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Vintage Computers

Fletch

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,865
Location
Iowa - The Land That Stuff Forgot
Brinybay said:
I used to know a guy in the military who said his first MOS (Military Occupational Skill) was a "computer", i.e. his job title was a "computer". He did clerical work that involved accounting of some sort.
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.
ABCRepro.jpg

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.
 

Dr Doran

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,853
Location
Los Angeles
LordBest said:
Technically the worlds oldest mechanical calculator, not a computer as it can not be programmed. Still, tempted to have a replica put together by a skilled metalworker I know.

I know at least 2 people who would be interested in that. Please PM me if you do this.
 

Sertsa

One of the Regulars
Messages
195
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.

800px-Timex_sinclair_2068.jpg
 

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 :)
 

fr8dog

New in Town
Messages
17
Location
NM USA
LordBest said:
Technically the worlds oldest mechanical calculator, not a computer as it can not be programmed. Still, tempted to have a replica put together by a skilled metalworker I know.
An amazing device!!! hard to believe it's that old, must have been some great craftsmen around in the day.
 

Rola

New in Town
Messages
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...")
 

Story

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,056
Location
Home
:D
Front_gears_dials.inline.jpg

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/
 

Maj.Nick Danger

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,469
Location
Behind the 8 ball,..
Story said:
:D
Front_gears_dials.inline.jpg

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/

Makes me wonder if there might not be another one of these somewhere as yet unearthed. [huh]
 

Dated Guy

Familiar Face
Messages
94
Location
East Coast Gt. Britain
Story said:
:D
Front_gears_dials.inline.jpg

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/
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:
 

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!

web.jpg

web.jpg
 

Story

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,056
Location
Home
Maj.Nick Danger said:
Makes me wonder if there might not be another one of these somewhere as yet unearthed. [huh]

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
 

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.

commodore-64.jpg
 

Story

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,056
Location
Home
(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/
 

p71towny

Familiar Face
Messages
85
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
attachment.php


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.
 

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.


1_8e566dc26814f47d5e4bdad31c846733.jpg
 

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