Origin of the term minicomputer (was Re: PDP-1 as minicomputer
csquared3 at tx.rr.com
Sun Aug 22 23:06:57 CDT 2010
Tony Duell wrote:
>> Heh! After looking at hp9830.com for just a bit, I think I see your
>> problem. There are some really interesting turns of phrase on that page
> The HP9830 was marketted as a 'calculator', but IMHO it was full-blwon
> computer. It has a QWERTY keybaord, an alphanumeric display (albeit one
> line of 32 characters, which is a 'window' onto a 96 character logical
> line IIRC), and programs in BASIC.
> I find it to be an interesting machine. It's certainly a candidate for
> the title 'first personal computer' in that it is an all-in-one desktop
> machine with ROM BASIC. Put it on a desk, plug it into the mains, turn it
> on and start typing BASIC. Pretty amazing for 1973.
> As I mentioned earlier, the processor is mostly simple logic chips with a
> few ROMs (micorocede and ALU tables). The rest of the machins is also
> mostly stnadard chips, the only custom parts are ROMs -- those are very
> custom, not just in the programming, but also the decices themeselves
> which are HP 512 byte parts (IIRC the chip is 2 256 byte halves, which
> can be donded out as either a 512*8 or a 256*16 device -- the 256*16
> state machine ROM in, e.g. the 59309 digital clock is one of those).
> Anyway, the ROMs are sufficiently odd that replacing them with more
> modern parts is non-trivial. The RAMs are standard -- Intel 1103s -- but
> now very hard to find. But the machine is otherwise very repairable.
> Of course being HP of that period it's very well made and pleasant to
> work on.
> Bit serial machines are not common anyway, which makes this one
> moderately interesting...
>> using forms of the words "calculate" and "compute" in the same sentence.
>> Gotta go read that site in more detail when I have a chance. You'd
>> mentioned it enough times I just had to google and see what it was.
>> Looks like a quite fascinating machine! I'd love to try lunar lander on
> I don't rememebr a lunar lander for it (there's a very famous one for the
> DEC GT40 terminal...), but anyway.
The only reason I think there is one is that the web site page at
http://hp9830.com/hp9830-lander.html is supposed to be a listing of the
program. I know you don't do a lot of web stuff, so if it would be of
any interest to you I think I could copy and paste it into a plain .txt
file and email that to you as an (off list) email attachment. Just let
me know if you would like me to do that. From some of the text at the
top of the page, I think it may need an attached plotter of some sort.
obfuscatecsquared3 at tx dot rr dot com dot invalid
To email me, eradicate obfuscate and remove dot invalid.
> There is some information on the 9830 on http://www.hpmuseum.org/ and
> rather more (including downloadable user and service manuals, scheamtics,
> etc) on http://www.hpmuseum.net/
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