Question for you 'big iron' collectors

From: Christian Fandt <>
Date: Thu Dec 30 16:55:54 1999

Upon the date 08:48 PM 12/30/99 +0001, Hans Franke said something like:
>> >> 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.
>Well, yes, I remember - great you had time to finish that.
>But ther's for shure some room in the garden ... as I remember
>one could build there a nice add on, cover the top with grass,
>and nobody will ever notice :)

Yes, and I'll have _you_ ask Beverly to allow it ;-)

>> >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).
>As long as on person can lift the CPU it's not Big Iron. At least
>when we go for pre 1990 Machines. Real Big Iron needs a forklift ...
>Shure, a simple definition, just I like it.

Hmmm, this is a good definition :-)

Still, the fully loaded BA11 box that my 11/34A is contained within is on
the border of that definition. Some well conditioned, weight lifting
athletic type fellow could easily lift it. Even though my upper body
strength was enhanced a little this Spring during The Great Move, I still
cannot lift it alone except with difficulty. I estimate it weighs around
120+ lbs (55 kg).

The CPU of my IBM 9370 (a 9375-60) weighs around 280 lbs (130 kg) and
_that_ qualifies as big iron :-) even though I *could* have the whole
system in a single tall cabinet similar in size to the single-rack 11/34A.

>> >> 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.
>Starting with wide screen transmission some years ago it already got
>hard to have a 60's TV give you the whole movie. And the digital era
>is already present - at least some FM stations are up, and digital
>satelite and cable chanels are no longer future or testinstallations ...

Even digital AM broadcast is appearing occasionally in North America.

>I feel that we may soon have a situation where the old stuff is just
>no longer usable on its own.

At least virtually all our old computers should work on their own :-)
provided we can still get floppy disks, magnetic tape and other removeable
media for them (if they use it) as that stuff wears out eventually. Should
still be the same 120/240 volt 50/60 Hz mains worldwide.

Regards, Chris
-- --
Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA
        Member of Antique Wireless Association
Received on Thu Dec 30 1999 - 16:55:54 GMT

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