Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 3 / 3
Michael Dunn
User Rank
Manager
Re: Rememberance of Things Past
Michael Dunn   7/5/2013 12:47:48 PM
NO RATINGS
We had to enter the first-level boot-up sequence using front panel switches.

Couldn't afford a paper tape reader, eh...? Sad.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: I'll go with 1889
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2013 12:38:30 PM
NO RATINGS
@betajet:Lots of testimonals in the back, including one from an iceman who had worked 12-15 hours a day until he took the ICS Interior Wiring Course and was able to earn US$2.50 a day working just 8 hours.

There is so much to be learned from these old books -- often they provide a unique window into the past.

I also have a load of full-sized hardback books from the 40s, 50s, and 60s describing how to build logic circuits out of vacuum tubes, relays, and even magnetic logic.

FYI, the magnetic logic used the same magnetic cores you find in the old magnetic core stores, but using them to implement logic functions like AND and OR ... and, of corse, since they were cores, each logic gate also acts as a non-volatile memory element...

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The computer that no more exists
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2013 12:33:42 PM
NO RATINGS
## The veterans in our department refuse to dump those obsolete manuals!

God bless them!!!

It's easy to throw stuff out now, and then realize whet we've lost in years to come...

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Rememberance of Things Past
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2013 12:32:12 PM
NO RATINGS
## You clearly missed out on the PDP-11 era, and you have my condolences.

My first job out of university in 1980 was working on a team designing CPUs for mainframe computers.

Two managest left to form their own startup company and invited me to join them, so my next job circa 1981 was in a small six-person company using a PDP 11/21.


The hard disk drive cabinet was the size of a washing machine. The drive itself comprised a numbrer of platters that (in a glass case looking like a wedding cake wjen removed from the system) that offered only 1MB of storage. We all shared one folder -- files used the 8.3 naming standard (no spaces or special characters). We used the first character of the file name to indicate who owned which files ('M' for "Max"

We had to enter the first-level boot-up sequence using front panel switches.

Ah, the good old days :-)

 

betajet
User Rank
CEO
I'll go with 1889
betajet   7/4/2013 2:46:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Hey Max,

Google found me a picture of the 1889 edition that looks the same, though yours is in better condition.  So you have 20 years advantage over my 1908 "Electrical Engineer's Pocketbook" (International Corresponence Schools, Scranton, PA) which belonged to my grandfather.  However, I bet my book is a lot more useful.  For example, it has tables of copper wire resistance (B&S Gauge 0000 is 18,290 feet per Ohm at 50C and weighs 3381.4 pounds per mile), detailed diagrams of electrical wiring (knob and tube, of course), lots of diagrams of dynamo-electric machines (motors and generators) and alternators, and a chapter on "car wiring" -- for streetcars.  Way too early for vacuum tubes, but plenty on batteries and electric lamps.  (At the time, mercury-vapor tubes had to be tilted by pulling on a chain to establish initial conduction, and then released to form the arc.)  There's even a section of first aid, showing how to do artificial respiration by moving the victim's arms.

Lots of testimonals in the back, including one from an iceman who had worked 12-15 hours a day until he took the ICS Interior Wiring Course and was able to earn US$2.50 a day working just 8 hours.



betajet
User Rank
CEO
Rememberance of Things Past
betajet   7/4/2013 2:18:54 PM
NO RATINGS
anon1428013:

You clearly missed out on the PDP-11 era, and you have my condolences.  The PDP-11 was IMO the finest of the mini-computers, and I was sad when memory got so cheap that the PDP-11's 16-bit addressing range (w/o segmentation) made it obsolete.  PDP-11 was an elegant, very regular architecture that was so simple that PDP-11 ASM programming was often easier than with the high-level languages of the time (this was before Pascal and C).  The machine language had such a simple octal coding that many ASM programmers could instantly decode instructions from an octal dump.

And I/O!  PDP-11 had very simple memory-mapped I/O.  How simple?  If you have an extra 10 minutes, go to the IT library, take out the "PDP-11 Peripherals Handbook" and read the chapter called "Programming".  It will show you how to do both busy-wait and interrupt-driven programming, in JUST 8 PAGES.  Compare that to what it takes to write a device driver for your favorite OS.

Looking at PDP-11 books reminds people like me of the wonderful time between the aloofness of mainframes locked away in glass rooms and the insane overcomplexity of modern desktop computers.  The PDP-11 was simple enough that an individual could quickly master it without being bogged down in arbitrary complexity.  It was a great time of freedom -- a machine you could fully control before being handcuffed by DRMs and software patents.

You can still get a PDP-11 style joy of simplicity with bare-metal programming on some embedded processors.

prabhakar_deosthali
User Rank
CEO
The computer that no more exists
prabhakar_deosthali   7/4/2013 8:41:02 AM
NO RATINGS
The Digital Equipment Corporation , the well known name in computers for decades is history now. So much so that today's generation will hardly have heard this name.

 

But my IT department's library has a complete rack assigned for the books , manuals of DEC PDP 11 series computer and the associated RSX-11 operating system. It competes for space among the latest additions on HTML, XNL, JAVA and such new additions.

The veterans in our department refuse to dump those obsolete manuals !

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
A family heirloom
kfield   7/3/2013 5:03:27 PM
NO RATINGS
I've always loved this desk plaque that was originally my father-in-laws, who started out in engineering in the 1950s. It is a treasured item that will be passed down through generations of "pack rats" in the family!

<<   <   Page 3 / 3


EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Max Maxfield

Steve Wozniak Reacts to Latest iPhone
Max Maxfield
5 comments
Funnily enough, just a few days ago as I pen these words, I was chatting with my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) when she informed me that -- as a kid -- she had never played at making a ...

EDN Staff

11 Summer Vacation Spots for Engineers
EDN Staff
20 comments
This collection of places from technology history, museums, and modern marvels is a roadmap for an engineering adventure that will take you around the world. Here are just a few spots ...

Glen Chenier

Engineers Solve Analog/Digital Problem, Invent Creative Expletives
Glen Chenier
15 comments
- An analog engineer and a digital engineer join forces, use their respective skills, and pull a few bunnies out of a hat to troubleshoot a system with which they are completely ...

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
46 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Flash Poll
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)