[bct] Re: Good old days of computers

  • From: "Debee Norling" <debee@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 17:20:39 -0800

My husband collects and restores old Dec computers. We have a garage full of
vaxes. I like this because if I want a vax for anything, he just rummages in
a huge pile of junk and puts one together for me to play with.  I got a job
once because I said I knew VMS, but I didn't tell them it was because I
played with an old vax in my drafty garage or that the vax was about the
size of the washing machine.

He also built me a very cool PDP-1173 that's just a bit bigger than a PC.
I'm running genuine BSD UNIX on it and that's a huge ton of fun. I also run
NetBSD on my baby vax -- it's called a VLC and it is from the early

All this dec equipment has weird part numbers, and we go to junk stores
where he rummages through piles of discarded parts. He'll pull out things
and say "Oh that's an RD-54" or "That card is Uni-bus, I'm looking for
Q-bus" "Oh that chassis is a BA23." or "that's part of an RP-06".  It is
amazing how he knows all this hardware trivia. He can also take all these
disparate parts and build a real working 1970s computer out of them,  and I
am forever in awe of such skill.


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