Show: Retro Computers

BDR-529

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Is it part of a firingcomputer?
Bingo. It's a fire control computer for a coastal battleship or coastal defence ship. From 1920's if I remember correctly.

This gizmo had a size of a large dining table and more cogwheels than a Swiss cuckoo clock factory. Most of the hydraulic pipes were cut to give a better view inside.
 
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Bob in Pittsburgh

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AJ68 - Enjoyed your post on Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP series. My high school had a PDP-8/s which my Computer Math class used around 1969-70 (I think). I think it had 4,096 words of memory (maybe 12 bits in each word). There was a high-speed paper tape punch / reader, and it was hooked up to a Teletype for input / output (Model 33 or similar, with a slower-speed paper tape punch / reader - it used yellow paper tape that had some kind of oil in the paper).

Down in the basement I have a Kaypro that I bought in mid-1987 (IBM XT compatible, with a NEC processor rather than Intel). It came with two 5-1/4" DS/DD floppy drives that would hold 360 kb (I think). Over the years I added a Seagate hard drive that failed after a few years, replaced by a HardCard (I think), that also failed after a few years. There is another HardCard in the closet that I could use to replace the failed one, if I ever get up the ambition. Since that Kaypro our house has been through about a dozen computers from various manufacturers and various form factors.

This is an interesting thread.
 

BDR-529

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oh, then I am sure you shall love this
To my understanding Z1 was the first programmable electromechanical computer that was actually built. This is a replica but Babbage differential machine in London is only based on original drawings and completed for the first time in 1991.

This time I didn't even have a camera with me but smartphone can take reasonable good images this close. Fire Control Computer can be found in Stockholm but the one below is in Berlin

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rloewy

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Even if I wanted to upload images of old computers, it's hard, my online services are too slow.
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AJ68

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Bingo. It's a fire control computer for a coastal battleship or coastal defence ship. From 1920's if I remember correctly.
Almost sounds like the USS Texas (BB-35) but that is a bit bigger than a coastal battleship or coastal defence ship. But the age is pretty similar!
 

AJ68

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Even if I wanted to upload images of old computers, it's hard, my online services are too slow.View attachment 838020
Good old Compuserve! I miss it! 🤪 Used to connect with my 1200/75 split speed Commodore modem to a Datapak central in Stockholm, Sweden and from there connect to a hub in London, England to then be able to login to Compuserve! Then my parents got a bit annoyed because as soon as they lifted the phone they got a squeal in their ears! A year or so later we got a local access number in Sweden so the phonebills got much more manageable!

It wasn't quick but it was online! 😁
 
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AJ68

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To my understanding Z1 was the first programmable electromechanical computer that was actually built. This is a replica but Babbage differential machine in London is only based on original drawings and completed for the first time in 1991.

This time I didn't even have a camera with me but smartphone can take reasonable good images this close. Fire Control Computer can be found in Stockholm but the one below is in Berlin

View attachment 838016

View attachment 838017
Very cool! Stockholm you say... almost my neck of a few woods further north than mine... 🤪
And yes Konrad Zuse built the first electromechanical computer but it was the Z3!
The Z1 was purely mechanical and never worked well because of the tolerances!
 

rloewy

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Good old Compuserve! I miss it! 🤪 Used to connect with my 1200/75 split speed Commodore modem to a Datapak central in Stockholm, Sweden and from there connect to a hub in London, England to then be able to login to Compuserve! Then my parents got a bit annoyed that as soon as they lifted the phone they got a squeal in their ears! A year or so later we got a local access number in Sweden so the phonebills got much more manageable!

It wasn't quick but it was online! 😁
I used the college VAXs to go online. Even after I graduated - my user there was still active (no-one thought about security when someone leaves an institutions at the time) - so I used my modem to log in from home to these - and go online from there...
 

BDR-529

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Very cool! Stockholm you say... almost my neck of a few woods further north than mine... 🤪
And yes Konrad Zuse built the first electromechanical computer but it was the Z3!
The Z1 was purely mechanical and never worked well because of the tolerances!
And I even managed to find it. If you ever end up in Stockholm with few hours to spare this is the place to visit. As you see, my image covers just a small part of the leftmost unit. It's scary to think that this contraption was used to train fairly large caliber naval cannons but luckily you never tried to actually shoot anybody with it. I remember exhibition talking about 1920's or 1930's technology but this very unit appears to be completed as late as 1945? Anyway, this is pretty much what they had looked like since the WW1 battleships.

https://digitaltmuseum.org/021026305316/eldledningskalkylator

And I stand corrected regarding Z1. It was driven by electical motor but was indeed purely mechanical. You could have used a moped engine to rotate the axel as well and it would still not have been classified as a two stoke petrol powered computer.
 
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grcolts

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I don't have a picture (just a mental one) but mine would have been my old Commodore 64 computer.
GQR
 

Erich_H

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To my understanding Z1 was the first programmable electromechanical computer that was actually built. This is a replica but Babbage differential machine in London is only based on original drawings and completed for the first time in 1991.

This time I didn't even have a camera with me but smartphone can take reasonable good images this close. Fire Control Computer can be found in Stockholm but the one below is in Berlin

View attachment 838016

View attachment 838017
Konrad Zuse built the first prototype in the kitchen of his parents...
EDIT: of the Z3
 
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Erich_H

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An extremely rare prototype from a tentative plan for cooperation between CBM and Aiwa.
This is rumoured to be the first in a series of visually programmed quantum computers with a strong fifth generation AI component.
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OldRex

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The final piece in this short show-and-tell is a PDP-8/a 420 from circa 1974!

View attachment 838002
Hope you enjoyed the flashback!
Would those be RL02's underneath?
What a fantastic bit of nostalgia for me. After learning to code in 1977 at the grand old age of 14 on a school holiday break where I was the only kid in the course, I went back to school and talked our head of Mathematics into letting me have access to the the schools computing "facility" which was a ASR 33 Teletype connected via modem to another school's... PDP-8!
I was year 9 at the time and it was meant for the year 11/12 students only. Pretty soon they all came to me for any issues mechanical or computing that they had. I was such a geek!

Love it.
 

AJ68

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Would those be RL02's underneath?
What a fantastic bit of nostalgia for me. After learning to code in 1977 at the grand old age of 14 on a school holiday break where I was the only kid in the course, I went back to school and talked our head of Mathematics into letting me have access to the the schools computing "facility" which was a ASR 33 Teletype connected via modem to another school's... PDP-8!
I was year 9 at the time and it was meant for the year 11/12 students only. Pretty soon they all came to me for any issues mechanical or computing that they had. I was such a geek!

Love it.
Yes those are RL-02's and are also in working order!

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Erich_H

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Remember the Good Ol' Days?

When a memory upgrade of 16MB doubled the RAM of your computer?

FV5_0545-01.jpeg
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Next up: the even Gooder Ol' Days.

When a memory upgrade of 16KB RAM increased the memory capacity of your computer sixteenfold...
 

Erich_H

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As promised:

Timex Sinclair 1016 16 KB RAM expansion module for the Timex Sinclair TS1000. The RAM pack sold for $49.95.
FV5_0674-01.jpeg
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The TS1000 was an upgrade of the original Sinclair ZX81 produced for the North American market in a Timex/Sinclair joint venture.

The original ZX81 was equipped with 1 KB onboard RAM, with 640 bytes free user space. The remaining 384 bytes were required for the system variables.

The TS1000 upgrade model had 2 KB RAM and was the first computer that sold for less than a hundred dollars in the US. It was priced at $99.95 and launched in July 1982.
FV5_0673-01.jpeg
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The 1016 RAM pack was identical to the Sinclair 16 KB RAM pack. The only difference was the label on the casing, silver spray paint on the inside of the casing for additional shielding, and the FCC statement on the back. The original had no label, but an embossed Sinclair logo, and below that the ZX 16K RAM designation printed in red. On most surviving RAM packs the red print has worn off.
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The same is the case with the ZX81 computer, which also had the embossed Sinclair logo, and below the logo ZX81 printed in red.
 
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