expanding PDP-8 memory (was Re: Finally got a "straight" DF32 yesterday)

From: John B <dylanb_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Fri Nov 5 08:24:16 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Ethan Dicks <ethan_dicks_at_yahoo.com>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Friday, November 05, 1999 8:17 AM
Subject: expanding PDP-8 memory (was Re: Finally got a "straight" DF32

>--- John B <dylanb_at_sympatico.ca> wrote:
>> >--- Mike Ford <mikeford_at_socal.rr.com> wrote:
>> >> >More Paper tape software...
>> If the paper tapes have anything PDP 8 on them I can send you a copy. I
>> the PDP-8/S already hooked up to my PC (positive level converters ;-) )
>> One other thing.... you mentioned you wanted to add more memory to one of
>> your straight 8s.
>Not quite. I have no interest in adding more memory to the Straight 8s. I
>was contemplating either replacing a core stack in an -8/L with battery-
>backed CMOS static RAM to free up a core stack for my -8/i, or adding 28K
>CMOS static RAM to the -8/i. This is all to be able to run OS/8. I know
>the Disk Monitor will run in 4K.


>> I have two studies done by the McMaster University on
>> building core memory expanders for the 8,8/s using straight 8 memory
>> used the same kinds) and some flip chips.

Very.. very nice.. makes it easy to ad memory. I also got a copy of the 8K
RIM loader and 8K binary loader.

>> You might want to kill one of your straight 8s for the memory...
>> A straight-8 still isn't worth as much whole as it is in parts.. Ugh..
>I'm not completely convinced about that. I might be, but as the "first 8",
>there's a certain aura that goes with it.

I do appreciate what you are saying about "aura". Some people like to own
the first. I have a population problem and have owned too many "firsts"
including univac stuff.

But, one the Straight 8 stuff - one sold on ebay this spring, complete
untested for $1400 (but in great cosmetic condition) on eBay... they are
getting more for Altairs :-(. I am picking up at least one over the next
three weeks in MINT condition and I have a friend that wants one bad (I
won't part with my 8/s) so I will sell it to him around $1000. The first PDP
8 was made for many years as DEC had problems with memory on the 8I. I have
scrapped quite a few 8s (I am sure rack straight 8s as I have found front
panel PCBs in my storage for them) over the years as I at the time I did not
like 12 bit computers at all.

(here is where I know large rocks will be thrown at me - I'm ready.. ;-))

A straight 8 in pieces is worth a lot more. You can sell the front panel on
eBay for at least $250. Then, toss the core memory out of it for souvenirs
and get an easy $500 - even maybe sell it to someone who needs it. You then
could get a few hundred for the chassis (if its table top) from someone on
eBay who wants to convert a rack mount unit. Sell the flip chips away or
keep them as spares and you are way head of the standard $1400 for an 8.
Original documents command good $$ too on eBay. A lot of folks have straight
8s which seems to be keeping the prices down.. it would not surprise me if
there was a few hundred in the States alone as there are 8 "mint" running
units in Australia! Abundance of a model dictates it's value.. ie: A LINC-8
and a PDP-8/S exists in very low numbers and fetch a lot more $$$. I've been
talking to some folks on here about the $$ of old machines to get an idea of
what "deep pockets" and collectors value the machines at.. and have found
that I still can't get much for a Straight-8...

But HEADS-UP - Some of these old ultra-rare minis are commanding some
serious $$$. I was offered $12,000 and $15000 (this one wants to make
another offer) for my 8/S (running) with docs and software in mint
condition. I refused both offers (these were two eBay deep pockets that
found me by looking at my "About Me" page.). I don't know what a LINC-8 in
mint condition running is worth but probably more....

Another HEADS-UP - Honeywell 316s - Not whole but in parts. One of my 316s
was carted to the dump this spring but spares for the machine are fetching
big $$$ from those who want to hang up on their wall a piece of "ARPANET".
The core memory gets at least $1000 CAD for the set and CPU boards/micropacs
are fetching at least $60 US EACH!. Front Panel - no idea but probably a
couple hundred. You can't get $4000US for a 316 whole but you can if you
kill it.

In my defense for such actions I do have/had "population" problems with some
mini models.. The IBM 1130 took up the entire first floor of my parents home
(it had every accessory), it was scrapped. I had 16 large racks of
316/ARPANET type stuf,Singers, Olivettes, etc... There is only so much one
person can handle and "funding" is required for new loads of minis.

>> You might want to think about doing that as it is nice to keep the same
>> boards/technology in a transistor computer like that.
>I have every interest in keeping the technology "pure". It's the M-series
>-8s that I'm considering polluting with modern parts.

That's good. I like to keep transistor computers all transistors and tube
computers all tubes...

>Infinet has been sold. The domain is going away in February.
>Please send all replies to
> erd_at_iname.com
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com
Received on Fri Nov 05 1999 - 08:24:16 GMT

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