Vintage Computers

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by Warbaby, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    You see "computers" listed in the City Directory here in Ames, IA, for the '30s and '40s. Iowa State was and is a research institution, and somebody needed to do all the calculating for the various statisticians and extension agencies here.

    But this was the place where a new idea was aborning. In 1939, a physics prof and his grad assistant designed and built the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, since ruled by a Federal court as the first electronic computer.
    [​IMG]
    Replica constructed in 1990s

    You may think, "what about ENIAC?" Well, in 1940, before John Mauchly co-designed ENIAC, he spent a couple of weeks as J.V. Atanasoff's houseguest in his little half brick bungalow on Woodland Avenue in Ames, playing the supplicant scholar and picking J.V.'s brain like the proverbial turkey frame. Thus, decades later, the Federal court case.

    And why, you may ask, didn't Iowa State patent the thing? Well, it had problems with its punchcard system, and then a little thing called World War 2 intervened, J.V. left Ames for war work, and the head of the Physics Dep't said, in effect, "screw it, we need the tubes." The only working example was torn up for parts.
     
  2. maggiethespy

    maggiethespy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    DFW- Texas
    I was watching Desk Set today, and I thought you all might like to meet Miss Emily EMIRAC:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. LordBest

    LordBest Practically Family

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    692
    Location:
    Australia
  4. Dr Doran

    Dr Doran My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,852
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I know at least 2 people who would be interested in that. Please PM me if you do this.
     
  5. Sertsa

    Sertsa One of the Regulars

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    186
    Location:
    Ohio
    Somewhere, in my parents' basement, lurks a Timex Sinclair 2068, circa 1984. I suspect they wanted to see how many bad ideas could be put into one machine.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. fabiovenhorst

    fabiovenhorst One Too Many

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    1,676
    Location:
    Gaspar - SC - Brazil
    Schubert calculator...

    Left, you see a vintage Schubert calculator...;)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Lt GUSTL

    Lt GUSTL New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Old Austria
    Servus from Vienna,

    i started with punchcards to speak PL/I, Cobol, Fortran & REXX.

    Today i speak a little perl, php and other stuff.
    The punchcards are used today as bookmarks by my family members,
    the IBM Mainframe SYSTEM/3xx is on my Linux machine as an emulator
    (look at http://www.hercules-390.org ).

    My favorite game is Bureaucracy by INFOCOM.

    kindest regards :)
     
  8. fr8dog

    fr8dog New in Town

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    17
    Location:
    NM USA
    An amazing device!!! hard to believe it's that old, must have been some great craftsmen around in the day.
     
  9. Rola

    Rola New in Town

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    24
    Location:
    Poland
    I used to have a German-made Triumphator CRN1 (but where did I stash it? I just hope my family didn't get rid of it!) - it's from 1950s, but very similar to pre-WW2 arithmometers, don't you think?

    That grey one:

    http://www.rechenmaschinen-illustrated.com/Triumphator CRN1.htm
    http://public.beuth-hochschule.de/~hamann/triumph/cnx/index1r.html

    Those silly people in my age sell items like that on internet auctions not even knowing how to operate them, hah! ("I can't tell if it's ok, coz I don't know how to use it...")
     
  10. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    :D
    [​IMG]
    More than a hundred years ago an extraordinary mechanism was found by sponge divers at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera. It astonished the whole international community of experts on the ancient world. Was it an astrolabe? Was it an orrery or an astronomical clock? Or something else?
    http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/
     
  11. Maj.Nick Danger

    Maj.Nick Danger I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Behind the 8 ball,..
    Makes me wonder if there might not be another one of these somewhere as yet unearthed. [huh]
     
  12. Dated Guy

    Dated Guy Familiar Face

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    94
    Location:
    East Coast Gt. Britain
    It was evidently proved to be a very ancient orrery by some expert or other, nice bit of kit whatever it is, some kind of Mediteranean Enigma Machine part, to my eye....:eek:
     
  13. GWD

    GWD One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,642
    Location:
    Evergreen, Co
    "Made in West Germany"

    My Grandfather brought this home in the 50's. It's an Addition / Subtraction "Machine" works great!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    Yup - sponge divers finding the only one made would be in the 'needle in a haystack' statistical range. How many were made? What else of similar ingenuity was produced and lost to time?
    http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/faq/general-questions/were-there-others

    It's probably a navigational computer of some sort.
    http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/faq/general-questions/what-is-it
     
  15. Mr E Train

    Mr E Train One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Terminus
    I've still got my Commodore 64 with monitor and disk drive that I got for Christmas '82 or '83. I haven't hooked it up in a few years, but the last time I did it still worked.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    (CNN) — Jean Jennings Bartik, the last of six women programmers who debugged and operated the earliest general-purpose computer, has died.
    Bartik, 86, died Wednesday in New York, said Jon Rickman, vice president of information systems at Bartik’s alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University, and director of the Jean Jennings Bartik Computer Museum.
    Bartik was profiled in a CNN.com story last month about women mathematicians who were recruited by the U.S. military to do ballistics research during World War II. Bartik and five of her fellow “computers” went on to program the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, but they didn’t receive recognition for their work until years later.

    http://www.ghanamma.com/2011/03/23/computing-pioneer-jean-jennings-bartik-dies/
     
  17. p71towny

    p71towny Familiar Face

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    85
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    [​IMG]

    This is my old Amiga 1000 that my friends dad used. It has about every option on it even two extra hard drives plugged into it. Its fun to play games on. It sits in the spare room until I find a decent place for it.
     
  18. p71towny

    p71towny Familiar Face

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I have an old RC Allen Figuring machine just like this one except mine is in better condition and the paint has the crinkle finish like the old mopar hemi valve covers.


    [​IMG]
     

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