1966 Mag: Build NE-2 Neon Bulb Computer - scan available

Allison ajp166 at bellatlantic.net
Thu Jul 19 10:20:19 CDT 2007

>Subject: Re: 1966 Mag: Build NE-2 Neon Bulb Computer - scan available
>   From: ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk (Tony Duell)
>   Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 23:54:18 +0100 (BST)
>     To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
>> <rant>
>> I'll make this vintage computer-oriented.  How many people still own 
>> a working dishwasher/clothes washer with an integral computer that 
>> was manufactured over 10 years ago?  When I first saw a dishwasher 

Maytag washer dryer pair, still in use and working fine.

>> with computerized control, my reaction was "What a damned fool thing 
>> to do--put a computer in the absolutely worst (hot water, caustics, 
>> steam) environment possible.  Now you can't buy them any other way.

Automotive is considerably worse. Hot, humid, large temperature changes,
power system that runs from 6V worst case to 18V with transients higher
and it must work for 5years to be considered passably reliable. 

>You can see the manufacturer's point. A custom chip is a lot cheaper to 
>make than a cam-and-contacts timer. They can put the magic words 

cam and contacts have a well known failure mech, wear.  Solution build
it more robust, the counter to that is cost.

>'computer', 'microprocessor',. 'digital', etc on the panel. And it's 
>harder to repair if it fails (if a mechanical timer fails, you can fix 
>it, if the microprocessor fails, you have to buy a new PCB from the 
>manufacturers, if they don't want to sell you one, you're stuffed).

Most vendors want their product to work because if it doesn't there 
are plenty of competitors with something to offer.


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