FPGA's, Emulators, Simulators Vs real hardware (was Re: Somewhat

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Wed Nov 22 19:50:20 CST 2006

> There are probably two schools of thought on this.  The purist collector
> would rather have the machine as is, even if non-functional.  The
> pragmatic collector would want it working.  I'm leaning towards the
> latter. :-)

I am very much the latter. A computer is not a piece of fine art, and 
shouldn't necessarily come under exactly the same conservation rules. A 
computer is interesting to me because it computes, and because it's an 
interesting electronic circuit. Not because of what it looks like, or 
exactly when all the components wrre nade.


> I don't view replacing components with modern equivalents any worse than
> replacing dried up capacitors.  We should of course be honest and

Be careful here. If I remlace a dried-up 100uF capacitor with a modern 
100uF capacitor, then the electrical circuit is unchanged. The machine 
remains as the designer inteneded. But if I replace a lot of logic with 
an FPGA, or if I replace a hard drive with CF, or whatever, then the 
machine is no longer as the designer designed it. And I would like to 
avoid that if possible.

That said, I certainly have no problem with reversable modifications. 
Unplugging the cables from a failed hard drive and plugging them into a 
PCB containing a CF card + logic is a very sensible thing to do if it 
keeps the machine running


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