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Spring workshop / was re: Hazeltine

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  • evan@snarc.net
    A thought: before we jump into restoring our Straight 8, DG may prefer to work on our 8/E some more. I defer to him.
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 20, 2012
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      A thought: before we jump into restoring our Straight 8, DG may prefer to work on our 8/E some more. I defer to him.
    • David Gesswein
      ... The straight 8 is impractical to do anything useful with a couple weekends a year. It would need to come home for several months for the electrical
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 20, 2012
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        On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 09:52:16PM +0000, evan@... wrote:
        > A thought: before we jump into restoring our Straight 8, DG may prefer
        > to work on our 8/E some more. I defer to him.
        >
        The straight 8 is impractical to do anything useful with a couple
        weekends a year. It would need to come home for several months for the
        electrical repairs. The cosmetic work needed I haven't done a lot of so
        don't know how well I can do. The 8/E is borderline for weekend work. If
        the other cards average the same 3 bad chips/board as the first board it will
        take a while to fix all the boards. Trying to get the backplane
        usable will require washing it, blowing out with compressed air, possibly
        chemicals or mechanical removal of corrosion, and either chemical anti
        corrosion coatings or attempting to replate if the corrosion was too bad.
        That may also not be practical there.

        Also it would be good to decide what we really are wanting for the museum.
        If your looking for a more impressive system with drives etc then the 11
        in the H building may be the best bet. The 8/E doesn't have any I/O
        boards other than serial so it can only be a paper tape/teletype demo
        unless we try to aquire the difficult to find/expesive I/O cards.

        My plan for the next work day assuming no conflicts was to offer to see
        if people wished my help working on there system. I attempted to help
        people some while working on the 8/E but to really be useful that would
        have to be the primary task. If no takers I would continue on with whatever
        MARCH desired or pick something if no desire expressed. I can also bring home
        some MARCH stuff to fix and bring back at the next event.
      • evan@snarc.net
        ... I think you mean the 11/20 setup in our museum. I agree that it s a good demo system. ... people some while working on the 8/E but to really be useful that
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 20, 2012
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          >>> a more impressive system with drives etc then the 11 in the H building may be the best bet.

          I think you mean the 11/20 setup in our museum. I agree that it's a good demo system.

          >>> My plan for the next work day assuming no conflicts was to offer to see if people wished my help working on there system. I attempted to help
          people some while working on the 8/E but to really be useful that would have to be the primary task. If no takers I would continue on with whatever MARCH desired

          I'm sure there would be many takers, but my choice would be the 11/20.

          >>> or pick something if no desire expressed. I can also bring home some MARCH stuff to fix and bring back at the next event.

          We have enough choices to last you a lifetime. :) What are * your * preferences?
        • B. Degnan
          Evan I want to re-emphasize the point that you can t just fix a pdp 11/20 or 8e, or 8 over a weekend. A permanent workspace should be established, and a
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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            Evan
            I want to re-emphasize the point that you can't just "fix" a pdp 11/20 or
            8e, or 8 over a weekend. A permanent workspace should be established, and
            a dedicated effort would need to be scheduled, manned, and budgeted. We
            got lucky with the 11/20, it fired up, but that's just the beginning of the
            project. The straight 8 on theother hand needs to be completely
            disassembled, inventoried and cleaned before any serious effort were to
            start. Someone needs to take the 8 (and or the 11/20) with them for six
            months+ to get anything done with it. Even better if we had someone nearby
            so it could stay in InfoAge. Otherwise I say a weekend's effort would be
            for surface-level efforts like cleaning to make display items more
            presentable (flexowriter comes to mind).

            For those not familiar with these workshops..

            The weekend workshops have been held at club members' homes and to get
            together to collaborate with on-going, portable projects that are already
            in some advanced stage or progress. Lots of equipment and parts are
            involved so when you travel you have to bring only what you need, and thats
            why we pick a theme. The tools for 6502 will differ in ways from s100 or
            disk drive repair for examPle.

            Club members with advanced skills can share their expertise and teach
            others "to fish" so that when they return home with new skills to apply to
            their work. Good example Jeff B witnessed Ian P (and others) fix the
            club's PET 2001-8. Jeff did a lot of legwork, research and parts gathering
            in advance. He took it as far as he could and then Ian completed the
            diagnosis and repairs.

            Bill

            -------- Original Message --------
            > From: evan@...
            > Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:56 PM
            > To: "MARCH Yahoo Midatlanticretro" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Spring workshop / was re: Hazeltine
            >
            > >>> a more impressive system with drives etc then the 11 in the H
            building may be the best bet.
            >
            > I think you mean the 11/20 setup in our museum. I agree that it's a good
            demo system.
            >
            > >>> My plan for the next work day assuming no conflicts was to offer to
            see if people wished my help working on there system. I attempted to help
            > people some while working on the 8/E but to really be useful that would
            have to be the primary task. If no takers I would continue on with whatever
            MARCH desired
            >
            > I'm sure there would be many takers, but my choice would be the 11/20.
            >
            > >>> or pick something if no desire expressed. I can also bring home some
            MARCH stuff to fix and bring back at the next event.
            >
            > We have enough choices to last you a lifetime. :) What are * your *
            preferences?
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • David Gesswein
            ... The 11/20 is similar to the 8/E its paper tape only. You have the paper tapes and that was how we think it was used so its a period demo. The tapes used
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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              On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 04:27:08AM +0000, evan@... wrote:
              > >>> a more impressive system with drives etc then the 11 in the H building may be the best bet.
              >
              > I think you mean the 11/20 setup in our museum. I agree that it's a
              > good demo system.
              >
              The 11/20 is similar to the 8/E its paper tape only. You have the paper
              tapes and that was how we think it was used so its a period demo. The tapes
              used for demos should be copied. Its core also so you shouldn't have to reload
              the demo program each time. You have a later 11 in the H building in a
              rack with drives etc that should be able to run one of the 11 operating
              systems.

              > We have enough choices to last you a lifetime. :) What are * your *
              > preferences?
              >
              I tend to not have strong preferences. Whats your favorate ice cream is a
              tough question for me. I do like some structure so I know what the plan
              is and can prepare properly for the task. Also knowing how we want to
              display/use the machine in the end so I can make sure it can do what is
              desired is good. The 11 will be slower progress but I will learn more since
              I haven't done much with them. Others in the group have more knowledge on
              them. The general restoration and troubleshooting techniques I use should
              work with them.
            • evan@snarc.net
              ... ??? Bill your context filter needs tuning.
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                >> I want to re-emphasize the point that you can't just "fix" a pdp 11/20 or 8e, or 8 over a weekend.

                ??? Bill your context filter needs tuning.
              • David Gesswein
                ... I suspect I m missing something. I basically said the same thing, nothing significant can be done with the straight 8 over a weekend and the 8/e is likely
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                  On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 04:20:20PM +0000, evan@... wrote:
                  > >> I want to re-emphasize the point that you can't just "fix" a pdp 11/20
                  > or 8e, or 8 over a weekend.
                  >
                  > ??? Bill your context filter needs tuning.
                  >
                  I suspect I'm missing something. I basically said the same thing, nothing
                  significant can be done with the straight 8 over a weekend and the 8/e is
                  likely marginal for making useful progress. Those two either need the
                  restoration team that comes in many weekends ala CHM and others or to go
                  home with someone willing to work on them and return. The 11/20 I had more
                  hope for since from what I know it was stored in a good enviornment so may
                  need little work. I think useful progress could be done especially if one
                  of our 11 experts was available to help when needed.

                  > We got lucky with the 11/20, it fired up, but that's just the beginning
                  > of the project.
                  >
                  From this posting I take it has been powered up but no functional checks
                  performed? It also needs new foam installed.

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/message/24618

                  Probably a little silly going into too much detail now but like I said I like
                  to plan. That makes the time available much more productive.
                • William Donzelli
                  ... There is also the possibility that the Kagan-8 may be too damaged to be restored. One really can not tell how damaged something is until a complete audit
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                    > I suspect I'm missing something. I basically said the same thing, nothing
                    > significant can be done with the straight 8 over a weekend and the 8/e is
                    > likely marginal for making useful progress. Those two either need the
                    > restoration team that comes in many weekends ala CHM and others or to go
                    > home with someone willing to work on them and return.

                    There is also the possibility that the Kagan-8 may be too damaged to
                    be restored. One really can not tell how damaged something is until a
                    complete audit is done, and it might be apparent that there is way too
                    much damage in many or all parts of the machine. In this case, it
                    might be better to wait until a better PDP-8 comes along, and keep the
                    Kagan-8 frozen in time.

                    This is quite like what happened with CHM and the IBM 1401 project.
                    The original 1401, the German one, was a very difficult restoration,
                    as the transistors had decayed due to poor storage conditions. After
                    every leaky transistor they found and debugged, five more would pop
                    up. Then, towards the end of that restoration, along comes the
                    Stamford 1401 in nearly plug-and-play condition.

                    Weeks before the fire, I pulled a lot of stuff out of Claude's barn,
                    and frankly, most of it was scrap - too rusty and decayed to restore.
                    I pulled quite a few Tek scopes out, and ended up junking them almost
                    completely - even the tubes had gone to air due to the corrosion
                    breaking the glass-metal seals.

                    --
                    Will
                  • evan@snarc.net
                    ... Nobody missed anything. My comment was a way of smacking Degnan with a Nerf bat for bluntly saying that I somehow didn t know these things. :) ... Nope.
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                      >> I suspect I'm missing something. I basically said the same thing

                      Nobody missed anything. My comment was a way of smacking Degnan with a Nerf bat for bluntly saying that I somehow didn't know these things. :)

                      >> There is also the possibility that the Kagan-8 may be too damaged to be restored.

                      Nope. DG examined it a while back and said, in his opinion, it's restorable.
                    • William Donzelli
                      ... I see some tough sledding, however. Very tough sledding. Almost anything can be restored - it is all a matter of how many resources are needed to get the
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                        > Nope. DG examined it a while back and said, in his opinion, it's
                        > restorable.

                        I see some tough sledding, however. Very tough sledding.

                        Almost anything can be restored - it is all a matter of how many
                        resources are needed to get the job done. The Kagan-8 will likely
                        require a huge amount of effort to get going. MARCH certainly has the
                        skills, but time may end up eating the team alive. This is why I
                        brought up the 1401 project - initially it looked like a hard, but
                        feasible project, but then turned into a bit of a handful, only to
                        have an identical system drop out of the sky later.

                        --
                        Will
                      • B. Degnan
                        ... 11/20 ... nothing ... is ... more ... may ... I was just agreeing with Dave s statements. Nothing more bd
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                          >
                          > On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 04:20:20PM +0000, evan@... wrote:
                          > > >> I want to re-emphasize the point that you can't just "fix" a pdp
                          11/20
                          > > or 8e, or 8 over a weekend.
                          > >
                          > > ??? Bill your context filter needs tuning.
                          > >
                          > I suspect I'm missing something. I basically said the same thing,
                          nothing
                          > significant can be done with the straight 8 over a weekend and the 8/e
                          is
                          > likely marginal for making useful progress. Those two either need the
                          > restoration team that comes in many weekends ala CHM and others or to go
                          > home with someone willing to work on them and return. The 11/20 I had
                          more
                          > hope for since from what I know it was stored in a good enviornment so
                          may
                          > need little work. I think useful progress could be done especially if one

                          > of our 11 experts was available to help when needed.
                          >


                          I was just agreeing with Dave's statements. Nothing more

                          bd
                        • B. Degnan
                          ... Nerf bat for bluntly saying that I somehow didn t know these things. :) ... Publicly - I don t know what you re talking about. I was just agreeing with
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                            >
                            > >> I suspect I'm missing something. I basically said the same thing
                            >
                            > Nobody missed anything. My comment was a way of smacking Degnan with a
                            Nerf bat for bluntly saying that I somehow didn't know these things. :)
                            >

                            Publicly - I don't know what you're talking about. I was just agreeing
                            with Dave, yell at him then.
                          • Bill Dromgoole
                            Even if another straight eight dropped out of the sky that was easier to restore, it would not be the Kagan eight. As a museum, the historical significance
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                              Even if another straight eight dropped out of the sky that was easier to
                              restore, it would not be the "Kagan" eight.
                              As a museum, the historical significance of the computer should be considered.
                              I would like to work on the computer myself but don't have the expertise
                              required.
                              I could maybe test and burn in the power supplies with direction from an expert.
                              I could do some cosmetic type of work also with direction.
                              I could research having parts made for the covers or try to locate some obscure
                              parts.

                              I know, or at least think, a lot of others in the club would also like to
                              participate in getting the computer up and running.
                              I propose that we consider forming a group restoration project with this purpose
                              in mind relegating the more mundane tasks to to those of us with limited skills.
                              I think it would be a feather in our cap as a real museum to accomplish a task
                              like this.
                              On the other hand it may be impracticable to do it this way.
                              I leave it to the experts to decide.

                              BillDrom

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "William Donzelli" <wdonzelli@...>
                              To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:47 PM
                              Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Spring workshop / was re: Hazeltine


                              >> Nope. DG examined it a while back and said, in his opinion, it's
                              >> restorable.
                              >
                              > I see some tough sledding, however. Very tough sledding.
                              >
                              > Almost anything can be restored - it is all a matter of how many
                              > resources are needed to get the job done. The Kagan-8 will likely
                              > require a huge amount of effort to get going. MARCH certainly has the
                              > skills, but time may end up eating the team alive. This is why I
                              > brought up the 1401 project - initially it looked like a hard, but
                              > feasible project, but then turned into a bit of a handful, only to
                              > have an identical system drop out of the sky later.
                              >
                              > --
                              > Will
                              >
                            • evan@snarc.net
                              ... I strongly agree. ... Yup. DG would be in charge, because he s the only one of us who has done this. Big idea: in the spring, DG decides which parts/tasks
                              Message 14 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                                >> if another straight eight dropped out of the sky that was easier to restore, it would not be the "Kagan" eight. As a museum, the historical significance of the computer should be considered.

                                I strongly agree.

                                >> I propose that we consider forming a group restoration project with this purpose in mind relegating the more mundane tasks to those of us with limited skills.

                                Yup. DG would be in charge, because he's the only one of us who has done this.

                                Big idea: in the spring, DG decides which parts/tasks to delegate to other MARCHins, and then he takes home the main chassis. Perhaps as he works on it, he'd invite others to come assist him.

                                One part is already delegated: we need to make replica side covers, and that's a no-brainer to assign to Corey. He proved his plastic fabrication skills through the Apple 1 project.

                                While the 8 is out for, say, 6-12 months, it would give us an opportunity to display something else in that part of the museum.
                              • William Donzelli
                                ... Keep in mind that in some circles, artifacts with historic significance are precisely the ones that should *not* be restored. I am not going to open the
                                Message 15 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                                  > Even if another straight eight dropped out of the sky that was easier to
                                  > restore, it would not be the "Kagan" eight.
                                  > As a museum, the historical significance of the computer should be
                                  > considered.

                                  Keep in mind that in some circles, artifacts with historic
                                  significance are precisely the ones that should *not* be restored. I
                                  am not going to open the whole "historic fabric" can of worms. I have
                                  other cans to open.

                                  > I know, or at least think, a lot of others in the club would also like to
                                  > participate in getting the computer up and running.

                                  I am not going to get in the way of any Kagan-8 restoration project -
                                  I would even help if offered. I am just offering an opposing view for
                                  consideration.

                                  --
                                  Will
                                • evan@snarc.net
                                  ... consideration. We expect nothing less from you. :)
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Dec 21, 2012
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                                    >> I am just offering an opposing view for
                                    consideration.

                                    We expect nothing less from you. :)
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