webtest
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:16 pm
Location: Carlisle PA, USA

Pi2: New to Pi, my 1st PC was a VACUUM TUBE G15!

Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:41 pm

Esteemed Forum Participants and Lurkers:
========================================
Pi2 Raspbian

Mostly this is just to get my 1st post approved.

I've worked with computers since 1960, and was an interface hadware design engineer for about 40 years, so I know my way around. I just got my Pi2 a week ago, and this is the 2nd time I've powered it up. It seems to be a quite capable little box except I've had various annoying crashes in Epiphany. This is my second attempt to post to the forum ... Epiphany crashed in the middle of my previous attempt and I lost everything I had typed.

I have been running Linux Mint LiveMedia from locked SD and USB flash drives for about 6 years, and aside from a number of "brick wall - bang head" episodes, it is about the only system I use. With NO HDD, the ROM system is extremely secure, so I feel very comfortable using it for banking and all my web activities.

I'm new to the Pi2, but I'm coming up to speed reasonably quickly. I hope to use it for a HD video iso server and a kitchen counter computer. I've booted NOOBS, Raspbian, Ubuntu Snappy, and just this morning I booted OpenELEC.

My system is a CanaKit Intermediate, a Samsung 23" SyncMaster 2333HD TV/Monitor, and a Logitech Wireless Combo Kbd/Mouse mk520 (Works GREAT and only uses 1 USB slot!). I'm quite impressed that the CanaKit WiFi dongle and the Logitech pieces all worked effortlessly and perfectly (so far!).

So far some of my issues, aside from buggy Epihpany, are that my US Keyboard is typing UK characters, and my video is fuzzy because I can't seem to get it set to 1920 x 1080 - the native resolution of my screen. I'll get these minor annoyances resolved soon.

*Edit: Keyboard map is fixed thanks to topic #14 in "Pitfalls for beginners"!

Well, I hope to be around this forum a good bit, so until then ...

Blessings in abundance, all the best, & ENJOY!
Art in Carlisle PA, USA
Blessings in abundance, all the best, & ENJOY!
Art in Carlisle PA, USA

drgeoff
Posts: 10087
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Pi2: New to Pi, my 1st PC was a VACUUM TUBE G15!

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:35 pm

Wikipedia says:

"The Bendix G-15 computer was introduced in 1956 by the Bendix Corporation, Computer Division, Los Angeles, California. It was about 5 by 3 by 3 ft (1.5m by 1m by 1m) and weighed about 950 lb (450 kg). The base system, without peripherals, cost $49,500. A working model cost around $60,000 (over $500,000 by today's standards). It could also be rented for $1,485 per month."

Does that really fit with the accepted meaning of 'P' in PC? :)

User avatar
xoopha
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:52 pm

Re: Pi2: New to Pi, my 1st PC was a VACUUM TUBE G15!

Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:24 pm

Back then PC probably meant Personnel Computer. :P

webtest
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:16 pm
Location: Carlisle PA, USA

Re: Pi2: New to Pi, my 1st PC was a VACUUM TUBE G15!

Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:09 am

"Personal Computer" is the operative description. It was located in the engineering computer laboratory at UCLA in 1962 and I had free access to it. In the semester that I used it, I put over 100 hours on it (machine time, excluding programming time), and "all others" combined used it a total of 8 hours, so I considered it my "personal" computer. Everyone else used the brand new IBM 1620 in the lab, or the university's mainframe IBM 7090, which was upgraded to a 7094 within a year. However, that was only available for submitting decks of punch cards for job runs and watching from a distance through a glass window. On the G15 I was "up close and personal" with the machine as the exclusive operator/programmer.

Thanks for the wikipedia reference ... the machine was coded BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) as I recall, and it had a 4 k word magnetic drum memory - approximately the equivalent of 29 kiloBytes. The only I/O was a Friden Flexowriter (also in wikipedia) with a paper tape punch and a fast paper tape reader on the front panel. I spent so much time on it learning machine language programming (on my own ... no classes ... I was NOT an engineering student!) that I ended up on probation that semester. I survived to graduate, but not at UCLA, and not in applied physics.
Blessings in abundance, all the best, & ENJOY!
Art in Carlisle PA, USA

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