What's the rarest or most unusual computer-related item do you own? [Tek 4132]
paulkoning at comcast.net
Tue Jan 17 14:02:00 CST 2017
> On Jan 17, 2017, at 2:50 PM, geneb <geneb at deltasoft.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Jan 2017, Jon Elson wrote:
>> On 01/17/2017 11:09 AM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
>>> I find it curious that what seems to be collected in the minicomputer
>>> area seems to be gear of major brands.
>>> Does anyone collect Varian minis?
>> I had a Varian 620F a long time ago. It was a whole bunch of wire-wrap boards. It sort of tried to work, but was very flaky. I was able to store some words into the core memory, but it seemed like every couple minutes it would zero out a word or two (I guess it was failing to write back the contents after the destructive readout.) Without schematics, it was impossible to do much about it.
> I used to work on a 727 flight simulator that used a Varian 620 to generate the visuals. The display was capable of addressing 1024 points of light and that's how the runways and airport outline were drawn. Pretty neat stuff. Here's some pics of the system that ran the sim:
I saw (but never used) a Varian 16 bit mini in college. Forgot the model number; I used to have the handbook but it seems to have been lost. It was used because of its microprogramming capabilities. The control panel was unusual: lights and switches basically, but the switches were membrane push-buttons. So the entire front panel was a smooth surface.
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