Discussion:
A naked PDP11
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gareth evans
2020-09-16 12:11:18 UTC
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I may have mentioned before (briefly, in passing :-) ) that I
cut my teeth on a naked PDP11 in assembler and machine code during
a summer undergraduate internship in 1971. (45 minutes to load the
assembler via the 10cps tape reader of the Teletype :-( )

It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.

What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!

Perhaps even greater advances have been made in computing in the
next 49 years up till now such that those of us who were extant
in 1971 have now been described, somewhat unkindly, as dinosaurs.

Not during that internship, but in subsequent employment in the
same place, when the first Decwriter was delivered, the pallet
upon which it was attached was not some
conglomeration of roughly cut timbers but was a two sheets of
high quality 3/4" thick plywood. The pallet was scrapped and was
mde by me and the wife into our first bookcase which we still
have to this day.

I did have cause to panic on one occasion when the covers were off,
and I dropped a screwdriver onto the wire-wrapped backplane of the
DecTapes when power was applied. On another occasion, I was in the
processor box with a small screwdriver to adjust the clock that
drove the Teletype serial port.

***** I did read somewhere that the seminal background work
for the Field Effect Transistor happened in about 1910.

Is this post a wind-up? Only to help your day go like clockwork! :-)
Scott Lurndal
2020-09-16 15:06:52 UTC
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Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.
I think the yanks would say 'Joe Sixpack'. John Doe
is reserved for unidentified corpses.
JimP
2020-09-16 16:28:11 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.
I think the yanks would say 'Joe Sixpack'. John Doe
is reserved for unidentified corpses.
Sixpack is recent. John Doe was for anyone whose real name was
unknown. Even living people.
--
Jim
Charlie Gibbs
2020-09-16 17:42:52 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.
I think the yanks would say 'Joe Sixpack'. John Doe
is reserved for unidentified corpses.
I seem to recall that 49 years ago "John Doe" was a much more
generic term than it is today.
--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <***@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
John Levine
2020-09-16 16:24:12 UTC
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Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting ...
What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.

There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
J. Clarke
2020-09-16 17:49:22 UTC
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On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:24:12 -0000 (UTC), John Levine
Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting ...
What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
But the first microprocessor shipped in 1971. That's hardly "working
out the details.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-16 21:20:09 UTC
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On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:49:22 -0400
Post by J. Clarke
On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:24:12 -0000 (UTC), John Levine
Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting ...
What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
But the first microprocessor shipped in 1971. That's hardly "working
out the details.
In a way it was even less because the microprocessor caused a
reprise of some early computer architectures until the circuit density got
up to putting state of the art CPU architectures on chip after which
smaller, cheaper, faster but nothing really new in the CPU (ok there's a
GPU too these days but there's nothing really new in there except scale).
At least until the core count started to rise, the very large core counts
are more than just incremental improvements there's some clever work in
there.

I think one major area of understanding that has grown since the
1970s is distributed systems and the fault tolerance they require. I was
trying to pin down a date for two phased commit which I first came across
in the late 1980s being talked about as a new and exiting thing. There's
been a lot of work on atomic commits and group consensus since then. Then
there's all the store and forward on steroids stuff known as eventual
consistency.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Andreas Kohlbach
2020-09-17 00:29:20 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:24:12 -0000 (UTC), John Levine
Post by John Levine
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
But the first microprocessor shipped in 1971.
That shipped to the public. The first was the Central Air Data Computer
(MP944), used by the US Navy in the F-14 Tomcat jet fighter.
--
Andreas
John Levine
2020-09-17 01:01:45 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
Post by John Levine
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
But the first microprocessor shipped in 1971. That's hardly "working
out the details.
The idea of putting multiple components in one device goes back to
vacuum tubes in the 1920s. During the 1950s and 1960s, semiconductor
makers put increasing numbers of components on a chip each year, so
they needed fewer and fewer chips to make a working computer. In 1971
the number dropped to 1, but that was utterly predictable from what
had been going on for the previous decade. Sure sounds like working
out the details to me.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
J. Clarke
2020-09-17 01:56:47 UTC
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 01:01:45 -0000 (UTC), John Levine
Post by John Levine
Post by J. Clarke
Post by John Levine
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from about 1945
to 1970. Since then you will have to look really hard to find anything
that isn't just working out the details. Remember that Englebart's
Mother of All Demos, introducing us to windows and mice, was in 1968.
But the first microprocessor shipped in 1971. That's hardly "working
out the details.
The idea of putting multiple components in one device goes back to
vacuum tubes in the 1920s. During the 1950s and 1960s, semiconductor
makers put increasing numbers of components on a chip each year, so
they needed fewer and fewer chips to make a working computer. In 1971
the number dropped to 1, but that was utterly predictable from what
had been going on for the previous decade. Sure sounds like working
out the details to me.
Call it what you want to. It's more than "details".
Peter Flass
2020-09-16 18:12:55 UTC
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Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting ...
What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!
Well, the flip flop was invented in 1918 but for quite a while was
considered a curiosity.
Now, everyone wears them;-)
--
Pete
David Lesher
2020-09-17 04:15:36 UTC
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Post by John Levine
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from
about 1945 to 1970. Since then you will have to look really
hard to find anything that isn't just working out the details.
Remember that Englebart's Mother of All Demos, introducing us
to windows and mice, was in 1968.
A friend noted his grandmother was born before the Wright
Brothers first flew, but lived to see Tranquility Base.

The times, they are a changen....
--
A host is a host from coast to ***@nrk.com
& no one will talk to a host that's close..........................
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-17 07:14:05 UTC
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 04:15:36 +0000 (UTC)
Post by David Lesher
A friend noted his grandmother was born before the Wright
Brothers first flew, but lived to see Tranquility Base.
Neil Armstrong was 18 when Orville Wright died, they could just (but
didn't) have met as adults.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Peter Flass
2020-09-17 18:29:49 UTC
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Permalink
Post by David Lesher
Post by John Levine
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from
about 1945 to 1970. Since then you will have to look really
hard to find anything that isn't just working out the details.
Remember that Englebart's Mother of All Demos, introducing us
to windows and mice, was in 1968.
A friend noted his grandmother was born before the Wright
Brothers first flew, but lived to see Tranquility Base.
The times, they are a changen....
Yes, if you think back on it. Someone who grew up in a house with no
electricity, running water, indoor plumbing or any form of transportation
not dependent on a horse lived to see all of that, two world wars, the
atomic bomb, jets and space flight.
--
Pete
JimP
2020-09-17 18:49:41 UTC
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:29:49 -0700, Peter Flass
Post by Peter Flass
Post by David Lesher
Post by John Levine
There was a stupendous amount of progress in computing from
about 1945 to 1970. Since then you will have to look really
hard to find anything that isn't just working out the details.
Remember that Englebart's Mother of All Demos, introducing us
to windows and mice, was in 1968.
A friend noted his grandmother was born before the Wright
Brothers first flew, but lived to see Tranquility Base.
The times, they are a changen....
Yes, if you think back on it. Someone who grew up in a house with no
electricity, running water, indoor plumbing or any form of transportation
not dependent on a horse lived to see all of that, two world wars, the
atomic bomb, jets and space flight.
My mother, when she was a kid, would bicycle down to the blacksmith's
shop to get the battery charged for the radio. It used phenolic
headphones. Worked at the USO during WW2. Her brother went off to
fight, he came back. She lived long enough to have her own web site,
saw Halley's Comet, and the lunar landings. She also saw me survive a
hurricane at sea in the US Navy, get promoted, and finally wind up
with a good paying job repairing computers. And lived to see the
beginnings of this century.
--
Jim
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-18 18:48:17 UTC
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Post by Peter Flass
Yes, if you think back on it. Someone who grew up in a house with no
electricity, running water, indoor plumbing or any form of transportation
not dependent on a horse lived to see all of that, two world wars, the
atomic bomb, jets and space flight.
yes, I think of Eleanor Roosevelt who not only was born way
back, but came of age in a totally 'manual' world. She
got to see it all come about, dying in the computer age.

They said she didn't like using the telephone, preferring
to communicate by letter.

For a short time NBC had old airings of Meet the Press On
Demand. Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Nixon, etc.
from the 1950s. Fascinating historical look. The
interviewers asked tough questions, too.
J. Clarke
2020-09-18 21:08:53 UTC
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Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Peter Flass
Yes, if you think back on it. Someone who grew up in a house with no
electricity, running water, indoor plumbing or any form of transportation
not dependent on a horse lived to see all of that, two world wars, the
atomic bomb, jets and space flight.
yes, I think of Eleanor Roosevelt who not only was born way
back, but came of age in a totally 'manual' world. She
got to see it all come about, dying in the computer age.
They said she didn't like using the telephone, preferring
to communicate by letter.
She _was_ an inveterate letter-writer. My mother had a couple from
her (now lost).
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
For a short time NBC had old airings of Meet the Press On
Demand. Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Nixon, etc.
from the 1950s. Fascinating historical look. The
interviewers asked tough questions, too.
Andreas Kohlbach
2020-09-17 00:18:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by gareth evans
I may have mentioned before (briefly, in passing :-) ) that I
cut my teeth on a naked PDP11 in assembler and machine code during
a summer undergraduate internship in 1971. (45 minutes to load the
assembler via the 10cps tape reader of the Teletype :-( )
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
--
Andreas

https://news-commentaries.blogspot.com/
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-17 06:11:14 UTC
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On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:18:45 -0400
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Andreas Kohlbach
2020-09-17 15:26:13 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:18:45 -0400
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
That's just updates to existing technology, developed before
1990. Firescreens existed 1985, just not that big.

My guess is that the invention of the microprocessor was "the thing",
starting the (micro) computer revolution. That's 70s tech still used
today (just updated).
--
Andreas

PGP fingerprint 952B0A9F12C2FD6C9F7E68DAA9C2EA89D1A370E0
Joy Beeson
2020-09-18 03:32:20 UTC
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 07:11:14 +0100, Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
When I was in the market for my first sewing machine, my mother told
me that straight-stitch or zig-zag didn't matter -- the important
thing was *having* a machine.

I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
years, I had an epiphany:

I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle. And the tiny difference between straight stitch
and zig-zag is huge compared to the difference between a zig-zag
machine and the very latest and most-expensive computerized machine.

And it goes back all the way. The sewing machine isn't as big an
improvement over the steel needle as the steel needle was over poking
a hole in a splinter of bone. And that difference is small compared
to the idea of putting an eye in the needle instead of poking holes
with an awl and lacing hides together. Then compare that advance to
the idea of wearing clothes!

Ever since Og learned that you could twist fibers together to make
string and a later Og figured out how to make fire, it's been
refinements all the way.
--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at centurylink dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
JimP
2020-09-18 15:04:39 UTC
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:32:20 -0400, Joy Beeson
Post by Joy Beeson
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 07:11:14 +0100, Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
When I was in the market for my first sewing machine, my mother told
me that straight-stitch or zig-zag didn't matter -- the important
thing was *having* a machine.
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle. And the tiny difference between straight stitch
and zig-zag is huge compared to the difference between a zig-zag
machine and the very latest and most-expensive computerized machine.
My great grandmother had a foot treadle machine. Grandpa modified it,
after she died, by adding a small motor. I tried using it when it was
food powered. My grandmother made clothes with it.
--
Jim
maus
2020-09-18 16:44:54 UTC
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Post by JimP
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:32:20 -0400, Joy Beeson
Post by Joy Beeson
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 07:11:14 +0100, Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
My great grandmother had a foot treadle machine. Grandpa modified it,
after she died, by adding a small motor. I tried using it when it was
food powered. My grandmother made clothes with it.
As did my Mother, a real Singer, with which she made a lot of clothes
during the war (II) when clothes were scarce. My sister had the machine now, amid
rows as to who owns it. Treadle. I had a lathe that had been powered
bu a treadle, then a small motor installed, which I used to do some
work at home. A dangerous machine, One had to remember to keep hair
short, shirts buttoned, and avoid brass.
Peter Flass
2020-09-18 18:22:42 UTC
Reply
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Post by JimP
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:32:20 -0400, Joy Beeson
Post by Joy Beeson
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 07:11:14 +0100, Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
When I was in the market for my first sewing machine, my mother told
me that straight-stitch or zig-zag didn't matter -- the important
thing was *having* a machine.
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle. And the tiny difference between straight stitch
and zig-zag is huge compared to the difference between a zig-zag
machine and the very latest and most-expensive computerized machine.
My great grandmother had a foot treadle machine. Grandpa modified it,
after she died, by adding a small motor. I tried using it when it was
food powered. My grandmother made clothes with it.
I assume the original post went to the wrong NG. I haven’t seen Joy here in
quite a while. My mother had a treadle machine, it seems like it was easier
to do some things slowly and incrementally .
--
Pete
JimP
2020-09-18 20:37:46 UTC
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Permalink
On Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:22:42 -0700, Peter Flass
Post by JimP
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:32:20 -0400, Joy Beeson
Post by Joy Beeson
On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 07:11:14 +0100, Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Take a recent cellphone, throw a handful of movies on it (include
some Pixar animations) throw a 50" flatscreen smart TV in the back of your
DeLorean and head off to 1985 and see if *they* think technology has made
big leaps. Then tell them how much international bandwidth that phone
represents in 2020 and watch them cry over their 2400bps modem that is so
troublesome.
When I was in the market for my first sewing machine, my mother told
me that straight-stitch or zig-zag didn't matter -- the important
thing was *having* a machine.
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle. And the tiny difference between straight stitch
and zig-zag is huge compared to the difference between a zig-zag
machine and the very latest and most-expensive computerized machine.
My great grandmother had a foot treadle machine. Grandpa modified it,
after she died, by adding a small motor. I tried using it when it was
food powered. My grandmother made clothes with it.
I assume the original post went to the wrong NG. I haven’t seen Joy here in
quite a while. My mother had a treadle machine, it seems like it was easier
to do some things slowly and incrementally .
Should have been foot powered, but yes, my grandmother mentioned it
was good for putting lace on women's collars. They felt a regular
sewing machine with motor wouldn't work right for lace.
--
Jim
Mike Spencer
2020-09-19 05:24:02 UTC
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Post by JimP
My great grandmother had a foot treadle machine. Grandpa modified it,
after she died, by adding a small motor. I tried using it when it was
food powered. My grandmother made clothes with it.
In 1965, I lived on the back side of Beacon Hill in Boston. One
night, quite late, I was walking home and encountered a Singer treadle
machine put out on the sidewalk for the junk collector. I pushed it
two blocks home.

Beacon Hill sidewalks are brick and the machine has ca. 1-1/4"
diameter iron wheels so it was something of a chore. Happily, we
lived on the ground floor so it was only a modest struggle to get it
inside.

We still have it and it works fine.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-18 18:49:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joy Beeson
When I was in the market for my first sewing machine, my mother told
me that straight-stitch or zig-zag didn't matter -- the important
thing was *having* a machine.
FWIW, Singer bought Friden which made office automation
products and some computers.
David Lesher
2020-10-06 00:21:59 UTC
Reply
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Post by Joy Beeson
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle.
FDR brought us REA, and power {and don't forget, phones...} to the
farms. It was a major victory over the tyranny of sundown. You could
read and do many other things after sunset.
--
A host is a host from coast to ***@nrk.com
& no one will talk to a host that's close..........................
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433
Peter Flass
2020-10-06 17:27:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Lesher
Post by Joy Beeson
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle.
FDR brought us REA, and power {and don't forget, phones...} to the
farms. It was a major victory over the tyranny of sundown. You could
read and do many other things after sunset.
I think the birth rate dropped precipitously a year or so after.
--
Pete
Scott Lurndal
2020-10-06 17:45:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Flass
Post by David Lesher
Post by Joy Beeson
I chose a zig-zag machine, and when I'd been using it forty or fifty
I really can't get on without the zig-zag even though I do most of my
work on an old White Family Rotary treadle machine -- but the
difference between a zig-zag machine and a straight-stitch machine
isn't one tenth of one percent of the difference between a sewing
machine and a needle.
FDR brought us REA, and power {and don't forget, phones...} to the
farms. It was a major victory over the tyranny of sundown. You could
read and do many other things after sunset.
I think the birth rate dropped precipitously a year or so after.
It dropped precipitously from 1956 to 1977 and has remained flat
since.

https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/birth-rate

Google led me to the CDC annual "Vital Statistics of the United States"
reports, I downloaded the 1939 edition which is fascinating reading.
Quadibloc
2020-10-07 22:48:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Peter Flass
Post by David Lesher
FDR brought us REA, and power {and don't forget, phones...} to the
farms. It was a major victory over the tyranny of sundown. You could
read and do many other things after sunset.
I think the birth rate dropped precipitously a year or so after.
It dropped precipitously from 1956 to 1977 and has remained flat
since.
Spoiling a good joke with statistics!

Interesting, though, that the Internet had no value as a distraction in this regard.

John Savard
Bob Eager
2020-10-08 08:23:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Flass
Post by David Lesher
FDR brought us REA, and power {and don't forget, phones...} to the
farms. It was a major victory over the tyranny of sundown. You could
read and do many other things after sunset.
I think the birth rate dropped precipitously a year or so after.
It dropped precipitously from 1956 to 1977 and has remained flat since.
Spoiling a good joke with statistics!
Interesting, though, that the Internet had no value as a distraction in this regard.
Ah, but perhaps it provided an easier way of getting contraceptives.
--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
Quadibloc
2020-10-07 22:45:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Lesher
& no one will talk to a host that's close..........................
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433
Of course, you need to be of a certain age to get the point of that .sig



John Savard
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-18 18:39:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
That aired recently. Yes, the world was very different
from 1955 to 1985. Radically so. Not just technology,
but social norms as well.

Sociologists wrote books about life in the past. In some
ways people were nicer more respectful of others. Certainly
less crime. But in other ways, it was kind of oppressive.
There was a clique of self-anointed moralists who rode
herd over everyone else. Going to church was mandatory
as were certain other behaviors. Failure to comply and
you'd lose your friends, even your job or business.

In some small towns, education was lousy at the high school
level. Most kids dropped out. Girls got pregnant early
and got married. Guys got a job at the factory or were
drafted.
JimP
2020-09-18 20:41:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
That aired recently. Yes, the world was very different
from 1955 to 1985. Radically so. Not just technology,
but social norms as well.
Sociologists wrote books about life in the past. In some
ways people were nicer more respectful of others. Certainly
less crime. But in other ways, it was kind of oppressive.
There was a clique of self-anointed moralists who rode
herd over everyone else. Going to church was mandatory
as were certain other behaviors. Failure to comply and
you'd lose your friends, even your job or business.
In some small towns, education was lousy at the high school
level. Most kids dropped out. Girls got pregnant early
and got married. Guys got a job at the factory or were
drafted.
Well, there were still lynchings going on when I was a kid. And if you
lived on the poor side of town, which we did, you couldn't defend
yourself from the rich folks' kids who made fun of all us poor kids at
school.

My grandmother told me of several elderly women who gossipped about
everyone in town. Upset them, and they would lie and get you in
trouble. I found out years later, one was a relative.
--
Jim
J. Clarke
2020-09-18 21:12:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
That aired recently. Yes, the world was very different
from 1955 to 1985. Radically so. Not just technology,
but social norms as well.
Sociologists wrote books about life in the past. In some
ways people were nicer more respectful of others. Certainly
less crime. But in other ways, it was kind of oppressive.
There was a clique of self-anointed moralists who rode
herd over everyone else.
Still are, only now church isn't necessarily involved.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Going to church was mandatory
as were certain other behaviors. Failure to comply and
you'd lose your friends, even your job or business.
Still happens. Fellow I used to work for was upset because his wife
had gotten the people at church mad at him. I never understood why he
_cared_.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
In some small towns, education was lousy at the high school
level. Most kids dropped out. Girls got pregnant early
and got married. Guys got a job at the factory or were
drafted.
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-18 21:41:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Fri, 18 Sep 2020 17:12:31 -0400
Post by J. Clarke
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
One reason girls plan on getting pregnant early round here is to
get bumped up the council housing list and as a single parent they get
social welfare without being expected to be looking for work.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Peter Flass
2020-09-18 23:43:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
That aired recently. Yes, the world was very different
from 1955 to 1985. Radically so. Not just technology,
but social norms as well.
Sociologists wrote books about life in the past. In some
ways people were nicer more respectful of others. Certainly
less crime. But in other ways, it was kind of oppressive.
There was a clique of self-anointed moralists who rode
herd over everyone else.
Still are, only now church isn't necessarily involved.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Going to church was mandatory
as were certain other behaviors. Failure to comply and
you'd lose your friends, even your job or business.
Still happens. Fellow I used to work for was upset because his wife
had gotten the people at church mad at him. I never understood why he
_cared_.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
In some small towns, education was lousy at the high school
level. Most kids dropped out. Girls got pregnant early
and got married. Guys got a job at the factory or were
drafted.
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
No factories anymore, and no draft.
--
Pete
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-19 18:50:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
And Hollywood brags about it. Well, maybe an actress can
afford to be a single mom, but it ain't so easy for
an everyday girl.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/entertainment/emma-roberts-pregnant-baby-boy-intl-scli/index.html
maus
2020-09-19 19:06:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by J. Clarke
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
And Hollywood brags about it. Well, maybe an actress can
afford to be a single mom, but it ain't so easy for
an everyday girl.a
Why I hated madonna.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/entertainment/emma-roberts-pregnant-baby-boy-intl-scli/index.html
I see girls locally that are third geneation 'buggy pushers'.
Whether it is the internet (porn and games), but a lot of young
men are not interested in getting married, and worldwide, there
a lot of them stil at home after 40. Maybe a splitting of the
sexes?... It seems to have started in Japan.
J. Clarke
2020-09-19 19:30:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by J. Clarke
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
And Hollywood brags about it. Well, maybe an actress can
afford to be a single mom, but it ain't so easy for
an everyday girl.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/entertainment/emma-roberts-pregnant-baby-boy-intl-scli/index.html
My former boss is an unmarried mother. She had been married but
wasn't anymore when she got pregnant. I have the impression that one
marriage was more than she wanted in her life. FWIW, she was raised a
genuine Godless Communist, so we can't blame anything to do with an
American upbringing.
JimP
2020-09-20 15:47:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by J. Clarke
Now girls get pregnant early and don't get married and guys sell
drugs.
And Hollywood brags about it. Well, maybe an actress can
afford to be a single mom, but it ain't so easy for
an everyday girl.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/entertainment/emma-roberts-pregnant-baby-boy-intl-scli/index.html
They got pregnant in years past to. Rich kids just went off to 'visit
relatives' for 9 months, then came back. Poor kids were made fun of.
--
Jim
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-18 18:41:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
Had a similar feeling about Back To The Future. It was set (and on the
big screen for the first part) in 1985. Then they went back 30 years to
1955. 2015 marked the 15th anniversary. 1985 doesn't felt so different to
2015 regarding existing 1985 technology. But technology made a big leap
between 1955 and 1985.
In some ways technology and how it impacts has radically changed
from 1985 to now. Today, we all have a PC and Internet on our
desks at home, at work, and even as we walk along from smart
phones. We are very dependent on it now. In 1985, online
computing was rare and limited compared today.

Watch a 1985 drama on TV. Note you'll be asking yourself
why the character doesn't phone in for backup or check
something out. Very few recording CCTV cameras. He can't,
the capability didn't exist as we know it today.
Robin Vowels
2020-09-22 17:07:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I may have mentioned before (briefly, in passing :-) ) that I
cut my teeth on a naked PDP11 in assembler and machine code during
a summer undergraduate internship in 1971. (45 minutes to load the
assembler via the 10cps tape reader of the Teletype :-( )
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting
.
I think you will find that regular radio broadcasting was already
in place by 1920.
.
when the man-on-the-Clapham-Omnibus
(John Doe to the Yanks) knew nothing of electronics*****, and
certainly a decade and a half before electronic computers
were even considered. For most people (here in Brit, at least)
there were no telephones or motor cars.
What technical advances were made during that previous 49 years!
Perhaps even greater advances have been made in computing in the
next 49 years up till now such that those of us who were extant
in 1971 have now been described, somewhat unkindly, as dinosaurs.
Not during that internship, but in subsequent employment in the
same place, when the first Decwriter was delivered, the pallet
upon which it was attached was not some
conglomeration of roughly cut timbers but was a two sheets of
high quality 3/4" thick plywood. The pallet was scrapped and was
mde by me and the wife into our first bookcase which we still
have to this day.
I did have cause to panic on one occasion when the covers were off,
and I dropped a screwdriver onto the wire-wrapped backplane of the
DecTapes when power was applied. On another occasion, I was in the
processor box with a small screwdriver to adjust the clock that
drove the Teletype serial port.
***** I did read somewhere that the seminal background work
for the Field Effect Transistor happened in about 1910.
Is this post a wind-up? Only to help your day go like clockwork! :-)
Peter Flass
2020-09-22 22:39:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robin Vowels
I may have mentioned before (briefly, in passing :-) ) that I
cut my teeth on a naked PDP11 in assembler and machine code during
a summer undergraduate internship in 1971. (45 minutes to load the
assembler via the 10cps tape reader of the Teletype :-( )
It is salutary to muse that this is now 49 years ago, and that
49 years previously it was 1922, before the days of regular
radio broadcasting
.
I think you will find that regular radio broadcasting was already
in place by 1920.
Some places. I recall my father telling me that he made a crystal radio,
tuned with a cat’s whisker, to pick up broadcasts. Many years later I built
a similar one from a project kit.
--
Pete
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