What are the really unusual or weird computers?
Roy J. Tellason
rtellason at verizon.net
Sun Jun 24 20:07:34 CDT 2007
On Sunday 24 June 2007 19:03, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 24 Jun 2007 at 22:18, Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> > I used to fit microwave links onto the tops of tall multi-storey
> > buildings. The lift controllers I saw tended to run from a small rack
> > the size of a MicroVAX 3300, up to several wardrobe-size racks full of
> > relays.
> Let's not forget interesting control systems in other devices, such
> as jukeboxes (Seeburg used core memory, I believe), scoreboards and
> combination actions in pipe organs.
I happened to wander into a church in Manhattan one time several years back
(probably around 1976 or 1977 I'm guessing) and heard what at first I thought
was the trains running underneath Park Avenue, though that also struck me as
being pretty unlikely. Turned out they were installing a new organ "system",
and what I'd heard was them testing the 32' pedal stops!
There were two consoles, one up front by the altar and one up in the choir
loft, each of which ran signals over a single coaxial cable to a roomful of
equipment that was hidden away well. Sounds were generated by a combination
of pipes for some voices, and electronics for others. And yes, it did use
core memory for storing the presets on each combination piston. :-)
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