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Evolution of Microcomputers: Personal Histories

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realjjj
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....
realjjj   2/28/2017 4:56:25 PM
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Would be interesting to look at it on a per cubic mm basis and maybe try to project the next 10 years too. Ofc excluding software wouldn't be right as it helps quite  a bit in key areas.

Can be argued that storage is practically unlimited as the internet has sufficiently evolved.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: ....
Max The Magnificent   2/28/2017 5:02:45 PM
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@realjjj: ...Can be argued that storage is practically unlimited as the internet has sufficiently evolved...

I remember when our ISP told us we had to pay more for our site because we had exceeded some limit like 10MB or storage (or something like that) -- something we would now regard as being piddlingly small

realjjj
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Re: ....
realjjj   2/28/2017 8:03:46 PM
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Yeah and because of it, file hoarding is falling out of fashion. Products like music and video streaming or cloud storage have changed people's behavior and needs. Youtube just announced that they have reached 1 billion hours per day watched. The internet offers us such a vast library of resources that on device storage is becoming irrelevant for consumers. In a few years even phones will have more than they need, assuming NAND prices keep scaling.

Michael Dunn
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No 386
Michael Dunn   3/1/2017 10:46:10 AM
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BTW, the 80386 PC was my work machine. At home, I jumped all the way from the 8MHz XT (DOS) to the 90MHz Pentium (OS/2) (ignoring the mostly-dedicated-to-music Atari ST). And I try not to think about what that Pentium system set me back. In 1995 dollars. Urgh.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: No 386
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 11:00:44 AM
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@Michael: ...I try not to think about what that Pentium system set me back. In 1995 dollars...

I know what you mean -- I think it was in 1998 when I was working for Intergraph and I purchased one of their Pentium 486 towers running Windows 95 -- this wasn't top of the range or anything -- but it cost me $2,500 (arrgghhhh)

Rcurl
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Southwest Technical Products 6800
Rcurl   3/1/2017 11:59:18 AM
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I started out with a Southwest Technical Products 6800 that was built from a kit,  It had a whopping 64K of RAM and was mounted in the base of a Friden Flexowriter teleprinter with an 8-level ASCII (none of the old 5-level Baudot crap!) punched tape reader and a stunt box full of relays on the back.

It took about 5 minutes to load "Tiny Basic" from punched tape.  I was really proud to have a copy of "Fancy Punch" which allowed me to type a short phrase and have it punched in legible holes on the tape.

It had a 300 baud modem and when I wasn't using it as a computer it doubled as a TWX terminal.

I eventually upgraded to a Commodore VIC-20.  The original computer ultimately went to a Hamfest where I had put a price of $10 on it.  It didn't sell, so about an hour before closing I marked it "Free".  It still didn't sell.

   

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 12:15:15 PM
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@RCurl: ...a price of $10 on it.  It didn't sell, so about an hour before closing I marked it "Free".  It still didn't sell.

I bet it would sell now -- do you still have it?

Rcurl
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Rcurl   3/1/2017 12:21:29 PM
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@MAX: "I bet it would sell now -- do you still have it?"

 

I had been warned that if it came back home I'd be sleeping on the couch.  I still remember seeing it in the rearview mirror in that big empty hall as I drove away.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 12:28:51 PM
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@Rcurl: ...I had been warned that if it came back home I'd be sleeping on the couch.  I still remember seeing it in the rearview mirror in that big empty hall as I drove away...

A little tear is rolling down my cheek in sympathy. And yet I bet Cynthia places on limits on the number of pairs of shoes she has gracing your bedroom closet LOL

blinss
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VIC-20 and Teletype Marriage
blinss   3/1/2017 12:40:46 PM
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I acquired a Commodore VIC-20 back in the day but not a printer, as Dot-Matrix and "Daisy Wheel" (remember those?) printers were still somewhat expensive. When I bought an early word processor program "Quick Brown Fox", it was apparent I needed to have a working printer.

I had scored an old (1960's?) Teletype KSR-33 terminal (Keyboard Send/Receive, with Paper Tape Punch and Reader) from a surplus sale, as a memento of my old BOCES PDP-11 timeshare BASIC programming experience in High School. That experience was using a rotary dial-up handset, pressed into an Acoustic-coupler Modem, at a screaming 110 Baud - the speed of the Teletype solenoid.

The Teletype used a 50 milliamp current loop to communicate with the modem - this current actually pulled in the solenoid that mechanically selected the character combination and stamped the head against the paper (all UPPER CASE, this is not an IBM Selectric!)

So, using the VIC-20 RS-232 port for printer connection, I hacked up my own 50 mA current loop interface, set the baud rate to 110, and ported the output to the Serial port. IT WORKED!

Though somewhat crude, I had my first working printer, and a great experience in serial communications. If you've ever wondered why the asynchronous serial protocol evolved the way it did, realize that there were serious electro-mechanical necessities in driving the printer mechanism of those days...

blinss
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Re: VIC-20 and Teletype Marriage
blinss   3/1/2017 12:53:39 PM
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If you want to know more about the Teletype, there are archived manual on the Web at:

http://www.soemtron.org/teletypemanuals.html

 

Try the file: 

Bulletin 273B Models 32/33 1963, an earlier version of bulletins 273B volumes 1/2 above - 20.6Mb zipped.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: VIC-20 and Teletype Marriage
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 1:04:25 PM
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@blinss: ...I hacked up my own 50 mA current loop interface, set the baud rate to 110, and ported the output to the Serial port. IT WORKED!...

I can only imagine your feeling of excitement / satisfaction / euphoria -- I know that feeling (but not often enough LOL)

Michael Dunn
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Re: VIC-20 and Teletype Marriage
Michael Dunn   3/1/2017 2:56:07 PM
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>(all UPPER CASE, this is not an IBM Selectric!)


This is (was) a Selectric: For a time (until I moved), I had an IBM 2741 Selectric terminal. It came with an APL ball (sorry...type element), though I generally used a more normal one. In a card cage full of electronics, I managed to track down and replace one faulty transistor (inside one of IBM's famous hybrid circuit cans). Then, built an interface to my Poly 88. 134.5 baud.

There was no handshaking, so my print driver kept track of carriage position and used it to compute an appropriate wait time after sending a CR.

Ah...will I ever have such leisure time again?

 

perl_geek
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Vocabulary
perl_geek   3/1/2017 2:53:36 PM
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Anyone interested in this discussion might enjoy ESR's description of words  soon to be as obsolete as poignard or antimacassar. http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/things-every-hacker-once-knew/

Particularly useful for noobs trying to decipher the greybeards' mumbling.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Vocabulary
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 3:41:41 PM
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@perl_geek: ...might enjoy ESR's description of words...

I love it -- also did you ever see my column on ASCII et al?

perl_geek
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Re: Vocabulary
perl_geek   3/1/2017 4:31:11 PM
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I don't remember having seen that before, but it rips the tissue off a few old scars. :-)* When does nostalgia merge into PTSD?

Seriously, having started on a paper-tape oriented machine, then switched to IBM's cards, and then back, I find it interesting how long-obsolete hardware leaves traces in things like character codes and languages. (Compare 'C' and COBOL, or the sequence columns in Fortran.)  I call them "technological Cheshire cats". English is full of them. On a cruise, we "set sail" in a "steamship", (bit of an oxymoron, what?), even though a big Diesel is making the quay recede.

jimwilliams57
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TI-990 Minicomputer
jimwilliams57   3/1/2017 3:50:10 PM
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I worked for Texas Instruments from 1980-1988 and first worked on a TI-990/10 minicomputer. At the start of that job I thought the 990 must have been the most advanced computer available.

The 990 had a 16-bit CPU (it was actually 4 4-bit processors bit-sliced to function as a single 16-bit CPU). The CPU occupied 2 slots in the not-so-small cabinet. It had an amazing 1MB DRAM which took up an additional 4-6 slots (expandable to 2MB which no one could afford), although the CPU could only address 64KB at any given time.

It could be expanded to 16 user terminals (there were no more slots available in the cabinet). Each display terminal controller board would drive 2 terminals. The video display memory was on the controller with a coax cable to send the video image to the monitor (serial was just too slow). The operating system, DX10, was actually designed to be an RTOS but it was primarily used in business applications.

I later joined and eventually was the only remaining developer on the team that maintained DX10 (and DNOS, but that's another story). I left TI for greener pastures in 1988 and TI killed the 990 a month or so later, so I was told. (It wasn't killed because I left, I wasn't that important. I left because it was dying.)

Rcurl
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Programs in magazines
Rcurl   3/1/2017 5:55:45 PM
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This blog got me started thinking (as Max's blogs often do) about something from long, long ago, but I don't remember it all and I hope some of the readers here can fill in the blanks.  

It must have been back in the '70s that one of the computer magazines would bind a floppy plastic record in the magazine from time to time.  You could tear out the record, put it on a turntable, and feed the audio into a 300 baud modem. I think these records contained simple programs for some of the early computers.  Can someone help me fill in the blanks here?  

What magazine was it?

What kind of programs were on the records?

What kind of CPU was this for?

I think I remember looking over the shoulder of someone at the Birmingham Microprocessor Group as they loaded a program from one of these discs.  Have any of you actually done it?  

Michael Dunn
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Re: Programs in magazines
Michael Dunn   3/1/2017 6:59:37 PM
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Not quite the same, but I have a Tomita LP (Bermuda Triangle IIRC) that has some "Tarbell" cassette interface-encoded text on one of the tracks. I actually bought a 2nd-hand Tarbell board to decode it!

traneus
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Programs in magazines
traneus   3/1/2017 8:00:45 PM
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I don't remember the flexible plastic records, so the magazine was not Byte. I do remember one ad for a rigid vinyl 12-inch LP record containing software.

Byte pioneered "Paperbytes" for a while. These were linear barcodes in strips filling entire pages in the magazine, which could be manually scanned using an optical barcode reader.

David Ashton
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Re: Programs in magazines
David Ashton   3/3/2017 2:52:49 AM
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@Traneus...  "Paperbytes".... These were linear barcodes...."

That in turn reminds me of the old Video Recorders which had bar code readers in the remote controls.  TV magazines printed barcodes under program details.  To record a program you scanned its barcode and then pointed the remote at your VCR and pressed a button and that programmed the VCR to record that program.  You had to program the channels in your VCR to match those of the magazine as I remember.  Pretty clever.  Anyone else remember those?

JGrubbs
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Re: Programs in magazines
JGrubbs   3/2/2017 12:29:12 AM
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Rcurl

The magazine was Interface Age.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/the-floppy-rom-software-distributed-on-records/#mmGal

The Modern Mechanix web site has a lot of old ads covering a bunch of categories. It is easy to spend several hours browsing the old ads.

Rcurl
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Re: Programs in magazines
Rcurl   3/2/2017 9:55:29 AM
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@JGrubbs and David Ashton- Thanks!  That really brings back memories.  I was beginning to think I had imagined the "Floppy ROMS".

 

@Jimwilliams: ".... At the end of the show they instructed the viewers to put their cassette recorders near the TV speaker..."

Wow- I never heard of that one.  Clever!

 

@Traneus: "Byte pioneered "Paperbytes" for a while. "

I think I rememebr that.  Seems like it had a checksum every few lines so you could make sure you were still inputting good data.  

 

David Ashton
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Re: Programs in magazines
David Ashton   3/2/2017 2:16:30 AM
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@RCurl - Rick I think it might have been Elektor magazine.  They used to issue software for their projects (1802 / SC/MP / Z80 type stuff) on records - they called it ESS (Elektor Software Service).  I remember seeing writeups for it but in those days I got most of my Elektors second hand and never got the records.  They did a series (with board designs etc) on the SC/MP and some of the software would have been for that I think. Fossicking around on the net I found:

A 1979 issue of the electronics magazine Elektor featured a 7″ containing vinyl data for the games "Battleships", "Keyplay", and "Luna" as well as four other pieces of non-game software.

There was more but EET wouldn't let me post it - I think due to illegal characters.

Elektor is still going, I translate articles for them and have written the odd one too, it's still a good mag. 

jimwilliams57
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Re: Programs in magazines
jimwilliams57   3/2/2017 8:09:24 AM
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A few months ago I saw a BBC program from the early 1980's about computers. At the end of the show they instructed the viewers to put their cassette recorders near the TV speaker and start recording, then played an audio track of what sounded like a 300 baud modem tone. I don't know the name of the show, but it might have been The Computer Programme. I imagine @Max would know.

traneus
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Vocabulary
traneus   3/1/2017 8:16:38 PM
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A gestural example: On Windows and Macintosh GUIs, to shift focus to a different already-open window, the user must click on the desired window. Unix and Linux GUIs can often be configured to not need the click, hovering can be enough to change focus. Why the difference?

Unix (and hence its clone Linux) was full multitasking before GUIs existed, so all open windows are running simultaneously. Shifting focus merely involves changing which task is sent the keyboard characters.

Windows (before NT) and Macintosh (before OSX) were single-tasking, so only the window with focus was running. All other windows were frozen. To shift focus required a full task-switch.

In Unix or Linux configured for hover-to-focus, since all windows are running at once, it is straightforward to type into a behind window. Click-to-focus machines do not allow this.

Another advantage of hover-to-focus, is that I can return to editing a file, without forcing the edit cursor to move in the process of gaining focus.

Michael Dunn
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Re: Vocabulary
Michael Dunn   3/2/2017 8:39:48 AM
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>Windows (before NT) and Macintosh (before OSX) were single-tasking, so only the window with focus was running. All other windows were frozen. To shift focus required a full task-switch.

Wrong. Mac had multitasking since OS6 I believe (albeit cooperative, not pre-emptive). I don't remember re Windows, but I'm pretty sure pre-NT was multitasking too...

 

elizabethsimon
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Re: Vocabulary
elizabethsimon   3/2/2017 11:12:16 AM
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@ Michael

I think you're right about pre-NT I seem to remember being able to run programs in the background on Win 95 or so. Of course, the background programs ran VERY slowly so if you wanted your calculations done in a reasonable time, you were best off shifting focus to the window doing the calculations.

David Ashton
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Re: Vocabulary
David Ashton   3/2/2017 3:23:39 PM
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@Traneus...I remember on Win 3.11 having a program which ran a cartoon movie of a dancing girl.  You could open a number of these - I remember opening 8 of them once and all of them slowed right down, but were still working.  Surely that was mutli-tasking?

I think before NT a problem with one window would crash everything, NT and later used partitioning which was supposed to prevent this?

traneus
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Pre-NT and pre-OSX multitasking
traneus   3/3/2017 5:03:48 PM
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I hardly used pre-NT Windows, and I never used pre-OSX Macintoshes, so I thank those who corrected my recollections. Both NT and OSX (which is Unix at its core) are true pre-emptive mutitasking, and complete rewrites from their predecessors.

mtx
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Re: Vocabulary
mtx   4/22/2017 4:29:50 AM
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Win 3.1 / 3.11 were multitasking but it was cooperative multitasking, meaning the program had to yield control of the CPU to Windows. Windows would never context switch by itself (it would handle interrupts but would not switch between programs based on e.g. timer interrupt). Yielding come mostly naturally in the Windows programming model without much programmer intervention, since control is automatically yielded in the message loop (when the program calls GetMessage()). But if a program starts a huge calculation when processing a message it will lock up the system and even the clock wouldn't update. This required the programmer to manually split up the calculation into small chunks and set up a timer message to trigger the calculation of the individuals chunk. Well-behaving programs could easily multitask. It was actually Win9x (i.e. pre NT) that introduced pre-emptive multitasking and could switch to other programs even if a program didn't yield. It seems the scheduler was not too aggressive/sophisticated about it (probably due to the limited resources available) so in practice a program not yielding could significantly affect the reponsiveness but it usually wouldn't crash the system. WinNT and successors refined the scheduling and priority algorithms further and further and combined with much greater HW resources things are much more  smooth today. But it was Win95/98 that introduced true pre-emptive multitasking. 

fpgaeng
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punch cards!
fpgaeng   3/2/2017 2:45:53 PM
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Boy do I rember punch cards. I had to use them in my first CS class in college. You had to punch your code onto the cards and then leave them in a queue at the mainframe room and come back later to get the printout. If there was a syntax error or some other bug in your code you had to do the whole proces over. Imagine trying to learn to code this way? You sure got to be a good programmer this way.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: punch cards!
Max The Magnificent   3/2/2017 2:52:53 PM
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@fpgaeng: ...You had to punch your code onto the cards and then leave them in a queue at the mainframe room and come back later to get the printout...

That's the way it was -- some surly person behind the counter would take your cards and say "come back next Tuesday." When you returned, they would hand you your deck of cards with an elastic band around them and a piece of paper on top saying something like "Syntax Error, Line 2, Missing Comma"

So you would amble back to your building, make the chance, bring the deck back to the computer building, and be told "Come back next Tuesday" -- it could take an entire semester to get even the simplest program running LOL

David Ashton
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Re: punch cards!
David Ashton   3/2/2017 3:28:33 PM
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come back later to get the printout...

and if you'd left an endless loop in your program you'd get a 3-inch thick printout and a flea in your ear from the operator who'd terminated it....

fpgaeng
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Re: punch cards!
fpgaeng   3/2/2017 3:30:24 PM
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on the last day of class we would go to the roof of the dorms and throw all our cards over the edge. That was a great feeling, but the RA's didn't like it much.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: punch cards!
Max The Magnificent   3/2/2017 3:53:39 PM
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@fpgaeng: ...on the last day of class we would go to the roof of the dorms and throw all our cards over the edge...

You wild impetuous fools! LOL

elizabethsimon
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Re: punch cards!
elizabethsimon   3/2/2017 4:37:44 PM
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@Max

"Come back next Tuesday"

We had a slightly different system. First you stand in line waiting for a keypunch machine to free up. Once you had punched your cards, you stood in line at one of the card readers where you'd put your stack in the reader which would quickly scan the cards and return them to you. Then you got to stand around next to the cubbyholes where tie printouts were put when you program finally got to run and wait some undetermined time (usually hours) for your printout to appear when you would find that you had forgotten to remove one of your mis-punched cards from the deck...

Then you got to stand in line waiting for a keypunch machine to free up to correct any errors.

I did pretty well at getting the code to work but never caught the knack of remembering to remove the mis-punched cards from the deck so it always took at least two runs to get results.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: punch cards!
Max The Magnificent   3/2/2017 4:56:02 PM
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@Elizabeth: We had a slightly different system. First you stand in line waiting...

And you tell the young people of today, and they don't believe you... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

raslaje
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Punch Cards
raslaje   3/2/2017 7:18:51 PM
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@Elizabeth

"...and wait some undetermined time (usually hours". That was pretty efficient compared to my school. We actually had someone who punched the cards for us, which only served to delay the operation until the next class (yes, the next class). We had one mainframe computer, which we didn't get to operate ($$$$$), so again more logistics problems.

 What I really learned is to appreciate what we have today. I'm a retired EE and I learned to design PCBs from You tube using Eagle software, program the MSP430 in 'C', and poke around different websites like MIT OpenCourseWare where you get to see an archieved class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWZDVWdtjMY or my current interest, complex numbers given by this professor from a different school https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi7yHjesblV0sSfZzWdSUXGO683n_nJdQ Life is good.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Punch Cards
Max The Magnificent   3/3/2017 10:02:49 AM
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@raslaje: ...What I really learned is to appreciate what we have today...

Oh so true -- I predate EDA as we know it -- my first ASIC designs were in pencil and paper at the gate/register level -- timing analysis involved you adding all the gate and track delays by hand -- functional verification involved your peers looking at your schematics and saying ""looks good" -- you could tell circuit board designers by the fact that they never wore wool sweaters (because they didn't want any fibers falling on the laminate and causing shorts in the finished board)... I could go on for hours LOL

elizabethsimon
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Re: Punch Cards
elizabethsimon   3/3/2017 11:16:19 AM
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@ max

And I'd guess that you remember using Karnaugh Maps and Boolean Algebra to get to the minimum possible gate count.

I was never involved in ASIC design so I missed that part of the fun. I did spend a lot of time trying to fit logic designs into the leftover gates in a package so that we wouldn't have to add another part. I was wishing I could use one of the new-fangled programmable logic devices but they used too much power for our design.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Punch Cards
Max The Magnificent   3/3/2017 12:24:26 PM
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@Elizabeth: ...you remember using Karnaugh Maps and Boolean Algebra to get to the minimum possible gate count....

You betcha -- did you see my column on Karnaugh Maps?  And Reed-Muller Logic? And Gray Codes? And Positive vs Negative Logic? And Assertion-Level Logic? And LFSRs?

Phew -- I'm tired just listing them all LOL

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Punch Cards
MeasurementBlues   3/6/2017 10:33:26 AM
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Max wrote "I predate EDA as we know it"

He also predates the abacus, but don't tell anyone.

raslaje
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Re: Punch Cards
raslaje   3/6/2017 4:27:02 PM
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"He also predates the abacus, but don't tell anyone."

But he looks too young in his photo. Why's that?

Maybe he took it with a Kodak?

elizabethsimon
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Re: Punch Cards
elizabethsimon   3/3/2017 11:27:45 AM
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@ raslaje

That was pretty efficient compared to my school.

Yes it was pretty efficient for that day and got even more efficient when I discoverd that the wait times were significanlty reduced if you came in at 7 or 8 AM instead of PM

perl_geek
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Practical queueing theory
perl_geek   3/3/2017 3:07:33 PM
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@Elizabeth "We had a slightly different system..."

Did the administration use the system as a case study in the behaviour of systems with multiple queues? It's actually surprising how many things can be modelled that way, especially in OSs.

(And as a footnote, did you notice that "queueing" has five vowels in succession. There can't  be many words with that count or higher.)

Karnaugh maps and Boolean algebra still have a role, if you're trying to get to the essentials of logic. Even when circuits are cheap and microscopic, hence not worth optimising in themselves, it's worthwhile to boil a problem down to its essentials.

 

traneus
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Personal history
traneus   3/5/2017 7:35:50 PM
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1966 Fortran II punched cards on IBM 1620 at university.

1974 Homebrew DRAM-based text dumb terminal via 300-baud modem to Xerox Sigma-6 timesharing system.

1977 Added homebrew 8080 processor to dumb terminal, using high-speed cassette-tape storage.

1987 Heathkit clone of IBM 8088 PC using MS-DOS. I still use this machine for text editing.

1991 Started using Unix workstations in graduate school.

1994 Upgraded to Pentium 90 running MS-DOS for transient analysis of analog/digital circuits.

1995 Upgraded to Slackware Linux.

2001 Upgraded internet access to cable modem.

2005 After hardware failures, upgraded to AMD Athlon 64-bit processor. I still use this machine for most work, now running 64-bit Slackware using 1 GB of DRAM.

TonyTib
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Re: Personal history
TonyTib   3/6/2017 2:15:40 PM
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Some family notes:

My father used the IBM 1620 in college.  Somewhere, I still have a 1620 manual (I'm not getting rid of it).

My brother designed and built an 8080 system in the 1980's, hand assembled assembly language, and then entered it into the EPROM using a DIP switches (he made his own EPROM programmer) - and only made a few mistakes!

My first computer was the Atari 520ST.  I still have it lying around  - I need to fire it up and show my kids; I think they'd enjoy some of the old games (I had a lot of fun playing Rampage -- need to find a couple joysticks for it).

mtx
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My PC history
mtx   4/22/2017 4:40:30 AM
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Age today: 35

 

xmas 1991. Inherited my brothers Commodore 64. Programmed Basic and played games.

xmas 1993. We got the first family PC, an IBM PS/1 486SX 25MHz, 4MB RAM (later upgraded to 8MB and with CD-ROM). Did basic and assembly programming

Spring 1998: Bought my first PC. P-2 300MHz, 64 MB RAM. It was hugely expensive, $2500. Later upgraded to 128 MB.

Spring 2002: Athlon XP 1700+ don't recall how much RAM but I guess what would have been typical at the time (512 MB?)

Spring 2005: Athlon 64 3000+ 2 GB RAM

Spring 2008: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 with 4 GB RAM (dual core, 3 GHz)

Spring 2011: Intel i5 2500, 8 GB RAM (quad core, 3.3 GHz)

Summer 2015: Intel 6700K with 16 GB RAM (quad core, 4 GHz)

 The last upgrade seems a bit wasteful. Despite of being one of the longest times between upgrades the benefit was not huge. In some things it is an improvement, in others not so. And application requirements are stagnant so it is only for compiling code etc. I can appreciate the difference. But I had the upgrade itch and could afford it ;) In the 2002-2015 era I kept a lot of the HW from machine to machine so it was mostly the motherboard, CPU, RAM and occationally GFX I upgraded.

The next worthwhile upgrades seems to be for higher core counts like AMD Ryzen. Unfortunately I am still early into the 6700K, so will sit out on that one. So I expect to upgrade to either 6 or 8 core in 1-2 years depending on what offerings there is at the time. Could be AMD's next-gen Ryzen og maybe Intel's IceLake. 

 

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