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Some photos from Technical Museum in Warsaw.

Interesting Polish calculating machines and mini/micro computers (with few foreign ones).

Exhibition itself is terrible - devices lack information tables (and those which have them often has them wrong) and all is put like in warehouse.

AKAT-1 was a pioneering work - world’s first differential equations analyzer based on transistors. Created by Jacek Kurpiński. K-202 were also done by him. Interesting person btw (check wikipedia).

First Odra machines were Polish construction, 13xx were based on ICL 19xx machines (it was properly licensed).

Meritum was clone of TRS-80. Mazovia was PC/XT clone which was planned as school computer but was more expensive popular clones.

For several devices I have no idea what they were ;(
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Found a commentary on the collection:
"For more than thirty years the Museum of Technology in Warsaw has been collecting and protecting monuments of electronic calculation technology - machines and assorted documentation (technical instructions, catalogues and advertisements). The most valuable exhibits in the Museum collections include the ZAM-21 computer, the Odra-1002, -1003 and -1013 machines, the MERA 7900 system and the Meritum micro-computer, equipment constructed by engineer Karpinski: AKAT-I, KAR-65, the K-202 mini-computer as well as a differential equation analyser. The collections also feature foreign computers (such as the American NCR 315, the National-Elliott computer set, external tape memory/CarouselI produced by the Swedish firm FACIT, the first IBM personal computers, Commodore and Atari, and the T3E super computer made by Cray)."
http://cejsh.icm.edu.pl/cejsh/element/bwmeta1.element.2b4a9270-bd64-367f-827b-957d6270a76d
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David Larsen

Discussion  - 
 
The Jolt computer was before (1975) the Apple-1 computer and in many ways a more functional computer. A new video I made while visiting with Ray Holt tells part of the Jolt story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXMr-mB8C3o
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Comparing Old Computers With The New Ones:
The Old Tech Is 100 Times  Better Then Todays`s Technology. In New York,I Used To go The Flee Market,and I Used To Buy Lot`s Of Old Computers and Install Gnu/Linux & Windows.
(All Came With Windows (95,98,ME,2000,XP...).
I had Lots Of FUN With Those Computers.I Created This Account Just to "Revive" The Good Old Days Of Computer Hardware.Today`s  Hardware Do NOT Last Long.And The WAY That they can Remotely Connect to your Computer and Disable Some,or all Parts in Your Computer is F*CK#P !
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Michael Mulhern

Discussion  - 
 
RCR Episode 125 "A Veritable Plethora" (off all things but hosts)

Join Paul and Michael as they continue to wonder about modern recreations as ever more appear on the scene. Are we cheating? Should we just get over it? Does this mean more people are coming? How do you choose which Apple IIGS RAM card to get?

Is Michael asking too much for one solid state device to rule them all . . . . ?

For all the clarifications, connectors, conundrums, and much more, click on the link below . . .
Panelists: Paul Hagstrom (hosting), and Michael Mulhern Host's Topic: A veritable plethora Co...
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(following:) Searching about Nelson Winkless:
"A general Purpose Robot Control Language"
BYTE Magazine:
https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazine-1984-01/BYTE-1984-01#page/n123/mode/2up
Savvy language and RB5X:  (Joseph Bosworth)
http://cyberneticzoo.com/robots/1982-rb5x-the-intelligent-robot-joseph-bosworth-american/
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Now that robot looks like something CP3O would talk to. ;)
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Experimental Software Archeology – Spacewar! as of 1961 (Nov/Dec)

When it comes to Spacewar! and the dawn of video games, there is — as always in history — a historic era, preserved in writings and artifacts, and prehistory, where there's only oral tradition. I thought, in order to better understand how video games became video games, we might risk a glimpse at the latter nevertheless. Enter experimental software archeology (and this may be a first).

http://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/640/?v=spacewar1

This is a highly speculative reconstruction (coded in PDP-1 assembler language) of what Spacewar! may have looked like and felt in winter 1961, just before "the hackers took over", i.e., gravity and the central star were added and the faster outline compiler, as well as such nicities as Peter Samson's Expensive Planetarium. Assumedly, rotation was by rockets only, i.e., angular momentum.

Provided we are not too far off, we may observe that this is an entirely different game where the spaceships are apparently of a different scale. It's much more like maneuvering heavy battleships than the agile space corvettes of later versions, being all about foresight, anticipation and planning. What may become understandable in this simulation is the need for a background to provide some positional markers (esp. for assessing trajectories), and also the want for hyperspace to escape collisions that seem to be else unavoidable by the sole means of conventional maneuvers.

A writeup on the early days of Spacewar is in the making …

P.S.: Regarding the 4K days, the DEC PDP-1 came with 4K of 18-bit words in its basic setup.
(A block of extra 4K core memory came at USD 30,000 and the required bus controller at just 10,000 – quite a bargain in 1961, when the average car was about 2,400 and 12,000 bought you a new home.)
Play the original digital video game for 2 players from the early 1960s in emulation.
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I once had a few minutes at the tiller of a small boat with an outboard motor. It was quite instructive, using vectored thrust to control the angular acceleration, the velocity and ultimately the position of the craft. And that was also in just two dimensions.
Which reminds me: I once had a go in a science museum somewhere at a ship simulation, where again the problem was to control position by means of acceleration, to get the thing out of a tight spot. I did pretty well on my first go, so I didn't try again!
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The First Computer Art Was – Now, Guess What…

While speaking of early computer art (compare the post on Digital Images and the Amiga), we have to mention what might have been the very first piece of art ever to be seen on a computer screen. And, young men being young men, I'm afraid it was modeled after a pin-up by George Petty featured on the December 1956 page of a calendar by the Esquire magazine. To be seen on the AN/FSQ-7 of the SAGE installation at Kingston (1956/58, ca.). (There was also an interactive hula dancing girl with just a grass skirt by 1960.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/the-never-before-told-story-of-the-worlds-first-computer-art-its-a-sexy-dame/267439/

(Sorry, no image below. Not for decency, but G+ won't capture any of the images in the article for whatever [technical] reasons.)
In the late 1950s, an anonymous IBM employee made a lady from the pages of Esquire come to life on the screen of a $238 million military computer.
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Very interesting article! Thanks.
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Ed S
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
RetroBrew Computers is a forum and wiki for people building their own machines: SBCs, Eurocard, S-100 or whatever. Ranging from 6502 and 6809 through Z80 and Z180 to 68000. And with RSS feeds too!
The Mini-M68K and KISS-68030 systems look pretty nice.
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Michael Mulhern

Discussion  - 
 
RCR Podcast #124 - Join Earl, Paul, Jack, and Michael as they reminisce 30 something years of Lunar Lander programs to celebrate SpaceX's successful first stage landing .

All that and much more on the link below.
Panelists: Earl Evans (hosting), Paul Hagstrom, Michael Mulhern, and Jack Nutting Host's Topic: ...
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Great collection of links there!
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Tony Sidaway

Home Computers  - 
 
MNT VA2000, an Amiga 2000 Graphics Card (Zorro II).

Lukas F. Hartmann learned enough about the Zorro II bus, Verilog, and surface mount soldering techniques to design and build this modern graphics card prototype which brings high performance graphics to those cheap and cheerful Amiga 2000 systems you can still pick up on eBay.


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aldo b
 
Nice pasttime
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Ed S
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
Well well, Intel's first micro, the 4004, allowed up to 4k ROM... #retro4k ... And much else to celebrate from the 70s - microcomputers, the VAX, Ethernet...
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Yes, the report from North West Canada in the early eighties is Apple ][ in my home and in my school and they were also very popular in town (including clones).  That being said, the first home computer I saw was a TRS-80 that was located at the local TV repair shop. I spent a lot of time there...  I also got Coco because they were cheap and the 6809 seemed pretty cool.
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Aaron D

Discussion  - 
 
If you're into Amiga games, software, and hardware, we'd love for you to come and check out the Amigos - Everything Amiga Podcast!
Amigos Podcast - Everything Amiga
Amigos is a podcast for discussion about Amiga games, hardware, and memories of the platform. Hosted by Aaron Doughty & John Shawler.
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Just found this nice project: an Oric 1 / atmos/ telestrat emulator which could be run under linux/macOSX/windows/Haiku/amigaOS.
https://github.com/pete-gordon/oricutron
There is a video of the emulator running on amigaOS here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmt1S4wTvQ0
And for the Oric, you can find all the french specific journal here:
Micr'Oric (10 numbers):
http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=57&page=1 Théoric (37 numbers + 1HS):
http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=56&page=presentation
Some games ROM here:
http://doperoms.com/roms/Oric.html
And an English dedicated website: http://www.48katmos.freeuk.com/index.htm
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About this community

Here we share stories and information about vintage computers, from cogwheels or relays through transistors and chips, from experimental machines through mainframes to 8-bit and 16-bit home computers. We're interested in software and hardware (but not especially interested in the home computer gaming experience because there are other communities for that.)
 
Is anyone interested in this? It's a German book about a single chip PC with a printed circuit and a floppy disk with BIOS and schematics. It's now for more than 20 years in my shelf... 
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+Jac Goudsmit priced 149 Deutsche Mark (~ 75 Euro) in the mid nineties you're probably right, when you assume that you wouldn't afford the parts... 😉
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Ed S
moderator

Software  - 
 
1971: Two engineers ported Pascal(*) from CDC6600 to ICL1900, and transported it from Zurich to Belfast. The original, first, and only, compiler was written in Pascal(^) and generated 6600 code directly. So here's the plan:
"""
 - The source of the ETH Pascal compiler was to be transported to Belfast.
 - Welsh and Quinn would rip out the code generation sections and replace them with new sections that would generate ICL 1900 machine code.
 - An ICL 1900 emulator would be written in Pascal.
 - The new compiler and emulator would be hand carried (by Welsh and Quinn) to ETH Zurich to be compiled (bootstrapped in the vernacular) by the original Pascal compiler.
 - The ICL 1900 emulator would be tested and debugged on the CDC 6000.
 - The Pascal/1900 compiler would be tested and debugged on the CDC 6000 computer using the 1900 machine emulator.
 - The Pascal/1900 compiler (binary and source) would be hand carried back to Belfast.
"""

The blow-by-blow chronology in the article tells you how many - or, actually, how few - executions were needed in each environment to debug the code, which was written by hand without access to a compiler. Test-driven development in 1971.

In the early 80s I worked on a chip design suite written in Pascal and running on Apollo workstations. A little of that suite - the layout compactor - was written in a Fortran dialect of Pascal, according to local mythology.

(*) Pascal being a huge improvement on preceding languages and very influential in both industry and academia, comparable to Java in impact, according to the article. Even though Algol was "a language so far ahead of its time that it was not only an improvement on its predecessors but also on nearly all its successors" there's still room there for Pascal to be one of the few exceptional improvements!

(^) Quite a trick, to write the first ever Pascal compiler in Pascal. Explained in a footnote to the fine article.
Heroes of software engineering - Welsh and Quinn. CDC6600.jpg By Ian Cottam, IT Services Research Lead, The University of Manchester. This is the first in a series of blog posts on my heroes of software engineering. I hope you will find it (and subsequent ones) of interest.
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Matthias Bülow's profile photoCollins Talam's profile photoDen Zuk's profile photoNithin Rajputh's profile photo
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Pascal and its implementations always had its (partially stupid) limitations but comparing it to Java is an insult to this venerable language.
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A hobby project has been reconnecting me with the huge legacy of BASIC. Thought people here might be interested.
 
Talk about legacy code...

In 1967, a young high school teacher named Jack Hauber received a National Science Foundation Grant to go to Dartmouth and learn about how to introduce computing to high school students. At this point in time, very few people had ever seen a computer, much less knew anything about them. As a result of this exposure, Mr. Hauber went on to become one of the first people to earn a Masters degree in Computer Science from Purdue University. That was in 1971.

In 1973 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) published a book called “101 BASIC Computer Games.” It was intended to be educational and fun, and also to serve as a resource for users of DEC’s Edusystem computers. Included was a program written by Jack Hauber: AMAZN. This program generates a maze with a single solution. The maze is written into a matrix and then rendered using ASCII graphics. See the attached graphic for example output.


I’ve looked at the code and I really have no idea how it works. If I wanted to use it in a modern program I guess I could spend a few days reverse-engineering it, but luckily I don’t have to. Using the BASIC80 script engine, I was able to run this program inside a JVM, and then grab the resulting matrix. The only change I needed to make was to change the program to assume that the horizontal and vertical size parameters, H and V, are already defined (the original program has the user enter them at a prompt). I then used the Unicode box-drawing characters to render the maze in a more up-to-date fashion. Also attached it the Unicode version of the same maze. This version is also just characters printed to the console.

Hopefully Mr. Hauber is either enjoying or contemplating retirement after a long and satisfying career. He’d be in his early 70s at this time. Finally, I have attached a screenshot of the main part of the Java code.
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+Laura Ess If it was on green bar, sure. :D
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DIGICOMP:
"The first home computer"
Foundation of E.S.R.
(Digi-comp 1&2, Dr.Nim, Think-a-dot....) 
Letter from Bill Duerig ( co-founder of E.S.R) to Bill McArdle, dated March 2000 Containing a very lucid account of E.S.R.'s founding 
(Thanks to: Friends of Digi-comp - Yahoo groups)
http://www.slideshare.net/CineMice/bill-duerig-letter-esr
[image from Creative Computing Nov 1984 page 12 referred in the letter]
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My company is on pages 81 and 281 in that issue of Creative Computing. On page 81, it's under 1979 (should actually have been 1978) in the timeline of "Ascent of the Personal Computer" below the musical notation ("ALF announces first music synthesizer for Apple"). On page 281, it's the bottom-half advertisement for floppy disks and duplication.
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The Guru Meditation

Home Computers  - 
 
Shout out to +HACKADAY for the great article about our "Digital Images with the Commodore Amiga" exhibit at Vintage Computer Festival East XI.  http://hackaday.com/2016/04/18/digital-images-and-the-amiga/
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+The Guru Meditation  part of it yes, thanks! :)
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Jac Goudsmit

Rebuild Projects  - 
 
Inspired by +Aart Bik​'s tutorials (http://aartbik.blogspot.com/2016/04), I decided to hook up my MicroKim and play around a little. Unfortunately the MicroKim initially had other plans, but it took almost no time to reassemble my KimStar project (https://hackaday.io/project/4418) and find out that the Rockwell 6502 (from 2003) had apparently kicked the bucket. No problem, I just replaced it with an MOS 6502 from 1982 and now it's "waving" at me :)

I think I'm going to try and make a version of KimStar that preloads Microsoft BASIC. Or maybe the Resident Assembler Editor from the SYM-1 for a slightly harder challenge :)
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Aart Bik's profile photoJac Goudsmit's profile photo
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+Aart Bik The virtual RAM extension with preloaded MS-Basic works (as far as I can tell with my tic-tac-toe program :).
See https://github.com/jacgoudsmit/L-Star/tree/master/Software/KimStar/4-BasiKim. I'll post more information on Sunday if I can.
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Aart Bik

Software  - 
 
If you are interested in programming the Micro-KIM, please follow the series of tutorials that I am posting on my blog (http://aartbik.blogspot.com/). I plan to cover various topics, such as developing assembly programs, programming the display, using the RS232 port or keypad, setting up timer-based interrupts, using a cross-assembler to generate programs in paper tape format, and uploading these to the kit.
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Great!!!!!!

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Thomas Vesper

Curiosities  - 
 
Wow, it even has a backlight.
 
• Wow. Er hat auch ein Rücklicht.
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Darin Gainey's profile photoBarton Chittenden's profile photoC64 Anthologie's profile photoLaura Ess's profile photo
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+Darin Gainey I think there's a fire of some kind back there, they're keeping warm (you can tell by the way that the father figure is holding his hand, as if absorbing the heat...)
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