Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: MARCH PDP-11 exhibit, project update

Expand Messages
  • Evan Koblentz
    ... I don t see that anyone is trying to argue or has anything other than MARCH s best interests in mind. A little thread-drift is a natural thing. Just ask
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 21, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      >>> I am NOT discussing MARCH policy on exhibits or on its inventory.

      I don't see that anyone is trying to argue or has anything other than
      MARCH's best interests in mind. A little thread-drift is a natural thing.
      Just ask Jay West. :)

      Anyway, comments re: MARCH policy are clearly (and deservedly!) meant for
      me, not you, Herb. So please don't take any of that personally...

      To everyone: in an upcoming email, I will address the questions about our
      mission etc. For now let's please keep the PDP thread to the PDP
      exhibit...

      However the one thing I will say now (yes this is drift) is just to repeat
      what I said a few weeks ago, i.e., I fully support having some stand-alone
      "best of MARCH" exhibits simultaneous to the planning and construction of
      our long-term themed exhibits. So let it be said, so let it be done...!

      And now back to our regular discussion about the 11/20. Herb, the floor
      is yours.
    • Dan Roganti
      Herb, This looks to be a very interesting exhibit. I ll look forward to this when I visit there. Keep up the great work ! =Dan [ I do not fear computers. I
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 22, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Herb,

        This looks to be a very interesting exhibit.
        I'll look forward to this when I visit there.
        Keep up the great work !

        =Dan
        [ "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them"     ]
        [ Pittsburgh ----http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/    ]
        
        


        Herb Johnson wrote:

        I've updated my Web page on the PDP 11/20 system today. This page is
        for MARCH use only, not for public access.

        http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ pdp11/

        This was a system used by the National Bureau of Standards and the
        Post Office in the 1970's, for research and use for scanning
        documents. The NBS (now NIST) created leading computer scanning
        technology for important applications such as the National Census.

        This is not trivial history. The 10-year Census is mandated by the US
        Constitution, but needs new technology to keep up with the volume of
        work and documents. The NBS led the way in rapid scanning methods and
        use of computers; resulting technology was used by business for
        similar record-keeping.

        I'm still researching how this PDP-11 was used to scan documents in
        the 70's. But my survey of DEC documents and papertapes which came
        with this system, suggest to me that MAY we have a COMPLETE 11/20
        software development and maintenance system of the early 1970's. I
        still need to discuss the contents with the donor. Again, the goal is
        an exhibit of how small computers like this were used to develop
        applications in 1970 - years before the first personal computers were
        in production. It's particularly interesting as what we have is PAPER
        TAPE based - appropriate for 1970 and likely VERY alien to most people
        today.

        I do not know if we can also protray the actual use of this particular
        machine, as no documents, software, or hardware was provided specific
        to those developments.

        The Web site's home page now includes a first pass at identifying
        documents and paper tapes. There are several photos of these items by
        kind. The items are listed on the project home page at:

        http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ pdp11/

        To give others an idea of the time investment on inventoring such
        items and to make the result accessable, here's a rough rundown of my
        time.

        About four hours solid of photography, listing books, papertapes - and
        the list is complete but not fully detailed; about three hours to
        enter the notes onto my Web page; a few hours to cut and sizeand
        identify two dozen photos; hours of Web searching for background
        information; and an hour to rough out and edit the Web page.

        All that, for about six boxes of stuff and one computer. And, this
        only amounts to a "here's what we have", a very little history about
        the computer, and NOTHING about use. Inventory by itself is not a
        small task, if it's to be complete and on-line even as text.

        Herb Johnson

        Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
        http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ herbs_stuff/ web site
        http://www.retrotec hnology.net/ herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
        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"


        No virus found in this incoming message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.487 / Virus Database: 269.13.25/1018 - Release Date: 9/19/2007 3:59 PM
      • jack99rubin
        ... I may have missed a reference in the earlier posts, but since this equipment was donated directly by the original user, I would set a high priority on
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 22, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          >
          > I'm still documenting the system, first of all. Second, my initial
          > understanding is that this system was used by the DEVELOPERS at NBS
          > who developed some of those scanning systems used by the Census
          > Bureau. Many computers were used of course by the Census Bureau, at
          > many locations - I've read as much. As for the Dr. Dobb's article, I'd
          > appreciate a specific reference so I could look it up.
          >
          > Herb Johnson

          I may have missed a reference in the earlier posts, but since this
          equipment was donated directly by the original user, I would set a high
          priority on getting a full description of how the system was chosen,
          configured and used from the donor. In addition, an oral history might
          make an interesting addition to the exhibit.

          Context is what makes this machine so interesting, so don't miss the
          opportunity to get information directly from the donor. Since he states
          that he wanted to find a good home for the system, I expect he might be
          very interested in the development of the exhibit and a link to Herb's
          work-in-progress website.

          Jack
        • Bob Applegate
          Hi Herb, Sorry for not getting the Dr Dobb s reference sooner... I couldn t figure out which issue it was in until I happened to be looking at some corrections
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 24, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Herb,
             
            Sorry for not getting the Dr Dobb's reference sooner... I couldn't figure out which issue it was in until I happened to be
            looking at some corrections to the PATB code in the June/July 1976 issue, page 34.  After looking at the short
            article again, there really isn't any computer focus at all, just "if you have any suggestions, send them to...".
            Not much of interest after all.
             
            Bob
             
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 12:08 PM
            Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: MARCH PDP-11 exhibit, project update


            >
            > > I was reading a Dr Dobb's the other night from 79 or 80 that had
            a little side bar article discussing the
            > > census and telling the readers to write to the census bureau with
            suggestions for how to do it better,
            > > faster, more accurately, etc. Ie, design the microcomputer based
            system (!) that would replace the
            > > machine Herb just documented.

            > "William Donzelli" <wdonzelli@. ..> wrote:

            > I would think it unreasonable to think that Census Bureau had only
            > that one little PDP-11/20 at the time...

            I'm still documenting the system, first of all. Second, my initial
            understanding is that this system was used by the DEVELOPERS at NBS
            who developed some of those scanning systems used by the Census
            Bureau. Many computers were used of course by the Census Bureau, at
            many locations - I've read as much. As for the Dr. Dobb's article, I'd
            appreciate a specific reference so I could look it up.

            Herb Johnson

            Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
            http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ herbs_stuff/ web site
            http://www.retrotec hnology.net/ herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
            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"

          • Herb Johnson
            On Sunday, Sept 30th, I visited InfoAge to take more photos and to examine the PDP 11/20 system. I ll have an account of the boards in the box later on my
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 1, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              On Sunday, Sept 30th, I visited InfoAge to take more photos and to
              examine the PDP 11/20 system. I'll have an account of the boards in
              the "box" later on my Web page. It appears to have the CPU cards and
              some memory and serial port. I may have been the first inside the box
              in 30 years! The cards were not disturbed otherwise.

              I also looked at the two PDP-11's which are in very small cabinets.
              They are 11/05's, not 11/10's as I previously suggested. I have photos
              of those.

              I'll announce when the PDP Web page is updated.

              Herb Johnson

              Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
              http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/ web site
              http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
              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"
            • Evan
              We also have an 11/40.
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 1, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                We also have an 11/40.
              • Herb Johnson
                ... I ve added the photos to the Web page at http://www.retrotechnology.com/pdp11/ ..as interior photos . If someone would care to identify the cards in the
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 2, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  "Herb Johnson" <herbjohnson@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > On Sunday, Sept 30th, I visited InfoAge to take more photos and to
                  > examine the PDP 11/20 system.

                  I've added the photos to the Web page at

                  http://www.retrotechnology.com/pdp11/

                  ..as "interior photos".

                  If someone would care to identify the cards in the 11/20, I've listed
                  all the modules and keyed that list to the photo of the cards. Let me
                  know if you are going to do this. You can simply send a list of
                  modules and description, and I'll add it to the page with your name!

                  Also there are photos of two 11/05's at our facilities.

                  Herb Johnson

                  Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
                  http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/ web site
                  http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
                  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"
                • B. Degnan
                  ... Herb, That s a wonderful web page, thanks for the details. I learn a lot from your web site. Bill
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 2, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    At 11:00 PM 10/2/2007 +0000, you wrote:
                    > "Herb Johnson" <herbjohnson@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > On Sunday, Sept 30th, I visited InfoAge to take more photos and to
                    > > examine the PDP 11/20 system.
                    >
                    >I've added the photos to the Web page at
                    >
                    >http://www.retrotechnology.com/pdp11/
                    >
                    >..as "interior photos".
                    >
                    >If someone would care to identify the cards in the 11/20, I've listed
                    >all the modules and keyed that list to the photo of the cards. Let me
                    >know if you are going to do this. You can simply send a list of
                    >modules and description, and I'll add it to the page with your name!
                    >
                    >Also there are photos of two 11/05's at our facilities.
                    >
                    >Herb Johnson
                    >


                    Herb,
                    That's a wonderful web page, thanks for the details. I learn a lot from
                    your web site.
                    Bill
                  • Herb Johnson
                    I have word today from the person who provided the PDP 11/20. He will gather and send me additional documents and photos. He says it will take some time .
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 16, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I have word today from the person who provided the PDP 11/20. He will
                      gather and send me additional documents and photos. He says "it will
                      take some time". That's all I know, he simply acknowledged my request
                      as I asked.

                      Herb Johnson
                      retrotechnology.com
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.