52

I would say one of the versions of the Menabrea paper, written in 1842 by Luigi F. Menabrea. Ada Lovelace became involved in computing when she was asked to translate this paper from Italian to French. She did so, and unlike many translators, was knowledgeable enough about the subject matter that rather than introducing errors into the translation, she ...


46

You could have a look on bitsavers.org. They catalogue and preserve computer manuals. If you have any unique manuals which are not yet catalogued on there, I am sure they would accept a scanned copy, but not in the form of dead trees.


41

Back until the late 80ies, it was actually pretty commonplace to get a circuit diagram with a lot of electronics devices when you bought them - Even TVs and radio sets often came with them. In cases where the device didn't come with a schematics directly, you were at least able to request one from the manufacturer in most cases. Sinclair, for example, did ...


32

First, check if the documents aren't already present on Bitsavers and Archive.org. If you do have something unique that hasn't been scanned yet, you can maybe try the new initiative announced today by Jason Scott aka @texfiles: Announcing SCANTASTIX, a project that @KevinSavetz and I have whipped up to go after a class of what I call "Unadvocated ...


31

To clarify Tim Locke's comment about the Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference having a schematic, here are a couple of quick photos of the copy I lucked into in 2003. The rest of the book includes things like pinouts for the ports, data sheets, block diagrams and timing diagrams for chips like the 6510 CPU and the 6581 SID, complete references for the ...


22

FORTRAN for the IBM 704. Link to a PDF here. My justification for this choice is that FORTRAN is the earliest "proper" language in widespread use that I can think of.


20

If you insist on a book, try The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer, by Wilkes, Wheeler, and Gill, 1951. Undoubtedly this book derives in large part from the article referenced by @Laurel.


16

The 1946 Mark 1 (ASCC) manual by Howard Aiken, Grace Murray Hopper, et al, has to be the first one which: Is a technical manual, for a digital machine, which was actually manufactured (only one ever was made, but that's more than the zero actually made of whatever machine the Lovelace/Menabrea paper(s) might have been useful on, a full mechanical computer ...


15

RFC565 identifies NIC 8208 as: Computer Corporation of America, Datacomputer Project Working Paper No. 3, Datalanguage, 29 Oct '71, 78 pp. A copy of this document is available in the online repository of the US DoD's Defense Technical Information Center in a pdf document titled "Semi-Annual Technical Report, March 1972". Working Paper No. 3 is bundled with ...


14

The documentation for IBM's original Game Control Adapter has some details that will be of use. Even though you're using a SoundBlaster card instead, it should still be compatible with the IBM original. While the documentation doesn't specify maximum currents for any pins, it does have a logic diagram: It can be seen that on the original gameport, the ...


13

I found something from 1949; it's a 4 page article that describes programming for the EDSAC. It's like a book, but whether it counts as one for this question I leave open. In any case, I think it's worth mentioning in any case. There's one copy I found online, but it's behind a paywall. Fortunately, I get access through my university, so I was able to copy a ...


10

I'd get a nice sheetfed document scanner, cut off the spines, and feed in the manuals one at a time. Then upload to archive.org.


10

The Zuse Z1 was a binary electrical computer and finished in 1938. Zuse invented the programming language Plankalkül for it between 1943 and 1945, however, the book that he wrote about Plankalkül wasn't published until 1972. Does that count?


8

I remember the computers from Czechoslovakia back in the 80s', and they come with the circuit diagram automatically, especially those for "professional use". The manufacturers knew that users have to repair those computers or build their own peripherals. Other computers, e.g. the "hobby computer" PMD-85, come with the block diagram and ...


8

Although older books have already been cited, I just reached across onto my bookshelf and found: "Ferranti Pegasus Computer, Programming Manual", Ferranti Ltd, Issue 1, September 1955. I have older ones, but at the moment I can't locate them! I'm sure I have an early Cambridge EDSAC programming manual somewhere.


7

Your options seem to be: Donating them to a local or non-local museum Donating them to The Internet Archive or Bitsavers Digitizing them yourself (Stack Exchange thread here) Posting to a special interest mailing list (perhaps CCTalk or one of the lists here)) Additionally I'm sure that if you posted to the SDF bulletin board or somewhere on the tildes ...


6

back in the (x386) days I was using GAME port as an ADC for home made scanner and other self build HW. As it is usual during development there is occasional set back like short circuit etc. The GAME Ports I was using was always GoldStar chip powered IDE/ports ISA card (they where very common) and a short circuit on the analog pins always burn up +5V power ...


5

At my university in the 70's was an Adage Graphics Terminal, a full-blown digital computer (30-bit, one's complement!) along with analog graphics hardware driving a 3D vector display. It was the size of about 3 refrigerators, full of discrete components, had a very loud hard disk (itself the size of a large desk) with removable packs, a tape drive, teletype, ...


5

The help file is still available elsewhere on Microsoft’s site. The macrofun.exe file there is a self-extracting cabinet file containing macrofun.hlp, the table of contents (macrofun.cnt) and a README file with usage and installation instructions.


4

It looks like you have the control unit (probably including the hard disk, etc.) for a high-end Xerox 3700 laser printing system: (image source) The "3700" on the front of the unit and "Product Code M75" on the label both match this product safety data sheet for a "3700 (ESS only)." The unit is described as 54/27/41 cm in width/...


4

There is no official specs for game port current limit. Some adapters may have resistors, ferrite beads or fuses for current limiting, but usually a short circuit still fries something (except for a polyfuse). I'd say 100mA is a safe limit in any case. The original adapter has 1k pull ups on buttons, so for all four buttons simultaneously pressed, it adds up ...


4

Schematics for the Sun2 came with the workstation, and for the Sun3 were available upon request. I received the schematics for the BBC Micro as part of their Service Manual. This had a somewhat restricted distribution, but samizdat photocopies were easily found. These days service manuals don't include full schematics, as manufacturers won't warrant field ...


3

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with @Raffzahn, in part citing @JeffSilverman's answer relating to DEC equipment. Focussing on mainframes, and in particular Burroughs Large Systems (capitalised since that was what the range of ALGOL-based systems were called), I cite this reference https://users.monash.edu.au/~ralphk/burroughs.html which comprises the ...


3

In early 1980, Harvey Mudd College got one of the first VAX-11/780s, one of the first 32-bit mini-computers. It included complete schematics for everything. HMC was (and is) a STEM school. It was an educational experience - we could see how DEC tied together a bunch of 74000 series bit slices to create an ALU, we could see how the microcode out of its ...


2

I remember in the mid 1980s there was a was a workbook around in UK schools for BBC Basic which mixed the programming language with basic mathematics concepts. I also remember around the same time there was a magazine for the Acorn Electron which, amongst other things, published various bits of code as plain text which you typed in yourself and could 'save' ...


2

The questions wording (discrete, valve) makes it sound as if it's about early systems, not microcomputer and maybe not even mini-computers. Here it may be safe to distinguish one off machines (which covers moste valve based) and in numbers produced units. One-offs were usually also full or in part developed by their users, so circuit diagrams were of course ...


2

Modcomp minicomputers, popular for communications processing and process control, came with full schematics as well as manuals describing how the hardware operates. Everything came in thick three-ring binders; I think the schematics were fold-out. I know this is true for the Modcomp II, which was wire wrapped. I think (my memory is hazy) it was also true ...


1

The Apple II Reference Manual that came in the box included a complete schematic. One did not need to purchase any additional (programmers reference or service) manuals. The Apple III manual did not include a schematic. One needed to purchase a service manual to get an official copy. The RCA B&W vacuum tube TV my parents purchased circa 1960 had a full ...


1

There is some documentation online. Transparent mode displays control characters, rather than obeying them, and is presumably intended for configuring terminal drivers. There's also a switch for white-on-black or black-on-white display, and presumably switch settings for full/half duplex operation, and odd/even and mark/space parity. If the OP would care ...


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