Bad Feelings...

From: Jim Willing <>
Date: Sun Jun 22 21:26:10 1997

At 08:51 PM 6/22/97 BST, you wrote:
>> I think that may be personal views by individual collectors and not by
>> the group in whole. Some feel that not having 'original parts' or
>> add-ons is blasphmey. I can understand and appreciate where you come
>Hmmm... I see nothing wrong with replacing components in a system - that,
>to me, is a natural thing that would have happened to the machine when it
>was in use. I can understand people who feel differently, though.
>> from, there are compnents of computers that are shear art as the disk
>> controller in the apple II (from what I read the board was drawn 'not
>I'll have to disagree with you there. IMHO the Disk II controller is
>nothing other than a kludge. It could certainly have done with a track 0
>sensor (that would have stopped the heads from banging on start-up). And,
>as a hardware designer, I don't like designs where most of the
>functionality is handled in software.

Ok, as much as I've tried to restrain myself from getting drawn into any of
these 'no-win' threads, I'm going to toss out some comments here. Be
warned however, I'm not going to spend a lot of follow-up time trying to
defend or explain my positions, so take them for what they are worth.
(exactly what you paid for them!)

[SOAPBOX MODE ON!] you *have* been warned!

First: there has been a good bit of going on about how bad various designs
are or were. (latest example above) My take: it's all a pointless waste
of bandwidth! It's all too easy to look back on designs and decisions that
are 20+ years old and declare them to be "bad" or "deficient", or whatever
your favourite derogatory phrase is, but if you were around then and so
darn advanced in design and implementation, why didn't you jump in with the
"better" design, make *lots* of money, and bump Bill Gates off his throne?

When the Apple Disk II came out, most of us in the business at the time
were amazed that a disk controller could be fully implemented (from a
hardware standpoint) in only 8 chips (!) *none* of which had more than 16
legs! Before you go snarfing about how "bad" it is, look at what else was
available during the same period! 50 to 80 chips, LSI contoller chips,
power regulators, and still a pot of supporting software!

Or the original Altair design. Yes, it was less than "optimal". If you
knew the history behind it, you would know that the cpu baord design was
copied almost verbatim from the Intel 8080 design books. What else was out
there at the time? Updates and changes were published generally as they
were worked out. Does that make the unit "bad"? Or the designers of the
time "stupid"? Gee, where *were* the "experts" in 8080 system design in
1975??? If the designs in the Intel books were so "bad", obviously *they*
did not have too many experts either!

Next: there seems to be a *lot* of thrashing over these percieved
cross-national/cultural/"it takes too long to get a reply"/"why are you
ignoring me" 'slights'. My take: BULL! A mailing list is like a group of
voulenteers, they do what they can, when they can, and *if* they want!

Sorry if you don't like this, but I see on average 130-150 messages a DAY
from this list and the others that I *need* to review for my real life job,
and I can't always get to every thing that passes by my screen! Not that I
*should* either. I tend *not* to comment on things that I don't have a
fair knowledge base on. I suspect a lot of people on this list operate in
a similar fashion.

If I have something to say on a topic, I will if I have time or I might
file it away in my "to do" file and get back to it later.

Do I forget messages from time to time, yes. Do I decide to just not
answer a message from time to time, yes. Am I going to waste a lot of time
feeling guilty about it? NO! Unless I missed something in the lists
charter, *no one* here is *obligated* to do *anything*!

Same with selling/trading/shipping gear. If it is worth it *to me*, I'll
do it. If not, sorry but its my choice! I don't much care who you are,
where you are, or what you want! (hell, I've turned down offers from Bill

*If* it is worthwhile to me, and I believe that I can get the item to/from
a point intact, fine. I'll probably do it. If not, thanks for the
interest and have a nice day. If you don't like it and want to start a
flame war, go right ahead but you will do it *without* me! (for the most

(trying to calm down now...)

Let's get this list back to its intended purpose. If people want to bicker
over procedures, policies, or who offended who, take it to alt.flame, take
it offline or take it private! I for one don't want to waste time wading
through the politics and drivel!

No one *has* to be here, and if things don't start calming down and getting
back on track, soon no one will...



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Received on Sun Jun 22 1997 - 21:26:10 BST

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