Hardware Hobbyists vs. Emulator Enthusiasts vs Replica Recreators
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sat Jun 20 14:29:45 CDT 2009
> So Tony, perhaps you could join in, in the same style and write up a bit
> of what you love about old hardware and keeping it running, what's
> enjoyable and rewarding about it, etc.
It's sometimes difficult to explain why you like something. You know you
do, but don't know why. But I'll give it a go.
If I was being flippant I'd point out that earlier in this thread
somebody said 'Anyone can run the emulator'. I'd prefer to do something
that not everybody can do :-). But there's a lot more to it than that...
I think my love of the real old hardware comes from two things. Firstly,
I like to fully understand things. There is no way I can understand a
machine with most of the logic in undocumented ASICs. I can understand a
TTL-built minicomputer., Heck, there are even transsitor-level schematics
of some of the chips in the databook.
The second thing is that I love puzzles. Figuring out how the machine
really works is a puzzle. So is finding and correcting faults. As I've
mentioned before. my method of faultfinding is to grab the test gear,
make some measurements and then think about them -- solving the puzzle.
And then, and only then, do I make any changes to the machine. Of course
quite often I get it wrong the first time, I don't replace the right
part. So I make some more measurements and think again.
There is a certain joy in taking a machine that's, perhaps, 35 years old,
and getting it to work again.
> So we have hardware work, emulator work, and replica work. Any other
> big field I've missed that can be part of this hobby of ours? Perhaps
Preserving the contents of old storage media ? The software is useful
(I hesitate to say essential) for running the real hardware, for running
on an emulator, and for running on a replica.
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