Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels (Aug, 1978)
Be sure to check out Part 1.
Antique Mechanical Computers Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels
Dr James M Williams
58 Trumbull St
New Haven CT 06510
In “Part 1: Early Automata,” page 48, July 1978 BYTE, we traced the development of antique mechanical computers up to the middle of the 18th century, and described such devices as Vaucanson’s mechanical duck. Now we continue with a discussion of talking, writing and music playing automata of the 18th and 19th centuries. (The discussion is not meant to be an exhaustive one, of course, since that would be beyond the scope of this series.) Later Automata.
About the Cover: Pascal’s Triangle (Aug, 1978)
This reminds me of XKCD’s Map of Online Communities.There was a time when Pascal seemed like it was the ascendant language, just before C just zoomed on by and took over the world. I remember reading the Inside Macintosh books when I was a kid and thinking, shit, I’m going to have to learn this Pascal thing.
About the Cover
by Carl Helmers
It is rare when one can indulge in one’s prejudices with relative impunity, poking a bit of good humored fun to make a point. The design of the cover, entitled “Pascal’s Triangle” provided just such an opportunity. The cover was executed by Robert Tinney, but the prejudices are all mine and were given to him as a fairly detailed script. The point is that Pascal is here, it is consistent with use by small computers, such as many readers own, and it is available in the form of the UCSD software system at quite a nominal charge above the cost of the hardware required.
THE CATS-EYE VIEW OF COLOR (May, 1982)
Jayessel: this reminded me of the stuff you did with your IIe.
THE CATS-EYE VIEW OF COLOR
The CBX Series: affordable, intelligent color imaging systems
The CBX subsystem interfaces with your PDP-11 ,* LSI-11* or other computer to provide high resolution imaging capabilities. With the optional frame grabber and television camera, you digitize full-color images from any source, using a computer-controlled color filter system.
The First Ten Years of Amateur Computing (Jul, 1978)
“1977 marked the introduction of the fourth generation of microprocessors. In fact, these devices now could be called microcomputers in a single integrated circuit. These new devices include the complete microprocessor, read only memory, programmable memory, and IO circuitry on one chip. A minimum of support logic is required.”
For a bit of a comparison, check out the ridiculous amount stuff crammed into a Texas Instruments OMAP 5 processor that’s designed for cell phones.
Also, you have to check out the picture of Roger Amidon’s computer “Spider” on the fourth page.
The First Ten Years of Amateur Computing
Sol Libes President, Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey
995 Chimney Ridge
Springfield NJ 07081
Most people I meet are under the mistaken notion that personal computing started only two or three years ago, with the introduction of the Altair 8800 by MITS. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the amateur computing hobby was then almost ten years old.
I therefore decided to write this article to set the record straight, give credit to the early pioneers in this hobby and shed some light on the early history of microprocessors.
Hayes Modem (Apr, 1978)
My first modem was an external 300 baud Hayes connected to an Apple IIc (there was no place inside to stick one). Man, even in 1987 300 buad was slow. It was easy to out type the display. Later, in high school I ran my own BBS, on a Supra 14.4, one of the fancy ones with the vacuum fluorescent display. I still cringe when I think about all of the hours I spent tweaking the Hayes initialization string to get everything working right.
modem / ‘mo • dam / [modulator + demodulator] n – s : a device for transmission of digital information via an analog channel such as a telephone circuit.
Those of us who live on the North American continent are blessed with an incredible non-natural resource consisting of a gigantic web of tiny copper wires linking virtually all of our homes and businesses together into the greatest telecommunications network in history. The Bell System and over 1600 independent telephone companies have been stringing wires and microwaves nearly everywhere for up to 100 years. Now, the 80-103A Data Communications Adapter brings this amazing network to S-100 Micro Computers.