Living computer museum

    I finally got to the Living Computer Museum, and took some photos.

    The museum is located in such a plain gray windowless building in the not-so-popular Seattle area.

    The museum consists of two rooms. The first exhibits minicomputers (mainly from DEC), personalities from the 80s and a Microsoft corner. At xx: 15 of each hour, a half-hour tour of the museum begins.

    Minicomputers are so called because they can accommodate in one room and there will still be room for operators. This, for example, DEC PDP-7 , by the way, is the only computer that visitors can not touch: it runs some kind of experiment with a radioactive sample.

    It appeared in 1964, used 18-bit machine words and memory on ferrite cores ranging in volume from 4K to 32K words (data from the tablet, Wikipedia claims that the memory expanded to 64K words), 285 KIPS. This copy was used at the University of Oregon in a laboratory of nuclear physics and maintained in good condition until transferred to the museum.

    And here is the radioactive sample itself:

    DEC PDP-8 . The first computer that could possibly be taken home. The process of transporting home can be seen in the photo on the left. There was a design for placement in the rack and in the table. Actually the computer itself is located in the right rack, the section with the orange and yellow switches at the teletype level is it. Everything else is the periphery.

    Introduced in 1970, 12-bit words, memory capacity from 4K to 32K words, 385 KIPS.

    Next up is Data General Nova .

    It was developed by engineer Edson de Castro, who resigned from DEC after the design of his computer was rejected in favor of the PDP-11. The computer used 16-bit words and had memory from 4K to 32K words, 160 KIPS. This computer supported the IBM-initiated fashion for word sizes equal to the powers of two multiples of 8. Introduced in 1969.

    A chair near the computer invites visitors to play with buttons and toggle switches. Unfortunately, I came just before the museum was closed and did not manage to figure out how it works. But someone before me had enough time:

    DEC PDP-11 /70:

    The computer appeared at the time of transition to semiconductor technology. Initially supplied with memory on ferrite cores, but later there was an option with a 2M word semiconductor memory, which all fit inside the processor unit, and did not require a rack. 16-bit words, 2.5 MIPS. Pay attention also to the VT100 terminal located on the left. IBM System / 360 Model 91

    Console : The computers themselves have not survived due to the generous use of gold in the design. Museum workers are working on a hardware emulator that was disabled at the time of my visit.

    32-bit words, from 2 to 6 megabytes of memory (the calculation of memory in bytes, not in words went from IBM), 16.7 MIPS, introduced in 1967. It was programmed using punch cards, there was a functioning automatic machine for stuffing them nearby, but I managed not to photograph it.

    DEC PDP-12:

    Mutant, combining the functionality of PDP-8 and LINC , the mode of operation was switched by a special handle on the keyboard. Allowed to connect a large number of laboratory equipment. He had a vector display for displaying information.
    12-bit words, from 4K to 32K words of memory, 300 KIPS, introduced in 1969.

    Interdean 7/32 :

    A computer that proved the usefulness of writing operating systems not in assembler, and indeed the separation of programs from the hardware on which they are run. This is the first non-PDP computer to which Unix has been ported. Introduced in 1974, 32-bit words, memory from 8K to 256K words, 280 KIPS.

    Poster with the story:

    Moving to the mainframe room. It's “a bit” noisy:

    Xerox Sigma 9 :

    Xerox made good computers, but failed with marketing, as a result it was squeezed out of the mainframe market.
    32-bit words, 64K to 512K words of memory, 600 KIPS.

    Disk array Everything is off because it turned out that when dust got into a working device, the balancing of the disks could be disturbed and the disks naturally exploded.
    Blue cylinders are containers for storing hard drives, one drive weighs 5 kilograms.

    DEC PDP-10: KI-10 :

    Machine information and startup instructions:

    This computer is in the process of recovery. It was stored in a flooded basement, which did not have a positive effect on its performance.

    Dismantled IBM System / 360.

    Eight-inch floppy disks, I have not seen them in a while.

    DEC PDP-10: KS-10:

    36-bit words, memory capacity from 256K to 512K words, 300 KIPS. Such a computer was purchased by Microsoft after moving from Albuquerque.

    XKL TOAD-1:

    The developer of this computer wanted to make a KL-10 clone that could fit on a table. It took 15 years to develop, and by the time it entered the market (1995), because of the dominance of IBM PC-compatible computers, nobody needed it. And it was difficult to fit on the table.
    36-bit words, 32M to 128M words of memory, 2.5 MIPS.

    DEC VAX -11 / 780-5:

    Introduced in 1982. 32-bit words, from 1 to 64 megabytes of memory, 750 KIPS.

    Data General Eclipse / MV 8000 :

    Introduced in 1980, 32-bit words, from 256 kilobytes to 2 megabytes of memory, 250 KIPS.

    Back to the smaller computers. Great-grandfather of all modern Xerox Alto staff :

    The first computer with a graphical interface, WYSIWIG editor, Ethernet and mouse. It was from him that Microsoft and Apple borrowed many features for their computers and operating systems.
    16-bit words, from 64 to 256 kilobytes of memory.

    AT&T BLIT : A

    terminal with its own memory and a processor that received executable code over the network and executed locally, which in some way detached from the network bandwidth. The prototype of the X Window System is visible on the monitor.

    There is no way without a mouse:

    The beginning of the programming manual:

    Mid. How to work with the mouse:

    Legendary MITS Altair 8800 :

    The computer that actually became Microsoft's parent. It was for him that Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote in the shortest possible time and without access to the computer itself (they had the Intel 8080 emulator on the PDP-10 at their disposal, which they adapted according to the Altair instructions) the very BASIC interpreter that Microsoft started with.

    For $ 400 you got a bag of parts. If you had a soldering iron and straight arms, you could have a working computer that was programmed with toggle switches on the front panel. It will take several minutes to enter a program that adds 2 and 2, and then you can see the answer in binary form on the LED line: “100”, known to the general public as “4”. Despite all the difficulties, people bought Altair just because, at last, they could have their own computer.

    Clone Altair IMSAI 8080 :

    Intel 8080, from 256 bytes to 64 kilobytes of memory.

    Radio Shack TRS-80 :

    Unfortunately, I was in a near-komatous state from which I could not get it out.
    Zilog Z-80, 4 to 48 kilobytes of memory.

    Apple IIc :

    Apple II plus:

    Atari 400 with the game “Ms. Pacman ”:

    Atari 800 and“ Galaxian ”:

    One of the first Osborne Executive laptops :

    Inside the Zilog Z80B, 64 KB memory, 1982.

    Commodore 128 :

    Commodore 64 :

    Commodore VIC-20 :

    Judging by the inscriptions on the case, this is IBM PCjr .

    This head and head gives a nearby plate and a characteristic drive without a button to eject the floppy disk.

    Moving to the corner of Microsoft.

    Microsoft SoftCard allowed you to run the CP / M operating system on Apple II computers.

    Apple Lisa running Microsoft Xenix :

    Windows 1.0, or, as it was called then, Windows:

    Pay attention to the tile window manager. In subsequent versions, it was abandoned.

    A bit of 80s advertising.

    Microsoft Bob :

    I finally saw it. Launched as it is easy to notice on a very old hardware, according to the guide runs on top of Windows 7.

    I hope it was interesting.

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