Introduction - Terry Stewart (tezza)
terry at webweavers.co.nz
Wed Oct 20 16:34:55 CDT 2010
Thanks for that welcome Tony,
Yes, I always thoroughly inspect machines now before an attempted boot up,
having removed rodents, cockroaches, spiders, re-plugged detached internal
connectors and even discovered half the innards are missing on occasions.
I don't normally test the power supply separately though. It sounds like a
good idea. What kind of load/resistance would you suggest in such a testing
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Duell" <ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
To: <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: Introduction - Terry Stewart (tezza)
> Wello, and welcome ot the list.
>> My interest in microcomputing history started about 11 years ago, when I
>> created a website to archive some facts about my first micro.
> WHen I first saw the pictutre of that on your web page, I thought 'That
> looks like what I calleda 'video genie'. Then I read the description....
>> However, in 2007 with the kids off my hands (and more room) I started
>> collecting other micros. This was trigged by finding a OS Challenger 1P
>> someone gave me in the late 1980s in the bottom of a wardrobe, turning it
>> and finding (astonishingly!) it went! Along with my old System 80, I now
> I hate to start another one of my rants, but I hope you've learnt now
> that turnoing on a classic machine is not the first thing to try. I
> would strongly recoemdn a careful visual inspection and then testing the
> PSU on adummy load. It doesn't take long (at least not for most machines
> ), and it may save you having to powst a message hear askign for a
> dump of the ROMs for some rare machine
>  OK, in a couple of cases I have made up special PSU test boxes which
> takes a little longer...
>> had the nucleus of a classic computer collection! There was no looking
>> after that!
> I think many of us have had that experince.
> I was interested to read your comments on the Sinclair QL. You basically
> have the same views as me. I feel that the machine was simply too ckeap,
> too much was cut out. IIRC, it sold for about \pounds 400 in the UK. If
> it has sold for \pounds 600, but had had a useable keyboard, a disk drive
> (even a 3" one), proper serial ports , and the like, then the machine
> might actually have been popular. As it was, it was pretty much unusable.
>  The QL has 2 seral port conenctors. But the data input lines are
> simple ORed together (!). The peripheral _has_ to look at the handshake
> lines, or data will either get corrupted by being mixed with data from
> the other peripheral, or it'll be sent to the wrongplace by the OS. Alas,
> many peripherals don't do that (and why should they, it violates the
> RS232 standard). But anyway...
>> I am not a computer engineer, electronics technician or even associated
>> the computer industry in any way. Before I started collecting I knew
>> nothing about electronics except you plugged something in at the wall,
>> flicked a switch and (if you are lucky) it went. I had never been under
>> hood of a computer even my System 80. However, once I started collecting
>> found I HAD to learn something about the mystery of binary hardware in
>> to keep these machines up and running! See
> Err, yes... There are very few people prepared to fis a classic machine
> for you, and those that will tend to charge ;-).
> Fortunately, I came to computing from electronics (not that I have any
> qulaifications in either...), and have a fair idea of what goes on inside
> these machines. And contrary to certain comments here, I do try to share
> my knowledge.
>> http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm . I've found the
>> vintage/classic computer community to be very supportive and helpful with
>> sharing knowledge in this regard. I've still got huge gaps in knowledge
>> regarding the hardware side but it's improving all the time.
> Many of us have shelf upon shelf of old servie manuals, data books,
> electroncis books, etc and are quite happy to look things up.
>> (unexpectedly) come to enjoy the hardware side as well! Nothing is as
>> satisfying as seeing a dead computer suddenly surge back to life after a
> Now that I certainly agree with. I rememebr tinkering with my PDP11/45
> for over a month before I finally understood all the manuals, had it all
> put toghet and I turned the key (literally). I then toggled in my first
> program. OK, it didn't work, but it appeared the machine was basically
> working. Some time later I found I'd mis-understood one of the machine
> instructions, I fixed that and my program ran...
>> fix. To me, a dead computer is just a collection of wires, silicon and
>> plastic. They HAVE to be working, and my wife would claim I go to
>> lengths to make them so.
> I agree with that too. Computers intended to 'compute'. I've spent (and
> will spend in the future) many enjyable hours tracking down faults,
> finding spare parts, making spare parts, and generally getting these fine
> old machines to work again.
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