Question for you 'big iron' collectors

From: Christian Fandt <>
Date: Thu Dec 30 10:42:05 1999

Upon the date 04:12 PM 12/30/99 +0001, Hans Franke said something like:
>Date sent: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 09:27:10 -0500
>Send reply to:
>From: Christian Fandt <>
>To: "Discussion re-collecting of classic computers"
>Subject: Re: Question for you 'big iron' collectors
>> Upon the date 07:23 AM 12/30/99 -0600, Paul Braun said something like:
>> >I've been following the list for about a year and a half now and I'm
>> >curious -- you guys (both genders) that have the room and the
>> >know-how to run the big stuff -- what do you do with them? I guess
>> >I'm not that familiar with non-business apps for minis and I'm just
>> >curious what someone using a PDP at home would do with it?
>> I'm still wondering that myself ;-) "Have the room . . ."? What's
that?! :-)
>:)) Chritian, you have a wonderfull house ... and still room in
>the basement ...

Oh ho ho! Not now fella!!! :-) Thanks for the compliment about the house,
but _a lot_ has been moved into it and the attic from the old house since
you and Christine visited last year. The second garage at the back of the
backyard (garden) is full too (or I should say "too full") and the main
garage at the house still has much of the big DEC gear in it (soon to go to
a new home :-) Nice lab area in the basement now though <g>. Next time you
visit you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's in that dark, dirty open area
you may recall seeing.

>And Paul, to get this straight, a PDP isn't realy Big Iron - unless
>you name your Palm Pilot a full size server system.

Wel-llll, my 11/34A is in a tall rack and with two RL02's, cables and
accessories it probably weighs in at around 400 lbs (180+ kg). An 11/44 I
understand can be big. Certain PDP-8's too. So it's argueable that some are
'big iron' machines. My 34A is in the basement in the lab area next to its
LA120. OTOH, my MicroPDP setting next to me is only around 75 lbs or so
(~34 kg).

>> >Do you just write code for the sheer challenge of writing code?
>> >Have you written real-world apps? Is it just nostalgia? Or do you
>> >keep them running purely for historical reasons and don't have any
>> >practical day-to-day use for them?
>> Yes.
>Historical reasons, Ways to finaly get what you ever dreamed
>of (20 years ago) and play around ? Just fun.
>> >It just fascinates me that there are so many of you who run these
>> >beasts and I'd just like to know why.
>> There are folks who ask me the same thing regarding my large collection of
>> early radios and early televisions, some large and heavy. Same answers.
>In fact, the situation is very similar - if you ignore this digital
>radio and TV chanals you still can use your 30 year old TV set to
>see Letterman, with no relevant difference (And when they air
>I love Lucy or Flipper, not difference at all:).

Yes. We know someday in the next century (beginning a _year_ from now ;-)
all TV will be digital and we'll have to use the planned digital to analog
conversion devices to use them. There was absolutely no concept of digital
TV back in the late 40's when a bunch of my sets were made.

>> I guess it follows even for folks collecting beer cans, comic books,
>> automobiles, Louis IV furniture, first edition books, War of the Rebellion
>> (US Civil War) armament, stamps and coins, Barbie dolls, Rosewood China,
>> Depression and Carnival glassware, Victorian era clothing, etc., etc.,
>> etc., etc. . . .
>Hmm at least for my person there's still a difference - unlike
>a lot of collectors in other areas I realy tinker tith my computers.

Yeah, you're right Hans. What clear-minded person would tinker with a
Barbie doll? :-o

>Some owners of 'classic' furniture would rather go balistic when
>you just upt a glass on top.

Instant death comes to the unfortunate soul who dares to do that.

>Anyway, Fun Fun Fun.

Oh yeah, _that's_ really why we do this!


Bis spaeter, Chris
-- --
Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA
        Member of Antique Wireless Association
Received on Thu Dec 30 1999 - 10:42:05 GMT

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