Components available - the rest of the story

Tom Gardner t.gardner at
Thu Sep 8 12:08:34 CDT 2016

The rest of the story.

As Al pointed out, much to our surprise, the museum has rejected an offer
from Art's estate for the donation of a Fast Fourier Transform computing
system which included both the Unicomp Computer and a hardware FFT
accelerator.  This is a very strange decision since the system is one of the
earliest if not the first implementation of a FFT in anti-submarine and
anti-aircraft warfare.  FFT mathematics dates to 1965 but processor until
much later had the power to do it real time in software at the resolution
necessary, so Art invented the hardware accelerator and multiple units were
sold to the Navy.  The estate is appealing the museum's decision.

The estate would like to keep the FFT system together and so if the museum
continues with a cranial rectal inversion it will look to other alternatives
including those of u who have already 

I will respond by email not later than tomorrow to the several list members
who expressed interest in the components and/or the computer.  I'm busy
today helping set up the Atari retrospective for the IEEE Silicon Valley
History Committee.



Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 18:16:23 -0700
From: Al Kossow <aek at>
To: cctalk at
Subject: Re: Components available

On 9/6/16 4:18 PM, Tom Gardner wrote:

> A friend of mine died recently; he was amongst many things an 
> electronics tinkerer and has a closet full of small parts in bin 
> cabinets (resistors, capacitors, ICs, transistors, hardware, etc.).

There is also a Unicomp 18 bit minicomputer, paper tape reader, and FFT
processor circa 1972 in the garage (6ft rack) with full documentation.

I walked out of the donations meeting with the other curators today who
thought it was a piece of s**t and didn't want to take it, calling it a
'dumpster fire'

Art was a friend of mine.

Hopefully it can go someplace where it can be appreciated.
Talk to Tom about it, unfortunately, time is short.

73      AF6WS
Bickley Consulting West Inc.

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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