What's the rarest or most unusual computer-related item do you own? [Tek 4132]

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Wed Jan 18 11:57:25 CST 2017

On 01/18/2017 07:08 AM, geneb wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Jan 2017, Jon Elson wrote:
>> On 01/17/2017 01:50 PM, geneb wrote:
>>> I used to work on a 727 flight simulator that used a 
>>> Varian 620 to generate the visuals.  The display was 
>>> capable of addressing 1024 points of light and that's 
>>> how the runways and airport outline were drawn. Pretty 
>>> neat stuff.  Here's some pics of the system that ran the 
>>> sim:
>>> http://flightweb.simpits.org/BehindTheScenes/727sim_page1.html 
>> Was that a McDonnell Vital system?  That's where the 
>> Varian I had came from. Vital II had stroke writing and 
>> variable beam width, ideal for painting the runway, 
>> stripes, numbers, etc.
> It's a Vital I.  I don't recall a McDonnell branding 
> though.  I _think_ the 727-100 sim was built by 
> Conductron-Missouri, which was the same company that build 
> the 737-200 that was located in the next room.
Conductron-Missouri was an outfit that may have been started 
by ex-McDonnell people, and did a large portion of their 
business supplying electronic systems to McDonnell.  It was 
later bought by McDonnell, and became McDonnell Douglas 
Electronics Co.
> The sad thing is, both sims are gone.  Simulator Training 
> went bankrupt due to the aviation industry disruption 
> caused by 9/11. A guy from Boeing/Alteon showed up with a 
> corporate credit card. I didn't have the resources to bid 
> against him. :( The 727 went for $1200 and the $737 went
> for $1500. Both sims were fully operational and both were 
> purposefully destroyed after purchase.
Wow, kind of surprised they were concerned about that.  
Especially a 727 sim, who the heck is still flying THOSE??

A friend of mine got 4 mirrors out of Vital II sims, and has 
one on a large X-Y display.  He wrote a sim program that ran 
on a Data General Nova clone (he built it himself, not a 
commercial clone). It is no longer working, some stuff went 
up in smoke last time he turned it on.  But, would be great 
to put a giant LCD monitor on those mirrors and use it with 


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