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Re: Perfboard computers, VAX and others - Re: About support for rtVAX300

On 14/01/13 9:14 PM, Gregg Levine wrote:
On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:06 PM, Toby Thain<toby%telegraphics.com.au@localhost> 
On 14/01/13 2:12 PM, Paul Koning wrote:

On Jan 14, 2013, at 1:40 PM, John Wilson wrote:

From: Toby Thain<toby%telegraphics.com.au@localhost>

I have
a couple of J11's sitting around, and a dozen Transputers. I'd love to
learn enough electronics, and have enough spare time, to build the
support circuitry and run them.

You definitely should!  I don't know much about the Transputer but if
anything like the XMOS XS1 CPU (same architect) it must be a ton of fun.

John Wilson
D Bit

Transputers are interesting beasts.  All I know is their theory, which
appears to be small compute nodes interconnected by multiple fast message
passing links.  So you can build a large multicomputer setup with a mesh of

For programming, you can use C or the like, but there's a different
programming language (Occam) specifically designed to make use of that
message passing machinery.  Given who created it (C.A.R. Hoare) I assume it
ties into his research into the design of reliable distributed algorithms.

I used two T800 TRAMs in the late 1980s, attached to a NuBus card (Levco
Translink) in Macintosh II series. I programmed them in C (under MPW) and
yes, they are heaps of fun.

I also ported TeX, METAFONT and associated utilities to the Transputer
(since evan a single T800 was so much faster than the 68020 host machine and
I was using them for production work every day).



I remember that family of processors. Interesting family.

I also remember my second Mac. It was a Mac II who worked at a
typography facility that my father ran. The system did a better job
running Quark Express and feeding output to a pair of laser
phototypesetters. And this was a facility who also hosted a pair of
(very) bored Eclipse machines (DG) who did the same, and a trio of
regular systems for phototypesetting.

I bought a used Linotronic L100 - the hardware still exists, it's stored in Sydney Australia. I wasn't able to find a collector interested in it, even though it was the first PostScript imagesetter. I used to drive it with TeX, but also all the other graphic arts software including Illustrator and Photoshop, Quark XPress, etc.

Likewise, I worked with my father; we ran a small newspaper for a few years. Long story, but all Mac based from about 1987 until 1992 when I left.

I have a friend in Melbourne Australia who collects Nova 3 and Eclipse machinery: http://chookfest.net/nova3/index.html

I wrote this assembler to help him out (Nova/PDP-8):


You (Toby) must be aware that TI invented the NuBus backplane and used
it for the family of LISP systems that were popular about that time
period. I believe all of those machines were based on bit-slice

Apple licensed the bus and used the parts TI created to support it,
for that family of machines, until the invention of the PCI bus.

That's why Dave I know a fair bit about the DG machine living with all of you.
Gregg C Levine gregg.drwho8%gmail.com@localhost
"This signature fought the Time Wars, time and again."

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