Many things

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Sat Jan 29 17:34:19 2005

> >Should it ever come to that -- that is that I can't get the parts to
> >_repair_ the hard drives (note : I would certainly consider making a
> >'clean box' to work on the inside of the HDA if necessary), then I would
> >grab the soldering iron, raid the junk box, and design an interface to a
> >more modern storage device. Heck, I've seen flash memory cards with more
> >storage than the hard drives in most of my machines....
> Unfortunately this isn't an option for a lot of us. I can pull off
> some board level maintenance, but designing new parts is beyond me.
> Thankfully my main PDP-11's and most of my VAXen have SCSI interfaces.

Please don't take this as a flame, but I am always suprised by the people
who run classic computers (as opposed to running emulators) and who don't
want to get into the hardware. To me [1] that's one of the reasons for
running an old machine.

[1] And to a university computer society that I was a member of, which
had a 'Hardware and Old Systems SIG'

Finding good spare parts gets significantly easier as the parts get
smaller :-). Finding a complete board may well be next to impossibe,
finding a TTL chip is relatively easy. Even if it's a custom chip that's
failed, you might well be able to find a defective board with that chip
still good on it. That's how my HP45 came into being, a friend gave me
the contents of his junk box, including 2 dead HP45 logic boards, several
dead and part-raided keyboard PCBs, etc. There were enough displays to
completely populate a keyboard PCB (even if one of them has smaller
digits than the other 2), of the logic boards, one had a dead A&R chip,
the other had a dead C&T. I now have a pieced-together, working, 45.

The other thing is that even if you can't do the design, you may be able
to copy xomebody else's (And you can be assured that anything I do
related to classic computers will be shared). [Cue for the well-known
story about the mathematician Littleword 'How ever little French I know,
I am capable of copying a French sentence']

Received on Sat Jan 29 2005 - 17:34:19 GMT

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