using new technology on old machines. Was: PDP-12 Restoration at the RICM

Alexander Schreiber als at
Wed Jun 17 14:26:38 CDT 2015

On Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 10:53:33PM +0200, Pontus Pihlgren wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 04:53:01PM +0000, tony duell wrote:
> > 
> > > I also think it is in the spirit of the computer - using what is available
> > > to fix a problem at hand. I think the arduino was overkill when an attiny
> > > (smaller, easier to hide) would probably serve just as well.
> > 
> > Would you put plastic handles on a piecc of antique furniture? Would you 
> > make the seatboard for an antique longcase clock from MDF? 
> > Both are easily reversable, BTW.
> No but I would put an electric heater in a steam engine if it meant 
> restoration would progress faster.
> (yes, feel free to lecture me how big that heater would have to be...)

That has been done before for production purposes. I kid you not.

Happened in Switzerland during WW2. Due to the war, coal was a bit in short
supply, but Switzerland already back then had plenty of (hydro-) electric
power, including on the railway grid. So they converted a few steam
locomotives to steam-electric by replacing the firebox with electric
heaters. IIRC it was only a few locomotives and they were mostly used
for shunting work.

Kind regards,
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and
 looks like work."                                      -- Thomas A. Edison

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