Re: Museum report
- Ok so here is my little update to what was up with the Sol-20.
Two issues... Both the same. After checking that the crowbar circuit wasn't engaged, always a good practice on a sol-20....
I had to reseat the video ram on the board and then reseat all the chips related to the CPU clock circuit. Apparently there was both a bad bit in the ram and the CPU wasn't running. Now I'm not sure if this is related to environmental conditions, though one can assume that until the power is back 24/7 and the rooms are "temperature" controlled to a reasonable level all the time we may have this again. Evan mentioned the "wang" may also be having problems... So I guess we will keep an eye on the machines that are socketed not using "machined sockets"
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 256k 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.
--- In email@example.com, "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:
> Lots of good things happened today.
> The laborers that we hired moved 3/4ths of our collection. They worked very hard and treated our artifacts with respect.
> Jeff G. finished installing the door and hasp for the new section. I bought a padlock. I gave a key to Fred, and Steve G. will have one too.
> Corey fixed a RAM problem with the museum Sol-20 and found a way to do demos on the Altair using one of our existing cards. He'll provide details. He also said there were some visitors today.
> Fred confirmed that the power may be on by this weekend or early next week, "assuming nothing goes wrong." :)
- Quiet at the museum today -- it's a holiday weekend and nice weather to be outdoors. We had about a half-dozen visitors with mild interest. They asked good questions. Probably closing early today.