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The Demo setup for MARCH's Altair- current status

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  • corey986
    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
    Message 1 of 20 , Aug 18, 2013
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      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.

      Now the Altair had a PT 1702a ROM card which would help in having these demos easily available, but it had some damage to the power circuit that Systems Glitch is going to fix, so until then I was going to use a 32k bytesaver that MARCH owns. I was going to limit myself to 2k (the max of the PT card). I already created a rom image that runs Steve D's fool on the hill and daisy in a giant loop, kill the rotating bit and a small program that runs up and down the address lights continually. I'll add more later.

      The problem I am having is this darn 32k bytesaver. First I did have to repair the finger on the 12v line. It had partially delaminated from the pcb and was folded over itself. While it still made contact it could potentially damage the s100 connector.

      Next I tested each IC in the leaper tester and replaced any questionable ones.

      I set the address switches and checked for shorts and put the card in my sol-20 since it had a crowbar circuit just in case. Well no luck !!!!

      Ok then I took the card out and ESR metered the caps. Two 10mf 20v ones could not keep a steady reading. Usually only big caps have that problem (not really a problem for big ones) but for little ones I think this may be an issue so I changed them. still nothing...

      Next up I may have to put it in my altair which had a front panel so I can step though accessing the EPROM and use my scope to check.

      Worst case I'll give up if by mid week I can't solve this as I don't want to spend hours on it, the backup plan is to lend MARCH my 8k bytesaver with some bent up pins on the 2716 so it thinks its a 2708. I'll just have to be careful with it as its a perfect example that a paid a ton for becuase it has all box, docs and everything, my other bytesaver isn't built (still in the parts baggies)

      Anyway... Just keeping everyone in the loop.

      Cheers,
      Corey
    • B Degnan
      ... computer room at MARCH making sure we have something to show for each machine. ... be pretty early 1975 which is a great idea to show people what could
      Message 2 of 20 , Aug 18, 2013
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        >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
      • corey986
        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
        Message 3 of 20 , Aug 18, 2013
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          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
          >
        • Mike
          Easiest way to check out ROM, is to put a short routine in RAM that reads a location in ROM (like the first) and then jumps back to read again. Basically two
          Message 4 of 20 , Aug 18, 2013
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            Easiest way to check out ROM, is to put a short routine in RAM that reads a location in ROM (like the first) and then jumps back to read again. Basically two instructions. You can then scope out the signals (best to use an extender card, if you have one).

            If it seems to be working, you can expand the routine a bit to compare the read value to a constant and repeat. If it occasionally fails, you can trigger a scope or logic analyzer by reading a different (trigger) location when the failure occurs. This amounts to about 6 instructions.

            regards,
            Mike W.

            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> 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.
            >
            > Now the Altair had a PT 1702a ROM card which would help in having these demos easily available, but it had some damage to the power circuit that Systems Glitch is going to fix, so until then I was going to use a 32k bytesaver that MARCH owns. I was going to limit myself to 2k (the max of the PT card). I already created a rom image that runs Steve D's fool on the hill and daisy in a giant loop, kill the rotating bit and a small program that runs up and down the address lights continually. I'll add more later.
            >
            > The problem I am having is this darn 32k bytesaver. First I did have to repair the finger on the 12v line. It had partially delaminated from the pcb and was folded over itself. While it still made contact it could potentially damage the s100 connector.
            >
            > Next I tested each IC in the leaper tester and replaced any questionable ones.
            >
            > I set the address switches and checked for shorts and put the card in my sol-20 since it had a crowbar circuit just in case. Well no luck !!!!
            >
            > Ok then I took the card out and ESR metered the caps. Two 10mf 20v ones could not keep a steady reading. Usually only big caps have that problem (not really a problem for big ones) but for little ones I think this may be an issue so I changed them. still nothing...
            >
            > Next up I may have to put it in my altair which had a front panel so I can step though accessing the EPROM and use my scope to check.
            >
            > Worst case I'll give up if by mid week I can't solve this as I don't want to spend hours on it, the backup plan is to lend MARCH my 8k bytesaver with some bent up pins on the 2716 so it thinks its a 2708. I'll just have to be careful with it as its a perfect example that a paid a ton for becuase it has all box, docs and everything, my other bytesaver isn't built (still in the parts baggies)
            >
            > Anyway... Just keeping everyone in the loop.
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Corey
            >
          • Win Heagy
            Corey, I wanted to see if you d be interested in sharing the demo code you are considering? I m looking for short demo programs for the Altair to impress
            Message 5 of 20 , Aug 19, 2013
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              Corey,

              I wanted to see if you'd be interested in sharing the demo code you are considering? I'm looking for short demo programs for the Altair to impress family and friends and would be interested to see what you have collected.

              Thanks...Win
            • Dan Roganti
              Even though it was 1975, you really have to consider the Homebrew era. Not everything was in kit form at first for S-100 systems - in fact I would safely guess
              Message 6 of 20 , Aug 19, 2013
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                Even though it was 1975, you really have to consider the Homebrew era. Not everything was in kit form at first for S-100 systems - in fact I would safely guess that 80% of the S-100 cards & peripherals were homebrewed the first few years after 1975.The S-100 prototype cards were everywhere for us to start wirewrapping our projects. The fact they didn't have kits for ROM cards for the Altair doesn't mean they didn't exist. We even homebrewed our own S-100 system. 

                Dan



              • corey986
                I can email you the bin files of you want, but basically this stuff is on the net. All I did was modify the JMP/JNZ/JZ directions to a higher address where
                Message 7 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                  I can email you the bin files of you want, but basically this stuff is on the net. All I did was modify the JMP/JNZ/JZ directions to a higher address where the rom is.

                  I find the best demo of my personal Altair is to use the MBL rom and load 8k basic and the load Star Trek, both off paper tape. I even switched out my high speed reader for my low speed punch/reader as the high speed reader was too "cool" automatically starting/stopping and rewinding the tape. Not likely to have something that expensive and complex on someone's home bew setup. I'm even thinking of pulling my ADM out of the mix and using my early TI silent terminal, but playing a game of Star Trek could cost you almost $10 in thermal paper LOL.

                  The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced and people were still gaga over it. It feeds into the introduction of the home brew computer club into the tour.

                  Cheers,
                  Corey

                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Win Heagy" <wheagy@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Corey,
                  >
                  > I wanted to see if you'd be interested in sharing the demo code you are considering? I'm looking for short demo programs for the Altair to impress family and friends and would be interested to see what you have collected.
                  >
                  > Thanks...Win
                  >
                • Evan Koblentz
                  ... Not sure I I d go that far ... it was more useful than the Mark 8. :)
                  Message 8 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                    >> The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced

                    Not sure I I'd go that far ... it was more useful than the Mark 8. :)
                  • Win Heagy
                    That would be great. You can either put them in the files section here or email to wheagy@gmail.com. Thanks! Win
                    Message 9 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                      That would be great. You can either put them in the files section here or email to wheagy@....

                      Thanks!
                      Win

                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > I can email you the bin files of you want, but basically this stuff is on the net. All I did was modify the JMP/JNZ/JZ directions to a higher address where the rom is.
                      >
                      > I find the best demo of my personal Altair is to use the MBL rom and load 8k basic and the load Star Trek, both off paper tape. I even switched out my high speed reader for my low speed punch/reader as the high speed reader was too "cool" automatically starting/stopping and rewinding the tape. Not likely to have something that expensive and complex on someone's home bew setup. I'm even thinking of pulling my ADM out of the mix and using my early TI silent terminal, but playing a game of Star Trek could cost you almost $10 in thermal paper LOL.
                      >
                      > The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced and people were still gaga over it. It feeds into the introduction of the home brew computer club into the tour.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > Corey
                      >
                    • B Degnan
                      Demo... First off get educated and read through the dr dobbs from the beginning through end of 1976. Lots of why as well as how there. Also check 73 mag same
                      Message 10 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                        Demo...
                        First off get educated and read through the dr dobbs from the beginning through end of 1976. Lots of why as well as how there.

                        Also check 73 mag same period. Using the Altair computer for ham radio automation was the first wide-spread serious use of the Altair. A D converters for example.

                        Back then people were not necessarily buying Altairs to run BASIC, they were used as controllers and such.

                        There is a tendency to try to make an Altair into an Apple II or put it into a more modern context than was actually the case.

                        Bill
                        --
                        Sent from my PDP 8/e.
                      • Dan Roganti
                        In all actuality, if an Altair, Imsai, etc - or which ever System Bus - doesn t have even one wirewrapped homebrew card in there, it s wouldn t be realistic
                        Message 11 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                          In all actuality, if an Altair, Imsai, etc - or which ever System Bus - doesn't have even one wirewrapped homebrew card in there, it's wouldn't be realistic representation of the mid 70s. People didn't wait for kits to be made, we just did it ourselves. I still have my wirewapped cards.

                          Dan

                        • s100doctor
                          ... I object to the narrative above. I m from the era and can speak from experience. But I ve posted before what microcomputing was like in the mid-1970 s.
                          Message 12 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:

                            > I find the best demo of my personal Altair is to use the MBL rom and load 8k basic and the load Star Trek, both off paper tape. ... I'm even thinking of pulling my ADM out of the mix and using my early TI silent terminal, but playing a game of Star Trek could cost you almost $10 in thermal paper LOL.
                            >
                            > The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced and people were still gaga over it. It feeds into the introduction of the home brew computer club into the tour.

                            ----------------------

                            I object to the narrative above. I'm from the era and can speak from experience. But I've posted before what microcomputing was like in the mid-1970's. Frankly, my views are not well received, they run counter to popular narrative.

                            Let's try this. If the exhibit goal is to show what people did with their early Altair's and IMSAI's - go to a collection of BYTE, Kiloboaud, People's Computer Company, 73 magazine, and other publications of the era. See what people PUBLISHED! At the time! and exhibit THAT stuff! If you can find someone to make those items from parts and wires, not a handy kit and imported PC boards. One can't deny what was published at the time. It was more than playing tunes or running Star Trek. People MADE stuff, it's a fact of the era, and it was greatly respected.

                            You can use those same magazines, to show how such work was COMMON, even popular, and economically valuable. Popular Electronics and other magazines were full of such projects, going back DECADES. Kits made sales economically possible for most people. the MITS Altair, like the Ford Model T, was a breakthrough product, and for comparable reasons.

                            "Primitive and useless". So is a baby!

                            Herb Johnson
                          • Evan Koblentz
                            Message 13 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                              >> "Primitive and useless". So is a baby!

                              :)
                            • Evan Koblentz
                              Corey -- primitive and useless isn t quite fair. Everyone -- in Corey s defense, he is just trying to find a balance between showing visitors what early S100
                              Message 14 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                                Corey -- "primitive and useless" isn't quite fair.

                                Everyone -- in Corey's defense, he is just trying to find a balance between showing visitors what early S100 systems could do, in terms of their applications, vs. what it takes for we museum guides to demonstrate those applications. Let's not gang up on the man for trying to help.
                              • Mike Loewen
                                ... Well said, Dr. Johnson! We should all learn from you. Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic.scol.pa.us Old Technology
                                Message 15 of 20 , Aug 20, 2013
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                                  On Tue, 20 Aug 2013, s100doctor wrote:

                                  > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> I find the best demo of my personal Altair is to use the MBL rom and load 8k basic and the load Star Trek, both off paper tape. ... I'm even thinking of pulling my ADM out of the mix and using my early TI silent terminal, but playing a game of Star Trek could cost you almost $10 in thermal paper LOL.
                                  >>
                                  >> The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced and people were still gaga over it. It feeds into the introduction of the home brew computer club into the tour.
                                  >
                                  > ----------------------
                                  >
                                  > I object to the narrative above. I'm from the era and can speak from experience. But I've posted before what microcomputing was like in the mid-1970's. Frankly, my views are not well received, they run counter to popular narrative.
                                  >
                                  > Let's try this. If the exhibit goal is to show what people did with their early Altair's and IMSAI's - go to a collection of BYTE, Kiloboaud, People's Computer Company, 73 magazine, and other publications of the era. See what people PUBLISHED! At the time! and exhibit THAT stuff! If you can find someone to make those items from parts and wires, not a handy kit and imported PC boards. One can't deny what was published at the time. It was more than playing tunes or running Star Trek. People MADE stuff, it's a fact of the era, and it was greatly respected.
                                  >
                                  > You can use those same magazines, to show how such work was COMMON, even popular, and economically valuable. Popular Electronics and other magazines were full of such projects, going back DECADES. Kits made sales economically possible for most people. the MITS Altair, like the Ford Model T, was a breakthrough product, and for comparable reasons.
                                  >
                                  > "Primitive and useless". So is a baby!
                                  >
                                  > Herb Johnson

                                  Well said, Dr. Johnson! We should all learn from you.


                                  Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                  Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                • s100doctor
                                  ... If several people say the same thing independently, it s not a gang , it s informative. And it s not personal. What Evan reasonably states is a common
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Aug 22, 2013
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                                    --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Corey -- "primitive and useless" isn't quite fair.
                                    >
                                    > Everyone -- in Corey's defense, he is just trying to find a balance between showing visitors what early S100 systems could do, in terms of their applications, vs. what it takes for we museum guides to demonstrate those applications. Let's not gang up on the man for trying to help.
                                    >

                                    If several people say the same thing independently, it's not a "gang", it's informative. And it's not personal. What Evan reasonably states is a common problem, not just Corey's. It's MY problem too, on my site, with my vintage work. And other's as well, who own collections and who have Web sites. And museums, like MARCH.

                                    Also: the answer is not just more "apps". "Apps" are for smartphones, in the modern world of networking, with billions of computers. What was it like, in a world with DOZENS of computers? Or THOUSANDS? That cost more than a car, or a house? Can you imagine that?

                                    Altairs needed a lot of hardware, software, and creativity. As produced, they were "hopelessly primitive". It's about how they were USED, and how that process contributed to creating personal computing. I described some of that previously. I think it's an exciting story. But it will require some counter-narrative, documents, posters, handouts. And some construction and re-construction of artifacts. MARCH has a fair amount of stuff to choose from, and people who know what I'm talking about.

                                    I think there's a simple choice. Either show the Altair as "hopelessly primitive", "demoed" in its native "mint" state, which was never how it was used. Or SHOW and interpret the history around it that created personal computing, with artifacts and documents, and a narrative. The latter is harder work, no doubt about that.

                                    But this is an opportunity, not a "gang-up".

                                    Herb Johnson
                                  • Wesley Furr
                                    Does the museum have more than one, and space to display more than one? If yes, why not have one in each state? One with primitive blinky lights only, and
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Aug 23, 2013
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                                      Does the museum have more than one, and space to display more than one? If
                                      yes, why not have one in each state? One with primitive blinky lights only,
                                      and another fully decked out...

                                      Wesley


                                      -----Original Message-----

                                      I think there's a simple choice. Either show the Altair as "hopelessly
                                      primitive", "demoed" in its native "mint" state, which was never how it was
                                      used. Or SHOW and interpret the history around it that created personal
                                      computing, with artifacts and documents, and a narrative. The latter is
                                      harder work, no doubt about that.
                                    • B Degnan
                                      ... Corey is the person doing all the work so he and Evan are going to have the most say here...thanks Corey for doing the actual time. No one is stopping
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Aug 23, 2013
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                                        Wesley Furr <wesley@...> wrote:
                                        >Does the museum have more than one, and space to display more than one?
                                        > If
                                        >yes, why not have one in each state? One with primitive blinky lights
                                        >only,
                                        >and another fully decked out...
                                        >
                                        >Wesley
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >-----Original Message-----
                                        >
                                        >I think there's a simple choice. Either show the Altair as "hopelessly
                                        >primitive", "demoed" in its native "mint" state, which was never how it
                                        >was
                                        >used. Or SHOW and interpret the history around it that created personal
                                        >computing, with artifacts and documents, and a narrative. The latter is
                                        >harder work, no doubt about that.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >------------------------------------
                                        >
                                        >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >

                                        Corey is the person doing all the work so he and Evan are going to have the most say here...thanks Corey for doing the actual time. No one is stopping anyone from contributing improvements or add-ons over time, For example a wire-wrapped IO card, analog to digital card, homebrew cassette card, etc.


                                        --
                                        Sent from my PDP 8/e.
                                      • s100doctor
                                        Just to finish the thread, I m going to repost something Corey added in another thread recently, museum report . I think it s better to reply in this thread
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Aug 23, 2013
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                                          Just to finish the thread, I'm going to repost something Corey added in another thread recently, "museum report". I think it's better to reply in this thread because the subject is specific here. And I'm quoting it for a reason. One correction is in []'s.

                                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:

                                          > As for the Altair... I brought MARCH's bytesaver 32k and my bytesaver 8k. When I opened the machine to my surprise there was a not date correct tanner 32k ram/rom card. So I popped out a ram chip, changed a couple of jumpers and borrowed a radio from the guys next door and enjoyed a few rounds of fool on the hill and daisy. I have a nice video ill post up later.
                                          >
                                          > I'll look around when we get our working 1975 rom card back for a date correct ram board. Now remember our Altair at march is serial number 72 delivered around January 1975, when really the altair wasn't much more than a CPU and ram card. It took a couple of months for people to actually get more than 256 [bytes, not kbytes] of ram and a Terminal hooked up.

                                          >I know people around here argue as to what the intended use of the altair was in the early days (first few months), but after a blinky light display many people were hungry to make this thing be a "real" computer and do productive things. By mid 1975 we know they were doing much more. Herb has mentioned it on many occasions that people used them to "make" stuff and magazines were established and groups established to just show off what you could do with the machine... But it started somewhere with blinky lights and very early on with a Steve Dompier and a song called Fool on the hill about 3 months after the March Altair was delivered and maybe even assembled.
                                          >
                                          > Having a ROM card setup for demos hopefully will strike a balance between our "as delivered" early altair and the reality of being able to demo it for tours.
                                          >
                                          > Cheers,
                                          > Corey

                                          Thanks Corey, on my behalf, for offering a complete description of what this particular MITS Altair is supposed to represent, and your experience with it. It's brilliant, and I'll explain WHY.

                                          Only one minor correction: Magazines to "make stuff" existed DECADES before the Altair, including making computers (as best one could at the time). Some magazines around personal computing started just before the Altair; and many more after, which was your point.

                                          I think it's very reasonable to have an exhibit just as Corey describes. But let's be clear: he's saying "this is a very early representation of what MITS first offered in 1975. Here's what it had....here's what it could do at that point." That's the exhibit - a point in time, now complete with a explanation. Corey provided the explanation. Frankly, that needs to be part of the exhibit too.

                                          Why? Look at our discussion, look at the history. Without the explanation, even Corey is obliged to notice how "primitive" the Altair as delivered looks and acts. Any visitors with less knowledge (most of them) will come to the same conclusion, and miss the relevance and context.

                                          So what this exhibit needs is called "interpretation" - text and pictures, artifacts, at the exhibit to say what Corey has said. As it leads to other exhibits (this was posted previously), that text serves as introduction to those.

                                          Also: additional cards like the ROM card, other things Bill Degnan, Corey, et al suggested - they can be added for convenience of demonstration, that's important. Also, added short-term to change the exhibit, or otherwise to demonstrate some particular device or program. Exhibits change over time, they get boring otherwise. Explanation is simple: "this was added to do this, or to celebrate this person or thing, and produced on this date". Again, Corey's statement explains the need to add things, while preserving the "as first sold" concept of the exhibit.

                                          Finally - Corey's experience is much the same as any Altair owner's was. I got the machine....I assembled it and it runs...now what do I do with it? So his discussion about his own experience has recreated the circumstances of the period. Our discussions repeat the discussions of the era. This too, could be "captured" and possibly added to the exhibit, as background.

                                          This process, of repair and understanding of past technology in context, and capture of the process in restorations today - This is how my Web site works, so I'm talking about what I actually do. Same applies to other people in this thread.

                                          You need to know the past, to restore these machines for the future. Software and docs, hardware, ads and publications of the period - they make no sense without that knowledge, they aren't worth preserving if considered in modern terms. So you have to be informed, and our discussion and Corey's experience was exactly that process. The challenge now, in my opinion, is how to inform our museum visitors, to take them through that same process, with the "as sold" Altair as a physical artifact.

                                          Herb Johnson
                                          retrotechnology.com
                                        • Evan Koblentz
                                          ... We have two, but there s only room to display one.
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Aug 23, 2013
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            >> Does the museum have more than one, and space to display more than one?

                                            We have two, but there's only room to display one.
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