re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Roll Call for TCF E (!! NOT VCF !!)
- TCF IS
March 16th, 2013 - 9:00am until 5:00pm
Sorry, The subject of the email thread says "VCF" in error.
We are talking about the Trenton Computer Festival.
That said - Herb can you do any mid 70's or earlier plotting? I know you
have expertise in this area. Analog computing? Should I bring my EC-1?
-------- Original Message --------
> From: "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...>Horizon.
> Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2013 9:05 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Roll Call for VCF E
> > >
> > Um, there's actually a lot I could bring from around 1975. It's hard to
> decide among single-boards like KIM, or systems like the Northstar
> I've committed to bring the Xitan TDL system, it's a "local" product, butthat
> it won't be running. Its Z80 board was pretty early.
> I had written earlier that it'd be better for this particular exhibit
> we try to bring one complete and functional "system" rather than adoes
> hoge-podge of stuff. Don't feel obligated to bring the XITAN, if it
> not work.group",
> > I've got a couple of thoughts about a running system. The Northstar
> Horizon is pretty "clean" but age-appropriate - you guys won't call it
> "homebrew". But it runs, CP/M at that. So does (or did) my Heath H-8. I
> suppose I could add an ADM-3A to keep it all period. But it's not like I
> can run Spacewar, or even Adventure, just not my thing to run games. I
> could at least show a papertape system with it (the H-10 reader/punch),
> again not running. I did not expect this event.
> > One of the more unusual computers in retrospect, is "the digital
> now kind of scarce. the model I happen to have certainly LOOKS "homebrew"by
> as it's hot-wired up in various ways. Again, not running. It's in-theme
> date and appearance. But as I've posted I have mixed feelings aboutshowing
> stuff that looks wired up (in other words, NORMAL for 1977) just to bechange
> ridiculed as hopelessly primitive.
> If you want to keep it simple, an SBC that turns on a light when you
> the value of a memory location would be just fine and would demonstratethe
> homebrew principles we discussed. But a Horizon that works is fine too.I
> assume Evan will be bringing the Apple I, which is effectively an AppleII
> without a case, not really homebrew in the traditional sense except that
> you could buy the kit version. But it's a crowd pleaser.
> Please don't stress this. We have a small classroom, not much space.
> Choose a nice compact, labeled system. I will be bringing (probably) my
> Altair 680 with hacked SWTPc RAM cards. Not sure what kind of terminal.
> We'll do another roll call of items being exhibited in about a week.
> Yahoo! Groups Links
- --- In email@example.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
> That said - Herb can you do any mid 70's or earlier plotting? I know youI have a plotter, but it's the same as MARCH's, and likewise not hooked up, but MARCH has the pens for it! I have some HP X-Y plotters, but that's lab equipment! In 1975, the question was "how do we get ahold of a computer?" or "what do I hook to my computer?" not "how do I drive my plotter?".
> have expertise in this area. Analog computing? Should I bring my EC-1?
Analog computers? I have some stuff but it's not homebrew, they were not in vogue in the era, they were kind of leftovers from the 60's and earlier. some Princeton professors designed some analog instrumentation for Heathkit - again, lab equipment, for student labs in this case.
- If anybody wishes to comment on what they think will fit best with the
event I have listed what I can bring below. If you think you have enough
exhibits that fit better not exhibiting is fine also.
> B. DegnanMy guess is depreciation would be at least 10 years so only the Straight
> Please feel free to bring any pdp 8 that would have been fully depreciated
> by 1979. Lucky techs took home old pdp's after they were de-commissioned
> by the original company/institutions and given a new life for home use.
8, 8/I, and 8/L would meet that.
The 8/I is a 6' rack and takes noticable power so was assuming based on
event description that wouldn't be the best choice. My 8/L isn't operational.
Next options is 8/E 1970-1978. Not sure when mine was made. This is
linear supply some still somewhat power hungry and somewhat a pain to
extract from the rack.
And last is my 8/M 1972-1978. Also don't known when mine made. Smallest and
lowest power. This is what I was planning to bring. Mine has a sticker
saying educomputer over the digital logo. Educomp sold rebadged systems
You can sort of see it at the bottom of the blue rack on the right.
Unmodified looked like
For storage I assume DECtape is the best option. I have 8" floppies
also but I assume some of the other systems will have them.
> B. Degnan (to Herb)It sounded like Herb didn't have a functional plotter. I can bring the Calcomp
> That said - Herb can you do any mid 70's or earlier plotting?
plotter I have brought before. Anybody else bringing one?
I was planning to bring VT10x terminal. Is someone bringing a teletype
or should I bring it instead? I can bring the high speed paper tape
reader/punch if desired.
I can bring a couple DEC wirewrap boards for them to show the homebrew
aspect. One is 8/E unwrapped. Other is double wide wrapped. Also can bring
some pictures showing PDP-8's embedded in equipment and info DEC provided
showing you how to design boards for the machine.
I've found some homebrew and industrial customization info that I can bring
some info on. For example
This ACS newsletter pg 58/76 etc shows people thinking about making
homemade computers from DEC designs/architecture.
Also some DECUS stuff showing the user group/sharing of software that is
similar to that which grew up around the home computers also.
> Systems GlitchThey aren't intended to come out but fold up reasonable. All this fit in it
>Does the back seat still come out? We were able to get a PDP-11/05 comfortably
> in the back of the Rabbit with the seat just folded up.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:
>Is this the Educomp you brought last April to the MARCH Fix-it thingy? It's a nice machine. Any small 8 is a nice machine of course.
> Next options is 8/E 1970-1978. Not sure when mine was made. This is
> linear supply some still somewhat power hungry and somewhat a pain
> to extract from the rack.
> And last is my 8/M 1972-1978. Also don't known when mine made. Smallest and
> lowest power. This is what I was planning to bring. Mine has a sticker
> saying educomputer over the digital logo.
>DECtape is pretty impressive in my opinion.
> For storage I assume DECtape is the best option. I have 8" floppies
> also but I assume some of the other systems will have them.
As I said - I don't care about the rules for bring-to. In the mid 1970's, the PDP-8 was the GOLD STANDARD for "a computer I want in my basement". For most it was too much money to spend. My Bell Labs engineering buddy was considering building an 8, before the 8080 appeared.
If those first-hand statements help to bring a PDP-8 to the show, that suits me.
> It sounded like Herb didn't have a functional plotter. I can bring the CalcompMy functions but has no pen and nothing connected to it. I actually picked up a generic USB-binary interface and was about to poke at it for the Calcomp, when these TCF plans emerged. No time to do that now....
> plotter I have brought before. Anybody else bringing one?
> I was planning to bring VT10x terminal. Is someone bringing a teletypeI can bring the low-speed Heath H10 reader/punch. I'd have to check but it should be late 1970's at least. Haven't fired it up lately...I have a sick cat ..yard needs raking...usual responsibilities...
> or should I bring it instead? I can bring the high speed paper tape
> reader/punch if desired.
My list of to-brings is getting long. I COULD bring an ADM-3A, that's absolutely "period", but I can only hustle so much stuff...A VT52 would be earlier than a VT100..
> I've found some homebrew and industrial customization info that I can bringThat would be a good thing, I think! Make the young'uns read actual paper documents - like we had to do, by candlelight, as we wire-wrapped our I/O cards....Anyway, people were making their own logic machines in the absence of microprocessors.
> some info on. For example
> This ACS newsletter pg 58/76 etc shows people thinking about making
> homemade computers from DEC designs/architecture.
> Also some DECUS stuff showing the user group/sharing of software that isYep, the minicomputer folks were well organized before the microcomputer folks were...
> similar to that which grew up around the home computers also.
Back to the basement I go...
- On Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 01:56:57AM -0000, s100doctor wrote:
> Is this the Educomp you brought last April to the MARCH Fix-it thingy? It's a nice machine. Any small 8 is a nice machine of course.
>Do I remember your missing the whole solenoid assembly? I've made some more
> My functions but has no pen and nothing connected to it. I actually picked up a generic USB-binary interface and was about to poke at it for the Calcomp, when these TCF plans emerged. No time to do that now....
of the parts I was missing for the other pen types but not the solenoid.
Tom Mikulic has gotten a Rasberry PI working to control his.
- --- In email@example.com, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:
>yes, Tom and I have been in correspondence for some time. I need to wind a solenoid for my Calcomp plotter to operate a pen.
> Do I remember your missing the whole solenoid assembly? I've made some more
> of the parts I was missing for the other pen types but not the solenoid.
> Tom Mikulic has gotten a Rasberry PI working to control his.
Meanwhile...tonight, in the dim recesses of my underground lab...the swish-swish sounds of rotating diskettes....the grunt-grunt of heads, seeking the operating system....and then, with a A440 beep....
ACTION? <BOOT> BOOT
SYSTEM HAS 48K OF RAM
VOLUME 062, MOUNTED ON SY0:
LABEL: (NULL) HDOS 1.5
HDOS VERSION 1.5
ISSUE # 50, 03, 00
DATE (DD-MMM-YY)? >
Over thirty years after they were formatted, Heath's HDOS is loaded from diskettes, into the H-8's memory and mighty 2MHz 8080 processor. Dusty manual pages are turned, commands entered. Disks are read and dup'ed before the heads scrape the bits away.
Now, how do I show off this ancient technology? What can this computer do, to stir the hearts of users today? What wisdom of the ages speaks to us?
YOU ARE IN A VALLEY?
AT YOUR FEET ALL THE WATER OF THE STREAM SPLASHES INTO A 2-INCH
SLIT IN THE ROCK. DOWNSTREAM THE STREAM BED IS BARE ROCK.
the adventure continues....
- I continue to assemble memorabilia and factoids for my H-8 exhibit at TCF. I'm working up a Web page about it also:
Email me with corrections and comments directly, c/o my site. But I won't have time to do much about them. It's very challenging to represent mid-1970s personal computing history, to people who never knew a day when a computing device was not at hand. I note 1978 prices for cars and gas and memory cards.
Of course, talking about "personal computing" in 2013 is archaic; one might as well talk about "personal transportation" (cars) or "personal instant communication" (smart phones). But how do you do personal computing before computers? Share software before networks, even modems? My Web page notes the existence of "clubs" and their paper newsletters and "disk libraries".
I'll bring copies of things to exhibit, the originals are a bit precious. I don't expect someone to read an 8080 listing, or a catalog. I'm reluctant to bring a foot-tall stack of manuals, same deal. Photocopies of a cover will make the point: people once printed manuals, and owners read them thoroughly with interest and even enthusiasm.