Restoration technique [Was: Re: Bay Area: IBM 4341 and HP3000]

tony duell ard at
Mon Jan 12 15:29:32 CST 2015

> Well, perhaps my choice of word wasn't the best. I certainly didn't mean
> to say that the subject matter should be made "easy". Computer
> restoration is challenging and difficult, I acknowledge that. What I
> wanted was to make the subject more approachable.

The problem is that if you oversimplify things you can actually make them
harder to understand. I never understood telephone exchanges until I finally
found a book that explained the operation of an actual small exchange at the
relay level, with complete schematics. It then all made a lot of sense.

> :) And I try to read (and understand) most of what you write, even if
> it's not directly related to what I collect. What is this HPCC that you

HPCC is the 'Handheld and Portable Computer Club' (
It is not a coincidence that 'Handheld and Portable' starts with the same
letters as 'Hewlett Packard' :-). It started out as a club for users of the HP41,
then covered the 71B, RPL machines, and so on. It has now diversified somewhat
and it would be fair to describe it as a bunch of eccentrics that produces a 
little booklet 4 time a year (we hope!) with articles mostly relating to HP calculators.
Some of the members meet once a month in London and discuss just about anything
and everything. At the last meeting I found myself chatting about repairing the
Model 33 ASR Teletype, programming the TRS80 Model 4, a detail of the 
memory control system of the HP9830, a detail of a certain classic car
carburettor, and a lot more besides...

> When I think more about it. I think I want a book that guides me through
> restoration of computers from digital between 1970 and 1980, since that

In other words you want a book that covers (at least) PDP8s, PDP10s, PDP11s, 
VAXen and all their peripherals. Given that DEC wrote technical and maintence
manuals for those machines, and the total thickness of all such manuals would
be 10s of feet at least, I don't think it's going to get covered in detail in one book.


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