Computer Museum news about computers, microcomputers, hobbyist, robotics, computing, museums, Bugbooks, Computers at Bugbook Historical Computer Museum, Floyd VA - the history makers present and historical.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

EPROM - Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory - computer memory

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The first (1971) EPROM ( Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory ) 1702A changed computing forever. The 1702A is  Nonvolatile memory chip and does not lose its contents (program) when power is turned off.  RAM (Random Access Memory)  used at the time was volatile - the contents is lost every time power was turned off.  Being able to program the microcomputer and have the program or data stay resident when power is turned off was essential. The EPROM was invented by Dov Frohman of Intel in 1971, who was awarded US patent 3660819 in 1972.

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It is interesting to look though the quartz window of the EPROM integrated circuit (IC) at  the die inside. You can see the little gold wires that connect the die to the pins on the holder.  The quartz window allows the memory to be erased by exposing it to UV light and then it could be reprogrammed. More information about EPROM's "Wikipedia CLICK"

This is a revisit to EPROM's - see my earlier post "Vintage EPROM Memory 1702A -Made microcomputers, robotics and micro-controllers practical 1971 CLICK"

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1987 reciept for 359 EPROM's

In 1987 I purchased a nice collection of 359 EPROM's from Computer Surplus Store for $229.85.  This looks like a good deal today at 50 cents each.

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1987 receipt for 359 EPROM's

Date & Price

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1702A 2708 EPROM

Here  are the 359 contained in 30 storage tubes. Almost all the EPROM's are the beautiful ones in a white ceramic package and gold pins.

This shows hoarding as I indicated in my last Blog.

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1702A 2708 EPROM close view
A closer look at some of the 359 EPROM's.

I purchased these 28 years ago with the idea of using them to make a display plaque to put on a desk or hang on the wall. The white ceramic EPROM's with the clear quartz window a very interesting to view and with some additional photographs and history with the EPROM it would be an eye catcher for sure.

You can get a good look by CLICKING on the photo.

As you can see I have not made the displays using the 359 EPROM's and would like some help or suggestion about how to put them good use . Of course I could sell them on Ebay but that would not be much fun. Contact me here with your idea's "Contact David CLICK"

Some of the EPROM'S  in our inventory are in applications like the board below.
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menory card 2716 EPROM
I have hundred's or perhaps 1000's more of the EPROM'S in the museum warehouse. Many are in the nice white package.

Here is a typical use of EPROM's - this board contains (16) 2716 EPROM's . The operational program for this computer is contained in these 16 nonvolatile memory chips. The 2716 contains 16K Byte of memory.

Can someone help me identify this early microcomputer board??

Computer Museum Bugbook Bugbooks
2716 EPROM

Better view of the 2716 chips on the computer board shown above.

A small collection of EPROM'S
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Computer Museum Bugbook Bugbooks
Intel 1702A EPROM

A small batch of 1702A chips unused in the original Intel Package. The package is also interesting and a collectible item.

Computer Museum Bugbook Bugbooks
Intel 1702A EPROM 

 New unused Intel 1702A EPROM chips.

Here is a video I made in 2009 about the 1702A EPROM "CLICK"
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
David Larsen
I have hundreds of EPROM's in the museum warehouse and many of them are still on computer boards like S100 memory cards. Please help with some innovative and interesting uses for all these beautiful IC's. Still having fun at 76 yrs. 
           ."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Computer Museum Curator is a hoarder of good Memorabilia

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These Gerber bottles are from 1963 when my son was born and I was working at Konel Electronics.  Konel made marine radio transmitters and used a lot of stainless steel hardware.  The hardware nuts and bolts that fell on the floor were just swept up and tossed in the trash. It was not worth the time to sort the little hardware pieces & I saved some useful items. Sidney Koningsberg  owner of Konel was a great fellow. He gave me my first job out of college in 1963 and loaned me $3000 for a down payment on my first house.

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David Larsen, Computer Musem
Konel Marine Radio Transmitter  1963

This 52 year old Gerber bottles may be collectible items however  for me they just contain useful hardware from 50 years ago. I find uses for this hardware often.

A  video of hoard of Gerber Baby Bottles "CLICK"

Gerber Baby food bottles
Gerber Baby food bottles

Some have red tops and some blue - I don't know just what that indicated. A bottle collector would know.

Computer museum, david Larsen
Konel Marine Radio Transmitter 

I saved some of the discarded stainless hardware nuts and bolts for my own use. I used these Gerber jars to store the little nuts and bolts and here we are more then 52 years latter with the remaining hardware. It has been useful all these years to be able to use the hardware as needed and it is often I do need a few of these parts for repair.

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Konel Marine Radio Transmitter 

More hardware -  I have about 10 of this bottles with various hardware items stored.

Computer museum, curator
Konel Marine Radio Transmitter 
This is where I gathered the hardware stored in the Gerber bottles 53 years ago.
This Konel Marine Radio Transmitter was built by the company I worked for when I graduated from Oregon State University in June 1963. I had a lot of experience with transmitters and receivers - Ham Radio at 15 years old ( and still at it 61 years latter) - 2 years in Navy are Radio technician. I also worked 2 years during my Summers while in college for Mr. Koningsberg .

This Konel transceiver is on display in our museum.

Little video of this Konel transceiver "CLICK"
A good day in the museum - 6-21-15

Computer Museum, David Larsen
Kids day 2015 Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio Station N4USA used to make contacts nation wide on this Kids Days - a special day when Amateur radio operators brings kids into their station for the experience of talking to other children direct by two way long distance short wave radio. At N4USA we made contact with stations and kids in NY, Montana, Illinois,and other states.
 Bugbook Computer

computer Museum David Larsen
Kids day 2015 Amateur Radio

The Kids day ham operators L-R Matt Standberry, Mark Ward, David Larsen, & Tom King.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
David Larsen

 Still having fun at 76 yrs. 

           ."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Martin Research Mike 2 Computer - vintage 1975

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An early addition to my computer collection was the Martin Research Mike 2 computer in December of 1979. Their are not many of these in existence & I am delighted to have the computer in our museum. Little information is available on the internet and what I found have links on this post.

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Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
Martin Research Mike 2 Computer 1975

The Mike 2 is a bare-bones system–just the CPU board with a 20-key keypad and a seven-digit displays. The customer supplied his own cabinet and power supply. The system was upgradeable to the faster 8080-based Mike 303A. The Mike series was for hobbyists looking for an inexpensive entry-level system.

Video of this computer "CLICK"

Donald P. Martin wrote the book "Microcomputer Design"  in 1976 (2nd edition) here is the whole  225 page PDF "CLICK"  

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
CPU board 

CPU board uses the Intel  8008 Microprocessor.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
Memory Board 

The memory board uses 2112 RAM chips and 1702A EPROM Chips

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Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
Interface connections 

The computer boards are connected together with a flat cable and the cable would connect to additional cards or equipment for interfacing.

1975 Purchase information from  Classic Tech
Martin Research Mike 203A (Mike 2)/Mike 303A (Mike 3) (1975, computer trainer)
Original Retail Price: $270 kit (Mike 2)/$395 kit, $495 assembled (Mike 3)
Base Configuration: 8008 (Mike 2)/8080 (Mike 3) CPU, up to 4K RAM, PROM storage, seven-digit LED, hex keypad, monitor software, operation manual
Important Options: I/O interface
Martin Research Mike 8 (1977, computer trainer)
Original Retail Price: $895
Base Configuration: Z80 CPU, 4K RAM, 1K ROM, LED readout, integral hex keypad, EROM programmer, power supply

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum

The Martin Research Mike 2 microcomputer had a number of  "First"

-- Used the first Intel 8 bit microprocessor 8008
-- Used the first Intel EPROM 1702A
-- Advertised in the first issue of Byte Magazine September 1975
-- Almost had the first single board microcomputer - instead they put the computer on 3 boards. Jon Titus is given credit in Wikipedia for the his MMD1 being the first microcomputer - see info "CLICK"

The Advertisement for Martin Research Mike 2 computer in Byte Magazine issues #1,2,&3 full page "CLICK"

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
David Larsen
My Wife & I  had a wonderful time at the 18th birthday party for our granddaughters (twins) in Maryland and they also graduated on the same day - WOW great day May 6th 2015. Things have slowed some at our Chantilly Farm however still smaller events 13th a Wedding, 16th Virginia Crooked Road Show, and 20th a Prom Dance in the barn. I did have time to do a several video's and a blog this week. Still having fun at 76 yrs. 

           ."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Apple-1 computers continue to generate news stories

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David Larsen with Apple-1 in his museum

Golly - Just recently a women cleaned out her garage of old computer junk and took it to a recycling center in San Francisco - the operators of the center must be good folks. Going thought her boxes of stuff they found an Apple-1 computer and sold it to a private buyer for $200,000. They are currently looking for the lady that donated the computer junk to share 1/2 of the sale with her.  I hope they find her - as good a winning the lottery $100,000.  See story. one more story 


Their are many  good books about the history of the Apple-1 computer - Here is Bob Luther's Story in book form. Bob owned 2 Apple-1 computers and has sold both of them one at Christie's in December 2014 and one on Ebay about April 2015.

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david Larsen , computer museum
the first Apple , Book
"the first Apple" by Robert J. Luther, Published by Press
ISBN 978-0-9891677-0-3 Copyright 2013 385 pages
 - book is full of interesting and often intriguing interviews of some of the folks associated with the start up of the Apple Computer Company. Bob has reason to believe the Apple 1 computer he purchased at a Sheriff's Sale in 2004 is the first one sold by the Apple Company to a consumer.  He interviewed many techies, historians and collectors of Apple memorabilia to document his Apple 1 computer. This is a great story of his fortunate find and being the winning bidder.

This podcast is an interesting story generated about an Apple-1 computer
 Bob Luther tells you in his own voice what inspired him to write his book "the first Apple"

(L-R) Bob Luther & David Larsen

Bob Luther visits our museum in 2013.

To see my list of reading books for historical microcomputers look here "CLICK"

Here is a podcast about my 60 years of computers, electronics and amateur radio "CLICK"

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
David Larsen
 The Apple-1 computers are rare and continue to generate news on a regular basis like the women who gave hers to a computer recycle place and had no idea it was worth $200,000. I have posted about Luther's book to bring attention to his audio story above and additional  interesting books about the early days of microcomputers.

 Looking forward to seeing our twin granddaughters graduate from High School this weekend in Maryland.    ."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Computer Museum Curator - Events at Museum and Chantilly Farm

Bob Barnett , David Larsen
Living Computer Museum
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It was a real pleasure to have Bob Barnett from the "Living Computer Museum" visit our museum May 27/28.

More work for museum curator!!
My wife Gaynell and I own Chantilly Farm & major events for 3 continuous weekends have made for busy, but fun times.

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L-R David Larsen - Bob Barnett

Bob Barnett & I spent several hours in the museum looking at some of our more rare computers - like the SCELBI, Mark 8, Recomp 501 and many more.

Living Computer Museum, KK4WW
L-R David Larsen - Bob Barnett

Bob is  holding up the front panel to the Byte computer - He had an association with Byte computers back in the 70's when he operated  "Byte Shop" computer stores.

David Larsen, Computer museum
Bob Barnett & 1960's IBM equipment
in Bugbook Computer Museum Warehouse

We have 5 IBM Computer I/O devices from the 60's - They take up a lot of room in the warehouse and are in excellent condition.

Card Punch 0029
Sorter           0083
Collator       0088
Interpreter   0548
Card Reader2540  

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Bob in our computer museum warehouse

We finished the day with dinner at our home and a visit to our "Bugbook Microcomputer Museum" warehouse.

We had a great time sharing stories about the early microcomputer days late into the night. Bob stayed overnight at our home and headed back to Oregon the next day.

I  have not made a new post the past 2 weeks as we have been very busy with events at our Chantilly Festival Farm and the museum.
May and June are intense for my wife and I -- Two day "Bluegrass and BBQ Festival' May 22/23, Bob Barnett's visit May 27'28, Three day "Floyd Auto Fair" May 29/30/31, "Southern Gospel Show" June 6th (We skip this and our wonderful staff will do all the work) and we are going to our twin granddaughter's High School graduation in Maryland - 

The Festivals at our Chantilly Farm are a lot of fun and lots of work for us and our staff + 40 or so volunteers.  Below I posted a few picture of these events.

Our 5th Annual "Bluegrass & BBQ Festival" May 22/23 @ Chantilly Farm
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chantilly farm bluegrass festival
Photo by Rhonda Vincent
You can see from the stage we had a big crowd -  15 great Bluegrass bands during the 2 days.

Our Headliner was 'Queen of Bluegrass'  "Rhonda Vincent and the Rage" Check out Ronda's Web Page "CLICK"

View the festival events - Short video "CLICK"
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david Larsen, Chantilly Farm
Queen of Bluegrass "Rhonda Vincent's" ride. 

It is exciting to see the artists buses come into the farm. Here is the "Martha White" Bluegrass Express , Rhonda Vincent's ride.

We had 4 big rigs like this on Saturday. Many of the bands come in smaller vans or car caravans.

david Larsen, Chantilly Farm
L-R David Larsen, Rhonda Vincent

That is me your museum curator with Rhonda - She is a very gracious lady.

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L-R Gaynell Larsen , Rhonda Vincent

This is my wife Gaynell - she is the hostess for the bands.

Rhonda  gave a special Martha White collector skillet for baking the Martha White cornbread to Gaynell.

Chantilly Farm
L-R Gaynell Larsen,David Larsen, Jason Gallimore 

A big honor for our Chantilly Farm Venue - The Farm was designated an "Affiliate Crooked Road Venue" during a special ceremony at the Bluegrass Festival.  The Crooked Road is the State official - Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.

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May 29/30/31 2015

Short video gives overall view of the car show "CLICK"

chantilly farm
Show Cars

More then 100 show cars.

chantilly Farm
Parts vendors at auto show. 

350 parts vendors at the Floyd Auto Fair.

Floyd auto Fair

Some of the fun events - The "Bomb Shells" - they livened up the Auto Fair.

Here is the June 6th event
 ISAACS and Jason Crab
the ISAACS and Jason Crabb


Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
David Larsen
If you made it this far in the Blog post you know we have been busy with the museum and our Chantilly Festival Farm.  Looking forward to seeing our twin granddaughters graduate from High School this weekend in Maryland.   

           ."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian