rarest computers. was: RE: Xerox Alto Restoration + Emulation

From: Dwight K. Elvey <dwight.elvey_at_amd.com>
Date: Mon Aug 2 15:19:41 2004

Hi ben
 A good picture of it can be seen at:
 http://www.omahug.org/vcf40/v02.jpg ( the Wyse terminal is not original )
 It was used as a processing unit for a nuclear magnetic
resonance spectrometer. This did chemical analysis. The upper
part of the panel is related to the data acquisition while
the lower part is the blinking lights part.
 Mine has 12Kx20 of core but they also had a 24Kx20 setup
with an expansion chassis. The 12K core comes in 3 stacks.
Most used a hard disk but mine is floppy bases. I'm always
looking for more programs to run on this ;)
 Sellam has another one of these and there is a fellow in
England that has one as well. These are the only remaining
machines that I am aware of. These were in competition with
the Varian machines of the time. Nicolet was one of the
last manufactures to make core bases processors and made
processors for use on subs because of cores resistance to
 The instruction set is funny as well. It used the typical
conditional skip instruction of the time but the ALU was
interesting because it used a 5 port input. It has hardware
for doing multiply and divide because it's primary output
was the result of doing FFT's on the data input. Fast
multiply and divide are desirable.
 I have running a BASIC ( with matrix operations ), an
assembler, an editor and several games. I also have
a floating point package as well and some diagnostic programs.
 Any more specific questions?

>From: "ben franchuk" <bfranchuk_at_jetnet.ab.ca>

>Dwight K. Elvey wrote:
>> Hi
>> I was just wondering. What people on this list consider their
>> rarest computers in their collections. Here is my list
>> 1. Nicolet 80 ( 20 bit mini with core. working condition. Only know
>> of 2 others. I doubt there are more than 10 left
>> anywhere. )
>Hmm, I want to hear more of this mini.
Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 15:19:41 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:32 BST