Jules Richardson wrote on "Digital Archaeology of the Microcomputer, 1974-1994
zmerch-cctalk at 30below.com
Thu Jan 18 15:49:05 CST 2007
Rumor has it that William Donzelli may have mentioned these words:
>>Perhaps I just have less faith than you in the technology being available in
>>20 years to probe inside modern systems to figure out how they work and keep
>>them running :-)
>Do you think that tools will not evolve in 20 years?
Short answer: No. ;-)
Heck, you can't get schematics, technical information, or anything on most
newer hardware now, so one would need to reverse-engineer almost
everything; and the tools that do evolve that are necessary to work on even
today's stuff (fast oscilloscopes, etc.) are priced out of the hobbyist's
Not to mention: Back in the day, there might've been more computer
companies with more "different" computers and OSs back then, but at least
each computer was "standardized" to a point. All CoCos ran a 6809, all
Commies, Apples & 8-bit Ataris ran 6502s (or derivatives ;-)...
Now, you get 10 people with PCs with an Asus motherboard, and you'll have
10 different motherboards, with 3 different CPUs, 2 different types of RAM,
and gawd-knows-what for peripherals and interfaces. Even tho the OSs and
whatnot are standardized, the underlying hardware is completely different
from machine to machine.
>Am I the only optimist on this list? Cripes...
I like to be an optimist, but I tend to be a *realist* and IMHO,
realistically, today's PCs aren't "hobbyist quality..." read: with no
available schematics, very little available information, expensive tools
necessary for board/component rework, and whatnot, that to me anyway, it
would be very hard to consider today's hardware platforms a good basis for
a hobby. Now software & whatnot, sure...
Anywho, that's just IMHO and all that.
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
 And I say this with fairly decent "hobbyish" motherboard - Tyan 2462
Extended ATX Dual-Athlon w/Dual SCSI 160 & Dual Ethernet; takes up to 3.5G
RAM (not bad for a 5-year-old board!) w/dual 2600+ AthlonMPs. A pretty rare
critter in the home setting, and most servers with it are prolly still in
service... 'Tis a workhorse to be sure - it's *still* a very viable machine
even by todays standards... but if the sucker ever broke beyond leaky
capacitors, I doubt I could repair it.
Roger "Merch" Merchberger | "Profile, don't speculate."
SysAdmin, Iceberg Computers | Daniel J. Bernstein
zmerch at 30below.com |
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