Collecting Philosophy, was Re: Asshole

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Sun Apr 12 22:23:44 1998

On Sun, 12 Apr 1998, Tony Duell wrote:

> > Well, I collect for the same reasons as Enrico and my collection is
> > somewhere over 300 comupters. It would be wonderful to make sure they are
> > all working and use them on a regular basis but that is not even remotely
> Hmmm... No flmes intended (and I hope we can agree to differ on this),
> 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

Well, not all of us have the time to work on every single system we get
our hands on. There are only so many hours in the day left over after
life stuff (ie. job, pets, family...) and this is just a side hobby for
me. My concern first is to at least get the computers to prevent them
from being disposed of and worry about getting them running later.

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

I do it for the joy of being surrounded by such an ecclectic and expansive
collection of computers that span the innovation of two decades. When I
make enough money to relax for a couple months, I'll have fun restoring
and repairing them.

> 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

Same here.

> 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.

This is not only fun, but in my view, relevant. These are the sorts of
tidbits that, in my nerdy opion, would make a fascinating book: where all
the standards came from.

> I won't claim I run all my 150+ machines all the time. I have a few that
> I run quite often (the PDP11/45, the PDP8/e, the PERQ 2, a TRS-80 M4,
> this PC/AT, etc). Others I only run from time to time when I need them.
> But I do try to have all my machines operational if at all possible.

That's commendable, but there's not a lot of need on my end to have
everything running. There's a desire, but not a need. When my collection
goes on display, it will be desirable to have at least one of everything
in the collection working with usable software so that people studying the
artifact can get a better understanding of it.

Sam Alternate e-mail:
Don't blame me...I voted for Satan.

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Received on Sun Apr 12 1998 - 22:23:44 BST

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