Altair Fan

Jim Battle frustum at
Sat Jun 18 20:24:26 CDT 2005

Tony Duell wrote the single quoted stuff:

>>I may well replace the PSUs in a KL10 with SMPSUs.  That reduces the
>>operating costs by more than $30/day.  Compuserve did this to their KL10s
> Why not replace them with a PC running an emulator and reduce the 
> operating costs still futher?

Why not?  Because it doesn't have the same nostalgia factor as the real 
hardware?  Because it is fun to have real blinking lights instead of 
emulated blinking lights?  Because it is fun to touch the real item and 
plug in real cards and connect real cables?

When I hold the real manuals for the computer I first learned to 
program, it brings me back to that time in a way that can't be matched 
(not even close) when viewing scans of the same pages on my monitor.

As someone who spends a lot of time writing emulators, I know just how 
much can't be captured via emulation.  For instance, one of the machines 
I care about has 16 dedicated special function keys, but PC keyboards 
have 12.  You can (and I have) provide a work around for mapping the 
missing keys, but it isn't the same as the real item.  Differences like 
that break the illusion, just like seeing a boom mike in the shot when 
watching a movie.

> To me (a hardware hacker) the design of the PSU _is_ part of the design 
> of the machine, and should br preserved (I've seen at least as many 
> interesting PSU designs as, say, CPU designs...)

Tony, you have to have a consistent story on this one.  You don't have 
$100 to buy a used but usable PC for the times that one is needed, but 
you are critical of somebody who wants to swap out the power supply of 
his computer to save $900/month on electricity.  Would you advocate that 
he leave in the original supply and then never use it?  How is that a 
better outcome?

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