FW: Writer wants to quote users

From: Allison J Parent <allisonp_at_world.std.com>
Date: Fri Jul 24 10:39:18 1998

< >>From: Bill Kent <billakent_at_hotmail.com>

< >>My name is Bill Kent and I am working on a story for a major online
< >>publication. The focus is on users who use what others might conside
< >>"obsolete" technology. I would like to speak to a few users who use
< >>oder PCs (386 and below) for productivity apps. I'm talking about i

What about non-PC technology? There are whole families of machines that
are not based on Intel cpus and Microsoft software.

Like the Kaypro 4/84 (ca 1984) that I use to run my billings on.

The NS* Horzion Z80 machine I built in 1978 to support z80 family
development and continuation support. That system is my primary for
documenting work done as well.

I have a PDP-11/73 for development and continuation support use. Also
very handy for getting from Digital Equipment Corp designed and
propritary media to other more common use media.

DEC VAX hardware is also widely sought as they despite age and relative
speed are still workhorses for multiuser/multitasking applications. Most
of the more popular VAX systems that are over 10 years old are PC sized
but can support a lot of users.

I do use an old 386sx/25 as a headless server using MSdos6.22 intersvr
and interlnk software and a parallel port data cable(LapLink).

< >>else, that's super, I'd like to hear about it. I'm not interested in
< >>hobbyists who just enjoying hacking the machines. If it requires a
< >>soldering iron, it's too complex for this article.

All people that modify "hack" machines are not all hobbiests. As a
professional I need for various reasons to read disks created years
ago sometimes really old like the 8" media from the late 70s early 80s.
I have old machines to do this but a handy one is an XT clone using a
modified floppy controller with and old 8" drive. You cannot buy that
capability now but, companies have archives that are sometimes very old
that may need to be accessed.

Even your common P-II box is hard pressed to read older 5.25" format
floppies! At a minimum you would have to find an apporiate drive and
then by trial and error figure the jumpers out as new machines a scantily
documented at best.

< >>I'd like to hear stories about how this technology can be applied to
< >>job and does it well. The general slant of the article is to be

In computers old technology and new are often only different in speed or
size. There are many PDP-8s (1970s tech), PDP-11s (late 70s into the
80s tech) and Data General Novas still in service as control systems
where they do the same thing everyday as the have for the last 20+ years.
This doesn't include the tens of thousands of Z80, 6502, 6800
microprocessors in control boxes and other service since the parts were
introduced in the late 70s!

I'll introduce you to an idea new to some. I prefer to use older
systems that are well documented and I can fully utilize. It's saves
me time to not debug some new box or software. Simply said:

      Mature stable systems we know how to use.

Received on Fri Jul 24 1998 - 10:39:18 BST

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