Computer Replicas

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Tue Mar 30 14:46:29 2004

(it's replicas not replica's)

> So lets have your vote for what replica's of old computers
> that need to reconstructed at a functional level -- blinking
> lights, mechanical I/O but it need not be the same hardware
> level.

Other than reminiscing about obscure machines we personally love,
if you wanted to actuallyt make/sell a bunch to amortize
cost, I'd think something more common like a PDP-8 would be a better

It's got blinkenlights. It's desktop(ish). It's got
software. It's got a decidedly non-modern architecture
(NOTE1). There's plenty of software. It has familiarity on
it's side. There's user docs, hardware docs, original panels
to make copies of.

It would need only two peripherals to be interesting/useful
(unlike a 360/90!) -- tape and console. Very small installations
were common and useful: "teletype" (keyboard, paper, tape),

I distinctly recall how exciting it was to use a Nova 1200,
linctape and silent 700 on a rollaround cart in 1974. I know the
'8 equivelents were far more common and had more software.

Lots of "reproductions" are disappointing if all of the
physicality isn't right, to me anyways. A PDP-8 that was 2"
thick and hung on the wall just wouldn't cut it. I know it
sounds pedantic but clearly, we're talking about an aesthetic
experience, if you just wanted to run the software an emulator
is enough. WE WANT HARDWARE!


NOTE 1: I'm fascinated with bizarre and ancient architectures
too, but let's get real, most of the ancient ones don't do
character I/O, even, so coding up even the old STAR-TREK would
be a major undertaking on a drum machine.
Received on Tue Mar 30 2004 - 14:46:29 BST

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