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David Ashton
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Re: Where's the paper tape?
David Ashton   10/15/2013 4:59:20 PM
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@TonyTib OK, I concede defeat!

TonyTib
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Where's the paper tape?
TonyTib   10/15/2013 4:37:05 PM
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I was too young to afford a PC in the paper tape, punch card, or cassette days, but I can remember what a pain in the butt trying to use my grampa's trash-80 cassette.

Of course, real old school PC is the MITS Altair -- got to have all those lights and big switches!

But for crazy, its hard to beat my brother, who designed and built a 8080 system, hand translated assembly code into binary, and programmed it to EPROM using DIP switches.  Since he's a pack rate, he probably still has that system somewhere!  For some reason, it didn't get much use...

David Ashton
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Re: More Memory= More Code
David Ashton   10/15/2013 3:47:30 PM
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OK, I can beat you all.  My first computer, a Sinclair ZX81 (used to be called Timex in the states) had just 1K of RAM.  I later got a Sinclair Spectrum with 16K.   Programs were stored on audio tape cassettes (using FSK).   You used a TV as the display.  They used BASIC and it's amazing what you could do with that small memory. You could also write and run Z80 machine code programs.  They were lots of fun.   Data (and programs) expand to fill the space available they say, that's certainly true today as Janine says.  

TonyTib
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Bubbles, HDDs, and more
TonyTib   10/15/2013 3:45:58 PM
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I still have a ST225 20M hard drive kicking around some where, along with the even bigger 80M version.  DiskCon (or what's left of it) typically has a historical exhibition of HDDs, including the original IBM drive, and some even bigger (physically) ones made by competitors.

My 1986 Intel databook has lots of great stuff like bubble memory, the iAPX432, and intelligent text display controllers.  And although I haven't seen core memory, I know about from my IBM 1620 manual (the 1620 worked in BCD).


Supposedly some military crypto systems used cone memory, but a quick search doesn't turn up anything on that.  Of course, on the analog side, the Navy used to use some great technologies like 20 psi proportional air control systems and mag amps (magnetic amplifiers).

 

JanineLove
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More Memory= More Code
JanineLove   10/15/2013 3:14:05 PM
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I think one of the things that could be a downside to the abundance of available memory  is the incredibly bloated code that we now use. I just downloade an update for my IM software, seriously, 51MB for an update?!! (BTW, my first computer had no memory, just two disk drives, one for booting and one for storing)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Cold to the Core
Max The Magnificent   10/15/2013 2:11:52 PM
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@Caleb: I've seen Core memory at the space center in Alabama!

My office is about 10 mins drive from the space center -- also I have a big core memory board from one of the army's computers at home (I hope they haven't missed it :-)

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Cold to the Core
Caleb Kraft   10/15/2013 2:07:56 PM
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Oh now that is so cool. 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Cold to the Core
Max The Magnificent   10/15/2013 2:06:40 PM
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@Terry: Sigh. Doing this makes me feel so... old! Pardon the nitpick, but just to keep a whole generation of young readers from getting it wrong: It's "core storage," not "cold storage."

I remember it like it were yesterday -- in fact I have 50,000 tiny cores in one of the filing cabinet shere in my office.

Core store was cool -- but if you want to see something mega cool (and who doesn't) then Click Here to see a delay line memory -- I so wish I had one of these in the office...

Terry.Bollinger
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Re: Cold to the Core
Terry.Bollinger   10/15/2013 2:05:52 PM
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The fact that I still carry a Palm III around in my shirt pocket (and to be honest, an HTC One in my other pocket) makes me feel like an archeological artificat... and proud to be one! :)

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Cold to the Core
Caleb Kraft   10/15/2013 1:59:31 PM
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I've seen Core memory at the space center in Alabama! cool stuff. For us young guys it is like an archeological artifact!

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As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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