OT Troubleshooting: Old computers with modern parts
vrs at msn.com
Thu Mar 10 12:52:42 CST 2005
> The main problem I see with the current crop of PDP-8 clones/replica's
> is lack of paper tape and other hardware at the time -- non volatile
> I could get a cpu chip off people on this list but with out I/O like
> paper tape
> or a modern replacement the software for the CPU is very limited in what
> can run and what can future hold as mechanical devices wear out in time.
> I think we need to get mechanial minded people ( also a dying breed) to
> help where electrionic/computer stuff does not cover forgotton techology.
I agree that many PDP-8s have the problem that peripherals are unobtainium.
I haven't had too much trouble amassing paper tapes and paper tape equipment
from eBay. (I hope to make a contribution to bitsavers "real soon".)
I have also done some boards to interface some older PDP-8s to "modern"
(RS-232) peripherals, which allows at least some of the experience to be
preserved. (Though loading paper tape images at high speeds over RS-232 is
qualitatively different than noisy 110 baud TTYs.)
I am also doing an RX01/RX02 interface board (debugging that is the other
project on the "real soon", pile). That would allow you to run OS/8 with
peripherals that are still somewhat available (but "vintage", in that they
were actually used with some of the later PDP-8s).
There are also a few other projects I have been working on to replace all
those missing peripherals.
> Sooner or later Epay will stop having old devices like TTY's and we will
> have to a) Hoard them, b) Let them wear out c) Rebuild them d) Forget
> Take your pick ... I favor c but I don't have the skills.
That's why a community is so useful. (Not everyone should need every
Now, if I could get these plastic switch handles to come out the right color
and get the little hinge tabs the right shape (and get my taxes done, etc.
PS Doesn't seem OT to me.
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