Accelerator boards - no future? Bad business?

Dave G4UGM dave.g4ugm at
Mon Apr 25 12:43:33 CDT 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Noel
> Chiappa
> Sent: 25 April 2016 17:51
> To: cctalk at
> Cc: jnc at
> Subject: Re: Accelerator boards - no future? Bad business?
>     > From: Jules Richardson
>     > I think my personal view is that I'll consider modern replacements
>     > things when it's impossible to use the originals - but not simply
>     > reasons of speed, cost, convenience.
> This sounds like it's not _that_ far from my position, which is that I am
> building modern equivalents for "stuff that is still available and
> functional".

I perhaps take a slightly more permissive view. I am happy to use modern
parts if they allow me to keep an old machine operational AND can be
installed and removed in a non-destructive manner.
For example my PC server 500 has an unreliable floppy. I intend to add a
GoTek board so I can update the ADF files safely. 

>     >> running the disks ... risks damaging what are effectively museum
>     >> pieces.

But if you don't run them then you might as well just display empty boxes...

>     > There I'd just say run them until they break and can't be fixed, and
>     > then they can become static museum exhibits.

> The problem with that is that I feel that it conflicts with what I feel
one of our
> main goals ought to be, which is to preserve these machines in running
> for history and the education of future generations.
> Yes, even powering them on risks a failure, but most failures are
> A crashed head, if you don't have spares, is pretty much un-fixable
(there's a
> whole manufacturing complex needed to create them, which is now gone,
> and one can't substitute an alternative part). So I'd run them as little
> possible - and a modern solid-state alternative really helps with that.

There used to be places that re-built drives after a head crash. Not sure if
they still exist.

> (BTW, there's a big debate in the museum world over this sort of topic:
> places won't do any cleaning and fixing of antique objects, retaining them
> exactly as they were, and living with the degradation of plastics, etc;
> do restoration, but mark what was done, and make it reversible if
> others go all out and restore things to 'like new'. I'm kind of in camp
> myself.)
> There's also a practical down-side to the 'run it as a matter of course
till it fails
> forever' approach; if one has packs for that drive which one wishes to
read or
> write, that's no longer possible once the drive is roached (although
> else could do it for you, but that's not necessarily a desirable option).
> And of course, with the drive dead, the machine may not be runnable unless
> one adds a modern alternative - and if one's willing to do that _after_
> drive is fried, why not before?
>     > From: Swift Griggs
>     > I might be laughed at for wanting a Fiero-Ferrari
> For a good time, Google 'Jerrari'! :-)
> 	Noel


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