Front panel switches - what did they do?

Charles Anthony at
Tue May 24 18:18:08 CDT 2016

On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 9:44 AM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:

> On Tue, 24 May 2016, Charles Anthony wrote:
> > "Older machines" covers a lot of ground.....
> Sorry, I should have said "machines from the 50's - 70's which used
> buttons, toggles, rockers or other switches on the front panel"
> > Typically, there was a set of data switches (0/1 toggles) that could be
> > set to an address or data value, and a set of command switches
> > (momentary contact) that copied the data switches to some data register
> > or memory.
> Did some of the machines have blinkenlights to show you what you were
> doing so you could see the values you were inputting? Judging from how I
> play guitar, I'd probably miskey and have to start all over etc...

Hah. Video of some toggling in a bootstrap...

> > The 709 had these massively over-engineered rocker switches, reminiscent
> > of circuit breakers, and a reset switch which activated a electric motor
> > in the console which physically set the switches back to 0.
> Heh, that sounds cool. Could you hear the motor running after hitting the
> switch to activate it?
> Oh yes. *whir* *CLUNK*

-- Charles

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