What's the rarest or most unusual computer-related item

mark at markesystems.com mark at markesystems.com
Tue Jan 17 14:34:20 CST 2017

From: "Jay West" <jwest at classiccmp.org>
> --------------------
> Was it possible to configure an Access system with a mix of a 21MX and 
> 2100?
> (I'm not challenging the assertion; it just never occurred to me...)
> --------------------
> According to the documentation - specifically "no". Both processors must 
> be
> the same type.
> However, after digging in to it year ago, I see no reason that it 
> shouldn't
> work and others on the list said they were fairly certain that it did 
> work.

Thanks for the info!

From: Glen Slick <glen.slick at gmail.com>
> The L-Series 2103L and the A-Series A400, A600, A600+, A700, A900,
> A990 were all called HP 1000 systems. They maintained software
> compatibility with previous generation HP 1000 computers, although the
> I/O interfaces used by the L-Series and A-Series were incompatible
> with the previous generation HP 1000 computers.

> I have a couple of A900 boxes that I need to get RTE-A running on them 
> someday.

I used the A-Series quite a bit in the mid-80's.  By that time, the 
operating system of choice had moved on from RTE-6 to RTE-A, which I quite 
liked in general.  For control applications, it had several nice features 
for priority control, inter-process communication, etc.  It also handled a 
fully hierarchical file system, which was still not a given at that time. 
However, I wasn't too pleased with the "full screen editor"; it worked by 
sending a couple of screen-fulls of text to the terminal (must be an 
HP26xx), then reading it back off the screen after you'd done any editing 
locally.  It worked better than one might think, but one of the first things 
I did was write a character-at-a-time editor that used the WordStar / Turbo 
Pascal key mappings (in Fortran-77, BTW).

With the A600, and at the end the A400, you could get a whole multi-user 
computer system, including a smallish disk drive (I think up to 60 MB) all 
in one 6U rack mount chassis, which I thought was pretty neat at the time. 
I had one, including two terminals, 7912 disk/tape drive, printer, and all 
the documentation and system generation media (720k floppy disks!) - I got 
it all for free when a customer upgraded to PCs, but gave it all away to 
Goodwill when I got married.

On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 07:39:00PM -0500, Michael Thompson wrote:
> I have two Sun 386i systems. It has an Intel 386 processor and runs SunOS.
> Not exactly a big seller for Sun. I met some of the designers at the 
> Vintage
> Computer Festival East 2.0 in Burlington, MA.

I had one of those also, courtesy of a friend with a two-digit employee 
number at Sun.  I really enjoyed it, being able to run multiple copies of 
DOS on a Unix machine in a windowed environment (this was well (this was at 
least 5 years before Windows 3.0 came out).  Apparently the sales force 
actively *didn't* sell the unit, presumably because the price - and 
therefore commission - was too low.  Gave that one away, too...
Mark Moulding

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