Jump to content

Photo

What's the oldest computer you've seen in use today?


138 replies to this topic

#126 CatPix ONLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 4,287 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Sat Oct 1, 2016 11:12 AM

Wow, an actual computer with flashing lights.  I wish computers had more flashing lights.  Isn't it the future yet?

The lights are on the input/output boards mostly; they indicate if an input or out put in on or off. Someone familiar with this system would be able to spot an issue in the system with one look (one stuck valve that stays open or closed when it should be in the opposite state would have a light on or off when it shouldn't).

Modern PLC doesn't feature LEDS or more rarely since their processing power improved and the informations are displayed on color LCD display, or to a computer, or they send alerts on SMS/phone/email.



#127 MarkO OFFLINE  

MarkO

    Dragonstomper

  • 920 posts
  • Location:Albany, Oregon, USA, North Western Hemisphere, Planet Tera

Posted Tue Oct 4, 2016 9:34 AM

They just replaced all the flashing lights with blinding blue LEDs.



You can have Any Color you Want, as long as it is Blinding Blue....

( With the Lights On )

MarkO

Edited by MarkO, Tue Oct 4, 2016 9:36 AM.


#128 gladders OFFLINE  

gladders

    Star Raider

  • 54 posts

Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 3:39 AM

Probably cheating a little but I discovered the museum ship HMS Belfast in London contains an electromechanical Fire Control Table which was used to calculate gunnery ranges. I seem to remember reading somewhere that they got it working again recently.



#129 CatPix ONLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 4,287 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 6:21 AM

Makes me wonder what is the oldest computer still operationnal, BTW.

 

One super cheat I could draw is a factory not so far of where I live - they are the only ones (according to them) to still manually work on horsehair to make fabric of various use, and their factory use 1850's ish Jacquard looms, and more exceptionnal is that they use a late 1790's machine to punch new cards for the jacquard looms. It might be the oldest punching machine still in operation as of today.

 

zn66l5t5upsym5b.jpg

 

 

Of course we're moving from computers to automated machines - but those Jacquard looms still use punched cards, so it's a kind of program.

 

Another antique factory here is the Bohin needles makers, but their machines aren't automated :D


Edited by CatPix, Wed Oct 5, 2016 6:23 AM.


#130 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,483 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 9:28 AM

Probably cheating a little but I discovered the museum ship HMS Belfast in London contains an electromechanical Fire Control Table which was used to calculate gunnery ranges. I seem to remember reading somewhere that they got it working again recently.

Many WWII ships and submarines had something similar, but I'm not sure I'd say they are still in use. :D



#131 jhd OFFLINE  

jhd

    Stargunner

  • 1,872 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 9:55 AM

Of course we're moving from computers to automated machines - but those Jacquard looms still use punched cards, so it's a kind of program.

 

When I did an Intro to Computers class in about the mid-1980s, one of the first examples presented in the textbook was a Jacquard loom. It was (and obviously still is) a programmable device. I would definitely count it.

 

While it is a modern reproduction rather than an original, there is also Charles Babbage's Difference Engine



#132 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,483 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 12:04 PM

 

When I did an Intro to Computers class in about the mid-1980s, one of the first examples presented in the textbook was a Jacquard loom. It was (and obviously still is) a programmable device. I would definitely count it.

 

While it is a modern reproduction rather than an original, there is also Charles Babbage's Difference Engine

The Babbage machine was never finished, so I'm not sure it counts as a reproduction.



#133 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

jedimatt42

    River Patroller

  • 2,030 posts
  • Location:Beaverton, OR

Posted Sun Oct 9, 2016 8:01 AM

I thought they just packed all the flashing lights together tightly and call the whole thing a phone... :)

Seriously, agree with the actual flashing lights sentiment. My TI expansion box still thrills me with those hypnotic card lights.

-M@

#134 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

Sinphaltimus

    River Patroller

  • 2,528 posts
  • Distracted at the Keyboard
  • Location:Poconos, PA

Posted Sun Oct 9, 2016 12:06 PM

Screenshot_2016-10-09-14-05-09.png

I haven't seen it myself but was very impressed by it.

#135 CatPix ONLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 4,287 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Sun Oct 9, 2016 12:32 PM

It would be nice to have more pics.

I found another source where it said that this was in Gdansk (Poland - unless there is a Gdansk in the US? Might not be impossible).

I fidn the way the screen is a bit strange; I know that some cheap monitor displayed the picture in a bit of a crooked way, but this one does look more crooked that is should. A bit off.

Also, Ex-USSR monitors were just black and white TVs, they produced little to no green home monitors, so if should be in black and white.

 

But maybe this picture is perfectly legit and the monitor just off specs. Maybe the picture is genuine but the monitor was off when the guy took the pic and he added a green screen to make it more alive.

Tho the writing on the screen seems to be Polish. Can be perfectly legit.


Edited by CatPix, Sun Oct 9, 2016 12:33 PM.


#136 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

Sinphaltimus

    River Patroller

  • 2,528 posts
  • Distracted at the Keyboard
  • Location:Poconos, PA

Posted Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:01 AM

Allegedly, it is in Poland. Unfortunately, there seems to only be one photo.

http://www.popularme...64-repair-shop/

#137 carlsson ONLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 9,017 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:35 PM

The Babbage machine was never finished, so I'm not sure it counts as a reproduction.

True. Georg and Edvard Scheutz from Sweden though troubleshot Babbage's difference engine and produced mostly working specimens still in Babbage's lifetime, so if you like to count those together, it kind of got finished.


  • jhd likes this

#138 Jinks OFFLINE  

Jinks

    River Patroller

  • 4,711 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:27 AM

http://m.ebay.com/it...d:5&_mwBanner=1
I use one of these still today. The kids always grab the laptop for simple diagnostics but I can read a engine or abs fault in 15 seconds from boot up to reading the code. They call it the gameboy and laugh but hey it works. It is cartridge based been around for at least 25 years. Have to change carts for each vehicle and different adapters for sifferent ones that look exactly the same but pins must be different. There is an adapter that you can run smaller carts on it as well. Seen the adapter on ebay for 400usd. Most likely it is 8 bit tech.

#139 CatPix ONLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 4,287 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:06 AM

Pretty much yeah, given the year written on the back of the label, it gotta be based on 8080/Z80 or 65c02, as they were common. It's dubious they even bothered to blow cash on a 16 bits CPU for that use.

Maybe they could have used a slower but power efficient 8 bits or 4 bits calculator CPU, or used a microcontroller such as the Intel 8048 which was hugely popular (and still appears in some appliances such as TV remotes) - it's also the brains of the Odyssey2.

 

If I were to bet, I'd go on the microcontroller way.

Awesome find, BTW. Like PLC, I'm sure there is several embedded systems around us that have been working for decades.


Edited by CatPix, Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:14 AM.





0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users