Matches is not a toy?

    (A pair of mini-computer-era souvenirs)

    image(PDP-11 mini-computer ( source ) and a match calculator)

    Among other historical events the early 1990s were marked by the slow decline of the mini-computer era. From this time I have two souvenirs left.

    The first is a calculator that imitates ordinary cardboard matches and is made by Digital Equipment Corporation ( DEC ), famous for its PDP-11 and VAX .


    A “manual” on both sides of the same piece of paper was put into the “matches”:


    As far as I know, these “matches” were not available for sale, but were used as souvenirs for gifts by the most active users of DEC technology. Deliveries of this technology in the USSR and a number of other countries were banned by embargoes, however there were quite a few users who worked on the clones of this technology ( Electronics-60 , SM-4 , etc.). I wonder how many DEC matches are preserved in the spaces of the former Soviet Union?

    Another souvenir is an exclusive one associated with the clones mentioned. He is older than "matches" and made in the first half of the 1980s. It would seem that the most difficult part for cloning is a processor, and if it was possible, at least, to clone it, then the periphery is easier to clone. It turned out - not easier! Floppy disk drives worked especially poorly . Especially on 8-inch diskettes made in Bulgaria (many others were difficult to access).


    It should be borne in mind that instead of the Internet, Floppinet was. Often, after transferring a diskette from one organization to another, it (the diskette) was not read. Maybe the drive for writing or reading was not quite working, or maybe because of the quality of the floppy. But it was believed (I am not aware of special tests on this score) that subway electric motors, trolley buses and trams can partially demagnetize a diskette. In the distribution of distributions from DEC, the floppy disks were packed in a permalloy box . Such boxes were not included in the package of clones, therefore they were made by themselves. In my collection there was a box, made to order from the ribbon core LATR on the pilot production of one scientific research institute.


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    1. Matches

    2. Iron diskette box

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