--- Tom Owad <owad@...> wrote:
> Nobody expressed interest, so I put the item up on eBay Monday. Then
> I received this interesting email:
> "I'm fairly certain that I (and the eBayer who sent the
> link) built a
> good part of this system in between '83 and '87 for CGL (Computer
> Graphics Lab), a subsidiary of New York Institute of Technology.. .
> From a little more research, it appears this computer may have been
> used to produce "The Works", which would have been the first 3D
> computer-animated movie, had it been released ...from what I've
> read, [the DGL] was a pretty impressive and historically
> significant group.
> I'm really curious what's on the RL02 cartridges now (especially the
> "special effects" one) and nobody had bid on the auction,
> so I pulled
> it from eBay. My hope now is to take it down to InfoAge and perhaps
> we'll be able to get it running and recover some interesting old
*Now* we're talking!
A Dec-20 (from the other discussion) is a big beast, but people have
run PDP-11's in all kinds of environments. Certainly, MARCH can run
this or some kind of '11 with just a little bit of site fuss. A
reasonably clean room with some kind of air conditioning (or not run
it in the summer); some decent electrical power which InfoAge
certainly has available. Might need a power conditioner, UPS,
something of that sort - those are available to me from time to time.
This is a do-able thing for MARCH. They already have some loose DEC
stuff. But I assume this system is reasonably complete as it is. For a
number of reasons it looks like it's worth keeping AND RUNNING if it
can be run. I have some PDP-11 experience, I'm sure other members do,
and we might attract still other people local to InfoAge who have some
Tom, if you want to do more than just dump it onto MARCH, why don't
you get those hardware images you already have, the description you
have, and set up a part of your Web site to support some kind of
acquisition, restoration and USE of this system? You've already done
some homework on it, so put that up on your page; as people inform you
about it you can add to the page. Find out ALL YOU CAN from the
previous owners. If you don't want to sustain a Web
page for this system, someone else will probably pick up that ball
when things get organized, if not do it on MARCH's Web site.
In my own opinion, the value of an institution like InfoAge, and as
MARCH intends to be, is that they are set up to provide SUSTAINED
support for long-term projects, and projects involving preservation
and public display and use. It may be early to say, but it's possible
that this PDP-11 might be a good demonstration of 1980's minicomputing
and also preserve a bit of computer graphics history. If not, it's
good practice. I'm sure other projects like "the green screen
experience" which has been talked about in this maillist, will follow
some similar course.
In any event, presuming MARCH has an interest, I assume that anyone
who has an interest will want to know the state of the system: where
it was, how long it sat, when it ran. Also some inventory of the
system, beyond the images. Oh, and how to go about moving it, where
and when and how much it weighs!
But "adopting" a PDP-11 system like this is like adopting a cat or
dog; you've gotta think it through. It's still a serious project; it
will still take time, effort. It could be stored for awhile; but it's
GOT to get attention, or it will fall apart sitting there. Guaranteed.
Parts will get lost, things will get rusty, people will forget what
cable came out of what card. It's not even clear if it is COMPLETE!
So, what's the plan?
Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
<a href="http://retrotechnol ogy.com/herbs_ stuff/
"> web site</a>
<a href="http://retrotechnol ogy.net/herbs_ stuff/
"> domain mirror</a>
my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
"Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"