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Re: swap meet item cutoff

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  • Herb Johnson
    I m glad Dan made the points he posted, as below. Frankly I m not terribly concerned about the definitions of vintage vs. classic computers. It s a useful
    Message 1 of 40 , Aug 4 12:08 PM
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      I'm glad Dan made the points he posted, as below. Frankly I'm not
      terribly concerned about the definitions of "vintage" vs. "classic"
      computers. It's a useful distinction for discussion, but I would not
      expect universal agreement as to specifics. To me these are terms of
      convenience at best. Anyway, my interest is what can be offered to
      other MARCH members at other venues (if not at the current Deleware
      event). I hope this is not a discussion about what is the acceptable
      computer interests of MARCH.

      More to Dan's point, and mine from earlier: in the small-size computer
      world, there were large-company computers built for the mass market of
      the 1980s like Commodores and Amigas; computers built roughly before
      and during that period by small companies (S-100 and single-board
      systems in boxes); and computers built in both periods for scientific
      and business (or Dan's term "industrial") use, by SGI and Sun and so
      forth. IBM kind of straddles between "industrial" and "personal"; they
      weren't the cheapest computers at that time but some became cheap much
      later, while some did not. It's hard to make distinctions by time,
      easier by categories like these.

      To make my point, I went on the Web and also used my memory, to look
      at a slice in time for all these kinds of systems. Pick a year, say
      1990. You had an SGI Indy built in 1990 - a small scientific and
      graphics computer by a then-big company; also an Apple IIsi system.
      Most of the Atari product line was pre-1990; Commodore's Amiga 2000
      and 2500 were available in 1990 says the Web. IBM probably made 386 AT
      systems in 1990, the '486 was new, and Windows was at 3.0.

      But there's a whole bunch of fun systems of the 1990's that are missed
      by that cutoff. Almost all the early Macs; many early, small SGI and
      Sun et al graphics systems; some of the IBM and Compaq systems. HP
      made a number of industrial computers, DEC straddled the industrial
      and personal markets. DEC, HP, SGI, and Sun built graphics systems,
      some with with embedded BASIC or PASCAL, that had capabilities not
      available in PC's until several years later. This might be comparable
      to early gaming machines with their faster graphics and better play
      action than most PC's of the same period.

      (Of course not all computer collectors are interested in gaming or
      graphics. Some interests are more technological, or product line, or
      brand.)

      Mostly, a cutoff date of 1990 or so excludes a lot of "industrial"
      systems that people had fun with at work but could not hope to afford
      at home. Now, as collectors we can own those systems and use them!
      Isn't that one point of collecting old stuff? The other point is to
      SHOW what we have; or SEE what others have. I don't collect Atari's
      but I had fun seeing them at the Vintage event; I hope others would
      enjoy seeing some graphics in action from the "industrial" machines.

      So I see a point in setting a date around the late 1980's, if your
      goal is to exclude common IBM-type Windows PC's, or conversely if you
      want to specialize on Amiga/Commodore/Apple II early personal systems
      & game machines. But I think it's more up-front to make distinctions
      as I've described, than by year alone. Anyone excluded by any of these
      distinctions will presumably be included in the next event - so I
      assume - and there's nothing wrong with events with different focus.

      Maybe I should organize an "industrial graphics" event to make my
      point. A lot of old iron, heating up a room, to play Spacewar would be
      pretty impressive I think! An Indy with what would be called a Web cam
      today - very cute, any interest? The only argument would be whether to
      accept a PDP-11 with a Teletype playing "hunt the wumpus" on a printed
      grid of text as "graphics" or not! But I'd say give 'em a room with a
      lot of ventilation and soundproofing and let the Teletype roar! But
      bring a vector display too. Maybe a winter event at InfoAge would be
      appropriate to dissipate the heat from such "big iron". But you get
      the idea.

      Herb Johnson

      --- "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:
      >
      > >> I think the qualifying factor for being vintage in any breed of
      computers
      > is more of a logarithmic scale than linear in terms of years. It can be
      > difficult to have one specific cutoff to cover all categories of
      systems.
      >
      > Agreed.
      >
      > I think a textual definition, although difficult to get right, would
      > ultimately serve the hobby better than a chronological cutoff.
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Dan [mailto:ragooman@...]
      >
      > I hope that I could interject a comment here, but only to express a
      thought,
      > not to prolong the thread.
      > Something that seems to be missing here is the distinction between
      consumer
      > and commercial/industrial systems.
      > PC's are obviously consumer products while systems such as SUN's,
      Sequent's
      > are commercial(and others are industrial).
      > The commercial/industrial machines were always a couple generations
      ahead in
      > technology back then.
      > Nowadays, the distinction is beginning to blur, but I think the pricing
      > difference still keeps it in focus.
      > The term vintage seems to blur the age difference between consumer
      products
      > and commercial/industrial machines.
      > Any machine that is outdated doesn't easily qualify it as being
      vintage(or
      > classic).
      > You can have vintage consumer products and vintage industrial
      systems, all
      > being computers, but starting from a different year.
      > I think the qualifying factor for being vintage in any breed of
      computers is
      > more of a logarithmic scale than linear in terms of years.
      > It can be difficult to have one specific cutoff to cover all
      categories of
      > systems.
      >
      > just my 2cents,
      > =Dan
    • Dan
      I use to play Wumpus back in High School in the 70 s on a Honeywell 1646 minicomputer. Teletype and all (could never find what happened to that machine) whadda
      Message 40 of 40 , Aug 4 12:55 PM
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        I use to play Wumpus back in High School in the 70's on a Honeywell 1646
        minicomputer.
        Teletype and all (could never find what happened to that machine)
        whadda flashback that is

        =Dan

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        Herb Johnson wrote:
        >
        > The only argument would be whether to
        > accept a PDP-11 with a Teletype playing "hunt the wumpus"
        >
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