From: Bill Richman <>
Date: Wed May 6 18:32:47 1998

I was at the scrap yard yesterday, picking up some aluminum blocks to
play with on my new CNC milling machine, and decided to take a stroll
out where they occasionally dump old mainframe parts. It's just this
huge mud lot about 2 blocks square, with big mounds of twisted metal,
wire, cable, crushed cars, and all kinds of other junk, with a bunch
of bits of electronics thrown in more or less at random. I wasn't in
the mood for a lot of climbing, so I just poked around the edges. I
found a board about 18" square sitting on top of a barrel. When I
picked it up, it was *way* too heavy for the size. Flipped it over
and saw another, smaller board screwed to the bottom. It was marked
"DataRAM". I thought "Oh no - surely not. It can't be core memory!
But it's so *heavy*! What is it?" I took it along. I also found an
old controller module of some kind with an RCA 1802 and support chips
on it; now maybe I can finally build a real Elf. Anyway, they sell
everything by the pound, and the two pieces cost me about $2. Brought
it home, removed all the screws around the edge, pulled off the
smaller board, and guess what? Acres of core! Tiny little ones, too
- I haven't seen that much core, but the other small piece I have has
cores with a center hole about the size of a pencil lead. These were
so small they looked like grains of sand, or salt. Had to use a 12x
magnifier to see them clearly. By my count, there are about 100 per
inch in both directions, and it's about 8"x10", with a few gaps here
and there, so this gives... ummm... (square root of 7, carry the 9...)
uh... something under 800k-bits or so? Does this sound right?
Anyway, I was pretty pumped. I may go back and do some serious
climbing and burrowing this weekend...

                            -Bill Richman
                             (Home of the COSMAC Elf Simulator!)
Received on Wed May 06 1998 - 18:32:47 BST

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