Solomon Slow
  • Member for 5 years, 8 months
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Can powering on/off a 1541 damage a disk left inside?
12 votes

I don't know about the 1541 in particular, but I have personally lost data by powering off a computer with a diskette in the drive. One problem that could occur, independently of whether you ...

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Why is EEPROM called ROM if it can be written to?
31 votes

EEPROM can't be "written to." It can be programmed. Programming is different. When there's EEPROM in a CPU's physical address space, ordinary write cycles will not affect it. Something out ...

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Are the control characters any useful nowadays?
0 votes

IMO, ASCII control characters ceased to be meaningful around the same time when people stopped thinking of ASCII as a code for sending telegrams, and started thinking of it as a code that was used for ...

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How did graphics processing for old 8/16bit consoles work & what are the differences between an FPU/maths co processor & a graphics card?
1 votes

Not really an answer, but... ...The phrase "co-processor," can mean two different things. When you're talking about a "floating point co-processor" or "FPU," you're ...

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How much data could be stored on a single punched card?
13 votes

Each hole in a card represents one bit: It either can be punched, or not punched. The holes in a classic card are arranged in 80 columns and 12 rows. 80 x 12 = 960, so the most amount of information ...

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What did the "programs" that "human computers" executed look like?
6 votes

A chapter in Richard Feynman's autiobiography, "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman describes a room full of computers working for the atomic scientists at Los Alamos. I don't remember all of the ...

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How did the /dev file system work in early Unix?
18 votes

Just a supplement to what Stephen Kitt already said: The entries in any directory in a classic Unix file system are hard links that map names to inodes —small fixed-size records in the file system. ...

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What were the Major Public Access Unix Systems Available in the 1980s-90s?
3 votes

It wasn't all minicomputers and mainframes. I worked for a small consulting company in the late 1980s where, typically, four developers at any given time were logged on to the same desktop Unix box. ...

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How binaries are generated using Punched cards?
4 votes

I thought that punched cards already represent the code in binary since a hole means 0 and rest positions mean 1 on a punched card. Virtually all computer data is stored or transmitted in "binary" at ...

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What is a "stunt box"?
7 votes

This might be at least a partial answer, from a Teletype model 28 manual/brochure: In the early days of printing telegraphy, "stunts" was the term applied to nonprinting functions. These functions ...

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When and why did "Public Domain" software releases give way to "Open Source"?
3 votes

I see a lot of technical answers here, but not a lot about why. Why copyright your work if you don't intend to exploit it for money? One possible answer: It's no fun to say, "I am the author of X" if ...

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Connecting multiple computers through dialup
0 votes

That RJ-11 port is meant to connect to a POTS line. You'll either need to get a separate phone line for each computer, or you'll need to set up your own mini-PBX (maybe something like this: https://...

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Why were floppy disks invented after hard disks?
11 votes

Floppy disks solve a different problem from hard disks: They're cheap, and they're portable. A floppy disk (even an eight-inch floppy) slips into a brief case or a file folder in a way that reels of ...

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640x480 color display in 1980
1 votes

I had friends who worked with a system kind of like that in a computer science lab sometime in the early '80s. I don't remember many details other than that the thing had 16 bits per pixel (5 red, 5 ...

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What caused the downfall of Pascal?
1 votes

Pascal was the implementation language for the Accent operating system and, for most of the user-mode software that ran on PERQ workstations in the 1980s. Except... ...It wasn't Pascal, it was PERQ ...

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Were people building CPUs out of TTL logic prior to the 4004, 8080 and the 6800?
3 votes

Perq computers, which were built first in Pittsburgh, PA, and then later, somewhere in England, had a CPU that was mostly built from 74LS parts. "Mostly," because it had one LSI chip, an Am2910 ...

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