using new technology on old machines

Mike Ross tmfdmike at
Tue Jun 16 19:52:23 CDT 2015

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:54 AM, tony duell <ard at> wrote:

> It's also that this is the 'classic computers' list. To me, classic computing means rather
> more than just the hardware. It also covers the design and construction methods, technology
> and so on.


Staying slightly on-topic, working on serious wire-wrap backplanes can
get a bit hairy. We probably all have hand-wrapping tools, and can do
the occasional repair or patch as required. But...

'remanufacturing' has become part of preservation movements in
general; 'preservation/re-creation' might be a better name. The
ultimate example of this might be from the railway world. A famous
class of British steam locomotives - the A1 Pacific - had become
extinct; all were scrapped before railway preservation really became a
Big Thing. So, enough enthusiasts got together and they *built* one.
>From scratch, from raw metal:

There are various bits of DEC hardware that are extinct, or in
critically short supply. I would love to have a TC15 DECtape
controller for my pdp-15s; fat chance of ever finding one. Ditto for
memory for my KL10. Oh sure, we can make modern functionally
equivalent replacements, like Guy S, LCM etc, have done. But it's not
the same...

DEC backplanes were largely wire-wrapped by machine; I've seen
pictures. If the interest was there, it should be possible to restore
or re-create the machines used by DEC to manufacture backplanes. From
there, it's a relatively small step to source, or manufacture new
batches of, the modules etc. needed to populate them

Has this ever been seriously considered, or mooted as a possible
co-operative venture for a group of us?

'No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother.
Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame.
For one person, in the dark, where no one will ever know or see.'

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