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Univac Digital Trainer - [ The first computer I ever used. (1968) The UDT was totally useless for anything other than training in machine language programming, a bizarre specialty even in those days. It was 'state of the art' technology - transistors instead of vacuum tubes. - PSC ]

H632 General Purpose Digital Computer System, 1968 by colorcubic, via Flickr

An IBM Key Punch machine which operates like a typewriter except it produces punched cards rather than a printed sheet of paper. -- I use to have a love/hate relationship with this machine. I used in it High School 1977-79, College for computer programming (1980-81), and up to 1990 while working with computers in the Air Force.

Teletype Model 33 - [ I was qualified (in theory at least) to work on these. In the U.S. Navy, they had a reputation for being bulletproof (reliable). I don't really know that for sure, because I never saw one that was heavily used. But they were a big seller in both the military and civilian versions for many years, and eventually enjoyed an active used market for computer hobby nerds. - PSC]

Cash Registers - Non Computerized

Texas Instruments Computer Game - Parsec. Wow... this totally brings back memories.

How it Works: Computers 1971. I don't understand what these early computers were FOR. What were they used for? Just basic math?

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world's first computer programmer.

From the death of the desktop to the rise of 3D printing, here's what you'll see in the technology of 2013.

Shugart SA 400 minifloppy Disk Drive - [ The FIRST 5.25" floppy disk drive (1977). By today's standards it's totally laughable (measly 100Kbyte capacity & slow), but very useful for hobby computers and early PCs. I tested it thoroughly for Honeywell Information Systems, and it performed perfectly. It annoyed me that most people (even the other engineers) would take one look at a mini-floppy drive and call it "cute" - PSC]

a computer

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Industries,10 ways to use #QR 4 codes. | Love & Humphries Blog via @QR4 Technologies

technologic

8" floppy disk - [An old friend. (R.I.P.) They held a hilariously tiny amount of data. These days I WASTE more file space before breakfast. The 8 inch floppy drives used to read and write them were huge, heavy, and painfully slow. Even more fun - microscopic bits of dirt would get trapped inside and plow circular furrows into the oxide coating where your data lived and cause the disk to crash ... permanently. - PSC]

Hemostat - [ Yes, I know it's a surgical instrument, but it was also an ELECTRONICS_NERD's best friend. In the '60s, heat sensitive transistors and diodes were rapidly replacing less delicate relays and vacuum tubes. Soldering irons and associated technology were scrambling to catch up (and failing). I actually learned to solder using a plumber's soldering iron. To keep from ruining the transistors while soldering, every toolbox had a hemostat (often stolen) to use as a heat sink. - PSC]

TRS-80 Pocket Computer - [ A fun toy from the early 80s. It was REEEEALY SLOW but Tandy(Radio Shack) was smart enough to make it, and all their computers, programmable in Basic (that helped make their stuff sell). IT was not particularly useful, but fun. - PSC]

TRS-80 Model 1 - [ TRS-80 & Apple both started in the late '70s, but comparison is confusing(early Apples were kits). A LOST FACTOID - Tandy captured 40% of the PC market early on, and held the leading share for about a decade. The only competition was for 2nd place. ||| Mine was a very low serial #, bought used & was a cheap source of much fun & frustration(the early ones were PIGS). I habitually moved the keyboard as I worked, & that often crashed the system & zapped the disks(FUN!). - PSC...

DEC (Digital Equipment Corp)Rainbow 100 PC - [ I wrote power-up diagnostic software for the Rainbow 100 as a contractor circa 1983/84. With a few changes, this PC could have conquered the PC world. It had several innovative design features (which were mostly invisible to the user). The most bizarre, and potentially useful feature was it's TWO incompatible CPUs from different manufacturers. (No, I'm not kidding.) The Rainbow sold well off-shore but failed miserably in the USA. - PSC]

Found this pic of one of the SLOW Univac computers I worked on in the 60s-70s - a photo buried on an unrelated site ( http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/visible-storage.html ). There are hundreds of tiny circuit boards plugged into it. Designed before integrated circuits, it was all discrete components. It ran so hot it had to be cooled with chilled water. It had "core memory": toroids - tiny magnetic rings with minuscule wires running through them (laboriously hand assembled under microscopes.)

Soldering Iron - [ OK, so this one is a RIDICULOUS example, but it's the kind of traditional plumber's iron my dad used when he taught me how to solder. He must have done a good job, because when I was a computer tech in the Navy, they had me teach all the new guys how to solder (but I taught them with modern electronics soldering irons instead of those huge old 5 pound plumber's monstrosities). -PSC ]