Day 55, cataloging

Thursday 1/24/2019

Nothing remarkable today. It was the day for spending all day at the Computer Museum work site, the Shustek Center in Fremont. Spent the day working with Steve Madsen cataloging old stuff. Oldest thing, no doubt, was a Hewlett-Packard Audio Oscillator model 200C (the link is to a model 200B; the one we cataloged differed only in being wider with holes to mount in a 19-inch rack). On the bottom of the case somebody had written in marker pen, quote,

RETUBED 11-12-57

Nice, huh? In 1957 somebody renewed the vacuum tubes in that machine!

Certainly the oddest objects were the parts of a prototype game from 1975 called “WillBall”. It was intended to be a game in which two players competed to control the position of a ball using mental powers through biofeedback headbands. The ball was controlled by a magnet under the game table which was moved by a Rube Goldberg lash-up of rubber belts pulled by stepper motors. The whole thing was meant to be driven from a program written in BASIC running in an Apple II. Don’t imagine it worked too well.

Anyway, a nice day working with a friendly crew of folks. This is one of my main sources of socialization. Home to do a little programming and watch some TV.

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