Wirin' up blinkenlights

From: Dave McGuire <mcguire_at_neurotica.com>
Date: Thu Jun 8 22:33:01 2000

On June 8, R. D. Davis wrote:
> It's not only bizarre, it's apparently someone's idea of a sick joke,
> that the most boring and poorly designed systems are the ones that
> most people depend on these days which have replaced the VAXen, etc.

  A sick joke, indeed.

> Is it not true, however, that all computers are toys, and that PDP's,
> VAXen and Crays could have been considered toys when they were new?

  This is a good point. While I will slap anyone who walks into my
computer room (containing about twenty machines, no PCs, well over a
terabyte of disk storage, one Cray...some "classic" machines, some
not) and calls anything a "toy"...I enjoy working with these systems
so much that I can honestly call it "fun". As much fun as
retrocomputing on the older PDP and VAX systems, as a matter of
fact. So is it really that offensive to call them "toys"? Maybe not.

  One must not forget, however, that there *are* PDPs, VAXen, and
Crays that are *not* so old. The PC marketeers would have everyone
believe that anything that isn't a PC is old technology. That
simply isn't the case. There are new (current technology) PDP11
systems (Mentec), there are new (albeit based on older technology)
VAXen, and there are certainly new Crays.

  It's a stretch, but it seems that preserving "classic" computers is
almost an exercise in preserving anything that's not a current Windoze

          -Dave McGuire
Received on Thu Jun 08 2000 - 22:33:01 BST

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