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Marlski
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Re: Cold to the Core
Marlski   10/15/2013 7:15:28 PM
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I have an 8K core memory board hanging on my office wall, once belonging to a DEC something or another,  just below a couple of (very old) Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company stock certificates. There was a story floating around Control Data's early days about its core memory and how the tiny magnetic donuts were hand threaded in Hong Kong because the process needed the fine and delicate hands of Asian women. The location was affectionately known as "Bill Norris' Far East Core House"!

Cheers,

Terry

VE3COM

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Bubbles, HDDs, and more
betajet   10/15/2013 6:41:25 PM
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My favorite historical memory device is the Univac FASTRAND moving head magnetic drum unit, which stored data on the surface of a heavy drum approx 6 feet long by 1 foot in diameter.  The Devil's DP Dictionary defined it as "a device for storing angular momentum".  The gyroscopic effect of the drum was so strong they had to add a counter-rotating drum so that the 4,500-pound unit wouldn't turn as the Earth rotated.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: More Memory= More Code
betajet   10/15/2013 6:32:53 PM
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Parkinson's Law applied to computers: "Programs expand to fill all available memory".

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: More Memory= More Code
betajet   10/15/2013 6:29:01 PM
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Foo, my first computer had just 3 bits of memory!  And hard-coded instructions.

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: More Memory= More Code
Max The Magnificent   10/15/2013 5:39:42 PM
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@David: I'm sure we had more fun with these tiny memories than we do now.

I think Janine made a good point -- today's code writers often don't even try to make things "mean-and-lean" because they have so much RAM and hard disk storage to play with...

David Ashton
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Blogger
Re: More Memory= More Code
David Ashton   10/15/2013 5:21:16 PM
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... and before anyone says anything, now I'M the one with the tiny memory..... :-))

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More Memory= More Code
David Ashton   10/15/2013 5:20:23 PM
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@Max, Antedeluvian... I should know better than to open my big mouth on EE Times.... :-)   I'm sure we had more fun with these tiny memories than we do now.  

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More Memory= More Code
Max The Magnificent   10/15/2013 5:16:47 PM
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@David: ...had just 1K of RAM...

You had a whole 1K of RAM? We used to dream of 1K of RAM when I was a lad...

JeremySCook
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cold to the Core
JeremySCook   10/15/2013 5:02:42 PM
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Wow, I should really check my terminology!  Thanks for pointing this out, I'll see if I can get it corrected.

antedeluvian
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More Memory= More Code
antedeluvian   10/15/2013 5:02:39 PM
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David

 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'll see your Sinclair and raise you by an Elf. I built my first computer based around the design for the RCA 1802 Cosmac Elf. It had 256 bytes of CMOS memory and that consisted of 2 chips! When I developed our first product I used a 1K x8 bipolar PROM that I turned on and off to conserve power, and after partioning the software functionality paged in ~200 bytes ar a time (needed scratchpad,stack etc in the rest).

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