Author Topic: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving  (Read 10589 times)

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Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2018, 03:46:06 am »
Wish I could help but it's on the wrong side of the world. I love old technology and hate to see any more of it get scrapped. A lot of that stuff is already so rare, there's a Living Computer Museum in Seattle which is really unique because they have the old stuff up and running and you can play with it.

For those of us not old enough to have ever used a punch card, teletype machine, or a mainframe, it's a really unique experience. People who relied on this stuff when it was current are probably not going to understand but to someone who missed that whole era it's completely new and different.
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2018, 11:58:06 am »
Dave, I can't believe you missed the Olivetti Programma 101, at 2:40 min, the first desktop computer evva! Released in 1965.


Source: Wikipedia.

Man, I'd give an arm and a leg to have the chance to be in front of one of those landmarks of computing.

I'll see if it's still there when I go back. I'm running out of space at the TeraHertzery, but can probably squeeze it in. Then if you take a holiday in Oz, you can see the Olivetti for free.
The deal is that some things they prefer to keep, and stuff taken away remains theirs, and they ask for a list (eventually) of stuff taken. But chances of them asking for things back is very low. Meanwhile, what doesn't get moved out by end of next week will get bulldozed.

So far I've filled up the TerraHertzmobile three times (and one trailer load - an IBM 026 card punch.)

I'm taking lots of pics there, all the better to brain-explode a friend of mine. He's a keen computer collector, but in Melbourne. Ha ha sucks for him.  (May sound cold, but I know he's exceeded his practical storage space already.)

Not sure where to begin with pics of stuff I've scored become custodian of. How about this: I found a dusty brown briefcase, with a combination lock. Took it as a surprise to enjoy opening at home. Home, the lock was an easy crack. Opened the case. Oh, it's a portable microfiche reader. Annnd... there are two packs of microfiche. OMG... A COMPLETE set of DEC PDP 11 user and service documentation.
The reader needed some tlc. Disassembled, removed decayed urethane foam, cleaned everything including optics path. It works.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 12:16:39 pm by TerraHertz »
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Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2018, 03:56:16 pm »
That's so cool! I remember using a microfiche at the library to browse archives of old electronics magazines when I was a kid. I don't recall when they went away, maybe mid 90s? It's one of those things that was everywhere, then it wasn't.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2018, 11:28:50 pm »
Nice to see that microfiche reader receive some TLC and well done on that 026 punch (I think I can remember how to prepare a program card for those things.)

I've been tossing up whether I should drop in myself, but the space I have available is bordering on the negative.  Two items the size of that microfiche reader would probably be all that I could safely store without a thorough reorg of the garage.  That's a job that needs to be done, but I wouldn't be able to get far enough into that to be able to make room before time ran out.
 

Offline sean0118

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2018, 09:00:40 am »
I was there for sometime today, they are starting to load up shipping containers which will continue during the week. I think they would like some help.  ;)


Nice work on the IBM 026 card punch TerraHertz, I think I saw two more there today? Lots of cool stuff, hope it's all displayed one day.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2018, 10:08:15 am »
this only get's fully appreciated in the fullness of time. when its discovered, you have the only known
example in existence. because all others got destroyed in ignorance.
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2018, 01:35:58 pm »
I was there today (Sat morning. sean0118 did I meet you? I have a bushy grey beard.) The Olivetti 101 was gone, darnit. Not sure if Dave or someone else later took it. Dave?

The Amiga manuals I got. I found more treasure there today too. It's AMAZING how much more gets revealed as the pile is whittled down (a little.)

The big shipping container is being filled exclusively with boxes of documentation from a back room. Separately, the company that runs Sydney Vivid has a huge truck and are providing warehouse space in Milperra. They have taken out a lot of large items, but it's still barely made a dent.
Today there were a lot more people sifting. It will be interesting to see how many honestly provide lists of what they took, and actually store it for eventual return.

In general, items of high historical worth (like the remaining IBM 026 card punches) are reserved by the museum, not to be taken.
That said, they admit they probably can't get it all out in time.

I've got my name on the best (most complete, clean) 026 punch if they're unable to remove it themselves in time. And a few other items. By agreement with the ACMS guys. The 026 I took already is in very poor condition, probably not restorable to working. But I'd really like to get one working.
Speaking of which, net hunting finds manuals including service for the later IBM 028 card punch. But bloody nothing on the 026. Even sites talking about restoring 028 punch units mention no service docs for the 026 are known of.
I don't suppose anyone here has some IBM 026 documentation?

The most frustrating experience (very typical there) is when you find some really amazing item, but it's missing critical elements. Egs:
* Tek 4014-1 vector graphics terminal - but it's just the top half, missing the pedestal which contains all the communications & control electronics.
* HP 9835A programmable desktop calc - but it's missing the (unique) display monitor.
* Facit 4047 paper tape punch unit - but missing some kind of front cover & chad bin, apparently with controls on it. To judge by the unconnected ribbon cable. [Edit: actually the missing part is a tape reader and the chad bin. http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/facit/Facit_4046_4047_Punch_Reader_Technical_Description_Edition_3_Oct86.pdf   Oh, that is SO annoying. How the heck does that get separated? ]

Sigh.

But sometimes, gold! For eg a complete HP 9030A programmable desktop calc. Near perfect condition, clean, dust cover, a set of manuals, the printer, some rolls of paper, and most amazingly the cable between printer and calc, with the unobtainium plugs.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 07:48:01 am by TerraHertz »
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Offline madires

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2018, 02:29:35 pm »
Any bets on a leaky NiCd battery in the Amiga 2000? >:D
 

Offline Towger

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2018, 03:41:14 pm »
The Olivetti 101 was gone, darnit. Not sure if Dave or someone else later took it. Dave?

He went back and got it.
 

Offline sean0118

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2018, 12:11:30 am »
I was there today (Sat morning. sean0118 did I meet you? I have a bushy grey beard.)

Maybe, I was wearing an Amp Hour tshirt.  :D

I'm really short on space already, so all I grabbed was a very early RCA transistor databook. I'll scan it and return it once they get a new place, can't find any PDFs of this databook online either.
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2018, 12:35:01 am »
I was there today (Sat morning. sean0118 did I meet you? I have a bushy grey beard.)

Maybe, I was wearing an Amp Hour tshirt.  :D

I don't remember. So many people and I don't tend to read t-shirts. Most people I chat with there, I swap contact details. Since just by being there, demonstrates common interests.

Quote
I'm really short on space already, so all I grabbed was a very early RCA transistor databook. I'll scan it and return it once they get a new place, can't find any PDFs of this databook online either.
Ha ha! I'm still amazed to see & hear what people are finding. I'd definitely have grabbed that if I'd seen it. I have a large data book collection. Scanning is good, but I think it's important to keep physical copies of old tech info too.
I'm quite sad that crate of old Tektronix manuals Dave showed in the video, seems to have vanished.
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Offline (*steve*)

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2018, 01:12:29 am »
The HP150 is the PC.  All it's missing are the disk drives (and keyboard) the disk drives connect via the HP-IB.

I used these from the time they came out.  Yes, the holes in the bottom of the screen filled up with enough dust to make the screen unworkable.  The solution was to blast out the dust with canned air then place a strip of clear adhesive tape over the bottom holes.  The later HP 150B used IR transparent plastic.

Yes, you could use the HP150 as a terminal, and there were special extensions to the HP control codes to access the touch screen.

This little beastie was faster than the regular IBM PCs, and with a set of dual floppies I think it came in at something around $8000 when relatively new.
 

Offline sean0118

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2018, 10:37:06 am »
Ha ha! I'm still amazed to see & hear what people are finding. I'd definitely have grabbed that if I'd seen it. I have a large data book collection. Scanning is good, but I think it's important to keep physical copies of old tech info too.
I'm quite sad that crate of old Tektronix manuals Dave showed in the video, seems to have vanished.

I have a collection of databoosk too, mostly more recent, but even some of those are not available online, such as those from Philips. I really should post up a list of what I have and scan them when I have time.

We have heaps of Tektronix user manuals at work which I'm keeping my eye on.  ;)
 

Online Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2018, 12:21:04 pm »
Yikes! A TI Silent 700! I used up many a roll of thermal paper on that guy sending and receiving environmental monitoring reports to and from HQ in the day.
The off hours were spent perusing various BBS's, all on paper because there was no monitor.
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2018, 01:29:47 pm »
Yikes! A TI Silent 700! I used up many a roll of thermal paper on that guy sending and receiving environmental monitoring reports to and from HQ in the day.
The off hours were spent perusing various BBS's, all on paper because there was no monitor.

Fanged it.
Sorry about poor quality pic. Just one of the quick 'stock take' pics while unpacking my car at home.

It has a lot of urethane foam to exorcise

We have heaps of Tektronix user manuals at work which I'm keeping my eye on.  ;)
It's about time they disposed of those old paper relics, don't you think? I'd be happy to assist in their removal.  >:D
But seriously, please see if you can grasp the nettle. Preservation of this stuff is rapidly becoming critical, given that one of the two major manuals archives in the USA shut down (and dumpstered the great bulk of their collection.)
By 'heaps' what sort of number do you mean?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 01:42:06 pm by TerraHertz »
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2018, 04:04:44 pm »
But sometimes, gold! For eg a complete HP 9030A programmable desktop calc. Near perfect condition, clean, dust cover, a set of manuals, the printer, some rolls of paper, and most amazingly the cable between printer and calc, with the unobtainium plugs.
That is a great score!!!  :-+
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2018, 05:29:31 pm »
It would be great if all the paper manuals could be scanned at some point too. It's getting harder all the time to justify keeping a mountain of paper manuals, but in digital form a whole room full will fit on a micro SD card.
 

Offline aargee

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2018, 10:14:32 pm »
The ABC has a news article on it...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-08-07/australian-computer-museum-society-risk-from-bulldozers/10077580
It looks like they trying to get some traction in finding a curator, but if it has already been ‘cherry picked’  for the valuable on eBay stuff, I’m not sure the collection would be complete enough to be standalone.
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2018, 02:00:23 am »
It would be great if all the paper manuals could be scanned at some point too. It's getting harder all the time to justify keeping a mountain of paper manuals, but in digital form a whole room full will fit on a micro SD card.

I scanned a few hundred magazines using an EPSON DS-520 document scanner. with all the enhancement and OCR switches turned on it could do a magazine in 20 minutes at 300dpi. It was pretty full on for two weeks.

I was amazed at how reliable it was and never missed a page. It would stop if two pages fed together which was rare. I found it easier to just restart from the beginning. Two pages usually got stuck because I cut the spine of the magazines so the auto feed could be used. If I inadvertantly left two pages joined a bit the machine just couldn't separate them.

I am glad I did it but I wish I hadn't destroyed the magazines now since reading this thread. I could have found a proper home for them. But I bought 20 years on Ebay for $5.50 so obviously no-one else wanted them.

 

Offline snoopy

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2018, 02:32:10 am »
The Australian Computer Museum Societies' warehouse has to shut down next week, so Dave goes warehouse diving.
If you know of someone willing to donate warehouse space in Sydney, please let me know.

 #1111 will be coming soon!
Be sure to subscribe to EEVblog2 in order to see some of the teardowns: https://www.youtube.com/eevblog2



Hey Dave. It's been reported on "World Today" on ABC radio today !! Lets hope the government or some philanthropists who are interested in our computing history chip in instead of sinking money into building yuppy flats !

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/

cheers

 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2018, 03:16:57 am »

It would be great if all the paper manuals could be scanned at some point too. It's getting harder all the time to justify keeping a mountain of paper manuals, but in digital form a whole room full will fit on a micro SD card.

I scanned a few hundred magazines using an EPSON DS-520 document scanner. with all the enhancement and OCR switches turned on it could do a magazine in 20 minutes at 300dpi. It was pretty full on for two weeks.

I was amazed at how reliable it was and never missed a page. It would stop if two pages fed together which was rare. I found it easier to just restart from the beginning. Two pages usually got stuck because I cut the spine of the magazines so the auto feed could be used. If I inadvertantly left two pages joined a bit the machine just couldn't separate them.

I am glad I did it but I wish I hadn't destroyed the magazines now since reading this thread. I could have found a proper home for them. But I bought 20 years on Ebay for $5.50 so obviously no-one else wanted them.
[/quote]


I think it's worth destroying one set of magazines in order to build a digital archive. Once archived then numerous people can enjoy them and they will not deteriorate further. Otherwise given enough time the magazines would fall to pieces anyway. It would be different if it was a very rare printing, but for the most part magazines were printed by the tens of thousands and many are not particularly rare.

Seems like the sort of task that one could idly do while watching TV or something.
 

Offline sean0118

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2018, 09:32:04 am »
We have heaps of Tektronix user manuals at work which I'm keeping my eye on.  ;)
It's about time they disposed of those old paper relics, don't you think? I'd be happy to assist in their removal.  >:D
But seriously, please see if you can grasp the nettle. Preservation of this stuff is rapidly becoming critical, given that one of the two major manuals archives in the USA shut down (and dumpstered the great bulk of their collection.)
By 'heaps' what sort of number do you mean?

Probably something like 30-40, not really heaps I guess, but we have non-Tektronix manuals too, so probably 100-200 total. I should really have a good look through them, are there any Tektronix manuals which are now unobtainable?
 

Offline pamperchu

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2018, 10:00:26 am »
The most frustrating experience (very typical there) is when you find some really amazing item, but it's missing critical elements. Egs:
* Tek 4014-1 vector graphics terminal - but it's just the top half, missing the pedestal which contains all the communications & control electronics.
...


see if someone will send it back home, to the tektronix museum, in Beaverton Oregon.... or just send it to my house, 3 blocks away ^__^

im working on building a computer for a smaller tektronix DVST, 603a.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2018, 11:13:33 am »
Hey Dave. It's been reported on "World Today" on ABC radio today !! Lets hope the government or some philanthropists who are interested in our computing history chip in instead of sinking money into building yuppy flats !
http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/

Nice!
Seems like it was video, but I can only see an audio podcast version?
 

Offline snoopy

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Re: EEVblog #1112 - Vintage Computer Warehouse Diving
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2018, 01:37:48 pm »
Hey Dave. It's been reported on "World Today" on ABC radio today !! Lets hope the government or some philanthropists who are interested in our computing history chip in instead of sinking money into building yuppy flats !
http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/

Nice!
Seems like it was video, but I can only see an audio podcast version?

Just audio I think.

Maybe the folks from Atlassin can incorporate a computer Museum in their new Silicon Valley style precinct they want to setup in Sydney ;)

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/nsw-government-atlassian-australias-silicon-valley-sydney-2018-8

cheers

 


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