Collection policy was Re: No space for vinatge computers in

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Sun May 25 16:12:01 2003

> In message <m19JhvL-000IzIC_at_p850ug1>
> (Tony Duell) wrote:
> > Rubbish!. Are you seriously trying to tell me that these skills can't be
> > learnt? I would claim that anybody who _truely_ understood a modern
> > machine would have no problems on an older one. The fact that very few
> > people understand modern computers is the problem, not that the older
> > machines are so different.
> That's more or less my opinion exactly. As long as I had at least a manual
> for the CPU, I could probably sit down in front of a computer and program
> it. I'd probably curse the designers or the CPU a few times, but I could
> probably do it. I know basic x86 assembler (yuck), some CDP1802 assembler,

Well, I don't claim to be a programmer, and I've never used an Altair or
an Imsai, but I'll make the following claim. Put me in front of either
machine with the standard documentation, and I am _sure_ I could figure
out how to use it.

> 6502 assembler, C, PASCAL and (rusty) BASIC. I could sit down in front of
> nearly any 1980s home computer and program it. I say "nearly any" because I
> don't know FORTH, but I do intend to learn it when the Ace is up and running
> again.

: GREETING ." Hello World !" CR ;


Forth is one of my favoruite languages for quick hacks, but then I like
RPN systems in general. It took me an afternoon to learn enough Forth to
be dangerous :-)

> heck of it. To me, priority number one is getting the machine running and
> keeping its exterior casing in good condition. Priority two is historical
> accuracy - IC datecodes and suchlike.

Me too. I'll do reversable kludges, like sticking an IC to the PCB and
wiring it in with wire-wrap wire, dead-bug style if I can't get the
original part and need to make up a replacement. It can always be ripped
out and replaced by the right chip if I do find one.

> I'm surprised the Ace's electrolytic capacitors are still OK!

WHy? I don't find electrolytics to be a major problem in classic
computers (unlike in more modern SMPSUs and monitors...)

Received on Sun May 25 2003 - 16:12:01 BST

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