first Classics (WAS Apollo DN systems)

Tony Duell ard at
Fri Aug 18 16:29:39 CDT 2006

> I suppose the upshot of all that is that I suspect most collectors want a 
> machine that they can expand, even if they're not necessarily a 
> hardware hacker. 

Some years ago I was involved with the Bristol University student 
computer society (it was called 'BITS' [1] which was supposed to stand for 
'Bristol IT Society' but never did :-)). Anyway, said society had a 
number of SIGs.

And one such SIG was called 'Hardware and old systems SIG'. Those were 
grouped together not just because the chap running said SIG was yours 
truely and was interested in both aspects, but also because in the 
opinion of most people in said society if you want to run an old computer 
system (as opposed to running the software under emulation or whatever) 
you pretty much have to be somewhat interested in the hardware because 
you're going to have to do repairs and you can't generally find modules 
to swap out (even if that was the right thing to do ;-)). And if you're 
interested in messing about with hardware you'll often find an older 
machine to be better documented and easier to work on (slower bus speed, 
so you can use a cheaper 'scope and analyser).

I guess what I am saying is that even if you're not a hardware hacker 
_now_, getting seriously into old computers will turn you partially into one.

[1] Another proposed name was FOCC, officially standing for 'Friends Of 
the C Compiler'. Of course the double meaning was 'F*** Off Computer 
Centre' :-).


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