice but the issue of
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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            Hi Evan,

            -----Original Message-----
            >From: Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
            >Sent: Dec 30, 2011 4:49 PM
            >To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Thanks to all who responded!
            >

            Yes I would love to see your museum and will try to do so in the coming year!

            >>You'll find that most collectors here, on cctech, etc. go to great
            >lengths to obtain full systems. We feel that getting just the panels and
            >ignoring the actual systems / power / peripherals / etc. is a bad thing.

            In one sense I would agree it would be nice but the issue of time and space and cost comes into play as well. About 15 years ago I tried to get a complete and working DG Nova 1200 through "normal channels" from a customer (actually a machine I had helped to install 20 years previous) but was told that it was "toxic waste" and unless I was a licensed toxic waste handler I would not even be allowed to bid on it. Exactly the same thing happened a few years later when I tried to get one of those Documation table top punch card readers in almost pristine condition and this was from a different customer. Employees of both of these customers knowing my interest, I had been acquiring front panels for some years and talking about them (I bought several at the TCF during the 15 years straight that I attended), managed to slip me a front panel from each of these sites, but slipping a whole machine or the reader was not possible. Of course yet another customer slipped me that DG high speed paper tape reader (which is collecting dust), so it all depends.

            Which brings up another issue. What use is an old computer just sitting there gathering dust. I have enough trouble keeping some of my early (mid to late 70's)microcomputer stuff running, even some of the simpler ones. In hindsight I'm kind of glad I didn't get that Nova. So I try to collect selected artifacts of interest to me. In fact the "keeping it working" issue became so frustrating that I've regressed in my technology collecting and now mostly collect old land line telegraph instruments. Frequently although many are over 100 years old the technology is so simple that they still work perfectly and now with the Internet simulating all that no longer existent pole line they can be used to communicate with other like minded folks all over the world (as I write this there is a telegraph sounder clicking away beside me with an Internet feed of today's news headlines :-)

            As to collecting just front panels, I consider them as "art". Some of them I hang on the wall as such. After all, they were the face of the machine and to varying degrees, the manufacturers tried to make them attractive as well as functional. And since at one time or another I flipped the switches on many of them, about a quarter of the total are from the actual machines I used and many of the others of the same type as I used, at least they bring back memories.

            73, Chris Hausler
          • J. Chris Hausler
            Hi Mike, Nice collection and nice web site!! I will arrange to take a couple photos of my Whirlwind module and send them sometime in the next few days. I
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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              Hi Mike,

              Nice collection and nice web site!!

              I will arrange to take a couple photos of my Whirlwind module and send them sometime in the next few days. I acquired the module from the Computer Museum. I believe it was one of 7 Whirlwind modules which went on tour of Japan and possibly other places in the late 1980's. This left it somewhat worse for wear. I had visited the museum in the mid 1980's when it was still in Boston. At the time their display of Whirlwind was minimal and poor and remember the final disposal of Whirlwind, I believe around 1970, was the genesis of the Computer Museum. However they did have a nice Q7 display then and lets face it the Q7 is one of the "better looking" large machines out there :-) I bought my Whirlwind module during their first on-line auction in spring 1994. I later learned that they had been selling off pieces of Whirlwind and other machines in their collection to raise money for some time but this was the first time they had taken this sale to the Internet (the auction was by email bid). I believe they did this again even later but with a more sophisticated interface than email. I did not participate. The best display of Whirlwind I ever came across was at the Smithsonian in the early 80's but when I returned half a dozen years later, none of it was to be seen. Oh well...

              73, Chris Hausler

              -----Original Message-----
              >From: Mike Loewen <mloewen@...>
              >Sent: Dec 30, 2011 5:08 PM
              >To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Thanks to all who responded!
              >
              >On Fri, 30 Dec 2011, Chris wrote:
              >
              >> It's nice to know that there is a SAGE sage out there. It was reading
              >> about Whirlwind and its "rebirth" in the 9-25-1964 issue of LIFE
              >> magazine which led me to study computers and computing when I went to
              >> college and thus my interest in that machine and my eventual collection
              >> of that module (Register Driver Type I Serial No. 3 :-).
              >
              >Chris:
              >
              > I have a modest collection of SAGE hardware:
              >
              >http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/SAGE/
              >
              > I also maintain a site which lists appearances of SAGE hardware in
              >films and TV:
              >
              >http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/Q7/
              >
              > I'd like to see pictures of your Whirlwind module.
              >
              >
              >Mike Loewen mloewen@...
              >Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
              >
              >
              >------------------------------------
              >
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • Evan Koblentz
              ... I recommend visiting for VCF East, May 5-6, 2012. ... It s one thing if someone only has just the panel; what needs to be avoided is when people
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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                > Yes I would love to see your museum and will try to do so in the coming year!

                I recommend visiting for VCF East, May 5-6, 2012.


                >
                >>> You'll find that most collectors here, on cctech, etc. go to great lengths to obtain full systems. We feel that getting just the panels and ignoring the actual systems / power / peripherals / etc. is a bad thing.
                > I had been acquiring front panels for some years and talking about them (I bought several at the TCF during the 15 years straight that I attended), managed to slip me a front panel from each of these sites

                It's one thing if someone only has just the panel; what needs to be
                avoided is when people consciously take the panel and trash the machine.
                * THAT * is sacrilege in our circles.


                > What use is an old computer just sitting there gathering dust.

                It's better than if the machines are destroyed. The majority of our club
                collection is currently gathering dust, but at least we saved them from
                scrappers.


                > I have enough trouble keeping some of my early (mid to late 70's)microcomputer stuff running, even some of the simpler ones.

                Teaching such skills is a major reason for MARCH's existence. All are
                welcome.
              • Mike Loewen
                ... I also visited the computer museum in Boston, in January of 1987, and saw the SAGE exhibit. At that point, it had been less than four years since I had
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 30, 2011
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                  On Fri, 30 Dec 2011, J. Chris Hausler wrote:

                  > I will arrange to take a couple photos of my Whirlwind module and send
                  > them sometime in the next few days. I acquired the module from the
                  > Computer Museum. I believe it was one of 7 Whirlwind modules which went
                  > on tour of Japan and possibly other places in the late 1980's. This
                  > left it somewhat worse for wear. I had visited the museum in the mid
                  > 1980's when it was still in Boston. At the time their display of
                  > Whirlwind was minimal and poor and remember the final disposal of
                  > Whirlwind, I believe around 1970, was the genesis of the Computer
                  > Museum. However they did have a nice Q7 display then and lets face it
                  > the Q7 is one of the "better looking" large machines out there :-)

                  I also visited the computer museum in Boston, in January of 1987, and
                  saw the SAGE exhibit. At that point, it had been less than four years
                  since I had worked on the Q7. :-) I don't remember seeing any of the
                  Whirlwind hardware, though.

                  > The best display of Whirlwind I ever came across was at the Smithsonian
                  > in the early 80's but when I returned half a dozen years later, none of
                  > it was to be seen. Oh well...

                  I visited Boston in 2007, and the Museum of Science had a Computing
                  Revolution exhibit which had a good-sized section of the Whirlwind control
                  panels. I don't think that exhibit is still up, but they have a web page
                  for it:

                  http://www.mos.org/computingrevolution/whirlwind/8f.html

                  I can put my pictures of the Whirlwind exhibit online, if anyone wants
                  to see them.

                  The Computer History Museum has three Whirlwind logic module racks on
                  display, in their Visible Storage exhibit:

                  http://www.computerhistory.org/VisibleStorage/images/racks_lg.jpg


                  Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                  Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
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