[rescue] restorations and keyboards

Sheldon T. Hall shel at cmhcsys.com
Tue Feb 3 09:55:05 CST 2004

John Bischoff said ...
> On Tue, 3 Feb 2004, Dan Duncan wrote:
> > On Mon, 2 Feb 2004, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> > > On the inside, they tend to be uprated to a little better
> > > spec than the "as-built."  More memory and more disk
> > > space, usually.  Sun originally delivered my
> > > SPARCclassic, for example, with 16 MB of RAM and a 424 MB
> > > hard drive.  It runs a _lot_ better with 128 MB and 4.5
> > > gigs....
> >
> > Uh oh... You don't think less of me for using a dremel tool to cut
> > away the floppy mask and give one of my SPARCclassics an internal
> > tape drive, do you?
> As the OP, my point really was to see if they did think less of people who
> did this :)

I draw a distinction between "restored" and not.  If you "restore"
something, in my book, you make it _exactly_ as it was when new.  If it's a
car, that means _every_ non-wearing part.  Tires, paint, all of it.  If it's
not like the factory made it, it's "modified", or "old" or something, but
it's not restored.  Someone claiming some car is "restored" when it's got
non-factory _anything_ really gets my nose out of joint.

Restoring things is a non-trivial undertaking.  Try finding the correct
tires for, say, a mid-50s Messerschmidt bubble-car, or a working 424 MB disk
drive for a SPARCstation IPX.

I'm not offended in the least by someone's having, and showing, something
that's not like the factory made it, as long as they don't claim it's a

Same with computers.  If you claim your SPARCclassic is a "restoration,"
it'd better have the same type RAM as the factory put in it, and in the same
amount, etc.  And be running the OS it came with, too....

Generally, though, I just like to have old stuff, and use it, so I don't
sweat the authenticity.  Having been "in the biz" when these things were
new, I know what they were like "back then," but I'd rather make them usable
with today's software, in today's environment.

There are those who seek out unique and important old computers, so that
they can restore, preserve, and venerate them.  I'm not one of those people.
I take any old cruft that comes along, and just use it.


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