TEK 31 was: Re: New toy!!!

From: Christian Fandt <cfandt_at_netsync.net>
Date: Wed Jul 14 13:29:06 1999

Upon the date 06:34 PM 7/14/99 +0001, Hans Franke said something like:
>> [thread in regard to Joe's Esco 31, aka TEK 31]
  --snip --
>> > Me either. AFIK only Rick Bensene and one other guy have one. AFIK
>> >they're EXTREMELY rare.
>> I'm that 'other guy' :)
>It seems that you are 'the other guy' on a lot of realy
>nice stuff (BTW: Servus Christian).

(Ya, Servus Hans! Vie gehts?)

Well, you are also 'the other guy' based on several items I had seen last
year when you and Christine stopped by our house on the way to California
(and VCF).

>> The speculation that these are 'extremely' rare
>> could be right on the money but until we beat the bushes enough to know for
>> sure I defer use of that modifier 'EXTREMELY' to the background. My sense
>> is that this type of tool was not used by the 'normal' high end scientific
>> calculator user, except maybe occasionally in a university math/science
>> department, but rather by folks who needed a machine/test station
>> controller with fancy calculating ability. Other high end electronic
>> calculators typically from HP, Olivetti, Friden, Wang, etc. were more
>> popular it seems. I would imagine not a whole heap of TEK 31's were sold
>> (cost vs. utility?) and those that were may have been scrapped with the
>> equipment they were built into or otherwise attached to. Or else something
>> broke on them (tape drive my first guess.)
>Sounds reasonable, as always, rare is relative - I assume,
>for most devices, only those who have been manufactured only
>within less than 500 pcs are realy rare - or a find with any
>old stuff originaly packed :)

This could be a good definition to begin on. But, even then, many, many
other additional factors and opinions can come into play on defining
'rare'. So I just don't worry about it. Let's just say that I'm thankful I
do have some 'rather uncommon' computers, radios, TVs and books in my

>> I have only one tape which came with the unit.
>> Anyway, I would be interested in getting one
>> or more extra tapes for my unit as the one I've got looks rather 'well
>As Sellam already said - if there are duplicates within
>our box, or empty tapes, they are available for trade.
>In fact I have no idea whats on (it looks like some kind
>of audio analysis stuff), but I just don't want to loose
>any one of the programms.

Yes, existing programs are very important to preserve in this case. I just
had only one on my tape which I printed out. Just by seeing the program
source I got many insights into how to do _some_ programming without having
a manual. Your programs, by their quantity, may have many other methods and
syntactical suggestions which will help us understand more fully the
language the Tek 31's use. Depends upon the original programmer and how
resourceful he/she was.

>And for the ride to VCF, why don't you east coast guys
>join and buy some kind of group ticket for plane or
>Amtrak ? Or jut rent a Van ? 3 days driving (lets make
>this 5 days, including some dumpsters to dive :), great
>talks _and_ enough space for the 'small' findings at VCF...

I would certainly consider coming but only if I get a decent paying job.
Still none to find yet in this backwater town. I'm working on alternative
carreer(s) at the moment.

Regards, Chris
-- --
Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA cfandt_at_netsync.net
Member of Antique Wireless Association
             Check our redesigned website!
        URL: http://www.antiquewireless.org/
Received on Wed Jul 14 1999 - 13:29:06 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:32:12 BST