From: Bob Shannon <>
Date: Sun Feb 27 09:15:27 2005

I'm 42, born in 1962.

I was facinated by computers while still in grade school. My first hands-on
experiance was seeing
an 'open house' demonstration of a Hughes HM 4118 (18-bit) core memory
machine running a
combat air traffic control system (with massive radar and vector data
display tubes) at an Air
National Guard base where my Uncle worked.

My first 'commercial' personal computer was an Elf II (now Jack Rubin's)
back in 1978, and I also
home-brewed several 1802 and 8080 based projects. While in high school I
had use of the PDP-8E
running a multi-user BASIC interpreter with four ASR-33's. After graduating
in 1980 I enlisted and
was trained on the very same Hughes HM-4118 system I'd seen as a child.

After my service I worked on PDP-11's at Applicon, then Lisp Machines at LMI
and the MIT AI

I began to collect and restore old computers back in 1984. While working
for TMI (helping to build
connection machines) I found a Hewlett Packard 2114A system with all its
cables and peripherals as
well as a box of documentation for the system. After a bit of reading I got
brave enough to plug it
in and the machine still ran very well. At that point I was hooked on HP
hardware, and I now have
two 2114's, two 2116's, a 2115, and a large pile of 2113's, including two
complete racked systems
with many peripherals (perhaps 7 working 2113's and an equal number of parts

My HP collection also grew to include an HP-01, and several vector graphics
generators. I even went
so far as to build my own ATA disk controller and developed a threaded
interpreter designed for the
restoration of vintage HP 1000 series CPU's.

The most uncommon machine in my collection is an 'alpha' Imlac PDS-1, which
combines the blinking
lights and vector graphics into one very unusual and special machine.

I also have a number of Apollo workstations (running SR7. something), but
I'm unloading these
machines to make room for all the HP's. (does anyone have an Apollo DN660
itch they need to scratch?)

My ultimate 'dream' collectable machine, CDC6600. Dual vector based CRT's
on the console make
up for a major lack of blinking lights, IMO. I'd also love to find a
Raython 704, perhaps a more practical
'dream' machine. Of course a Hughes HM 4118 would be very welcome as

Bob Shannon
Received on Sun Feb 27 2005 - 09:15:27 GMT

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