OK, wreckers. It's 'fess up time!

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Hmmmm, I am reminded of a little TI unit I had with a membrane "keyboard" whose "harddrive" was my cassette tape recorder. I am not a techie (I was in school getting my accounting degree at the time), but I managed to program a Tic-Tac-Toe game in Basic on it. 16K of total memory if I recall. The "monitor" was my TV set.
Dave Hall
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Cassette recorders? Cassette recorders! Hell son, I wrote the book on cassette recorders for computer data storage!
Literally. I was even paid for it, although the company never published it -- for some odd reason.
The really odd thing is that you can find the book listed in several on-line book stores. :-)
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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I think you win.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

<crm> Nah. First computer I programed had no transistors and no RAM. It was a Bendix G-15 with a rotating drum memory. It was a challenge to distribute programs around the (2K) drum so that as each instruction finished executing the next would be (almost) at the read head. It did double duty as a space heater. </crm>
About that same time a friend of mine built a computer (stored program calculator) out of telephone relays. Noisy thing. As I recall, he had to be careful because if too many relays picked at the same time, it blew the power supply fuse.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Fascinating. Somebody had written a cross assembler for the Verdan that ran on the G-15. Certainly better than nothing. The first computer that I ever tried to program was a Burroughs E-101. It was externally programmed and at the approximate size of a desk, did about as much.     j4
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jo4hn wrote:

Fascinating indeed. Way better than nothing. The machines weren't much by today's standards (although the G-15 was capable of true multiprocessing), but they were such an incredible jump ahead of everything that had ever gone before.
We hung a tapedrive onto the Bendix, then a Calcomp plotter, then an IBM 407, and eventually a "mark-sense" card reader. By the time all the 'upgrades' were in place the poor thing had a MTTF somewhere between three and four hours.
The G-15 was about the size of a refrigerator - and churned its way through a lot of calculations before finally being replaced with an incredibly faster IBM 1130 (8K of 16-bit words with 320K word cartridge disk drive and a snazzy Selectric console printer.)
I'd never thought about it until just now; but that old Bendix had a better MTTF than did my 80286 PC running Windows 3.1 (:
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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jo4hn wrote:

I remember when .com was a file extension.
-- Mark
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Jim Warman wrote:

I think the huge drive Dad used to have at work was only 32 MB or so. It was the size of a dormitory refrigerator.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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I can remember back in the day when dad was working for the feds at Apollo (the moon shot days) when a huge washing machine sized disk "array" held the contents of a small box of punch cards. One of the fun geek things to do was to send it read/write commands timed such that it would walk accross the floor.....
I can remember the platters getting pulled out (they were changeable). They were big, and made an amazing ringing sound when pinged with a pencil (on the edge of course....)
--JD

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wrote:

We had two 15" HP "discs." I traced down a few program bugs by listening to the discs as the code executed.
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On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 11:07:50 -0500, Silvan

I can remember when IBM maintained no one would ever need a hard drive larger than 10Meg.

Was it the kind with the removable disk packs that you loaded and unloaded through the top of the machine?
We had an incident once where the brake mechanism on one of those broke and the disks didn't stop spinning when it was shut down to change disk packs. The operator lifted out the disks without realizing they were still spinning -- until he tried to turn and the gryoscopic forces slammed him into the wall!
Ah, memories!
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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I can remember when I was the envy of my block because I had a Casio pocket calculator! IIRC the most impressive thing I did with it was to type in 07734 then turn it upside down. (You have to remember how the LED numbers were formed.)
FoggyTown
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Later I bought a TI programmable scientific calculator. It cost more then the price of a fully loaded computer does now. But it got me through college math. It was so new the professor didn't realize it could be programmed to do the work for you.:)
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Gino wrote:

I had one of those as well. Still do, somewhere. I saw something similar the other day at Wal-Mart for $3.99 or something suitably ludicrous considering what that thing set my parents back in the '80s. Which was probably only a quarter or less what you paid for yours.
I remember paying $1200 for a VCR too, and $80 for a blank tape. Or being aware of it happening around me anyway, mind you.
Wow. That's actually kind of interesting in a way. $1200 for a VCR. That's a pretty firm memory, and I think that's right. That was a hell of a lot of money in 1981 or so. We had two channels on TV. Why the hell did my parents pay $1200 for a VCR? That's probably something close to $5,000 today, I'm guessing off the top of my head. Hell's bells man. Short of a house or a car, I can't think of a thing I'd ever spend that much on. Maybe a metal lathe. If I had $5,000 to spend, which I sure don't.
I guess with VCRs going for $20 a pop now, which is probably $0.75 in 1981 dollars, it probably explains why the VCR repairman has gone the way of the dodo. When the thing used to cost as much as a car, it was worth fixing.
So I guess an equivalent VCR in today's money would go for about $18,000.
Now I'm all confused. That calculator let me cheat my way out of learning math. :)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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ranted:

That number was 710 77345 and it looked like SHELL OIL when you inverted the calc.
-- "Menja b, caga fort!"
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Actually, 07734 was "hello". I never tried anything as sophisticated as SHELL OIL.
FoggyTown
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You would pretend to make several calculations that ended up pointing to Shell Oil having all the money.
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I had a TI-30 scientific calculator in about, er, 1979 or so, that came with a "calculator workbook" with a whole list of these silly calculator games in it. The ShellOil one is definately in there, I think I can find the book (scary, that). The calculator itself has long ago gone to the great place in the parts bin, but my everyday desk calculator is a TI-31 Solar that I bought in 1988 or so. (Google is amazing - here it is: ) http://www.datamath.org/Sci/Modern/TI-31SOLAR.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Yes, we were the first navy class for the new HD with a removable disk pack, with enclosed heads with the pack. It was replacing the hydraulicly operated head HD we had just finished class on. If you overrode one or more interlocks, you could remove the pack while it was still spinning. since it was a training situation we all got to do that. Interesting to do, more fun to watch the smaller class members wrestle with it. Joe
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