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Re: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH

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  • John Allain
    ... I have one here in good, (not perfect) condition that I could donate for temporary exhibits. Totally not programmable BTW, unless you count division as a
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
      > there was to my knowledge, only one digital desk computer, an old Friden,
      > which was available around the Moore School to do multiplication with, and
      > of course, it could do division if you used it right.

      I have one here in good, (not perfect) condition that I could donate for
      temporary exhibits.

      Totally not programmable BTW, unless you count division as a digit-by-digit
      program.

      John A.

      begin at high digit position EG 100,000X
      subtract until zero crossed
      re-add once
      shift 1/10X
      repeat until shifted to 1's place
    • William Donzelli
      ... Maybe I am missing something, but where does he directly cite Camp Evans, in his own words? The Fort was a busy place back then, and the Camp was home for
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
        > Go back and read that last reply again: Mauchly says "I was impelled ... to
        > come back to that subject every time that I got fed up with the slowness of
        > the hand calculations on the Signal Corps project" ... he is DIRECTLY and
        > LITERALLY saying that it was the workload from Camp Evans that CAUSED him to
        > stop just thinking about his ideas for a digital computer and to start
        > MAKING it,

        Maybe I am missing something, but where does he directly cite Camp
        Evans, in his own words?

        The Fort was a busy place back then, and the Camp was home for just
        _some_ of microwave work during the war. For example, his citing the
        working on the parabolic antenna calculations could have been for the
        AN/TRC-5 and -6 microwave relay sets. Those were very probably not
        Camp Evans projects, but were indeed Fort projects.

        Be careful with the claims...

        --
        Will, skeptic
      • Evan Koblentz
        The signal corps part gives it away. The ft. monmouth signal corp IS camp evans. Fred carl can tell you all about the antennas. ... From: William Donzelli
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
          The "signal corps" part gives it away. The ft. monmouth signal corp IS
          camp evans. Fred carl can tell you all about the antennas.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: William Donzelli [mailto:wdonzelli@...]
          Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:31 PM
          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH


          > Go back and read that last reply again: Mauchly says "I was impelled
          > ... to come back to that subject every time that I got fed up with the

          > slowness of the hand calculations on the Signal Corps project" ... he
          > is DIRECTLY and LITERALLY saying that it was the workload from Camp
          > Evans that CAUSED him to stop just thinking about his ideas for a
          > digital computer and to start MAKING it,

          Maybe I am missing something, but where does he directly cite Camp
          Evans, in his own words?

          The Fort was a busy place back then, and the Camp was home for just
          _some_ of microwave work during the war. For example, his citing the
          working on the parabolic antenna calculations could have been for the
          AN/TRC-5 and -6 microwave relay sets. Those were very probably not Camp
          Evans projects, but were indeed Fort projects.

          Be careful with the claims...

          --
          Will, skeptic



          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • William Donzelli
          ... The Fort is (was) a whole bunch bigger than Camp Evans. In fact, Camp Evans was just one of a few new camps purchased for the expansion in 1940 (or so),
          Message 4 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
            > The "signal corps" part gives it away. The ft. monmouth signal corp IS
            > camp evans. Fred carl can tell you all about the antennas.

            The Fort is (was) a whole bunch bigger than Camp Evans. In fact, Camp
            Evans was just one of a few new camps purchased for the expansion in
            1940 (or so), well after the Signal Corps set up the Fort in the
            1920s.

            Camp Evans, and its research, was just a subset of Fort Monmouth - and
            actually a small subset at that.

            --
            Will
          • Evan Koblentz
            I appreciate that you re keeping us on our toes. Always healthy (seriously!) to have someone to challenge such assertions and point out the potential red
            Message 5 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
              I appreciate that you're keeping us on our toes. Always healthy
              (seriously!) to have someone to challenge such assertions and point out
              the potential red flags. I can always count on you and Herb.
              (Kidding!!!)

              The fact that Mauchly said (p. 20 of the first document), "These were
              antennas that would be used in radar work" is a big give-away. We ** DO
              ** know for fact that Camp Evans was THE epicenter of radar work. We
              also have a copy of a contract between Camp Evans and the Moore School
              for use of their differential analyzer.

              There are many people in the InfoAge community who know far more about
              Camp Evans' radar history than I ever will. I believe that one of two
              conversations between me and them will easily clarify, or rather
              double-verify, that Mauchly did indeed mean Camp Evans.

              BUT -- Will's email does force me to see a mistake in the claim --
              InfoAge's site explains that Camp Evans did not come BACK under military
              control until 1941 -- so that at least shows the part about Mauchly
              turning down a job there is incorrect, since our base wasn't part of the
              military in the 1930s. I stand corrected!

              I believe the more important part, re: his contract work, is still
              accurate.

              One of these days I will have to re-visit the JM archives at Penn. The
              answer will be there. All of the JM archives at Penn are sorted
              chronologically and are very well indexed. I (or we!) can easily jump
              to the boxes from 1941-1942 when he joined the Moore School and started
              getting these contracts.



              -----Original Message-----
              From: William Donzelli [mailto:wdonzelli@...]
              Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 10:18 PM
              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH


              > The "signal corps" part gives it away. The ft. monmouth signal corp IS

              > camp evans. Fred carl can tell you all about the antennas.

              The Fort is (was) a whole bunch bigger than Camp Evans. In fact, Camp
              Evans was just one of a few new camps purchased for the expansion in
              1940 (or so), well after the Signal Corps set up the Fort in the 1920s.

              Camp Evans, and its research, was just a subset of Fort Monmouth - and
              actually a small subset at that.

              --
              Will



              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • William Donzelli
              ... Perhaps that is what he thought. Maybe that is what he was told (remember that back then, radar work was at minimum classified as SECRET). Most people
              Message 6 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
                A few points to consider:

                > The fact that Mauchly said (p. 20 of the first document), "These were
                > antennas that would be used in radar work" is a big give-away.

                Perhaps that is what he thought. Maybe that is what he was told
                (remember that back then, radar work was at minimum classified as
                SECRET). Most people would probably think that work on parabolic
                antenna systems back then were for radar, but they can be used for any
                high gain antenna way up in frequency. He may have just been assuming
                it was for radar work, as memories get fuzzy over the years.

                > We ** DO
                > ** know for fact that Camp Evans was THE epicenter of radar work.

                Center, yes, but not all. And this must also be qualified as center
                for "_ground_ radar that wasn't rewarmed from British designs". For
                all any of us know, what Mauchly was referring to may have been some
                work farmed out from the Air Forces labs, many hundreds of miles away
                but still technically the Signal Corps.

                > We
                > also have a copy of a contract between Camp Evans and the Moore School
                > for use of their differential analyzer.

                See, this is the good evidence - the stuff that is on paper. Hopefully dated.

                Oral histories are notoriously error-prone. Basically, take them with
                a big grain of salt.

                > There are many people in the InfoAge community who know far more about
                > Camp Evans' radar history than I ever will. I believe that one of two
                > conversations between me and them will easily clarify, or rather
                > double-verify, that Mauchly did indeed mean Camp Evans.

                Hey, maybe you can gather the evidence and verify the claim - it would
                be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just be
                sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to back
                you up, otherwise assholes like me WILL question it. The best primary
                sources are the written records in reports and meeting minutes. Next
                best are in catalogs and directories. Next is in physical artifacts.
                Way down the line are oral histories.

                Consider how often computer people like yourself get all bent out of
                shape when a company like Microsoft, IBM, or Apple, makes some claim
                about being the "first to do X".

                --
                Will
              • Evan Koblentz
                ... would be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just be sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to back you up,
                Message 7 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
                  >>> Hey, maybe you can gather the evidence and verify the claim - it
                  would be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just
                  be sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to
                  back you up, otherwise assholes like me WILL question it. The best
                  primary sources are the written records in reports and meeting minutes.
                  Next best are in catalogs and directories. Next is in physical
                  artifacts. Way down the line are oral histories.

                  I don't think you are an asshole. :)

                  As a professional journalist for the past decade, and more recently as a
                  wanna-be computer historian, I feel like a fool for making this
                  grandiose claim before I double- and triple-checked it with independent
                  sources. For that, you're absolutely right to call me on it, and I've
                  got no shame in saying "I was wrong" here in public.

                  But I'm still sticking to my gut about the other two claims. Hopefully
                  I can get down to Penn in the next few weeks to examine some of the
                  primary sources, written when the events actually happened.

                  I added "evans_moore.jpg" to the Files section of our Yahoo group.
                  Download it and have a look!


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: William Donzelli [mailto:wdonzelli@...]
                  Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 1:04 AM
                  To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH


                  A few points to consider:

                  > The fact that Mauchly said (p. 20 of the first document), "These were

                  > antennas that would be used in radar work" is a big give-away.

                  Perhaps that is what he thought. Maybe that is what he was told
                  (remember that back then, radar work was at minimum classified as
                  SECRET). Most people would probably think that work on parabolic antenna
                  systems back then were for radar, but they can be used for any high gain
                  antenna way up in frequency. He may have just been assuming it was for
                  radar work, as memories get fuzzy over the years.

                  > We ** DO
                  > ** know for fact that Camp Evans was THE epicenter of radar work.

                  Center, yes, but not all. And this must also be qualified as center for
                  "_ground_ radar that wasn't rewarmed from British designs". For all any
                  of us know, what Mauchly was referring to may have been some work farmed
                  out from the Air Forces labs, many hundreds of miles away but still
                  technically the Signal Corps.

                  > We
                  > also have a copy of a contract between Camp Evans and the Moore
                  > School for use of their differential analyzer.

                  See, this is the good evidence - the stuff that is on paper. Hopefully
                  dated.

                  Oral histories are notoriously error-prone. Basically, take them with a
                  big grain of salt.

                  > There are many people in the InfoAge community who know far more
                  > about Camp Evans' radar history than I ever will. I believe that one
                  > of two conversations between me and them will easily clarify, or
                  > rather double-verify, that Mauchly did indeed mean Camp Evans.

                  Hey, maybe you can gather the evidence and verify the claim - it would
                  be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just be
                  sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to back
                  you up, otherwise assholes like me WILL question it. The best primary
                  sources are the written records in reports and meeting minutes. Next
                  best are in catalogs and directories. Next is in physical artifacts. Way
                  down the line are oral histories.

                  Consider how often computer people like yourself get all bent out of
                  shape when a company like Microsoft, IBM, or Apple, makes some claim
                  about being the "first to do X".

                  --
                  Will



                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Evan Koblentz
                  PS -- I added evans_moore.jpg to the Files section of our Yahoo group. Download it and have a look! A few weeks ago, I asked Fred the same question that
                  Message 8 of 19 , Nov 9, 2007
                    PS -- >>> I added "evans_moore.jpg" to the Files section of our Yahoo
                    group. Download it and have a look!

                    A few weeks ago, I asked Fred the same question that you're thinking
                    right now, "How do we KNOW this is from Camp Evans?" I don't recall his
                    answer, but I'll look that up and post it here.



                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Evan Koblentz [mailto:evan@...]
                    Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 1:19 AM
                    To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH


                    >>> Hey, maybe you can gather the evidence and verify the claim - it
                    would be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just
                    be sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to
                    back you up, otherwise assholes like me WILL question it. The best
                    primary sources are the written records in reports and meeting minutes.
                    Next best are in catalogs and directories. Next is in physical
                    artifacts. Way down the line are oral histories.

                    I don't think you are an asshole. :)

                    As a professional journalist for the past decade, and more recently as a
                    wanna-be computer historian, I feel like a fool for making this
                    grandiose claim before I double- and triple-checked it with independent
                    sources. For that, you're absolutely right to call me on it, and I've
                    got no shame in saying "I was wrong" here in public.

                    But I'm still sticking to my gut about the other two claims. Hopefully
                    I can get down to Penn in the next few weeks to examine some of the
                    primary sources, written when the events actually happened.

                    I added "evans_moore.jpg" to the Files section of our Yahoo group.
                    Download it and have a look!


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: William Donzelli [mailto:wdonzelli@...]
                    Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 1:04 AM
                    To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Exciting news for MARCH


                    A few points to consider:

                    > The fact that Mauchly said (p. 20 of the first document), "These were

                    > antennas that would be used in radar work" is a big give-away.

                    Perhaps that is what he thought. Maybe that is what he was told
                    (remember that back then, radar work was at minimum classified as
                    SECRET). Most people would probably think that work on parabolic antenna
                    systems back then were for radar, but they can be used for any high gain
                    antenna way up in frequency. He may have just been assuming it was for
                    radar work, as memories get fuzzy over the years.

                    > We ** DO
                    > ** know for fact that Camp Evans was THE epicenter of radar work.

                    Center, yes, but not all. And this must also be qualified as center for
                    "_ground_ radar that wasn't rewarmed from British designs". For all any
                    of us know, what Mauchly was referring to may have been some work farmed
                    out from the Air Forces labs, many hundreds of miles away but still
                    technically the Signal Corps.

                    > We
                    > also have a copy of a contract between Camp Evans and the Moore
                    > School for use of their differential analyzer.

                    See, this is the good evidence - the stuff that is on paper. Hopefully
                    dated.

                    Oral histories are notoriously error-prone. Basically, take them with a
                    big grain of salt.

                    > There are many people in the InfoAge community who know far more
                    > about Camp Evans' radar history than I ever will. I believe that one
                    > of two conversations between me and them will easily clarify, or
                    > rather double-verify, that Mauchly did indeed mean Camp Evans.

                    Hey, maybe you can gather the evidence and verify the claim - it would
                    be a nice thing to boast. With having such a profound boast, just be
                    sure to have plenty of evidence from primary, unbiased sources to back
                    you up, otherwise assholes like me WILL question it. The best primary
                    sources are the written records in reports and meeting minutes. Next
                    best are in catalogs and directories. Next is in physical artifacts. Way
                    down the line are oral histories.

                    Consider how often computer people like yourself get all bent out of
                    shape when a company like Microsoft, IBM, or Apple, makes some claim
                    about being the "first to do X".

                    --
                    Will



                    Yahoo! Groups Links







                    Yahoo! Groups Links
                  • Mike Loewen
                    I recently inherited a 1980 HP 2647A terminal, along with a HP 9872B 4-pen plotter and a box full of manuals, cartridge tapes and plotter pens:
                    Message 9 of 19 , Nov 12, 2007
                      I recently inherited a 1980 HP 2647A terminal, along with a HP 9872B
                      4-pen plotter and a box full of manuals, cartridge tapes and plotter pens:

                      http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/Terminals/HP2647A.html
                      http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/Terminals/HP9872B.html

                      The 2647A is billed as an Intelligent Graphics Terminal, and could be
                      considered a microcomputer in its own right. It has two cartridge tape
                      drives, and comes with a tape to load "Terminal BASIC" which is BASIC
                      augmented with graphics routines for the terminal. The CPU is an 8080.

                      This lot is going to be a bench project, due to severe "screen rot"
                      between the CRT and the safety shield, and the tape unit capstan rubber
                      has turned sticky. Also, the plotter blows fuses. Regardless, I hope to
                      eventually get these into working order.

                      The 2647A listed for $8,300 in 1980, and the 9872B for $4,200.


                      Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                      Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
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