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Day Link Icon 1/2/2001

Millennium Lifeboat and Piper

(by Duncan, @ 12:25 AM)

The picture shows the Dunbar Lifeboat, crew, and piper bringing in the New Year in 2000. They held a similar ceremony for Hogmanay 2001.

[Photo copyright Peter Brown]


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The longest running debate in software?

(by Duncan, @ 12:37 AM)

Catching up on the news and views from the past week. Dave tells a wee story in Scripting News
Most of you are probably too young to remember this. Come sit on my knee and I'll tell you a story.

Back in the Old Days real men programmed computers by entering code using switches on the front panel of the computer itself...

I remember those days. In fact my first hands-on (personal) computer was a PDP-8 [1]. And my all time favourite game as Lunar Lander on a venerable PDP-11 [2] with a GT-40 [3] graphics display. Old or what ;-) !?

[1] TCMHC: Internet History 1962 - 1992

DEC unveils the PDP-8, the first commercially successful minicomputer. Small enough to sit on a desktop, it sells for $18,000 - one-fifth the cost of a low-end IBM/360 mainframe. The combination of speed, size, and cost enables the establishment of the minicomputer in thousands of manufacturing plants, offices, and scientific laboratories.

[2] TCMHC: Internet History 1962 - 1992

DEC announces the Unibus for its PDP-11 minicomputers to allow the addition and integration of myriad computer-cards for instrumentation and communications.

[3] PDP-11 Family - Jay Jaeger

The GT40 was a graphic system, often used as a graphic terminal for DEC's PDP-10 and PDP-20 mainframe systems. The CPU was a PDP-11/05, but used the green color scheme of DEC's graphic systems rather than the magenta color scheme normally found on PDP-11's. The GT-40's main claim to fame is probably the famous Lunar Lander game, written by Jack Burness, as a consultant to Digital at the time.

I noticed that Jay Jaeger went to University of Wisconsin:PDP-11 Family - Jay Jaeger

I cut my teeth on Unix on a PDP-11/45 system at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 along with my friends Paul and Hannes (among others).

I wonder if he is a contemporary of Dave Winer who, if I'm not mistaken, also went to Wisconsin in that timeframe. It's a small world!!

Update: Dave e-mailed me: We were at UW at the same time but I didn't know him. I was in Computer Science and he was in EE. Dave also had access to PDPs as 'personal' computers. It is a small world!

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emulators.com - Pentium 4

(by Duncan, @ 9:28 AM)

Thanks to one of my past students Dave Anderson [http://www.uidesign.net/] for the following link: Pentium 4
Merry Christmas, Happy 21st Century, and brace for impact! The PC industry is taking a huge leap backwards as Intel's new flagship Pentium 4 processor turns out to be an engineering disaster that will hurt both consumers and computer manufacturers for some time to come. Effects of Intel's heavily delayed Pentium 4 release and this summer's aborted high-end Pentium III release are already being felt, with sharp drops in PC sales this season, and migration to competing AMD Athlon based systems. Intel, and Intel exclusive vendors such as DELL have already suffered crippling drops in stock price due to Intel's processor woes, with each company's stock falling well over 50% in the past few months and hitting yearly lows this month. Don't say I didn't warn you folks about this back in September, I did.

This article will be a great starting point for my CAD students forthcoming Pentium 4 assignment!

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Day Link Icon 1/1/2001

Happy New Year

(by Duncan, @ 1:14 PM)

A Happy New Year to Duncan's Jotter readers. This is posted from Pauline's 'new' Mac - a Performa 630 with 8MB of real RAM, 32MB virtual. It's a wee bitty slow but it does the job. Not bad for £40 and that included the monitor and a StyleWriter II printer.

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Day Link Icon 12/25/2000

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

(by Duncan Smeed, @ 12:38 AM)

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