At 06:14 AM 9/27/97 +0000, you wrote:
Found this on alt.folklore.computers
We have a working (or at least it was) Nicolet 290 computer. that
need to vacate the room its been taking up for the last 20+ years.
This system is rigged up as a test bench for an MRI system (that's
all still there too) and we have all the manuals, disk packs, paper
tape programs, banks of core memory etc etc.. I plan to do a small
inventory of the parts and pieces but if I don't find it a home soon
it'll get smashed up.
Does anyone know anything about these computers? I have no idea what
else they may have been used for or how rare this thing is. Anything
anyone knows about it could be helpful towards finding it a proper
home. BTW.. Size wise you're looking at a large console with a plotter
built in and a short 19 inch rack plus many boxes of disk packs
(Diablo) and manuals.
kenm(a)csus.edu (Ken Montgomery)
I've never heard of a Nicolet 290... What is it?
The Nioclet 290 is a dedicated instrument controller and data acquisition
computer made by Nicolet Instrument Corp. in Madison, Wisconsin. Nicolet is
a major manufacturer of Fourier transform (FT) infrared spectrometers, and
at one time also manufactured FT Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers.
I have one of the 290's great-grandchildren, the NIC 660, still operating a
FTIR spectrometer in my lab. My system was purchased new in 1986, and is
still running reasonably well. I don't know a lot about the 290, but what I
can tell you about these computers in general is that they are essentially
totally proprietary platforms that were designed and built from the ground
up to control FTIR and FT NMR instrumentation and process spectral data.
The design of the systems were optimized to handle fast Fourier
transformation of spectoscopy data "on-the-fly" as it came off of the
spectrometer. These computers use a proprietary operating system written
by Nicolet (NICOS) which is somewhat Forth-like but has a user shell
running on top. The user shell bears some resemblance to Unix. The 660
system I have has applications software for IR spectroscopy, some text
editors, and compilers for Fortran, Basic, and Pascal. Nicolet stopped
manufacturing these computers and switched over to PC's about 3-5 years
ago, but still maintains some limited support (ie, parts and supplies) for
these proprietary machines.