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The Antikythera mechanism

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  • Greg N Shari (GMail)
    New information about the workings of the Antikythera mechanism. I do believe it counts as vintage. LOL http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/nov/30/uknews
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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      New information about the workings of the Antikythera mechanism.

      I do believe it counts as vintage. LOL

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/nov/30/uknews

      Greg
    • Bob Grieb
      Guys, I have been e-mailing with a guy who lives in Washington state recently. I asked how he got interested in computers, and he shared this story, which I
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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        Guys,

        I have been e-mailing with a guy who lives in Washington
        state recently. I asked how he got interested in computers,
        and he shared this story, which I thought others might enjoy reading:

        I became interested in the 8008 when I left NASA in Fairbanks
        and got my first teaching contract. I was cleaning out my desk
        and another engineer mentioned "...a CPU on a chip". It was from
        an article in EE Times. That echoed in my mind. Being a newbie at
        Olympic College and seeking tenure, I started on a project to bring
        microprocessors to our curriculum. I contacted Intel late in '72
        and early '73 about the Intellec 8 microprocessor dev system. I
        received a lot of documentation and later met with their newly
        formed engineering support that used to visit Seattle at the behest
        of Almac-Stroum, a supplier. It became obvious that the college was
        not going to purchase anything called a "computer". The college
        had time-share contracts and an aversion to owning any hardware.
        The dept head gave me only 1/4 of my budget request. The State of
        WA bounced my purchase request. So, I came up with this: 1 ea 8008
        (yes, VERY expensive), one card cage (the Intellec 8 card cage),
        8ea 1702 UV-eraseable EPROMs (remember those?), parts for the power
        supply, RAM chips for 4K of static RAM (2114's), and 1 each
        ASR-33 teletype machine (!). I called the order justification:
        "8-bit Parallel Unit". I'm not making this up! The order went
        through like magic. The State of WA bought their first
        microcomputer.

        I built it all on 1" perfboard cards that may have been supplied
        by Intel engineers…can’t remember. I had a great lab ass't that
        fab'd a case for it and did a LOT of soldering. I was able to talk
        Intel into giving me a punched paper tape copy of the Intellec
        8 System Monitor. I gave this and the 1702s to Almac-Stroum for
        programming....all for free! So, I had a PROM board, 4K RAM board
        and the CPU board all plugged into the Intellec 8 card cage. I made
        the I/O board in two pieces - one in the computer and the other
        mounted inside the ASR-33. I called it Olycomp-1. On Christmas
        afternoon '73, I connected it to the ASR-33, hit a reset and the
        TTY typed: -80, CR, LF. Unlike in “iWOZ”, I used schematics
        supplied by Intel. For the next hours, I used commands in the
        system monitor to print out the contents of the RAM board in hex
        until I ran out of paper. Chakety-chakety - it was music! I had a
        series of switches on the front panel to load any program in RAM
        and run it. I remember the trickyness of that 2-phase clock and
        how the pin-challenged 8008 muxed a lot of pins making timing
        very critical.

        Later, I wrote a hex loader so I could load paper tapes I had
        punched. However, it was not as famous as Bill Gate's hex loader
        tape. Same thing though. Believe it or not, a company called
        Scelbi created a version of BASIC for the 8008 called ScelBal.
        I can't remember how I justified it but the State of WA
        purchased Scelbal, their first microprocessor BASIC and a brand
        new 8K RAM board from Intel. I could load the paper tape in 30 min.
        Then the 8008 machine called Olycomp-1 could run a BASIC program!
        I still have that object tape for Scelbal! Loading Scelbal was
        tricky. The 8008 had only a 7-level stack. This severely limited
        nested subroutines and, as I remember, you had to commit 3 of
        them before you loaded the tape. That didn’t leave many left
        for executing Scelbal. In order to show immediate value
        (department and tenure committee was very concerned due to
        building visibility of this project) I wrote a short program
        that solved determinants using Euler's Theorem. It worked!
        They tested it by inputting a matrix that they knew would
        indicate singularity and I was relieved and very sweaty at
        the end when it worked. Heads nodded, I got tenure (in ’75),
        my students had a microcomputer at their disposal and I
        continued my career of having fun and getting paid for it.

        That lab tech built a model intersection with traffic lights.
        I got help from a city engineer and we wrote a program to run
        the intersection. Later, the City of Bremerton Court would
        borrow it for trials. Olycomp-1 joined public service!

        I just found this link for the Intellec 8:
        http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/Intellec-8-Micro-1972.htm
        I remember getting the manual for it from Intel. It was my
        text book on microprocessors. In fact, in 1973, it was about
        the only thing I could find. No Google search back then!

        I REALLY wanted that box but the college purchasing said no. My box
        didn't have all those switches.

        Soon after, the Altair came out and many others. I ended up
        with the two Altairs 8800b and 680b that I mentioned before,
        a Commodore PET, and Heathkit H-8 and other projects. My main
        teaching tools were the E&L Instruments MMD-1 and later,
        the 8085 SDK-85 board. In the mid 1980s, I took 2 yr leave
        of absence from teaching and worked for E&L Instruments
        (later Interplex Electronics)and did a lot of work on the
        Fox trainer that used a Z80. I wrote the manuals also.

        As Olycomp-1 became obsolete other newer 8 and 16-bit
        systems took its place and I finally left teaching.
        A few years later, I contacted my former colleagues
        about snatching back good old Olycomp-1 but they said
        it was thrown out. Sad.



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      • B Degnan
        For those of you with time on your hands, please call my test BBS: 1200 baud of screaming C-64 / 1541 power. CBM-Wilmington BBS 302 654 4nine15 The BBS is
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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          For those of you with time on your hands, please call my test BBS:

          1200 baud of screaming C-64 / 1541 power.

          CBM-Wilmington BBS
          302 654 4nine15

          The BBS is sharing my inbound fax line, it should work. I will be testing
          myself but it'll be probably tomorrow. Any assistance is appreciated. I
          don't know if it'll work with non-Commodore systems, let me know.

          -Bill
        • B Degnan
          ... ... Great story, thanks for sharing.. Bill
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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            > Guys,
            >
            > I have been e-mailing with a guy who lives in Washington
            > state recently. I asked how he got interested in computers,
            > and he shared this story, which I thought others might enjoy reading:
            >
            <snip>

            > As Olycomp-1 became obsolete other newer 8 and 16-bit
            > systems took its place and I finally left teaching.
            > A few years later, I contacted my former colleagues
            > about snatching back good old Olycomp-1 but they said
            > it was thrown out. Sad.
            >

            Great story, thanks for sharing..
            Bill
          • Christian Liendo
            I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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              I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare

              http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/


              ____________________________________________________________________________________
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              know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ
            • Evan
              I have an OMP (Newton parlance for original message pad ). - Evan, waiting for his flight home from Denver airport ... From: Christian Liendo
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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                I have an OMP (Newton parlance for "original message pad").

                - Evan, waiting for his flight home from Denver airport

                -----Original Message-----

                From: Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...>
                Subj: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death
                Date: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:53 pm
                Size: 991 bytes
                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com

                I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare

                http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/


                ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ




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              • Jim Scheef
                Well, I have a genuine, original Tandy Zoomer. I came out about the same time as the OMP and was totally overshadowed (for good reason) by the Newton. Ergo,
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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                  Well, I have a genuine, original Tandy Zoomer. I came out about the same time as the OMP and was totally overshadowed (for good reason) by the Newton. Ergo, much even more rarer! [sic]

                  Jim

                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: Evan <evan@...>
                  To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:12:00 PM
                  Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                  I have an OMP (Newton parlance for "original message pad").

                  - Evan, waiting for his flight home from Denver airport

                  -----Original Message-----

                  From:  Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...>
                  Subj:  [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death
                  Date:  Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:53 pm
                  Size:  991 bytes
                  To:  midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com

                  I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare

                  http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/


                        ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                  know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.  http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ




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                • Christian Liendo
                  This is the one I have, I remember buying it because it was able to close and protect the pad http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=427873
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 29, 2008
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                    This is the one I have, I remember buying it because
                    it was able to close and protect the pad

                    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=427873


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                  • Evan Koblentz
                    ... Nope. That whole series -- Casio Z-7000 aka Tandy Zoomer aka AST ( Gridpad if I remember correctly) -- is interesting because it started the modern
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 29, 2008
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                      Message
                      >>> Ergo, much even more rarer
                       
                      Nope.  That whole series -- Casio Z-7000 aka Tandy Zoomer aka AST ("Gridpad" if I remember correctly) -- is interesting because it started the modern "Palm" form factor, as well as starting Palm the company (which at the time only made software, after Jeff Hawkins left Grid).  But the devices weren't so great and aren't very rare today.
                       
                      A good book on the Zoomer series and how its development led to Palm (although the stories are somewhat biased because it's co-written by a former Palm marketing director) is "Piloting Palm" by Andrea Butter and by the NY Times' David Pogue.
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Jim Scheef [mailto:jscheef@...]
                      Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:50 PM
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                      Well, I have a genuine, original Tandy Zoomer. I came out about the same time as the OMP and was totally overshadowed (for good reason) by the Newton. Ergo, much even more rarer! [sic]

                      Jim

                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: Evan <evan@...>
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:12:00 PM
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                      I have an OMP (Newton parlance for "original message pad").

                      - Evan, waiting for his flight home from Denver airport

                      -----Original Message-----

                      From:  Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...>
                      Subj:  [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death
                      Date:  Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:53 pm
                      Size:  991 bytes
                      To:  midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com

                      I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare

                      http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/


                            ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                    • Jim Scheef
                      Yes, the Zoomer was so slow as to be almost unusable. The processor was an 8088 (maybe 80C88). Some fun memories: someone found a hack that allowed
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 3, 2008
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                        Yes, the Zoomer was so slow as to be almost unusable. The processor was an 8088 (maybe 80C88). Some fun memories: someone found a hack that allowed customization beyond what Casio and Tandy had in mind. And some idiot from Zoom modems would come into the CompuServe forum where Zoomer owners hung out and post messages that any reference to "Zoomer" **obviously** really meant a Zoom modem and not some handheld device that was not allowed to use the Zoomer name. Only initial production had the Zoomer name printed on the device.

                        I'll still bet that Zoomers today are "even more rarer" than Newtons.

                        Jim

                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2008 12:55:04 AM
                        Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                        Message
                        >>> Ergo, much even more rarer
                         
                        Nope.  That whole series -- Casio Z-7000 aka Tandy Zoomer aka AST ("Gridpad" if I remember correctly) -- is interesting because it started the modern "Palm" form factor, as well as starting Palm the company (which at the time only made software, after Jeff Hawkins left Grid).  But the devices weren't so great and aren't very rare today.
                         
                        A good book on the Zoomer series and how its development led to Palm (although the stories are somewhat biased because it's co-written by a former Palm marketing director) is "Piloting Palm" by Andrea Butter and by the NY Times' David Pogue.
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Jim Scheef [mailto:jscheef@...]
                        Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:50 PM
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                        Well, I have a genuine, original Tandy Zoomer. I came out about the same time as the OMP and was totally overshadowed (for good reason) by the Newton. Ergo, much even more rarer! [sic]

                        Jim

                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Evan <evan@...>
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:12:00 PM
                        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death

                        I have an OMP (Newton parlance for "original message pad").

                        - Evan, waiting for his flight home from Denver airport

                        -----Original Message-----

                        From:  Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...>
                        Subj:  [midatlanticretro] Yesterday 10 years after newton's death
                        Date:  Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:53 pm
                        Size:  991 bytes
                        To:  midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com

                        I still have the Sharp one,, I bet thats rare

                        http://www.tuaw.com/2008/02/27/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-newtons-death/


                              ____________________________________________________________________________________
                        Be a better friend, newshound, and
                        know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.  http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ




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