Looking at the Pro300 series pictures makes me think that most DEC hardware
round that time had recessed rocker switches with (some) clear flat space
round them, eg, VT220, DECmate, Rainbow, MicroVAX and MicroPDP.
All very 1980s machines....
Reading the original message further, are we to assume that all the pix I've
pointed out here are no good because there isn't totally flat space all
round the rocker switch? Isn't that completely anal? I'm sure I'm the only
person in the world to be sitting here, now, with a sticker from the
Enterprise Computer factory, my little one's japanese decorative fan and an
Adaptec SCSI interface from an IBM PC next to me, and I can prove it, but
would I sue if someone claimed I wasn't the first?
Oh - wasn't the MicroVAX 3100 released in 1989 or thereabouts? *very*
recessed power switch with clear space all round.....
From: cctech-admin(a)classiccmp.org [mailto:email@example.com]On
Behalf Of John Foust
Sent: 29 June 2003 04:23
Subject: Fwd: old hardware help requested
I don't quite understand what copyright (as opposed to patent law)
has to do with his case, but I thought I'd forward this inquiry...
From: "Advanced Approach"
Subject: old hardware help requested
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 10:51:42 +0800
Dear Mr. Foust:
I am an American living (temporarily) in Hong Kong, I am in a
jam here, and
you might be able to help. I would appreciate a
minutes of your
time ? just enough time to read this. You may be
able to tell me what I
need to know immediately.
I am a defendant in a lawsuit here. In the lawsuit against us, the
Plaintiffs claim that in the early 1990?s they were the first in
to recess a rocker switch. (Actually, they do not
use those exact words;
rather, they claim they own the copyright on a recessed rocker
them to own the copyright, they would have to be
the first people in the
world to put out a product with a recessed switch.)
Of course, their claim is ridiculous, but in court, we have to
PROVE it is
ridiculous -- otherwise, the court will probably
accept their claim. To
disprove their claim, we simply need to find a product with a recessed
rocker switch that was on the market before 1990. (And of
course, we need
to prove that it was on the market before 1990.)
Friends have told me that recessed rocker switches were common on early
computers, printers, and mainframe terminals.
Copyright here is all about outlook. Here are two examples of recessed
rockers switches with the outlook that we need:
The first example:
The above is from a Canon copy machine.
This example shows well all five key elements that we need:
1) The rocker switch is mounted on a flat surface,
2) The rocker switch is recessed beneath the surface,
3) There is flat surface all around the recess,
4) There is nothing else in the recess with the switch, and
5) The area of the recess is bigger than the area of the switch but not
This would be prefect, except the copy machine is only a couple of years
old ? too new to prove that recessed rocker switches were on the market
before 1990. (I have contacted Canon, but as a company, it
seems they are
only interested in selling new machines.)
The molded on/off symbols and the indicator light are not
important. We are
looking for an example product with or without the
the indicator light ? either is fine. For the
does not matter ? even clear plastic with
illumination inside is OK.
The second example:
DEC 300 series computer from 1979. (On the second link, click
on the "close
up".) This is good, and we might use this.
It would be
perfect, except the
Digital logo is right next to the switch (so this
not meet key
>element #3). So for our purpose, this is only half good.
>If you know of any product from 1990 or before that had a recessed rocker
>switch that meets all five key elements, please let me know. As you and
>others you know are knowledgeable about old hardware, any information you
>could provide would be greatly appreciated.
>I hope to hear from you.
>Advanced Approach Ltd.
>1907 Westley Square, 48 Hoi Yuen Road
>Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
>Tel: +852 2372-0197 Fax: +852 2342-7197