"New" PDP-8

From: brian wheeler <bdwheele_at_indiana.edu>
Date: Sat Mar 30 15:05:18 2002

On Sat, 2002-03-30 at 15:28, jeff.kaneko_at_juno.com wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Mar 2002 15:06:04 -0500 Dave McGuire <mcguire_at_neurotica.com>
> writes:
> > On March 30, Loboyko Steve wrote:
> > > Well, no, it isn't. Because the cost of getting a PCB
> > > made is less than the cost of a good electronics
> > > technician, I think it started to die in the late
> > > 80's. And, of course, its practically impossible to WW
> > > BGA chips, etc.
> >
> > Not commonly used, or not the "latest greatest thing"? I know of
> > several small outfits that do lots of wire-wrapping. And I mean
> > *lots*.
> Well yes, as a matter of fact, there are still many applications
> where WW is really the best way to go. As a good example, bed-of-
> nails test fixtures are typically wirewrapped. At the last
> company where I was employed, I watched a re-work girl wire up
> such a fixture (maybe 300 points or so) *BY HAND*, using a
> manual wirewrap tool.
> I brought in my squeeze-to-wrap wirewrap tool, and showed her how to
> use it. This pleased her quite a bit (not to mention her supervisor).
> For 500 connections or more, I'd a brung in my electric wirewrap
> GUN.
> Jeff

A few years ago I took a hardware class at IU and we built a PDP-8 using
PLAs, a bit of static ram, a few 74LS chips, and a ton of wire
wrapping. There were about 600 wires in all, but luckily it was split
across the whole semester, so it wasn't too dramatic. It was pretty
cool to see the diagnostic software work correctly on that monster. The
final exam consisted of the lab instructor breaking the machine in 3
different ways (including rewiring, putting in known bad chips,
reprogramming the PLAs, etc) and giving us 2 hours to repair the

I kind of miss that class. The 2nd semester my project was an MMU for a
6809 machine running FLEX :)


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Received on Sat Mar 30 2002 - 15:05:18 GMT

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