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Rare Apple I computer sells for $216,000 in London

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Don McKenzie, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Rare Apple I computer sells for $216,000 in London

    I mentioned this one coming up for auction, a week or two back:
    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/...ells-for-216000-in-london-20101124-1861g.html

    yes it sold, and for an interesting price.

    I wonder if my piece of art is worth anything? :)
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/australias-first-pc.html

    Cheers Don...

    ===================


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    Don McKenzie, Nov 24, 2010
    #1
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  2. Starting to make me wonder what my Mullard Magnetic Core Memory board is
    worth now.

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    Paul E. Bennett, Nov 24, 2010
    #2
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  3. Trevor Wilson, Nov 24, 2010
    #3
  4. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Don't see why not Trevor. :)

    http://www.dontronics.com/z80.html (writeup and source code)
    Produced from 1984 to 1993. Memory sizes from 64K to 4Mb (64Mb possible) with an 8 bit Z80 micro.
    There was about 4000 sold, which I feel was pretty good for pre-internet days.

    Cheers Don...

    =======================


    --
    Don McKenzie

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    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
    Don McKenzie, Nov 24, 2010
    #4
  5. Don McKenzie

    Ben Pfaff Guest

    What was a standalone printer buffer good for?
     
    Ben Pfaff, Nov 25, 2010
    #5
  6. Offloading background print spooling from a microcomputer CPU, especially
    one running a non-multitasking OS.

    --
    Roland Hutchinson

    He calls himself "the Garden State's leading violist da gamba,"
    .... comparable to being ruler of an exceptionally small duchy.
    --Newark (NJ) Star Ledger ( http://tinyurl.com/RolandIsNJ )
     
    Roland Hutchinson, Nov 25, 2010
    #6
  7. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Yes, we are talking about the days when a printer just had a micro, and no internal memory, or very little.

    When you did a print, your computer stopped completely until the print had finished, as it was spending 100% of the time
    chatting to the printer micro. When the print finished, you got access to your computer again.

    An in line printer buffer allowed you to dump the contents to the buffer fairly quickly, and the buffer then chatted to
    the printer, which enabled you to get on with your work on the computer.

    That is the way things worked in the PC world in the 70s and 80s.

    Cheers Don...

    =================


    --
    Don McKenzie

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    Don McKenzie, Nov 25, 2010
    #7
  8. **Indeed. Up until I could afford a '386 with 4MB RAM (which I could use as
    a print spooler), I used the mighty Dontronics buffer with my various dot
    matrix printers. That was how it was with DOS. It was pretty much impossible
    to do two things at once. All that changed with OS/2, which had a brilliant
    print spooler and put Windows 386 to shame. Pity IBM lacked the marketing
    nouse and printer support (bloody thing wouldn't work with my HP Laserjet!!)
    that Microsoft had back then.
     
    Trevor Wilson, Nov 25, 2010
    #8
  9. I think IBM had (and still have) marketing nounce - it's just that
    they concentrate on a rather different market, instead of trying to get
    millions of people to spend a few hundred each they prefer to get thousands
    of people to spend a few million each.
     
    Ahem A Rivet's Shot, Nov 25, 2010
    #9
  10. I spent a tidy sum for a daisywheel ("true letter quality") printer with
    a built-in print buffer--basically a Brother that a third-party company
    had rigged up and resold. About $800 in the early 80s--a couple of years
    after the IBM-PC came out, and it was _highly_ affordable compared to
    what the lowest daisywheel printer prices had been a year or two earlier
    (as in twice the price for a reconditioned, though admittedly heavier-
    duty one).

    --
    Roland Hutchinson

    He calls himself "the Garden State's leading violist da gamba,"
    .... comparable to being ruler of an exceptionally small duchy.
    --Newark (NJ) Star Ledger ( http://tinyurl.com/RolandIsNJ )
     
    Roland Hutchinson, Nov 25, 2010
    #10
  11. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the Brother printer was basically a Brother
    typewriter mechanism that they had lightly re-engineered into a printer.
    It worked perfectly for years; I eventually gave it away after I got a
    laser printer.

    --
    Roland Hutchinson

    He calls himself "the Garden State's leading violist da gamba,"
    .... comparable to being ruler of an exceptionally small duchy.
    --Newark (NJ) Star Ledger ( http://tinyurl.com/RolandIsNJ )
     
    Roland Hutchinson, Nov 26, 2010
    #11
  12. Don McKenzie

    kreed Guest

    I hope its worth a lot, as I still have one I built circa 1990 :)
     
    kreed, Nov 26, 2010
    #12
  13. Don McKenzie

    kreed Guest

    it allowed you to buffer printer data, so you could use the PC for
    something else. This would have been in the days of DOS when there was
    no multitasking.

    One example would be that I can clearly remember a colleague who was
    frequently printing out something like cad, schematic, PDF or similar
    files in 1991 on some sort of laser or very high quality printer. He
    used a surplus XT computer (which ran about 4-8 MHZ) to buffer the
    print file, send it to the printer etc.

    To process and print these files took some 4 hours to do, and this way
    the second PC (XT) could handle it all, leaving the main PC free to
    perform other tasks.

    I don't remember how much memory the XT machine had back then, but Im
    fairly sure it was 640k (0.64MB).

    The Dontronics printer buffer was a lifesaver in that it would connect
    between the printer port on the PC and the printer, rapidly (by the
    standards of back then) collect the data from the printer port by
    "pretending" to be a printer, store this data it in its internal RAM
    then slowly feed it out to the printer as the printer requested it.
    It was also affordable to the average tech minded hobbyist of the time
    at around $100 for the kit IIRC, where a second PC would be out of the
    question as to affordability.

    As printers back then also didnt have much (if any) in the way of
    ram, and printed much more slowly than now, this meant that the print
    job could proceed directly from the printer buffer without the PC
    being held up performing this task. Nowadays printers have
    substantial ram and Windows/Linux etc contain sufficient memory and
    processor speed to handle all this in the background.

    For example a dot matrix printer (most common type in use) could take
    5-10 seconds to print a line of text, if you had many pages to print,
    your program could be sitting tied up doing this function for a
    significant time (and you couldn't use the machine) if you had to
    print out a report of many pages without the printer buffer.

    (It would be like now if you were printing a high res image onto A4
    photo paper at the highest resolution and quality and the PC was
    "locked" during this whole process for several minutes.)

    Daisy wheel ones were probably faster, but limited to alphanumeric
    characters only (like mechanical typewriters).
    None of this gear was in any way cheap to buy.



    It is a very different world now.

    I think our PBUFF had around 1mb in it. It used computer ram sticks,
    of a type you don't see anymore, they had pins on them, like a very
    long single sided DIP package, but it was a PCB with RAM IC's on it.
    (much like now). SIMM or DIMM (Cant remember).
     
    kreed, Nov 26, 2010
    #13
  14. Don McKenzie

    Mr.Magoo Guest

    Hmmmm.. wonder what I could get for my Vic20..

    --
    rgds,

    Pete
    =====

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    Mr.Magoo, Nov 26, 2010
    #14
  15. Don McKenzie

    Joe Thompson Guest

    Sounds like SIMMs (DIMMs are current tech). Somewhere I have a bunch of
    smaller (256K) SIMMs from an old Mac. I used one as a keychain till the
    ICs fell off; I plan to use the others after getting them coated in
    Lucite or something similar. -- Joe
     
    Joe Thompson, Nov 26, 2010
    #15
  16. Don McKenzie

    Rod Speed Guest

    Mr.Magoo wrote
    Nothing like that, essentially because hordes more of those were made.
     
    Rod Speed, Nov 26, 2010
    #16

  17. A SIPP of some sort. As the Wikipedia article points out, these were
    replaced by SIMMs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPP_memory
     
    robertwessel2, Nov 26, 2010
    #17
  18. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    At times, we used the same memory as the XT PC of the day, which was 30 pad SIMM Modules:
    http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/memx_2131_284704826

    We sometimes soldered pins onto them, so we could insert them into a 30 pin socket:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/simmstick-female-header-pins.html

    Or simply plug them straight into a suitable socket:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/sim-sockx2.html

    However most users simply plugged DIP version DRAMs straight into the PBUFF board, which was designed to accept them.

    The SIMMs were just a later alternative to use old XT DRAMs, and-or to build up the memory capacity of the original
    buffer board.

    DRAM could be 1, 2, 4, or 8 DIP chips, or 30 pin Simm modules. I think I had 11 memory sizes. So by using a combination
    of DIPs and-or SIMMs, you could use your surplus memory chips for somethig useful.

    Cheers Don...

    =================


    --
    Don McKenzie

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    USB Isolator 1000VDC For Protecting Your PC OR Laptop
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    These products will reduce in price by 5% every month:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
    Don McKenzie, Nov 26, 2010
    #18
  19. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    On 27-Nov-10 7:44 AM, Don McKenzie wrote:

    Just adding to that, these were fairly rarely used, but I found a picture of the SIPP package.

    Cheers Don...



    --
    Don McKenzie

    Site Map: http://www.dontronics.com/sitemap
    E-Mail Contact Page: http://www.dontronics.com/email
    Web Camera Page: http://www.dontronics.com/webcam
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    USB Isolator 1000VDC For Protecting Your PC OR Laptop
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/usb-iso-low-full-speed-usb-isolator.html

    These products will reduce in price by 5% every month:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
    Don McKenzie, Nov 26, 2010
    #19
  20. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    On 27-Nov-10 7:44 AM, Don McKenzie wrote:

    Just adding to that, these were fairly rarely used, but I found a picture of the SIPP package.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SIPP.jpg

    Cheers Don...


    --
    Don McKenzie

    Site Map: http://www.dontronics.com/sitemap
    E-Mail Contact Page: http://www.dontronics.com/email
    Web Camera Page: http://www.dontronics.com/webcam
    No More Damn Spam: http://www.dontronics.com/spam

    USB Isolator 1000VDC For Protecting Your PC OR Laptop
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/usb-iso-low-full-speed-usb-isolator.html

    These products will reduce in price by 5% every month:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
    Don McKenzie, Nov 26, 2010
    #20
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