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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Commodore 64C quick-start guide

Commodore 64C quick-start guide

Vintage Computer Manuals


Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Bob Merkin said...

Yo Vintage,

You got the documentation for the IMSAI 8080 ? I built one (I called it the $3000 Alarm Clock, 'cause that's the smartest thing I could program it to do in Machine Language), and it's still down in the basement.

But the dinosaur I admired the most was the Timex Sinclair, the kit you built along with a BBC TV programme which introduced the UK public to computers. You got any Timex Sinclair stuff?

Halfway between No-Tek and Hi-Tek is Lo-Tek. In World War II, the Germans had Super Ultra Hi-Tek tanks and planes, and the Russians had incredibly Lo-Tek tanks and planes.

Lo-Tek tanks and Lo-Tek planes are cheap, and quick off the assembly line. For the cost of one Panzer, the Russians could roll out 3 or 4 of their ugly cheap tanks.

I forget who won.

Anyway, all technology inevitably soon reaches a Cannabalism & Cheap Knock-Off Phase. You don't have to be rich and powerful to want something nifty that the rich and powerful people invented.

The Chudnovsky Brothers wanted to set the world's record for computing the decimal digits of the expansion of pi. They lived in a slum apartment in Spanish Harlem and were more or less unemployed. Anyway they built their own homebrew supercomputer from mail-order central processor chips and mail-order computer hardware, and cooled it with hardware store fans (which they bought in the winter, when they're cheapest). They reached 1 Billion decimal digits and broke the pi expansion record three times, I think; the competition was usually Hitachi's state-of-the-art industrial supercomputer in Japan. They used a variant of Ramanujan's pi-computing formula (circa 1914).

The first team to achieve a breakthrough in computerizing the written Chinese ideograph system, their spokesman told the press: "We could not have done this if we had money." Lacking any funding, they had to rely on brains instead.

Thanks for leaving a comment! How'd you find Vleeptron? Have you been to Cuba?

Wed Sep 13, 10:38:20 PM 2006

1:15 AM  

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