An interesting 3 hours on PBS last night:
- 'Steve Jobs - One Last Thing': No description necessary.
- 'Long Distance Warrior': McGowan/MCI's David & Goliath battle with AT&T
and disastrous merger with Worldcom.
- 'Digital Man/Digital World': Ken Olsen/DEC's growth and ultimate decline.
(No doubt everyone here except myself had already seen this one ;-)
Interesting comparison of the different styles and personalities of three
men who profoundly influenced the tech world of today and their companies.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
I bought the Tek 4051 on ebay today; Jason brought it to my house and it works perfectly, with about a half hour of programming instruction my 12 old daughter was plotting a cat face.
I would like to get in touch with other users of this first personal computer, and find additional resources.
Do you know where I can find an archive of BASIC programs for this?
Has anybody built plug in cards in the back, mine came with a realtime clock and a "file manager", I do not know what that one does.
I have some Tek scopes with IEE-488, and I will see if I can get the IEEE interface working.
There was a DC300 tape in the machine:
The belt is broken in the tape, I have ordered some new DC300's and will transplant the tape.
Any resources will be welcome!
Then why not use a dip compatible version of the DS chip? I mean yes this allows for switchable battery which is very nice but SMT soldering is not for everyone.
I wonder if there is a way to determine if there will be BIOS issues by switching the DS12887?
-------- Original message --------
From: Jon Elson <elson at pico-systems.com>
Date: 1/22/17 9:16 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: General at classiccmp.org, "Discussion at classiccmp.org:On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Subject: Re: DS12887 pcb substitute with battery
On 01/22/2017 10:07 AM, Ali wrote:
> I thought the problem with switching these chips was that part of the ROM code was embedded in them? I.e. it isn't just an issue of battery? Am I wrong? If I am then why not use one of the replacement chips that are available?
These don't have a lot of memory on them.? many early PCs
stored some config info there, but generally the BIOS can
reconstruct it if it isn't there.? I suppose there is a
possibility that random data in the CMOS memory could cause
the BIOS to try to use unavailable features and hang.? I
don't think anybody put actual executable code in there.
> Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:41:53 -0500 (EST)
> From: ethan at 757.org
> Subject: Re: Could someone make this topic go away?
> Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1511192141030.32673 at users.757.org>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> Am I the only one left using Pine!?
> I get odd looks when I'm checking email from my cell phone.
No you are not.
I use (al)pine on my OpenVMS system here as well as my main Linux host. I
have mail going back to 2004 here and since 1996 at another public access
Unix host I use. It's great when I'm out of town and can ssh in from my
phone and check the mail. :) Pine does most everything I need without
having to worry about malware, phishing, etc ... the beauty of text.
will join a group buy, need caps for 2 drives ..
With best regards
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> From: Raymond Wiker
> Steve Jobs ... was also a stickler for perfection and largely unwilling
> to make compromises.
Absolutely; and that's a large part of the reason for the success of Apple.
His products were just really well done.
It's also, I think, a big part of the causality for another Apple
characteristic: their push for closed systems. The thing is that Steve wanted
to make the user experience as good as possible (another hallmark of Apple
stuff) - and when the 'system' includes pieces being independently sourced
>from multiple entities, it's hard to make that happen - there will be
glitches, etc. So that's why he usually wanted to bring the entire thing
inside the Apple envelope.
> So, Steve Jobs ... should get some of the credit for the fact that
> we're not all running Windows on variations of crappy PC hardware.
I think that's not accurate; Linux may not have a large user base among
non-technical people in the laptop area, but it does show that there are other
alternatives. And when it gets to smart-phones, of course, things which are
neither Apple nor uSloth are the majority there, no?
> From: Chris Hanson
> What the Apple folks saw and what was implemented for Lisa and then
> Macintosh were vastly different.
I don't agree with the "vastly". (Having said that, I salute the Lisa/Mac
people for doing a very good job of producing a excellent user interface.)
The changes in the interface (menu bar, etc) are not that large; they are
mostly minor refinements to the basic image/pointing-based interface
pioneered by Xerox.
The biggest improvement, IMO, was not in the details of the window system, but
that everything used a common user interface - and the lack of that on the
Alto was not planned, but more a result of the fact that the Alto was so far
into new territory, and not done as an integrated system, but as a platform
> - The one-button mouse.
Err, some of us don't see that as an 'improvement'... :-)
> If you sit someone who knows how to use a Mac in front of a circa-1979
> Xerox Alto, they'll be pretty mystified.
Yeah, but that's in good part because the Alto user interface is such a dog's
breakfast - Draw is nothing like Bravo is nothing like etc, etc. But, like I
said, that was inevitable, given the process that produced the Alto.
since the messages in May about the MS Windows 1.0 version for DEC Rainbow,
I did some research to see if a version is effectively available.
It seems that copies of this software are really difficult to find, but
a complete copy
was available on the latrobe ftp DEC Rainbow archive... which
disappeared with all valuable data...
Anybody has a copy of the content before the deletion?
Anyway, I found a file-by-file copy of it, on this site:
For preservation reasons, it would be really better to have an original
Any news about dumping the disks or an ftp archive where they are present?
> From: Dwight Kelvey
> I need on of those.
I think it belongs in a museum, actually. Provided they can make it work, of
course! :-) I wonder how many working delay line main memories are left in
PS: Sorry about the previous mostly-duplicate message; I hit the 'interrupt'
key and it did the wrong thing.
I'm making arrangements to have four (mini-)supercomputers from the
1980's shipped to me. In the mean time, I'm trying to find out what I
can about these systems, so this is a fishing expedition.
The systems are:
* Convex C1-XP
* Convex C1-XL
* Intel iPSC/860
* Ardent Titan
Pictures of these can be found on my website, at
(click on the thumbnails to see a larger version)
I'd like to get in touch with anyone who knows anything about these
machines, as well as anyone who may have documentation, but I also
have two specific questions:
- Can anyone identify the tape drives shown in the pictures? I believe
the one in the Intel iPSC/860 is an Exabyte 8mm one, but the ones used
on the Convex and the Ardent are a mystery to me.
- Does anyone know what the SRM (System Resource Manager) for the
iPSC/860 physically looks like? Does it look like a PC, and does it
say Intel on the front?
Reason I'm asking is that I'm getting these out of an estate, and I
need to tell them what to look for.
I'm down to the last few P112 boards for sale and am pondering another run
of them because demand is steady. One of the biggest challenges for the
last run was getting the QFP-packaged 100-pin chips in a state such
that the pick-and-place robot wouldn't throw a fit about slight
differences in lead position. The stuffing house insisted that I send
them new chips. Pulls, though they looked perfectly okay to me, were not
acceptable. Does anyone here know anything about pick-and-place robots
using pulled 100-pin QFPs, particularly a stuffing house that can work
with such chips and not screw up?
 The now-obsolete super-io chips
dave at 661.org
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