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Australia's Largest Private Computer Collection In Pictures 131

Posted by timothy
from the that's-not-a-private-computer-collection dept.
Da Massive writes "UNIX PDP-7, a classic DEC PDP-8, the original IBM PC, Commodore's C64, Apple's Lisa, a MITS Altair 8800 made famous by Bill Gates, through to a working PDP-11 that plays the ADVENTURE and DUNGEON games. Max Burnet has got it all. Burnet has turned his home in the leafy suburbs of Sydney into arguably Australia's, if not the world's, largest private computer museum. Since retiring as director of Digital Equipment Corporation a decade ago, Burnet has converted his home into a snapshot of computer history. Every available space from his basement to the top floor of his two-storey home is covered with relics from the past. On top of his hardware collection are numerous punch cards, tape machines (including the original paper tape) and over 6000 computer reference books. So in demand is his collection that one Australian film called on him to recreate a computer setting (PDP-9) for a movie about the moon landing in 1969."
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Australia's Largest Private Computer Collection In Pictures

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  • by retech (1228598) on Monday November 24, 2008 @03:22AM (#25870825)
    He's still struggling to justify all of it to his wife. It's a daily battle and hopefully, one day, she'll think it's cool having all that gear in the house. Just remember to wipe your feet if you visit.
  • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

    by femto (459605) on Monday November 24, 2008 @03:32AM (#25870851) Homepage

    Max Burnett [acs.org.au] is a founding member of the Australian Computing Museum Society [acms.org.au] and I think you will find the PDP9, and probably most of the rest, are part of its collection and that Mr Burdett is storing them since the ACMS does not have a permanent home. They were possibly collected by Mr Burnett in the first place and donated to the society, but they would still be part of the ACMS collection. Any ACMS members care to fill in the details?

    Presumably you too could join the ACMS and after a while have a house full of vintage computers too! :-)

    • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

      by JohnDeane (1403849) on Monday November 24, 2008 @07:27AM (#25871675)
      Max Burnet started the collection, pretty much as 'Da Massive' says. It expanded into a Digital Users' Group then those folk formed ACMS in 1994. Max bought the initial collection when he retired and many subsequent donations have been made to ACMS. So there are two collections managed in a somewhat overlapping and cooperative way. And yes, the lack of a secure store/museum means that quite a lot of the material is in members' homes awaiting space for proper organisation, documentation and display. Sigh. (I'm the current President of ACMS)
      • by femto (459605)
        Max Burnet's ACS biography mentions a possible ACMS site at Mt Penang. Did that fall through, or is it still a possibility? While not an ACMS member I'm an interested observer and sympathiser since I worked with some of this equipment at DSTO (and worked with you too on the Macquarie/CSIRO WLAN collaboration). You will be able to glean my identity from my "homepage" link above.
  • One Australian Film? (Score:5, Informative)

    by deniable (76198) on Monday November 24, 2008 @03:45AM (#25870895)
    Gee, were they talking about The Dish? [imdb.com] They could have included the title.
  • by Jacques Chester (151652) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:02AM (#25870933)

    A brilliant little film about how Parkes, near Canberra, was the ground station that actually received the moon landing signal. Same guys as 'The Castle' and 'Bad Eggs', so naturally it's very funny too.

    • by deniable (76198)
      It was actually Honeysuckle Creek near Canberra that got the signal, but it was dismantled so Sich and co. based the film around Parkes, then filmed in Forbes. They're also the crew behind the Hollowmen.
      • by thermian (1267986) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:33AM (#25871005)

        It was actually Honeysuckle Creek near Canberra that got the signal, but it was dismantled so Sich and co. based the film around Parkes, then filmed in Forbes. They're also the crew behind the Hollowmen.

        Almost right.

        Parkes didn't get the initial portion of the signal, but they got the moonwalk, since it was only Parkes that could handle video at the time. Honeysuckle dealt with the initial audio.

        That's all the film claims, in fact they make it fairly clear that Parkes was late because of the difficulty with the moon being so low in the sky.

    • by thermian (1267986)

      I watched the moon landing with my classmates in Sydney. At the time I thought the moon was somewhere out in the bush.

      I find it rather amusing that Parkes, from where the TV signal I was watching was coming, was indeed just a few hundred miles away, in what I would have thought of as the bush at the time.

      I love the film, It reminds me of my childhood. Before we lived in Sydney we had a milkman who used a horse and cart too.

    • For a truly awe-inspiring tale of space radio receiving:

      Italian [svengrahn.pp.se] brothers Judica Cordiglia [forteantimes.com]

      There is also a marvellous documentary about these two guys.

    • I visited Parkes when I went to Australia a few years ago. They had a neat display at the visitor's centre about The Dish, with pictures, and a writeup about, as they put it, Things That Really Happened and Things That Made a Good Story. I stayed a couple of days in Forbes NSW, the town that played Parkes in the movie. Parkes has long since turned in to strip mall hell, but with the right camera angles, parts of Forbes can pass for the late 1960s.

      The (real) Parkes people did a nice writeup [csiro.au] on their involv

  • by KozmoKramer (1117173) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:02AM (#25870935)
    That page loads so slow. It might be running on one of the relics on display in the museum. The pics are cool.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not cool.

      Those fuckers at CIO magazine want you to click 51 times to view 52 images so they can get 52 times as many advertisement impressions.

      Ridiculously onerous websites = Just Say No.

  • He has PDP-7 Unix??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:03AM (#25870937) Homepage

    Back in the mid '80s, a friend of mine at Caltech, Fritz Nordby, was planning on celebrating the 15th anniversary of Unix by designing a PDP-7 clone on a chip, and making a limited production run. He contacted Ken and DMR to see if he could get a copy of PDP-7 Unix, and they said they didn't have one, and as far as they knew, no copies existed, and that was the end of the commemorative PDP-7 clone idea.

    If this collector really has a PDP-7 running original Unix, someone should make a copy and offer it to Ken and DMR. Or make it available on the net (after getting suitable permission). Maybe for the 40th anniversary of Unix, someone could make a PDP-7 simulator to run it. (Hell, you could probably do it in Javascript on a modern desktop machine and be faster than a real PDP-7!)

  • imagine beowulf cluster of this! i can finally run Microsoft Dos!
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:27AM (#25870983)

    ...lying around the house. Problem is , while most of us of a certain age look back wistfully to times past when there was so much more variety in the computer ecosystem with cool ideas popping up left , right and centre - the truth is (and I speak from personal experience) that when on occasion you get those 8 bits or whatever out their box and fire them up you realise that actually , well, they're a bit rubbish really and computers today really are so much better. Still , its nice to preserve them , just not so much fun to use them!

    • by thermian (1267986) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:40AM (#25871029)

      I showed it to my son last year. He looked at it for a moment then asked me where the dvd drive was....

      There are, it seems, some things a parent is best not sharing with a child.

      • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:49AM (#25871063)
        I know what you mean. I said "before they had mobile phones" to my daughter and some of her friends the other day. They looked at me as though I had said "before they invented the wheel"
      • by Viol8 (599362)

        If you'd shown him a microdrive with its tiny little cartridge he may have been impressed! :)

        Well ok , perhaps not if he's clued up on SD cards...

      • by William Robinson (875390) on Monday November 24, 2008 @05:02AM (#25871107)

        I showed it to my son last year. He looked at it for a moment then asked me where the dvd drive was....

        There are, it seems, some things a parent is best not sharing with a child.

        That's nothing. While explaining importance of disciplined backups to a group of freshers, I was telling this story of a screwup while upgrading hard disk. When I mentioned 'while upgrading the hard disk from 20MB to 40MB', these all freshers burst out with laughter. I somehow handled situation while saying, 'you would laugh more, if I tell the configuration of my first PC. 8088, 4.77MHz, 256KB, Dual floppy, CGA card with Monochrome Monitor'.

        Sometimes difficult to explain the world we have lived with.

        • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday November 24, 2008 @05:13AM (#25871151)

          "these all freshers burst out with laughter."

          Unfortunately that attitude seems to me to lead on to the rather flagrant waste of resources in modern software. A lot of the new coders think that because they so much resource available they don't need to make any attempt to make the program they're writing efficient in any sense - CPU, memory, disk , you name it. This also applies IMO to the fashion for compiling to VMs rather than raw machine code.

        • by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 24, 2008 @05:29AM (#25871213)

          When I arrived at Penn State my dorm president gave my an old Commodore Amiga 2000HD with a 1 megabyte hard drive. I tried a couple times to reformat it to a larger size, but it stubbornly refused. So there I was, stuck with a hard drive no bigger than a floppy. Not too useful.

          If some freshmen laughed at me I'd remind them that just in the time since they were born (circa 1990) to their first year of college, we've moved from 10 megahertz to 3000 megahertz, and from 1 megabyte to 4000 megabytes. Someday their "uberpowerful PC" will look pretty primitive when Intel develops 300 gigahertz Hydra-Cores with 2 terabytes of RAM. Technology moves very rapidly. (I'd also remind them that they're going to look back at their photos in ten years and laugh at themselves.)

          • by Zedrick (764028)
            I think your memory is playing tricks on you.

            The A2000HD came with a 50MB harddrive, it did however have 1MB ram (and the diskdrive takes 880k disks).
            • by theaveng (1243528)

              No really.... it was formatted as a 1 megabyte hard drive. I don't know why my dorm president used that method, and I tried reformatting it to a larger size after he gave it to me, but without any success. I also thought maybe he had partitioned the HDD as a 1 megabyte and 19 megabyte, but I couldn't find any other partitions except the main 1 megabyte one.

              It was very weird. I finally reached the conclusion that after ~10 years of student abuse in the study lounge, something had probably damaged the hard

        • by eric-x (1348097)

          > When I mentioned 'while upgrading the hard disk from 20MB to 40MB', these all freshers burst out with laughter.
          I never understood what's so funny about the fact that computers were less powerful years ago.
          Perhaps a false sense of superiorly, like as if you are using that old equipment right now.

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            "Superiority" is the key.

            I remember back when I was a teen, we had arguments about whose computer was faster (Amiga versus Atari versus IBM) and compared CPU speeds or graphics' capabilities. It was a competitive viewpoint to demonstrate you had a bigger dick... er, machine than your peers. I imagine teens today still have the same arguments, and still try to use their computers to "one-up" the competition. When their professor discusses old technology they probably feel vastly superior to the old fossil

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Evil Pete (73279)

          And you know in 20 years they will be in exactly the same position. Software and hardware will have progressed so much the youngsters will say: "what less than 20 cores?"

          • by lenski (96498)

            And you know in 20 years they will be in exactly the same position. Software and hardware will have progressed so much the youngsters will say: "what less than 20 cores?"

            When I was in college, I worked on a PDP-8/L on the third floor, when an IBM 370/168 was running in on the (entire) fourth floor. That 370 had an 8 MHz CPU clock, 1 Mbyte core memory, 1 Mbyte of new-fangled MOS memory, and 20 disk drives adding up to about 200 Mbytes.

            The Gumstix Verdex Pro [gumstix.com] has far more resources. Their new Overo Earth [gumstix.com] is even better equipped while being smaller yet. Low power, low cost, and way more powerful.

            Ray Kurzweil writes in The Singularity Is Near: One could argue that the informa

        • by bazorg (911295) on Monday November 24, 2008 @06:01AM (#25871309) Homepage
          did you explain what CGA was? and why of those 4 colours, 2 were pink and light blue?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by deniable (76198)
            Now, now, you could have black, white, cyan and magenta but you could also change the palette and have black, yellow, green and brown. You could also change from 320x200 to 640x480 resolution but then you'd only get black and one color from a selection of 16. After that EGA and VGA were amazing.
        • by sgt scrub (869860)

          My grandfather showed me how to work on radios back when Heath was big time. Heath would send us a catalog every month. When They came out with the H8 I put my pennies together. So. My first computer was a Heath H8. It was fun to build and ran HDOS "Heath DOS", Pascal and had a built in compiler. I didn't get the floppy drive add on. It was too expensive. But the tape drive worked great. It was the most fun I ever had with a computer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by theaveng (1243528)

        I disagree. For me pulling out my old Commodore 64 or Amiga 500 is as satisfying as firing-up the old Atari VCS, Nintendo ES, or Sega Genesis. I still enjoy playing those old 8/16 bit games, because even though they are 2-dimensional they are just as much fun as playing a Gameboy..... even the kids enjoy the old C=64 games when I hook them up.

        As for productivity, well, I have experimented with GEOS 64 and text-based websurfing, and it works, the only flaw being the pace. GEOS works just great (like a bla

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by DiLLeMaN (324946)

          My 7 year old son still mightily enjoys The Great Gianna Sisters. I think he has some sort of platform fetish, because he also loves Mario Bros on the DS and SuperTux on the Mac.

          Some kids will be curious about the digital past. They'll want to learn about those ancient systems, and they'll wonder how we survived. Most, however, won't give a rat's ass.

          Me, I was *delighted* when I found some ancient graphics beast the size of a small filing cabinet. I don't recall the brand, but I do remember googling them; t

    • I have a few old computers lying around. The difference being they're old desktops. Nothing 'unique' about them since by that point they were made into consumer commodity machines.

      1000 different variations, all of them the same.

      Compared to the stuff mentioned in the article, not worth preserving. Those computers of yesteryear are more akin to gaming consoles today. Not endlessly customizable, and new revisions don't come out every week.

    • I've got fond memories of programming a PDP-8... close to the metal indeed. And the PDP-11 was such a glorious thing to use coming from the 8... what a great architectural stride at the time and even a choice of operating systems to boot! And DECUS the first (iirc) user contributed free software group. I think it would be a good thing for CS/Eng students to spend a couple of months learning to make one do something non-trivial. DEC really made a huge chunk of computer history... too bad it is no more!
    • .. the truth is (and I speak from personal experience) that when on occasion you get those 8 bits or whatever out their box and fire them up you realise that actually , well, they're a bit rubbish really and computers today really are so much better.

      I have to respectfully disagree. Let's just make a comparison, shall we? Let's call [some old 8-bitter of your choice] the oldie, and [your average today's home PC] the newbie:

      Performance: no contest, the newbie wins bigtime.

      Power efficiency / green computing: this is not so clear cut as you may think. In terms of performance per watt, the newbie wins. But overal: many oldies are in the 10~20 Watt range, running full tilt or not. The videocard in my PC alone uses more than that, and it's a passively c

  • It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday November 24, 2008 @05:41AM (#25871247) Journal

    It's a shame that most of these computers probably don't run any more - it's a bit like going to an aviation museum and seeing all these planes that will never fly again - it's a little bit sad. I'd love to see a museum with as much hardware *working* as possible - where you can see the blinkenlights, type something at the console, or whatever. Unfortunately, it's probably not very practical with many of these machines.

    My own interest in the retrocomputing scene is the old 8 bit systems, and for those, it's very practical to play with them. The best thing about the old 8 bits is that they are fun. Modern computers, especially the ones running Windows, are no longer much fun to work on. Everything's closed up in secret recipes, EULAs, and corporate BS, and in any case there are layers and layers and layers of abstraction before you get to the hardware. Linux or BSD is of course infinitely better, and the reason I love open source software is it gives me the freedom to tinker. However, it's still extremely complex, and it can take a lot of code just to get something simple to happen - for instance, if you're making a piece of hardware, you've got to write a device driver before you can even start experimenting with your creation.

    So I still love to tinker with 8 bit systems because it's fun and you can do some surprising things with them. Like, this weekend, I did streaming video on my Sinclair Spectrum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8rz0sb298 [youtube.com] - with an ethernet card that I made for the machine.

    • by kurt555gs (309278)

      I was thinking a similar thought. I used to work for SORD Computer in Japan, in the 1980's and it was exciting to come up with new, innovative programs.

      One thing I remember was that I never had to fear a patent troll suing me over their "Method to place two or more characters next to each other on a computer display or printout".

      How we have slowed to a crawl over silly software patents and corporate fear.

      Cheers

    • Actually, if you bothered to go and look at the pictures, you'd have seen that many still do work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alioth (221270)

        I actually had bothered (despite the site being molasses slow), and many of them weren't actual complete computers but just front panels.

      • If they were anything like the old Burroughs machine I mentioned in an earlier post, just the power bill would be a big "ouch". That beast, plus the load from the air-conditioning it needed used to make the streetlights dim. If ever the air-con broke down, we had about 40 minutes to wind up our (batch) processing jobs before the temperature in the room got to 50 deg. C and we had to shut the machine down.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by John_Sauter (595980)

      It's a shame that most of these computers probably don't run any more - it's a bit like going to an aviation museum and seeing all these planes that will never fly again - it's a little bit sad. I'd love to see a museum with as much hardware *working* as possible - where you can see the blinkenlights, type something at the console, or whatever. Unfortunately, it's probably not very practical with many of these machines.

      Maybe not, but there are people who are restoring the old machines. Here is a video of a restored IBM 1401 running [right-net.com]. Their web site is here [ed-thelen.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MBAFK (769131)
      The Computer Museum at Bletchley Park in England (where the first programmable digital electronic computer digital computer was made) has the majority of their exhibits working and they let you play with the computers on show.

      http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ [bletchleypark.org.uk]

      Here is a Mac they had in the 8-bit room:
      http://www.matthewgrove.co.uk/personal/moblog/view/2008-11-15/resized_15112008531.jpg [matthewgrove.co.uk]

    • "It's a shame that most of these computers probably don't run any more - it's a bit like going to an aviation museum and seeing all these planes that will never fly again - it's a little bit sad."

      If you're ever in the area of Addison, TX you need to see the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. It's privately owned and everything there still flies. Mr. Cavanaugh takes them out for a spin whenever he feels like it, and even flies the B-24 out to Airventure in Oshkosh most years.

      http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.com/ [cavanaughf...museum.com]

    • by Nutria (679911)

      My own interest in the retrocomputing scene is the old 8 bit systems, and for those, it's very practical to play with them. The best thing about the old 8 bits is that they are fun.

      KidBasic, a.k.a. Basic-256 might interest you.
      http://kidbasic.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
      http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/09/14/basic/index.html [salon.com]

    • It appears most of the 8 bit personal computers do work. A lot of the DEC hardware works as well. It's the IBM mainframe stuff that's only front panels.
  • by naden (206984) on Monday November 24, 2008 @06:15AM (#25871371)

    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

  • by speleolinux (227558) on Monday November 24, 2008 @06:23AM (#25871409) Homepage

    It's a shame that CIO Magazine which goes to many business people who lead large computer companies made no mention that this museum needs help. Maybe they weren't asked, perhaps. Most of those machines will probably go to the wreckers. A few dedicated individuals maintain this museum at $1000/month out of their own pocket. Over the years of people asking for financial help and space not a single company is interested in helping to preserve this history. Nor has any Federal or State Govt come to help as they don't see that Australias track record in computing is important. Having immigrants answer a question about Don Bradman on their citizenship test is far more important. There are enough computer companies in Australia that owe so much to computer history that they should find a permanent place for this treasure and support it.

         

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TapeCutter (624760)
      "Having immigrants answer a question about Don Bradman on their citizenship test is far more important."

      That question is an urban legend, it doesn't exist and it never has. Having said that, the rest of your post deserves a +5 informative.
      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        For those of us not from Australia, Don Bradman was a cricket player. (Just skimmed the Wikipedia about him.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theaveng (1243528)

      Instead of begging for handouts, why don't you try a free market approach - CHARGE for it. If I were in this guy's shoes, I would set up displays in my basement and charge an entrance fee to tourists to "come see the history of computing".

      Another possibility is to join forces with a local car museum, to see if you can borrow an empty room for your computer history display. Since people are already looking at the old cars, they're likely to have an interest in anything that's old, including computers. Don

    • by dutchd00d (823703)
      I didn't see much that was particularly Australian, so I'm not surprised that pitching it from that angle gets little support. But there's no doubt it has a lot of incredibly cool stuff. I'd love to have a little rummage around. I might even have one or two items to contribute. :)
    • by yumyum (168683)
      No, the real shame is that website reloads EVERYTHING when you want to see another picture. No wonder CIOs get so little respect from the programmers...
  • Check out the Hammant & Morgan pair above and to the right of the Apple ///.

    Two classics, a Clipper and a Duette. Both probably older than most of the computers in the collection. The man is a true connisseur.

  • stiffy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JohanSteyn (818168) on Monday November 24, 2008 @07:11AM (#25871613) Homepage

    FTFA: The first floppy disk was 9 inches in diameter and very "floppy".

    At my first job in the late '80's I worked on old Honeywell TDC4500's in a petrochemical plant in South Africa. I think they stopped making those machines in 1979, but due to sanctions and budget restrictions we kept using those trusty workhorses, which used 9 inch floppies.

    This was round about the time that the 3.5 inch floppy came out, which was less "floppy". In South Africa we referred to them (innocently) as "stiffies" - something that never caught on in the rest of the world...

    • by deniable (76198)
      I used to use 8'' floppies as coasters. I could put an entire dinner plate on them. I worked with people who remembered the 5.25'' floppies but they couldn't figure out what was wrong with mine.
    • I have seen one of those massive floppies in real life.

      My high school IT teacher had one complete with it's massive drive. According to him 9 inchers were called 'flippies'

      Flippy -> floppy -> stiffy

      It's before my time, but still very interesting.

      • by Diag (711760)
        I have seen one of those massive floppies in real life.
        Until just recently, I saw one of these massive floppies almost every day. I had it pinned on the partition behind my monitor. It was right next to my 3380 disk platter, and my (much later) quote for 300GB of SCSI disk for about $USD500,000.

        It was my own mini-museum of data storage.

        Yeah, I'm nostalgic. *shrug*

        Sidenote for anyone who knows what a 3380 was (or is interested) : I once new a guy who used a 3380 HDA [wikimedia.org] as a base for a glass coffee ta
        • Yeah, I'm nostalgic. *shrug*

          I'm sort of nostalgic for a time when one of the funniest things I ever saw was a small set of punch-cards containing compile parameters for a trainee programmer's FORTRAN source code.

          She had an idea that she could be really organised by storing them in a ring-binder. Needless to say, those nice round punch-holes made them a bit hard for the machine to read. I'll never forget the look on her face when I just held the cards up to her and raised an eyebrow... ;-)
    • Never heard of 9 inch floppies, is that a mistake and they meant 8 inch? I can't find anything about 9 inch floppy in a quick search on Google.

      • Seems like they exaggerated the size... which I didn't pick up on - thanks for pointing that out.

        A 3.5-inch "stiffy" is better than an 8-inch "floppy", though both are as relevant to the average computer user nowadays as a bicycle is to a fish.

  • Absolutely lovely. All those toys and no regard to specific make or model. I'd heard of ultrasonic memory but have never seen it before. The early cores were cool to look at. I see several machines turned on or at least lit up; this is unusual.

    And he has a train set in there, too!?!There are no pics of this (nor his bedroom, either...) and only the one reference. Must be quite a guy to know. Old time geek! From when they used to find real bugs (moths and such) and carry around a stylus with oil in it in the

  • by Foolicious (895952) on Monday November 24, 2008 @07:51AM (#25871791)
    I hate re-scrolling the browser after I click the 'next' or 'back' buttons for the slideshow.
  • I have working on a lot of those systems. 30 years ago, if you couldn't recite the boot loader for the pdp 8/e you were just noob.

    • by lenski (96498)

      I wrote a small enhancement to the OS/8 bootloader in our 8/L (RK05) and coded "JMS" (opcode 4) instead of "JMP" (opcode 5) when doing the hand-assembly. It took several weeks to figure out why reboots resulted in system instability...

      DOH! :-) :-)

  • I take it many of you have never got to a Vintage Computer Festival http://www.vintage.org/ [vintage.org] Where people bring in their home computers to show off - as an example with one this guy's computers: http://www.vintage.org/pictures/LARGE/VCF%207.0%20Exhibitor%20-%20Pavl%20Zachary.JPG [vintage.org] (it's tough being a DEC fan)

    The guy who runs the Festival, Sellam Ismael (hope I spelled it right), certainly has a sizable warehouse for his collection.

    The West Coast US VCF has been held at the Computer History Museum, which is tru

    • Though I must say he DOES have a really nice software and memorabilia collection there, something you don't see as much as computer collections (people get hardware at thrifts and such rarely find matching software). Also from the looks of it probably many of the machines are readily operational (also rare for a large collection.)

  • I think collections like this will very soon start to become more mainstream. Consider that for decades farmers would accumulate rusting hulks of past generations of implements. At some later date those have been lovingly restored in museums or even put into a new life of use at places such as Living History Farms in Iowa. So much innovation has happened within living history that it would be a shame for that insight to be lost. Sure in most instances the new rightfully supplants the old, but an exotic
  • There is a personal computer museum in Brantford Ontario Canada. The computers work and they let you play with them. http://www.pcmuseum.ca/ [pcmuseum.ca] I took my staff there for a party. The programmers loved it! Their spouses and girlfriends were good sports.
  • PDP-10, my first love. Working as a part timer in operations, it was so much more friendly than the CDC machine sitting in the other half of the computer room. Later, in a small business I pushed to go from Honeywell to the pdp-1170 in about 1977 or so. The Honeywell salesman's quote was "No one would ever use a timesharing machine for business". But we were early adopters. Quite the ride. Had to develop our own database (indexed file manager) and get it working in 32k. With screen routines in programs,

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."

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