[vcf-midatlantic] VCF East Clinic kudos

Jeffrey Brace jeffrey at vcfed.org
Thu May 5 02:23:52 UTC 2022

On Wed, May 4, 2022 at 8:34 PM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> [Discussion about Jonathan's S-100 workshop in the CDL facility.]
> I spent time in Jon's workshop, mostly observing. I also enjoyed seeing
> the IMSAIs in repair. And it's good to see people learning to build kits
> from components.

Yes. I love having this aspect of the show. I think it is important for the
"younger" people to understand the fundamentals of computer to keep things
in perspective in terms of how history developed as well as having clear
fundamentals in computer programming and engineering that they don't seem
to get these days.

> Jon and I tag-teamed on one IMSAI fix. He was looking up details on a
> front-panel signal that wasn't pulsing; but could not find an early
> IMSAI schematic. While he was looking, I reverse-engineered the circuit
> to trace it backwards. He found the problem from the schematic, just as
> I traced it back, to the same one-shot 74121. Replacing it solved the
> problem; apparently 40-year-old monostables tend to fail, Jon said at
> the time.

Herb. Glad to hear that you made the show and enjoyed working with Jon in
the Glitchworks area.

> There were a number of people in the workshop, exercising their
> collective knowledge of these early vintage computers. It was good to
> see them all, not just the S-100 machines. And it should be noted: there
> was a nice exhibit of early S-100 computers, thanks to Mike Loewen.

That's one aspect of the show that I enjoy, the festival nature of the
shows, not just camaraderie, and socializing, but sharing of knowledge to
improve everyone's understanding. I love stories like this where someone
who you wouldn't normally see can give a contribution to help you solve a
problem that has been perplexing you.

> I'm certainly in favor of another workshop devoted to more 1970's
> computers, if not only S-100 computers. If it's done during a swapmeet,
> I suggest not much work will get done in the morning, people will be
> swapping. So that eats into a day of repair.

Agreed. We can certainly do it during a regular repair workshop weekend
when there is more time and likely space.

> Regards, Herb Johnson
> sometimes called "Dr. S-100"

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