On 5/30/06, Tony Duell <ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk> wrote:
Why not? I would think a PDP8 would be a lot
easier to keep running tha=
a modern PC.
Only to somebody with what is rapidly becoming a /very/ specialist skills=
And alas skills that nobody seems to want ;-(
You are speaking to somebody who is
reading/writing mail on
an old PC mainly because it is easier to maintain than a more modern ma=
Fine. But for most people, modern PCs are a damn sight /easier./ All
Problem is. I don't trust I've put a fault right unless I've found the
fault. That is, really found it. Replacing bits until the machine works
again is not good enough for me. Or perhaps you've never had a connector
problem, or an intermittant fault, or a marginal timing problem, or one
of the many other little things that plague my life.
in one integrated motherboards, simple mix&match
interchangeable commodity disks and screens and keyboards, simple USB
peripherals. The day of the =A3100 PC is just around the corner. Soon
they'll be as disposable as transistor radios.
You are speaking to the person who _repairs_ transistor radios.
No, I disagree
totally. I have no problem at all with making reverseabl=
modificuations to old machines (be they computers
or anything else). I
certainly see no problem in plugging in a modern peripheral.
Are you trying to convince me that I shouldn't use 74Fxxx parts to repa=
a PDP11 (they are much easier to get than 74Sxxx
and work in most
circuits). You'll really hate what I've done to a lot of machines here,=
I don't even know what a 74Fxxx is. I've been repairing and working on
A chip in the 74F family (that's FAST (Fairchild Advanced Shottky TTL)).
One of the later, faster logic chip families. Most of the time they can
be used to replace the much older (and slower) 74S chips, but not always.
PCs and Macs for 20y now, I've built dozens and
dozens of computers,
No, you've _assembled_ dozens of computers. To me, making a computer
involves starting from chips, transistors, etc. And it's a bonus if you
don't use a ready-built microprocessor, so you can define your own
and I don't own a multimeter or an oscilloscope
and never have. I have
a soldering iron; I use it occasionally to fix the lights on my
This is great stuff if you know it, but it's no more relevant to C21
computing than the correct bloodletting and the correct administration
That maybe why I don't get invloved in C21 computing...
of laudanum is to C21 medicine. It's an admirable
skill and I salute
you, but it's not mainstream any more. I'm not saying it's not
worthwhile; I'm just saying that things have moved on. If a circuit
board fails in a modern machine, recycle it & bung in a new one.
It's quicker for me to repair many faults to component level than to
track down a replacement and hope there's not some nasty incompatibility
with some software I'm using.
So far, no emulator has come anywhere near the
experience of running th=
real machine. And I don't think it ever will
for me. I want to be able =
connect my 'scope (a real Tekky 555, please)
to any pin of any componen=
in the machine. And have all the feelings
associated with so doing.
Yeah, it's not quite the same, but you do realise, we're talking of
something of the level of a glass case in a museum, with a few shiny
buttons and lights for people to play with for 5min? They will neither
know nor care.
I'm not/ I'm talking about museums, I am talking about my own machines
which I actively use.
Secondly, as far as preserving old kit for posterity, your
hacked-about with machines will confuse other techies, who would
Only if said techies are somewhat brain-dead. For one thing I keep
records of all significant modifications (and the person who gets my
collection when I snuff it is clueful enough to look at all my manuals
too). And for another, ICs have date codes on them. If you came across a
machine, clearly from the 1970's, where all the ICs but one had 1976 date
codes, and that one had a 1990 date code, the only sensible conclusion is
that it's been replaced.