Suggestions for a mini?

Tom Jennings tomj at
Wed Sep 14 20:39:00 CDT 2005

I'd like to solicit suggestions for a mini...

I have this Nova 4,, but it's taking up too
much space, physical and psychic. I do want a mini-era machine,
and after some thought, I worked out what I'd like to get from

What I want is a basic stripped machine, with CRT console and
high-speed paper tape reader, and a low-speed punch (this last is
variable), and standlone utilities. It must have a front panel.

I've used such on two platforms (Varian 622/i, Nova 1200) and it's
precisely the sort of (relatively) low-maintenance, high-geek
vintage experience I want.

So I'd like to trade my kilopound of DG gear, documentation,
tapes, fiche, etc for about 100 lbs of minicomputer.

I'd prefer a DG Nova, General Automation, Varian, or other non-DEC
brand. (No offense to DECcies, I have a strong preference for off
the beaten path.)

Even or especially one-off oddball or unpopular, or slow, or ugly
machines. Off models, step-cousin machines etc. Poorly optioned
(eg. math or fancy interfaces).

Something like (but of course unlikely to be sucha popular model):

Nova 1200
16 or 32k words
tty port
ptp/ptr port
lpt port or equiv

I have generic high-speed paper tape readers, serial interface. I
don't care if peripheral brands match.

It would be nice to have reel tape support.

Any suggestions on interesting and obtainable machines?

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