Classic Computers vs. Classic Computing

From: Douglas Quebbeman <>
Date: Sat Sep 15 09:14:22 2001

> > For a monitor, I followed Lancaster's instructions on how to take
> > an old B&W TV set and pull the unneeded circuitry (except for the
> > tubes; they stayed in, heaters wired in series). The mods all helped
> In the UK, most series-string valve TV sets had a hot chassis (directly
> connected to one side of the mains). Actually, a number of transistorised
> sets did as well.


> Did US TVs have proper isolating mains transformers, even though they had
> series-string heaters?

No; I bought an isolation transformer, a stand-alone unit.

> > And I think I even got to like the smell of solder.. especially
> > the Ersin Multicore stuff made in the U.K... why, there's some
> Nice, isn't it :-)

> > yes, I've used all kinds of techniques to repair such damage.
> As have I. It gets more fun when it's an SMD-built board, with tracks
> very close together :-)

Haven't ever had to *fix* a multilayer board, but did hack on one
(early Mac).
> >
> > But you can't damage software... which is one of the things that
> Hmmm... If you don't have backups you can :-)

Oh, I got the backup religion long, long ago...
> Actually, one thing I tend to worry about it misconfiguring a piece of
> software and not being able to go back to the original configuration that
> worked at least partially. Doing the same with hardware never bothers me.

On the tricky stuff, I try to save the configurations, either in files,
or on paper.
> I gurss it comes down to experience. I know enough about hardware to see
> what I've done and put it right. The same is not true of software...

I've also done some embedded systems hardware development. But it
tended to be taking the evaluation design from the databooks and
massaging it into a working design, so I can't take too much credit.
> > resisters, capacitors, transistors, and 7400-series chips. It
> How good will that emulation be? If I accidentally connect a pin on the
> TTL chip to the -15V rail, what happens? Does the chip fail in the same
> way that a real one does? Are you going to be able to emulate every
> possible circuit (hint : No CAD system's simulator has ever maanged to
> 'pass' my tests (namely a dozen or so nasty circuits).

Would you settle for a graphic rendering of the magic smoke escaping?


> > could also have an emulated soldering iron & solder. Ever wish
> I suppose you're going to add a little heater element and some flux so as
> to give the right smells (a bit like those smoke generators the model
> railway crowd use). And a device that burns my fingers from time to time.

That might have to wait for the development of tactile interfaces,
but rest assured, that's well underway...
> I suppose next you'll be suggesting the floor of the emulated machine
> room does not magically transport small components dropped on it into
> another room....

So, your shop has funky space-time problems, too?


Received on Sat Sep 15 2001 - 09:14:22 BST

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