Sell's your 8's on Ebay

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Wed Oct 20 17:27:55 2004

On Wed, Oct 20, 2004 at 10:01:16PM +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> I totally diaagree with that comment. My interest in computers is
> hardware related (I follow Steve Ciarcia in that 'my favourite language
> is solder' :-)). And to me, therefore, a bit-serial processor made from
> either simple integrated circuits or discrete transistors (I forget which
> the 8/S is) is a lot more interesting than a machine built round a
> microprocessor and, even worse, semi-custom video and sound ICs.

It's 100% discrete transistors (though the external console device, a PT08,
has some early Motorola ICs on the W706 and W707 boards).

> Different people have different interests, sure, and I am not saying that
> those who like the VIC20 (and similar machines) are in any way 'wrong'.
> It's just not my main interest.

Well... I can agree with you that hardware is utterly fascinating. OTOH,
I also do a lot of programming, from firmware to applications, so strictly
personally, I find both the VIC-20 and the PDP-8/S interesting. I can
spend hours to weeks working on either one, doing different things (and
have!) There are some people on this list (Jerome Fine comes to mind as
an example) that are completely fixated on the software side of things;
the specific hardware is unimportant if it runs the right software.

Different machines have different fascinations to me, but one thing they
all have that holds my interest is hardware fiddling... I love to build
new peripherals, repair old ones, etc. *But*... once things are working,
I also like to 'make them dance' - hardware only goes so far, then you
need software to show it off (something a friend of mine learned years
ago when he was strictly a design engineer - he was done when the device
would run some code, any code; then, it was handed over to the developers
who made a product out of it. He does software now).

So I like to do different things with computers... I don't do any much
hardware fiddling on a 1.5GHz PeeCeeoid running RedHat, nor assembly
programming, but I do _lots_ of application programming on it (ZDungeon,
LCDproc, etc.) OTOH, I don't do lots of application programming on the
PET anymore (I did when it was my primary machine 25 years ago), but I
still do hardware projects and the occasional assembler program. With
PDP-8s, it's more hardware than software, and on it goes.

Everybody has their own niche. I'm happy with mine. Gives me lots to


Ethan Dicks, A-130-S      Current South Pole Weather at 20-Oct-2004 22:10 Z
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Received on Wed Oct 20 2004 - 17:27:55 BST

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