Back to computing topic ... Re: OT: timing belts

From: Gordon JC Pearce <>
Date: Sat Dec 25 04:23:32 2004

Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:
> Ummm, I started the off-topicness here, so I'll try to end it by putting
> forward these questions:
> - What is the most odd computer you've encountered in a car's drivetrain?
> - What is the largest computer you've fit into a car?
> - What is the computer that gave Jay a flat tire en route to VCF East this
> year?

Most odd computer must be the little microprocessor controller thingy
that lives under the seat in an old-shape Nissan Micra. All it does is
detect if you've turned on the lights, heater fan, heated rear window,
or if the engine cooling fan has turned on. If one of these things is
on, it turns on a little solenoid valve on the side of the carb to
increase the idle speed a little. For this they use (IIRC) an 8042

The most microprocessor-y car I've ever had was probably the two Citroen
XMs. An ECU for the fuel injection (although technically mine were both
analogue - LE2-Jetronic, the turbo used Motronic which *does* have a
microprocessor), an ECU for the suspension (as well as miles of
plumbing), an ABS ECU, no less than *two* ECUs for the heater (one for
the air con, one for the actual heater controls), a little diagnostics
display (which tended to complain in French or Spanish if it had been
raining heavily) and the trip computer. And I don't think I got them
all, either - there seems to be some intelligence associated with the
automatic gearbox.

Largest computer I've ever fitted into a car? Well, I fitted a rack
with a PDP11/34, a rack with two PDP11/84s, a couple of "washing
machine" disk drives, and a chain printer the size of the packing crate
a large motorcycle would come in, as well as cables, disk packs, dumb
terminals and documentation, into the back of a short wheelbase Transit
van. Does that count?

And finally, no idea, but it sounds like a story worth the telling ;-)

Received on Sat Dec 25 2004 - 04:23:32 GMT

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