large circuit boards populated with diodes! The
microcode itself was "hard wired' in diodes.
Please don't murder me.
I was young and foolish... I have the
remains of one of those somewhere :-(
I think if I were to do unpleasant things to people who ruined working
hardware out of ignorance as a kid I'd have to start with myself and
follow up with just about everyone who was lucky enough to have
hardware to play with at that age.
There once existed a rather nice desk calculator, with Nixie - or
something indistinguishable from them from what I can recall - display
tubes, and some rather interesting guts that I suspect was SSI at most,
probably bit-serial or digit-serial or some such. I poked around
inside it. By the last I recall of it, it probably wasn't good for
anything but harvesting parts, like the Nixies and the keyboard, from.
I'm not sure whether I regret meddling with it. I have little doubt I
broke it, but I'm not sure what I learned in the process wasn't worth
it, though it's been long enough I'm not sure what that covers. I do
regret losing the remaining pieces; if nothing else, I'd like to have
those display tubes. But, last time I went looking for the remnants, I
couldn't find any of them, and that was at least a decade ago, so it's
likely in a landfill somewhere. I do have some faint hope it's in the
hands of someone who appreciates it....
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