* Posts by '65 T-Bird

1 post • joined 1 Aug 2020

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

'65 T-Bird

DEC 'PDP' Computers

Yes, as a 'Field Engineer' I installed and repaired the entire line of DEC's PDP computers back in the mid 70s.

Loved those flashing lights and 'purple toggle switches' on the PDP's Front Panels. Remember often 'manually toggling-in' short programs to execute some basic diagnostics for troubleshooting various parts of the systems.

I began working for DEC in 1970 as a 'Test Technician', first on 8KW Core Memory mats, later on various PDP circuit boards, then in 'Quality Assurance Final Systems Testing' before becoming a Field Engineer in Halifax, NS.

My territory included all four Maritime Provinces and I'd usually be on a 'plane to somewhere' at least twice a week. Almost always had to bring along not only my toolkit, but also an oscilloscope, spare parts, and often a 'disk alignment pack' of some sort. For sites I could just drive to, even had to bring a 'small portable vacuum cleaner' to clean the filters in cabinets which housed the main CPU/Mem section, as well as smaller peripheral devices such as paper tape readers, tape drives, etc...

Kind of like being able to repair our own cars prior to their 'computerization', we could actually repair those 'old computers' by replacing transistors, caps, resistors, and other small components rather than the entire CPU, DIMM, Disk Drive, etc.....

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