PDP-8/e and terminals in West Sussex, UK
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu Nov 6 13:04:21 CST 2008
> Tony Duell wrote:
> > What do people consider to be the 'holy grails' of classic computer
> > collecting?
> Interesting question. Are we limited to production machines? For me,
As I'm one of the main people to be a 'smartarse' when others ask general
questions, I feel it would be most unreasoanble to object to any
So, yes, you can include prototypes, provided at least one is known to
have survived. And of course I include micros.
> prototypes actually seem to hold more interest - it's fascinating to see how a
> prototype evolved into a final product (or how bits of it were re-used in
> other products), or to see from the various hardware hacks which bits the
> designers were having trouble making work
> Oddball architectures appeal, too - parallel / multiprocessor systems, those
> which use a secondary processor for bootstrap / monitoring, those which use an
> uncommon CPU. Then there's graphics-heavy systems - I can always appreciate
> (and relate to) something with a lot of attached graphics hardware.
Sure, but those needn't be particuarly rare. An obvious example of a
machine with a bootstrap processor is the Torch XXX, which uses a 6303 or
something to boot the 68000 (it copies the bootstrap code from its 8 bit
EPROM into the (shared) video memory, then releases the 68K from reset).
Now, XXXs are not that common, but I'd not call them a 'holy grail'.
> I'm not too fussy I suppose - I don't tend to go after specific machines, but
I do, and I don;t. There are some things that if they turned up in a way
I could _possibly_ obtain them, I'd do all I could to get them. And there
are other machines that I've bought becasue they were easy to obtain (for
me) and probably interesting. And still others that I have because they
were free :-).
> just see what shows up. Having said that I would *love* a Connection Machine
> CM2, although I probably wouldn't know what to do with it - but you can never
> had too many blinkenlights :-)
> Now that I have the space for it, I do really want to find something *big* to
> play with - not necessarily rare or anything, but a few cabinets of mini or
> mainframe would be fun to screw around with (maybe a PDP-11 and some storage /
> I/O would be nice, then I could perhaps understand what all the fuss is about
> DEC machines :-)
You mentioned graphics earlier. There were many external third-party
graphics add-ons for PDP11s and VAXen. Some of them downright strange.
How about the PPL video hard disk (one track per colour per frame, stores
the image in FM-encoded _analogue_ on the disk. Replays it in real time
through a demodulator to the monitor). Or an I2S Model 70 (now I think
that _is_ rare). Any machine with over 3000 DRAM chips and about the same
number of logic pacakges must be interesting :-).
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