Xerox Alto running?

jim s jws at
Sun Oct 17 17:22:50 CDT 2010

  Does anyone have one of these in running (reliable) condition?  I 
found a lot of documentation of an attempt to run one at Digibarn for 
the 30th anniversary of the Alto, which did not appear to be successful, 
and that got me to wondering if there was a working one anywhere.

Nick would probably be advised to look at that documentation as well as 
other web pages I've sent him as far as planning what he tries to do 
with his system.

It appears there were maybe 3 sets of spares for the Digibarn one (just 
from the video) and the photos showed in the background they went from 
morning light to darkness trying to get it working before giving up.

I am not familiar with the person who was trying the bringup, but 
assuming he was one familiar with the Alto and with all those resources, 
it says a lot about getting one of these w/o extensive knowledge (true 
of any vintage system) and trying to bring it up.  It's the nature of 
some designs they always did something you could nurse along to running, 
and some, perhaps like the Alto may be pumpkins until a lot of things 
work, and it can be very difficult to figure out if you are damaging 
them along the course of the effort (2 steps forward 3 back).

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