Oldest computer on the internet?

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Fri Dec 17 15:04:02 2004

On Fri, 17 Dec 2004, Jules Richardson wrote:

> 'connected' in what sense? Various possibilities spring to mind:

... and here we enter a maze of little passages, all different (but the same :-)

> Likely there's all sort of variations. Personally I like the 4th one...
> but both 1 and 4 seem 'pure' solutions in that they aren't replying on
> components that weren't around at the time (with the exception of the
> Internet itself and Ethernet maybe!)

Casually, all and any of it seems interesting to me. Some
machines, you can have 'an original experience' remotely,
eg. early unix systems (especially if you were to use an ADM3
or ASR33). Others, like telnet-to-serial-to-CP/M-80, eh, it's
interesting, but you don't get to hear drives honking and fan
noise. It's better than nothing and all fun and interesting
and maybe useful...

> The telnet restriction's something of a shame. I mean someone could
> maybe bodge some sort of interface onto our 1950's Marconi so it could
> be 'seen' from the 'net in some fashion, but they're not going to be
> able to run a Unix-like OS on it!

... and then as you more-or-less go back in time, all paradigms
fail. A lot of machines don't have "consoles" in the sense of
anything you can do wit hthe computer, you can abstract through
a character interface. Hell, even a lot of serial-terminal
(and especially mechanical tty) terminals use line-break
(out-of-band signalling by generating a "bad" character). That
CAN be simulated or emulated, but we begin the slippery slope...

My LGP-21, for example, isn't possibly net-able, as you have
to press switches to do things, and then we're in teleoperator
land :-) The "console" is actually mechanics hard-wired into
the CPU control logic directly. Good luck with remote character
abstraction! It's not unusual for this era, say pre-1966.

So again, viewable on the net is great, but it can't be used as a
way to 'look into history' as a sort of progression (regression).
Received on Fri Dec 17 2004 - 15:04:02 GMT

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