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.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bugbook Computer Museum is moving to the Computer Museum of America

David Larsen bugbook
Mimms Enterprises Office Bld.
January 15,2016 my wife Gaynell and I loaded up our car with a few select computers from our Bugbook Computer Museum and headed for Roswell, Georgia.  We made this trip to meet with Lonnie Mimms owner & curator of the  Computer Museum of America. Our visit was to complete the final planning to move the entire Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum collection to the Computer Museum of America.

I have been looking for a good home for the microcomputer memorabilia collection collected during the past 45 years. I did not see a way for the collection to carry on in a useful way here in Floyd, Virginia after I stop kicking dirt above ground. Moving the collection to the Computer Museum of America is just a great opportunity to have the collection live into the future.

I am very excited for the new home not only the computer collection - any and all historical electronic equipment I have will be part of the move.  Some of the additional items moving to the Computer Museum of America are my vintage ham radio collection, vintage radio tube collection, calculator collection, Edison light bulbs and assorted vintage test equipment and old signage used by electronic and computer stores. The moving trucks will be picking up the computer collection in Floyd, Virginia next week.

David larsen , Lonnie Mimms
Computer Museum of America warehouse

Here we are at Lonnie Mimms Computer Museum of America warehouse unloading the computers brought with us from the Bugbook Computer Museum in Floyd, Virginia.

"Festival News" Vintage Computer Festival SE April 2016 at the Computer Museum of America April 2&3

                                       These are the computers delivered today.

Bugbook Computer Museum
John Birch Apple-1 computer
Here is my John Burch original Apple-1 computer purchased 21 years ago. This is a beautiful example of the first Apple computers and is listed as #13 on the Willegal Apple-1 Registry. The second original  - a "Dustin" Apple-1 computer will be delivered at a later date.

The John Burch Apple-1 computer was delivered direct to Lonnie's office.

Bugbook computer Museum
SCELBI H8 Microcomputer

SCELBI H8 microcomputer first available in March of 1974. Only about 200 kits and computers were produced and 10 or so are still in existence. Original SCELBI computers are rare this one has a video card in is in an interesting wood case/rack with a keyboard.

Here is detail video about this SCELBI computer "CLICK'

Ray Holt , David Larsen
Super Jolt Microcomputer

Super Jolt microcomputer designed by Ray Holt. Only about 5,000 of these computers were made and sold in 1975.  The Jolt computers are rare example of a very functional microcomputer prior to the Apple-1. Ray will be giving a talk at the VCSE in April. 

Here is my blog with more detail about this Jolt Computer 

computer museum of america
Intel Intellec 4 4004 development computer

Intellec 4 - Intel development microcomputer system for the Intel 4004 microprocessor chip. The 4004 was the first commercial microprocessor chip and was first available November 1970. An Intel Intellec 8 (8008 microprocessor) development system also delivered.

Here is detail video about this Intel computer "CLICK"

David Larsen, 1981
Inter 8008 microcomputer development system
This is a pre Intel Intellec 8 for use as a development and engineering microcomputer using the Intel 8008 microprocessor this one dated 1982 from  Intel. This one was purchase for me by my friend Robert Stone 36 years ago in 1980 at one of the surplus electronic parts houses in Silicon Valley.

Here is my video about this Intel Computer "CLICK"

Ed Roberts, David Larsen
MITS Altair 680 microcomputer
The Altair 680 was a product of Ed Roberts at MITS after he designed the famous first complete ( all parts including case to build 8080)microcomputer in January 1975 - the MITS Altair 8800. The Altair 680 was not very popular. The 680 microcomputer used the Motorola 6800 series of microprocessor chips.

Here is my video about this Altair 680 Computer "CLICK"

David Larsen , Ray Holt
Intersil IM6100
The Intercept Jr tutorial system is an interesting microcomputer trainer that can execute the PDP-8 minicomputer code.  The design uses the  Intersil IM6100 CMOS 12 bit microprocessor. The idea of using the old PDP-8 code turned out to be a poor idea in 1976 and the computer and the IM6100 were never very popular. It is a good example of using a minicomputer chip/code to sell a microcomputer. It turned out to be a bad idea as mini computers were in a death spiral and never had a recovery.
More information about the Intercept in my blog "CLICK"

John Titus
MARK-8 Computer 
The MARK-8 microcomputer designed in 1974 and published as a construction article by Jon Titus in July 1974. The computer used the 8008 and came with no software - this was a real do-it-yourself project. About 200 board kits were sold without any parts - you had to obtain the parts on your own. This was a difficult project and not very many MARK-8 computer were actually completed and operational.
Here is my video about this Titus MARK-8 Computer "CLICK"

Jon Titus, Radio Electronics Magazine 1974
MARK-8 Computer 
A MARK-8 computer made as an exact copy of the first MARK-8 made by Jon Titus as it resides in the Smithsonian. Jon gets a lot of credit for designing one of the first microcomputers and the first construction article - How to build your own computer published in Radio Electronic July 1974.
This computer was made by Roy Justus. Roy was a student of mine at VT in the early 70's. He did a beautiful job building the an making the case and this fully functional computer. Two additional MARK-8 computers were part of this delivery.
Here is my video about this MARK-8 Computer "CLICK"

Jon Titus, E and L Instruments
Mini Micro computer 8080

The Mark-80 MD-1 - another Jon Titus computer made for the educational and engineering market. The computer was sold  for our group by E & L Instruments in Derby , CT. This was Jon's first computer at Tycon in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was complicated with 3 cards and a mother board. The computer used the 8080 microprocessor.

MMd-1 Jon Titus
MMD-1 Training computer

This is one of 10 prototype Mini-Micro  MMD-1 (8080) microcomputers made after the MD-1 in the above photo. This computer in the final design show below was very popular as a training and engineering aid for about 13 years from 1977 to 1990. This is another computer designed by Jon Titus while at Tycon (Blacksburg Group) and sold for  us by E & L Instruments.

Here is my blog detail about this MMD-1 and the one below "CLICK"

MMD-1 Training computer

The commercial version of the MMD-1 above. There were a number of thousands sold. It was a good producer of royalties for the Blacksburg Group.

Bugbook compute Museum
Bugbook Computer MuseumStoryboard

We brought one of the storyboards from the bugbook Computer Museum.  We have more storyboards however the car was full.

Lonnie Mimma - David Larsen
LR  Lonnie Mimms - David Larsen

It was a delight to make this very small first delivery of computers to the Computer Museum of America.

Lonnie Mimms on the left Curator of the Computer Museum of Americal.

David Larsen on the right Curator of the Bugbook Computer Musuem.

bugbook computer Museum
LR  - David Larsen -  Lonnie Mimms

David Larsen and Lonnie Mimms sign agreement to move the Bugbook Museum collection to Roswell , Georgia

David Larsen
The visit to the Computer Museum of America and meeting with Lonnie and his wife Karin were a real delight.  The entire staff at the Bugbook Computer Museum is excited to have our collection move to the world class "Computer Museum of America".  I will still be involved by continuing to write this blog.

Thank you Lonnie Mimms and your staff for this wonderful opportunity.

."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Datapoint 2200 8 bit computer update by Jack Frassanito

Jack Frassanito and group the old days.
I have published several blog post about Datapoint and the Datapoint 2200 8 bit computer.  Jack  Frassanito the coinventor of the Datapoint 2200 has sent this update information and I am posting his comments below.

Dear David, (November 9,2015)

I have listened to your recording on your blog and several corrections are in order.

Datapoint 2200 terminal - audio description of the terminal/ computer and the Datapoint Corporationa and the 8008 microprocessor by David Larsen.

"Festival News" Vintage Computer Festival SE April 2016
Computer Museum of America
Datapoint 2200 atThe Computer Museum of America
Here is a photo of the Datapoint 2200 at the
Computer Museum of America in Roswell Georgia.

Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2016
         At the Computer Museum of America
When: Saturday April 2, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday April 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Kings Market Center, 1425 Market Blvd., Suite 200, Roswell, GA, 30076
Admission: Adults, $10 for one day and $15 for two days. Children ages 17 and younger are admitted free.
Jack  Frassanito:
There is a generally perceive myth that Gus Roach, Phil Ray and I accidentally invented the personal computer. This myth is probably based on the fact that VIC POOR was a technical expert and had no idea at the time about the business plan to raise capital and to develop a desk-top computer so hence the myth about the Pillsbury chicken farm.

David Larsen,KK4WW
Datapoint 2200 early design drawing

Enclosed is a copy of the design illustration I produced that was used to raise the development capital in early 1969, a full six months before Vic knew what we were up to. (We needed funding first before we could hire anyone or begin development). You will note the set of register switches on the front of the PDP-8 Minicomputer unit.

Bugbook Computer museum
PDP- 8 minicomputer

I was looking at this enclosed photo of a PDP-8 as reference to assure our potential investors it would be a desk-top computer (Personal Computer). We realized we didn’t need the switches so we eliminated them in the final design.

Bugbook Computer museum
Datapoint 1970 annual report

Also included is our 1970 annual report (year ended July 26,1970) cover and page that clearly states that the Datapoint 2200 would include “a general purpose digital computer”.

Bugbook Computer museum, KK4WW
Description of Datapoint 2200 as computer

 I have also included several pages of the 1971 Annual Report (Year ended July 1971).

The only explanation I have for Vic’s surprise at the Pillsbury epiphany of observing someone using the Datapoint 2200 as it was originally intended and described in the business plan is that he never read the business plan, preliminary specification, or the 1970 Annual report.

No disrespect intended as Vic and his team did a fantastic job.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
Patent - Jack Frassanito as co-inventor
Datapoint 2200

I have first hand knowledge as I designed, co-invented, patented the Datapoint 2200 and co-authored the business plan and wrote both enclosed Annual reports.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Datapoint story,

Jack Frassanito

More photographs furnished by Jack.

Datapoint Corporate Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

Datapoint brochure.

Book cover - "The Lost story of the Texans who invented the Personal Computer Revolution"

By Lamont Wood.

Great story and a good read. I have read this book 2 times and enjoyed it both times.
Get the Book Here "CLICK"

Computer museum
Jack Frassanito as co-inventor
Datapoint 2200

Jack Frassanito as co-inventor Datapoint 2200 - Datapoint vs Apple-1 and Apple-2

David Larsen
Thank you Jack for sending this information. It is always fascinating to hear from the pioneers in the computer field. Dave

."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Computer Museum Web sites -Where all the old computers live & play

Where all the old computers live and play. 

Here is a big list of computer museum and blog web sites. I have been adding new ones at the bottom. See and use full list 100+ sites at bottom of blog. 

Go to this site "CLICK"
I just found this one about computers in Japan and this interesting comment. "In foreign countries, particularly in U.S., exist several museums for computers, in which historical computers and related objects have been carefully kept and displayed. In Japan, we have no museum dedicated for computers, though the National Science Museum plays a part of such a role."

Looks like only virtual museums exist in Japan - This web site gives a lot of information about the history of computers in Japan . I found it very interesting. I hope you do and their are more than 100 additional museums and museum blogs in the list below.

Good Source of Information - Have fun exploring.

Computer History - Web sites & Blog's

David makes a few comments about this page. 
                               Send Message CLICK   Like us Click
Bugbooks bugbook
Bugbooks "CLICK"
Click Name to go to blog or web page.  
These are not in order - New sites are added at the bottom of the list.

HCLE Virtual Museum Blog by Liza Loop
S100 Computers  John Monahan
The Calculator Reference - Rick Furr, Blacksburg , VA
Bob Denton  History - pioneers
Bill Degnan's  Vintage Computer. net     
David Greelish's Classic Computing
Rick Crandall   a pioneer of computer timesharing services
Erick Klein's Vintage Computer
Dan Reganti's Classic Computers
Mike Willegal's Hobby Blog
Jeffery Jonas Classic Computers
Vintage Calculator Museum Great Information by Nigel Tout
Apple History 
Michel Bardel's list of calculators.
The Personal Computer Museum       SYD BOLTON , Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Fun with Electronics and more - Tronola  by Stephen H. Lafferty 
Old Technology Collection     Mike Loewen collection 
Alex's Apple Orchard Bill and son Alex
Future Bots By Dan Mathias
Virtual Display by Santo Nucifora
Computer Museum Collection of Brian L. Stuart a faculty member at Drexel
TRS-80 Revived site by Ira Goldlang
Shrine Of Apple creation of Jonathan Zuf
VintageMicros Inc. specializes in vintage and obsolete memorabilia
RetroMacCast Where old Macs live again
 Vintage Mac Museum working collection of the pre-Intel Apple Macintosh
American Radio History - David Gleason's 2 million pages on line includes Byte Magazine
New Zealand Computer Museum    Techvana      
Museum of Computing UK     history of computing and digital development     
Vintage Mac Museum   private, working collection of Adam Rosen Computer Preservation  Mary E. Hopper website
DECconnection dedicated to the memory of our founder and hero, Kenneth H. Olsen (20 Feb 1926 - 6 Feb 2011).  Jim Cox Lab Manager at Microsoft
Glenn’s Computer Museum - CenTaur Technology
Retro Computing News  Stuart Williams, Walsall, England
.history of personal computing in Audio & Pictures by Jeff and David   Stefan's Personal Collection Andy near Peterborough in the East of England
 System Source Computer Museum    Hunt Valley, MD
Computer communities
Blog Communities - More of Ed S roll of blog communities 


David G Larsen
David G Larsen

A computer web site you like and not here - send it to me for adding.. 
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

James (Nick) Cloyes – N4CL visit's computer museum

James Cloyes N4CL attend one of my workshops 40 years ago and visited the museum Dec 23.
Workshop, Virginia Tech
David Larsen Teaching Digital Workshop 1975
A few days ago I received a reply to our inquiry form at the Bugbookcomputermuseum web site from  James Cloyes N4CL.  The Blacksburg Group taught many microcomputer workshops in the 70's,80's and early 90's and it is alway good to hear from participants of these courses. The letter was interesting for  me and perhaps you will find it a good read.

Nick's letter
Hi David:  I attended a one week Bugbook course at VPI, Blacksburg, VA in either 1975 or 1976 (not too sure of the date). The course was a wonderful beginning in digital electronics for me. At that time, I had several years of experience in analog electronics and was in a good position for learning. I remember receiving the coursework package in the mail about one week before the class started I was impressed that the coursework was sent early, showing good planning.
David larsen ,KK4WW
Bugbooks & Outboards
I was very excited to receive a breadboard with little circuit boards such as a clock, switch, seven segment readout, and others. The package included Bugbook I, and Bugbook II. I believe Bugbook III was not finished at that time. Also included were several 7400 series TTL ICs.
I can remember clearing airport security with the package which included a lantern battery. Airport security showed some curiosity, but after an explanation, let me pass. It is humorous to think what today’s security reaction would be if they saw all those things today.
I stayed at the Donaldson Center while attending the course. I believe that was prearranged and it seemed unusual to me to stay on campus. This again showed good planning by the instructors.
The course was fast paced and required lots of homework at night. I remember discussing ham radio with you. Since you and Jon Titus had chemistry backgrounds, I found it very easy to talk with both of you. There were lots of handouts such as uart programming and serial transmission.
After class on one of the days, Chris Titus gave a lecture on the 4004 microprocessor instruction set. After seeing that, along with the TTL logic of the course, I was set on fire. Digital electronics was much more exciting than analog, because you could build circuits with little knowledge of the IC internal circuity. Analog electronics required a person to understand a lot of theory.
After finishing the course, I built many small projects using TTL circuits. Some were related to Ham Radio, and others were related to computers. I intended to build a Z80 microprocessor from scratch and obtained all the necessary chips. After building an electronic keyer on a circuit board, I gave up on building the computer, because of the difficulty I had with printed circuits.
As soon as my finances allowed, I purchased a TRS80 Model I Level II computer with an editor/assembler and built several interfaces and projects. At the same time, a HP1000 was purchased for the lab at my employment. I was the lab supervisor, and I became system manager of that computer system.
After being in the lab for about 18 years, I took a systems engineer position with the same company and worked in computers the rest of my career.
I have enjoyed my career and found it to be very interesting. The Blacksburg Bugbook course gave me a wonderful start in electronics and computers. I am retired now, and I still and always will have a great interest in computers and electronics.
I am privileged to have had full training in DEC PDP/VAX and Microsoft. Without a doubt, the most interesting course I had, was the Blacksburg Bugbook course. It served as a foundation to all future learning.
You and all the people associated with that course are to be commended for producing such an impressive course.

James (Nick) Cloyes – N4CL

kk4ww n4cl n4usa
David Larsen - Nick Cloyes

David Larsen (L) curator and KK4WW
on the Right - Nick Cloyes N4Cl

kk4ww n4cl
David Larsen - Nick Cloyes

David Larsen - Nick Cloyes in the Bugbook Computer Museum, Floyd Virginia


David Larsen
I always love to hear from people in the past that benefited from our work in STE education. James sent another note that he would like to visit over the Christmas holiday. I hope he is able to made the trip to Floyd for a visit to the museum. James is now scheduled to visit the 23nd of Dec. 
."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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