[rescue] Does any one on the list run this?

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Sat Jun 8 12:20:26 CDT 2013

    On Sat, 8 Jun 2013, John Francini wrote:

> And I knew about the LINC too -- and the LINC-8 and PDP-12.

    I'll be willing to bet that most everybody on this list is
aware of that family -- and some of us have actually had the
privilege of running one.  But, how many folks who don't share
this passion know that "personal computing" is better than a
half-century old -- with machines specifically designed to
embrace the concept?

    One of the demons I grapple with occasionally is how to get
fresh blood into the field and get them to share the same degree
of passion about "retrocomputing" that we (as list members here)
already share.  There are some superb resources out there to
be sure, including Bitsavers (which has bailled my bacon out
of a fire more than once), the Computing History Museum, the
Living Computer Museum (Hi, Ian!) in Seattle, and even humble
RCS/RI tries to make a go of it.

    I was fortunate enough to visit LCM in April and lay hands on
one of my all-time favourite systems, DEC's KI-10, which is on
its way back to health and possibly an on-line life on the
Internet -- which was perhaps not even a glimmer in somebody's
eye when the device was designed.  (I was actually in the area
for sad family business and squeezed a trip to Seattle into the
mix.)  This is good stuff!

    But I wonder if there's really much interest in the concept
of computing history amongst the general population.  Everybody
seems happy with the current notion that computing dates to
1981.  When I think of what computing could have been -- and
already was in the late 1970s -- and what it's become my heart
grows heavy.  Yes, nowadays we have a descendent of VMS on most
folks' machines in the guise of Windows, but whatever happened
to the notion, say, of DG's "Desktop Generation" line of kit
from the late '70s which ran a top-notch multi-user OS called
AOS and supported disk-striping and early volume-management
features on a 16-bit platform and which still performs quite
nicely for those fortunate enough to have one.  And what of the
veritable explosion of innovation and creativity from the late
'70s in the microcomputer world that was snuffed out overnight
when IBM introduced its PC which set the clock back by almost
a decade?  All gone, and, worse, forgotten by most.

    How to light the fire?

| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |

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