Collecting Philosophy, was _at_##****

From: Allison J Parent <>
Date: Sun Apr 12 17:52:50 1998

<Hmmm... No flmes intended (and I hope we can agree to differ on this),

Same here. Of the 25+ machines in my room all are operable at a moments
notice some requiring being pluged in or a terminal plugged in.

<but I really can't see the point in collecting non-working computers _and
<keeping them that way_. Sure I get a lot of non-working machines, but the
<first thing I do is attempt to find a technical manual or scheamatic and
<repair them. Working machines are a lot more interesting. The case

Same here. Though I do have some that while now are working and stored
SBCs are less interesting to others. But a non-working system when
aquired is always tested, fixed if possible then I decide if I care to
have it in a location for easy use and access. If not I tend to pull it
out and periodically run it to insure it stays operable.

<I collect for many reasons, amongst them :
<1) The fun and mental challenge of restoring/repairing them. Fault
<finding can be interesting, you know

Same here, good mental exercise and what I learn can help others.

<2) Finding out what the machines I grew up dreaming of were really like.
<And the machines that came before them. I could never afford them when
<new, now I can play with them

Big time! Some were way out of my reach back when.

<3) Doing things that you can't do on a modern machine. Many classics,
<even minicomputers nd workstations are simple enough to understand
<completely. It's fun to rewrite microcode. It's fun to trace data through
<an ALU into the registers using a logic probe and 'scope. It's fun to
<debug a floppy controller at gate level. And it's fun to boot a machine
<from paper tape after toggling in the bootstrap from the panel

I'll add that some of my older machines are working hardware in that they
support a project or run software that I've not duplicated on the PC for
performance or usability.

<4) Tracing the history of certain features. To take a trivial example,
<IOBYTE at location 3 on CP/M can be traced back to the Intellec MCS8i. It
<was at location 3 on that machine (with the same format of 4 2-bit
<fields) as locations 0-2 were reserved for the reset jump instruction, so
<this was the first free RAM location.

Or interfaces like SCSI when it was SASI. Or 8" floppies.

Received on Sun Apr 12 1998 - 17:52:50 BST

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