Building a better "old" computer

From: Craig Smith <>
Date: Sun Jun 25 10:39:17 2000

Can't let the vacuum tube comment pass without tossing in a couple of
cents worth of my own. Tubes are indeed alive and well. There are
numerous new production tubes available these days [Chinese, Russian
and several Middle European plants], as well as MILLIONS of old stock
stuff still kicking around. My area of speciality is WW I Navy equipment
and it is not a huge problem to find New/Old Stock tubes from the 1918-
1920 period at reasonable [sorta,that is] prices.
        Lots of activity in restoring old radios, audio gear and vintage test
equipment. The "high-end" esoteric audio field is only the lunatic
fringe of tube technology. Lots of activity in more moderate priced
stuff. Just as many guys find pleasure in restoring and using older tube
audio gear as do those playing with old computers. Probably a fair
number more actually.

Gary Hildebrand wrote:
> Hello Ernest
> On 24-Jun-00, you wrote:
> >
> > Based on what the current computer industry knows about building
> computers,
> > would it be possible to build a better Z80 based computer today, using the
> > same chips that the builders in, say, 1979 had available?
> >
> > I heard someone say that the manufacturers did the best they could with
> what
> > they had to work with "back then," and I started to wonder if we could do
> it
> > better today. Has our understanding of how it all works improved enough to
> > do it better now, using the same chips, etc.?
> >
> > Just curious,
> >
> > Ernest
> IMHO, it should be possible, if they wanted to build one. But the
> proliferation of wintel boxes proves that the market moved elsewhere. I
> think VW found that out when they phased out the original Beetle. The new
> Mexican built Beetles are better than the ones from the 50's and 60's but do
> you really want one that bad?
> Or another example is vacuum tubes. The only place they still thrive today
> is in esoteric audio amplifiers. Look at the prices of them though . . .
> >
> >
> Regards
> --
> Gary Hildebrand
Received on Sun Jun 25 2000 - 10:39:17 BST

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