Up for Auction: Memory from the First Computer in Space

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Wed Oct 28 18:41:52 CDT 2015

I didn't realize there is any such thing as non-destructive read core memory.   Google does turn up a few obscure articles about such things.  It doesn't seem to have caught on, and I wonder why it was used here.

So that phrase actually may be accurate.  But does that clearly tie it to Gemini?  And even if it does, that doesn't amount to provenance as a flight item; it might just as easily have been a spare, or a failed test module, or something similar that never left the ground.


> On Oct 28, 2015, at 7:32 PM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
> Not a proof in entirety of the claim, but from a ref and looking at the closeup pics from the auction website, it is an unusual form of core memory where the cores have two holes through them, like a blocky figure 8, apparently an aspect of a technique to achieve non-destructive readout. This is quite unusual and would go some ways to showing a provenance to the Gemini project.
> On 2015-Oct-28, at 2:45 PM, Geoffrey Oltmans wrote:
>> Seems like it's worth is totally dependent on its provenance...how do you
>> prove that?
>> On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 2:31 PM, Paul Koning <paulkoning at comcast.net> wrote:
>>>> On Oct 28, 2015, at 12:58 PM, feldman.r at comcast.net wrote:
>>>> A core memory unit from Gemini 3 is up for auction:
>>> http://www.scientificcomputing.com/news/2015/10/auction-memory-first-computer-space?et_cid=4906629&et_rid=742193094&location=top
>>> Comical.  "Chip" indeed.  And "first use of core memory ... in an era of
>>> rotating drum memory" -- in 1965?  I wonder why they have such a clueless
>>> person write their blurbs.
>>>       paul

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