What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

For friendly off topic discussion not covered in a forum above.
Forum rules
No politics, please.
User avatar
tomvos
Donor
Donor
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:08 pm
Location: Aachen, Germany, Europe
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby tomvos » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:20 am

It's very much about learning and discovering stuff. I like to stumble about things which are done differently on various platforms. Much of the concepts we have today about computers and software are the result of a "competition of ideas" from many years ago. And it's not always the best technology that did become todays standard.

So when fiddling with old computers, I always seem to learn something new or learn something well known from a new perspective. Sometimes I learn to appreciate the modern technology, sometimes I wonder how we could end with this mess we call state-of-the-art computing.

Besides this, SGIs are simply beautiful designed computers.
:Fuel: :Octane2: :O2: :O2: :1600SW: :Indy: :Indy:
Where subtlety fails us we must simply make do with cream pies.

devv
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby devv » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:27 am

Besides this, SGIs are simply beautiful designed computers.


Sure they are :)
Attachments
chw.gif
oOoO :Tezro: oOoO

User avatar
uunix
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:48 pm
Location: Stourbridge / England / UK

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby uunix » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:41 am

Because the world has not gotten any better!

[Edit] That will be my marketing logo when I sell all my sh!te.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Ho! Pip & Dandy!
:Octane2: :O2: :Indigo: :Indy:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
skywriter
Posts: 3290
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:22 am
Location: Trump-proof bunker
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby skywriter » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:35 pm

@devv, the old fat bearded MVS guys are way scarier.
:Skywriter:

DECUS Member 368596

User avatar
VenomousPinecone
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Groom Lake, NV

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby VenomousPinecone » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:45 pm

The people.

Sure, resurrecting an old machine from spare parts is a reward in and of itself. In the end though it wouldn't have been possible without the gathered expertise of the people here. I have bought parts and machines from folks here, traded parts with others around the globe, etc. It was always informative and interesting getting to talk with them even if briefly about the bits you are getting or sending. People love this stuff and it shows.

The other side of the coin: working on old hardware is a type of meditation for me. It's like a long drive or just pushing the deck around the parking lot at work. Repetitive, like the chanting of a monk, with an eventual end that you have to resign yourself to. :lol:

User avatar
kjaer
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby kjaer » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:17 pm

What? RISCiX on the Archimedes was a terrible idea, irrespective of the cost. It's an 8 MHz machine with a 3.5" ST-412 drive (so 60 MB is about as big as you can go), a 4MB maximum RAM capacity, a framebuffer that steals memory bandwidth, and a 32k page size. The situation is barely improved with the ARM3-based R260; they made the machine better and then increased the footprint of the OS so it hardly mattered in the end.
:OnyxR: :IRIS3130: :IRIS2400: :Onyx: :ChallengeL: :4D220VGX: :Indigo: :Octane: :Cube: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2: :Indy:

User avatar
commodorejohn
Posts: 650
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:22 pm
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby commodorejohn » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:48 pm

Eh? I'm not even one of the True Unix Acolytes preaching the gospel of Inevitable Unix Dominance around here, but those aren't exactly unmanageable specs for a 4.3BSD derivative, unless I'm greatly mistaken.

Anyway: as others have mentioned, a lot of the appeal for me is in exploring all the interesting alternate paths that personal computing didn't take (and more's the pity.) In an era where we're rapidly converging on a miniscule number of truly distinct mainstream operating systems running on a miniscule number of truly distinct hardware platforms, it's nice to be able to go back and use something really different. There's also a sizeable part of it that's due to my love of taking something neglected or broken and giving it the love it deserves :)
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

User avatar
theinonen
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Finland

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby theinonen » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:51 pm

kjaer wrote:What? RISCiX on the Archimedes was a terrible idea, irrespective of the cost. It's an 8 MHz machine with a 3.5" ST-412 drive (so 60 MB is about as big as you can go), a 4MB maximum RAM capacity, a framebuffer that steals memory bandwidth, and a 32k page size. The situation is barely improved with the ARM3-based R260; they made the machine better and then increased the footprint of the OS so it hardly mattered in the end.


Well, it was still better idea than ARX, that was never finished and was cancelled.

R260 was 30 MHz, 16 MB with SCSI and was not really that bad for the time.

User avatar
miod
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:44 am
Location: Clermont-Ferrand (France)
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby miod » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:34 am

commodorejohn wrote:Eh? I'm not even one of the True Unix Acolytes preaching the gospel of Inevitable Unix Dominance around here, but those aren't exactly unmanageable specs for a 4.3BSD derivative, unless I'm greatly mistaken.

The 32KB page size of the MMU (because it was designed as a 68451, not a 68551, with a mindset of `never more than 8 processes running simultaneously and happily sharing the available memory in smaller partitions, with some pages allowing for shared memory accross processes') and the restricted address space (only 26 bits of virtual addresses, limiting the virtual memory to 64MB) is really, really, really restricting. At this time Sun and Apollo systems had at least 30 bits of virtual addresses (1GB) and a much smaller page size (2KB or 4KB) allowing for better use of the physical memory.
:Indigo:R3000 (alas, dead) :Indigo:R4000 x4 :Indigo2:R4400 :Indigo2IMP:R4400 x2 :Indigo2:R8000 :Indigo2IMP:R10000 :Indy:R4000PC :Indy:R4000SC :Indy:R4400SC :Indy:R4600 :Indy:R5000SC :O2:R5000 x3 :O2:RM7000 :Octane:2xR10000 :Octane:R12000 :O200:2xR12000 :O200: - :O200:2x2xR10000 :Fuel:R16000 :O3x0:4xR16000 :A350:
among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI, Motorola, NeXT, SGI, Solbourne, Sun...

User avatar
commodorejohn
Posts: 650
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:22 pm
Contact:

Re: What is your favorite thing about messing with old computers?

Unread postby commodorejohn » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:26 am

Hmm.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600


Return to “Everything Else”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests