"Real Computers" (was Re: Trivia Question)

From: Tony Duell <ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat Feb 22 15:40:00 2003

> > PC: no, you throw away a subsystem and get a replacement. The
> > problem here is that any given subsystem (e.g., a video card) is
> > only on the market for maybe two years; after that you can't get
> > an identical replacement. Original-spec PDP-8 replacement parts
> > were available for over 20 years.
> While not quite the same as 20 years, you *can* still get identical,
> new, many year old 'replacement' parts for PCs. It's probably easier to

Can you?

What about :
30 pin SIMMs and/or SIPPs (I've not seen those listed for several years)

MDA, CGA, EGA monitors and video cards (I don't see why I should have to
replace both monitor and card, and re-write low-level software just
because a simple chip has failed!)

ST506/ST412 interfaced hard disks and controllers

PC/XT compatible keyboards. Heck, _any_ useful 8 bit ISA card

5.25" floppy drives

And that's just the stuff that's relatively standard. There were many
'odd', custom-ish interface cards, etc that were totally undocumented and
which are now impossible to replace and very difficult to maintain.

> One thing I'm slightly suprised about is that you're not claiming that
> it's easy to service 'real computers' at the component level. Of course,

That is one definition of 'real computer' that I sometimes use :-)

Received on Sat Feb 22 2003 - 15:40:00 GMT

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