Ebay GT-40 in the Netherlands

Eric Smith spacewar at gmail.com
Sat Apr 11 02:54:57 CDT 2015

On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 2:43 AM, Jim Stephens <jws at jwsss.com> wrote:
> DEC-Digital-1972-GT40-vector-graphics-system-PDP11-PDP-11
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/231477915161
> If I could afford it I wouldn't sweat the shipping cost.

If there are multiple buyers willing to pay that much for a GT40, I'd
be tempted to sell, except that I was given the GT40 by a friend, so
selling it would be inappropriate.

Back in 2009, when CHM still had "Visible Storage"[*] and their
"Timeline of Computer History" was just in the planning stages, I was
asked whether I'd be willing to donate or lend the GT40 for an
exhibit. I was definitely willing and even eager to do so. However,
their plans changed, and it didn't happen. They don't have room to
exhibit every interesting machine they might want to, and they've done
a pretty good job of showing representative samples of many

The last time I powered up the GT40 it had developed a fault which
caused intermittent errors in the vertical positioning of points and
line endpoints. I'm nearly certain that it was a fault in the digital
electronics, prior to the vertical ADC, but did not have time to
diagnose and repair it.


* Visible Storage was so-called because it wasn't considered to be
true museum-grade exhibits. I have had no training in museum studies,
so to my amateur eye the only thing it lacked was the glossy
production values, which make things more presentable to the general
public but are of no consequence to enthusiasts. Of course, the museum
depends a lot on having appeal to the general public; aside from some
generous wealthy benefactors, enthusiasts alone don't provide enough
funding for such a museum.

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