Need contact information for dkdkk

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Sun Jul 17 19:28:48 CDT 2005

On Sun, 2005-07-17 at 22:05 +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> > Heh, possibly... I think a lot of the time museums spend too much time
> > trying to attract people who can do a bit of everything - which is all
> I tend to confuse Bletchley Park with the CCS, so I might be moaning 
> about the wrong lot. But (IIRC) the CCS's method of using its members' 
> knowedge leaves a lot to be desired.

Can't really comment there I'm afraid, I've not had any dealings with
the CCS direct - just with lots of their members on a case-by-case
basis. I do get the impression that they're somewhat shrouded in
bureaucracy though, which generally isn't to my liking in any situation!

> IIRC, the membership form asks for up to 4 computers that you have 
> experience of. I had a serious problem with filling in that section. 
> Should I list 4 machines that were relatively common, on the grounds that 
> I'd then get to do something. Or should I list 4 rare machines, which I 
> knew somewhat less about, on the grounds that I might well be the only 
> person to have any knowledge of them at all? 

urgh, yeah. No idea what I'd do there either. Probably stick a big black
line through the form and include a covering letter that explained why
I'd done so! If they weren't flexible enough to handle that then there's
something seriously wrong IMHO. It's not like there's any shortage of
preservation work to be done outside of the CCS.

> There is another problem, best illustrated by an example...
> Suppose you have a non-working HP9810 calculator (well, it's almost a 
> computer :-)). You have a choice of 2 repairers.
> A) Worked ofr HP as a service engineer for many years. He's got the
> official service manual (which is a boardswapper guide), and can follow
> the instructions which are basically to replace all the plug-in PCBs until
> it starts working again. The fact that you can't get replacement boards
> any more is another matter... 
> B) Has never worked for HP or any other computer company. But he was 
> given a broken 9810 a few years back and spent a couple of months working 
> out how to repair it. This guy can connect a logic analyser to an 
> undocumented internal connector and trace the CPU microcode. He's got his 
> own microcode listings and can thus tell just what the darn thing is 
> doing. 

Definitely a B. I suppose ideally I'd like person A watching person B
doing the work though, as otherwise they'll never learn anything!

> There's also the problem that somebody having no experience of <foo>, but 
> who is generally clueful about similar stuff might well be more use than 
> somebody who's had a few months user-level experience of <foo>, but who 
> has never gone further on any machine.

The former for sure. The most common faults causing system failure tend
to be common to many systems - never underestimate general experience!



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