*** Ideas needed for developing interactive displays....

From: Antonio Carlini <a.carlini_at_ntlworld.com>
Date: Fri Sep 10 16:58:37 2004

> Incidentally, it always impresses me how many clock museums
> keep their exhibits running (in most cases about 70% of the clocks are

> still running in my experience). And they're not faked!

This is good, but a clock usually costs less to run than
a computer (and a lot less to run than an *old* computer).

There are also many more people willing and/or able to
sit down and understand a clock than there seem to be
who are willing/able to do the same for electronics.

My clock experience is limited to one modern mechanical
alarm clock and one electro-mechanical clock/radio/alarm
thing. Both had mechanical problems, both came apart
(given a little time and effort) and both went back
together and worked. Plus there was not much difference
between them (at least in principle, at least to the
depth that mattered in getting them functional again).

Computers seem to vary much more in design and have
evloved quite considerably. There is also plenty that,
potentially at least, you cannot tell just by looking.
(PALs, ASICs, custom parts, parts for which you
have no datasheet etc.).

So it is certainly impressive that a clock museum
can keep many clock operational; but I doubt that
any sort of computer museum would have the resources
available to do that for old computers. It is possible
to build your own valves, but is it possible to
build a replacement valve for a specific (but now
unobtainable) valve for some old mainframe?


Antonio Carlini arcarlini_at_iee.org
Received on Fri Sep 10 2004 - 16:58:37 BST

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