Christie's auction and other computer history events

From: Jerome H. Fine <>
Date: Tue Feb 22 07:28:28 2005

>Tom Jennings wrote:

> IBM was in the business of making money -- and apparently during
> some significant period 1/3rd of their income was from the cards
> themselves! It seems obvious they'd scare customers into buying
> their more expensive cards... "Make sure you use only gen-you-wine
> Microsoft floppy disks in that there compyooter!"

Jerome Fine replies:

Seems like DEC learned from IBM. DEC used to insist
that all 8" floppy media be ordered from DEC, both
RX01 (original IBM format SSSD) as well as RX02. Later
DEC also insisted that RX50 media must also be ordered
from DEC. I can't remember the cost of 8" floppy media
from DEC, but I seem to remember that a box of 10 * RX50
floppy media were about $ 50 or about $ 5 per floppy.

DEC also did this with RL02 media as well and since the
LLF included some copyright stuff from DEC (as far as
I can remember), I seem to remember that DEC was able to
eliminate the competition for RL02 spare disks.

Actually, probably most companies do similar things.
I also seem to remember that Seagate used the same hard
drive for both 20 MByte / 40 MByte hard drives with
the 40 MByte hard drive having a bolt removed to allow
the head to seek for the extra 20 MBytes.

Honeywell made a thermostat that used a bolt to prevent
the lever from moving into the third position to control
AC (air conditioning) in addition to heat. The version
without the extra bolt cost twice as much, although it did
have a decal which was 1/3 longer which included the word
COOL (in addition to HEAT and OFF).

Probably most software is also written to use the same source
file for both the hobby and commercial version. Just change
a symbol from 0 to 1 and the software changes from hobby to
commercial. Of course, in the case of software, all the extra
features required a lot of extra work to design and debug, but
probably not nearly as much time as the original hobby version
of the software.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Tue Feb 22 2005 - 07:28:28 GMT

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