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The first PC and the first embedded system!

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by CBFalconer, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. CBFalconer

    CBFalconer Guest

    I have recently found some old literature for a system I built in
    the late '60s. It was adapted to be an embedded data processor for
    some nuclear systems, largely to do with processing Carbon 14
    dating data. I have mounted the brochures on my page at:

    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net/firstpc/>
     
    CBFalconer, Jan 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. Fascinating. Gotta love those nixies ;).

    It's also very impressive - the precursor of the HP programmable calculator,
    perhaps.

    Have you seen this:
    http://klabs.org/history/build_agc/

    Apollo Guidance Computer rebuild project... I want one. (Actually I'd like a
    complete recreation of the Apollo Command Module, and a means of generating
    0G so that I can float around in it...)

    Steve
    http://www.fivetrees.com
     
    Steve at fivetrees, Jan 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. CBFalconer

    Leon Heller Guest


    Interesting. What about the Wang:
    http://www.oldcalculatormuseum.com/d-wangcustom.html

    They used a Wang computer in a lab where I was working in the mid-70s. By
    then it had a CRT display and was programmed in BASIC.

    Leon
     
    Leon Heller, Jan 23, 2005
    #3
  4. CBFalconer

    mc Guest

    Wang 2200, as I recall. That was a nice machine. A lab where I worked got
    one in early 1977. It was nice to work with -- self-contained, nice sharp
    textual display; nothing about the screen or keyboard had the "toy" feel
    that was typical of Apple, Commodore, and TRS-80. You could do some serious
    computing with it. It was the first micro that impressed me as more than a
    toy.
     
    mc, Jan 23, 2005
    #4
  5. CBFalconer

    CBFalconer Guest

    A very nice comprehensive page. From my viewpoint Wang appeared
    shortly after we did, and was based on some sort of magic means of
    computing logarithms (which I still don't know). They had the
    disadvantage of some inherent computational inaccuracies. They
    also had a lot more development and marketing than we did. We
    started with $25,000 total, and ran the debts up to about $100,000
    before selling out to Picker and saving our financial asses. By
    that time we had built about 50 machines, and they weren't flying
    out the door. To me our marketing and financing failed, but the
    technical part was fine. The whole firm was 5 people until we
    started production. Then we got up to about 10.
     
    CBFalconer, Jan 23, 2005
    #5
  6. CBFalconer

    joep Guest

    Do you still have any of the machines?
     
    joep, Jan 24, 2005
    #6
  7. CBFalconer

    CBFalconer Guest

    I wish. When I went to work for Yale about 10 years later I found
    a complete one under a bench. About 1980 I offered it to the
    Boston Computer Museum. At that time I still had manuals and
    schematics, and my memory was much fresher. They ignored it.
     
    CBFalconer, Jan 24, 2005
    #7
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