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63 votes

What is this large device labelled 'Telefunken Datenspeicher' and how does it work?

It's a Demonstrator for an ALU and Memory. It's a serial ALU with registers, data path and a 6 byte storage, falling short to be a CPU. An ALU (German as well ALU, sometimes 'Rechenwerk') is a ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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43 votes
Accepted

High-capacity floppy drives from the early 2000s, what were they?

There were many. After 1.44 MB HD floppies, the same form factor was extended to 2.88 MB ED in 1988. Knighted by IBM using it with the 1991 PS/2 Model 57. ED became quite popular in Japan. There were ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.6k
29 votes

Denys Fisher, of Spirograph fame, using a computer late 1976, early 1977

My name is Duncan Fisher and I'm the youngest son of Denys Fisher. I remember dad's HP programmable calculator and plotter set up very well - can't shed any light on the specific model though. What I ...
Duncan's user avatar
  • 291
24 votes
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Denys Fisher, of Spirograph fame, using a computer late 1976, early 1977

TL;DR: It's a HP 9825B desktop calculator and a HP 9872 flatbed plotter. By the looks it can be either a HP 9825 desktop calculator (*1) introduced in 1976, or a 1978 HP9831 computer (*2). (HP 9825A ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
20 votes
Accepted

What is this diskette drive?

Akhter was a home computer dealer, based in Harlow. The company still exists at a new address, now called Akhter Group plc (but probably not still selling BBC Micros!). They were the largest sellers ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 8,141
20 votes

What kind of printer is shown in the opening title sequence for the movie Desk Set?

You mean this one? (taken from this sequence on Youtube) Well, it isn't 'a printer', but rather the 'computer', at least as far as it goes for that setup :)) It's an IBM 403 Accounting Machine, a ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
20 votes
Accepted

In this movie I see a strange cable for terminal connection, what kind of connection is this?

It's probably much like the Ampex 210. See page 2-7 of the Ampex 210 Operating Manual. Based on the position, it would be the primary RS232S port connected to a ribbon cable. Ribbon cables were used ...
HABO's user avatar
  • 721
19 votes

Did home computers have mechanical interfaces to typewriters?

I remember such a device described in Personal Computer World magazine, June 1981: https://archive.org/details/PersonalComputerWorld1981-06/page/76/mode/2up?view=theater The Dynatyper allows you to ...
EBCDIC's user avatar
  • 353
19 votes

In this movie I see a strange cable for terminal connection, what kind of connection is this?

25-wire ribbon cables were quite common for serial ports. See, for example, the classic breakout box: I preferred using cables and adapters. Typically I would use 6-wire cables (ground, TX, RX, CTS, ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Did home computers have mechanical interfaces to typewriters?

Some further web searches on my part turned up a brochure for the I/O Pak Computer/Typewriter Mechanical Interface by Rochester Data Incorporated: The Rochester Data I/O Pak is an electro-mechanical ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 7,551
17 votes

What is this large device labelled 'Telefunken Datenspeicher' and how does it work?

A and B are two shiftable 8-bit registers. They form a serial ALU. U is the Ɯberlauf-Register (carry). "Takt" is the clock signal. It shifts both registers, after 8 clocks the operation is ...
dirkt's user avatar
  • 27.8k
16 votes
Accepted

Can anyone help identify this old terminal and printer found in an abandoned nuclear power plant?

I would have written just a comment but did not have enough rep to do so. @JdeBP had basically found the answer so all I had to google was "Youtube comment finder" :). The video also posts a ...
retroM's user avatar
  • 326
15 votes

What dot matrix printer? - UK, 1987

The printer looks quite like a C.T.I. CP-80 variant. The silver oval is a give away. See this picture of a CP-80 Model II I have pulled out a few weeks ago for a PC-XT setup to help with GlaBIOS. (...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
14 votes

What 1970's terminal was black on white and had an orange keyboard?

SOLVED: I am thinking of the ADDS Consul 980, from 1974: The display was black on white. It did support lowercase. Solomon Slow is correct. The Data General C/150 certainly supported "console ...
TZFan's user avatar
  • 413
13 votes
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Origin of what seems to be a Front-Panel

Four-Phase Systems I worked with others who programmed Four-Phase computers. I really can't add more. I simply remembered the logo. This image appears to show a similar, if not identical front panel. ...
Rick Smith's user avatar
13 votes

High-capacity floppy drives from the early 2000s, what were they?

I remember using Iomega Zip drives for the worst. Those came in 100 MB which was huge. I had Syquest cartridges, but the reader was not external so you could not carry it somewhere else. On my amiga, ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
12 votes

Did Apple bundle a specific monitor with the Apple II+ for schools?

Here's a Sanyo VM-4209 in a 1977 Apple II advertisement. It has a black handle on top (the VM-4509/DM 5109CX has a beige colored recessed handle): And another photo to show the color of the case ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
11 votes

What is the model of fast CAD printer used in Pentagon Wars?

If this is a plotter, it might be an electrostatic plotter. But it looks far more likely to be a blueprint copier (or heliographic copier) which isn't a computer device at all.
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.7k
11 votes

Denys Fisher, of Spirograph fame, using a computer late 1976, early 1977

The pen plotter appears to be an HP 7221 or 9872. They look identical but differ in their interfacing: the 7221 is the RS-232 version and does not speak HP-GL; the 9872 uses HP-IB and HP-GL. If the ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 13.3k
10 votes

Did home computers have mechanical interfaces to typewriters?

There was a commercially available interface to connect a TRS-80 to an IBM Selectric typewriter, the kind with the golf-ball type head. It wasn't a hack or a DIY recipe in a magazine, it was a ...
fjklflkdj's user avatar
  • 109
10 votes

Did Apple bundle a specific monitor with the Apple II+ for schools?

Sometime in 1980 (or maybe 1981) my school district purchased it's first batch of Apple II+ computers. The hardware our specific school district purchased consisted of Apple II+ computers, each with a ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
9 votes

Unknown device in MANIAC I machine room

It's a thermometer, with a cover plate which doubled as an advertising placard removed. Initial lead was this image: Source: was originally listed at https://www.etsy.com/listing/264070177/ got &...
natevw's user avatar
  • 2,947
9 votes

What dot matrix printer? - UK, 1987

A useful place to start with the matrix dimensions is this diagram from the Epson LX-810 LX-850 Service Manual: Each pin is 0.29 mm diameter, and pins are spaced 0.35 mm apart vertically. ...
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.7k
9 votes

1980's Stand Alone Serial (RS232) Spool File

A quick search found one example here: This one was marketed specifically for plotters, which makes a lot of sense as plotting can take a long time for a single page. A search on eBay for printer ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
9 votes

High-capacity floppy drives from the early 2000s, what were they?

Insite also made the 20MB "floptical" drive - the disks had the same form factor as 3.5" floppies, but were made of a slightly different material. A laser was used to heat a spot on the ...
d3jones's user avatar
  • 1,011
8 votes

What is this diskette drive?

This is the front of the Akhter 5.25" drive unit: and the rear: As you can see the dates and serial numbers aren't that different. July 1986 is quite early for a 3.5" drive to be attached ...
user1908704's user avatar
8 votes

What is this "switch register - display" and what was it used for?

A "switch register" or "sense switches" provides a way for the CPU to read a binary input without explicitly using the I/O bus. Due to the name "switch register," I ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
  • 2,736
7 votes

What is this "switch register - display" and what was it used for?

I'm not familiar with this particular model but this type of "front panel" was found in many early mainframe, mini, and micro computer systems. While this example is among the simpler ones, ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 3,049
7 votes

Unknown device in MANIAC I machine room

Note: I'm answering my own question here. If someone can verify my findings in an answer I'll accept it. Williams tubes (a.k.a. electrostatic cathode-ray storage tubes) were used for memory in the ...
Alex Hajnal's user avatar
  • 9,350
6 votes

Did Apple bundle a specific monitor with the Apple II+ for schools?

You are not alone, as I have the same memory. Very "cube-looking" 9-inch monitors were a common peripheral for the Apple ][/][ Plus. You will find many pictures online of this setup, and may ...
Brian H's user avatar
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