Y Combinator is restoring one of Alan Kay's Xerox Alto machines

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 06:56:34 CDT 2016

On 27 September 2016 at 17:21, Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org> wrote:
> How would you suggest they do that? They have one disk drive.

There is a ton of discussion in here about imaging old media.

There are also disk execisers and the like. It's not big by modern
standards, and it's fairly well-documented; read the contents into RAM
on something more modern, write it back to the other disk?

> This is the perennial problem with the Alto, it expects there is a network
> so you can do things like network copydisk.

I'm sure they'll get to that eventually, no?

> They also need to lubricate the wick on the drive, which I told them to do but
> it isn't clear if they bothered in their excitement. They also need to clean the
> pins on the Winchester connectors on the drive. I ran into this bringing up one
> of my drives on an exerciser yesterday.

Ah. Could that be why disconnecting and reconnecting the cable seems
to have helped, do you think?

> Also, if they have a Lyon optical mouse, they need to come up with a pad, I pointed
> them to a paper Dick wrote that shows the hexagonal pattern in enough detail to draw
> a new one.

Indeed. I have successfully laser-printed a SUN optical mouse pad
before now, IIRC.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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