VCFed Infoage April 2018 Repair Workshop

Most recent revision date of this page, May 1 2018. Copyright 2018 Herb Johnson.




I attended the Sunday Apr 29 session of the 2-day Vintage Computing Federation's April 2018 Repair Workshop. Several people were in attendence, working on their own and other's vintage computers, and the computers of the VCF Museum. These are brief notes and images; not at all complete, many people not shown. I'll fill in more as information becomes available. Thanks to Jeff Galinat, who leant me AC cables and a 360K diskette; and to Jeff Brace for his support of and at the Workshop. I borrowed tools from Ian and David Gesswein, thanks also.

I gave some support to Adam, who was able to operate his SGI Indigo computer for the first time, thanks to a keyboard and mouse I provided. I chatted with several people attending, providing my bits of wisdom about problems with RAM, switching speeds of diodes, pressure rollers on tape drives. I removed some rust from a couple of dot-matrix printers, and was surprised to find they could still print!

Of course, I learned a lot about how my friends were diagnosing these issues. The depth of talent on site Sunday was amazing. It's rare and informative, to discuss 3-volt negative logic and the switching speeds of diodes at one point (David Gesswein), then the problems of aged hard-rubber rollers at the next moment (Bill Dromgoole). I learned from Tony Bogan, about the early history of Apple II products. I got under the hood of some early Commodore PET's (Ian Primus) to see the less-than-industrial designs they produced early on. Any of these repair and preparation activities could be discussed at length.

And it's a pleasure to see what the Museum's UNIVAC is able to do, even as more work is in progress. To think that other shipboard computers like that, were operating at sea in the late 1970's is astounding. Then to have one operational today, that's a great gift. That's also true of the PDP-8 "straight-eight", which was under repair at the diode level this weekend. And it's good to see my friends again, see and hear about them and their work and history with vintage computing. Even the weather was cooperative.- Herb Johnson

tables with Apple II (Bogan, George?), other systems
tables with CRT monitors (Primus?), Mac 68K systems , S-100 work (Galinat), Apple II (Brace)
Lisa II system (Perkins)
SGI Indigo system (Michlin)
Herb Johnson's table, Motorola EXORset 30 system
Herb does "DIR" on the EXORset
repairs on the straight-8 PDP/8 (Gesswein)
repairs on the UNIVAC (Dromgoole)
repairs on a rusty LA50 printer (Johnson)

Details on my EXORset repairs are on another Web page. - Herb

Herb Johnson
New Jersey, USA
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Copyright © 2018 Herb Johnson