Daily Archives: October 19, 2012

How About Some More Pi?

Back in April, I wrote a post entitled “How Small The Computer?” The focus of this article was that you can get full-fledged PC’s and servers for between $25 & $100. One of the featured items was the advent of the Raspberry Pi; a real PC running Linux that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. An article in TechRepublic states that the Model B is now available and selling for $35.00. The Pi – B now sports 512 MB of RAM so there is even more room on board to have fun with.

The Raspberry PI is being used to pilot Drones and as a lighting and heating controller for homes. One experimenter is using the PI as the basis for a tablet PC. Another Tech Republic article includes a slide-show which explains some of the many uses that the Pi has been put to already.

Admittedly, the Raspberry Pi is still in the realm of hobbyists and experimental applications. Nonetheless, if you like to fiddle with new technology, you can’t go wrong for $35.00. To learn more about the Raspberry Pi, see:

The first computer that Dr. Data ever encountered was a SAGE – Semi Automatic Ground Environment – installation in a huge block-house at Fort Lee, VA. These machines were physically the largest computers ever built and used 55,000 vacuum tubes; each tube was individually air-conditioned. You did not just walk through the computer room – you walked through the computer.

Since that time in the early 60’s, Dr. Data has seen a lot of hardware come and go. His favourites were the NCR Century Series  and the NCR Criterion which followed. Ask him about those machines and he will get a far-away look in his eye and ramble on and on about the joys of programming for those machines using NCR’s NEAT/3 language.

All this brings him to the main point of today’s post. Tech Republic has an article and slide show about computers that defined the information age being restored to more or less working condition. If you have even the slightest interest in computing history, the article is definitely worth a look.

Dr. Data hopes that he’ll one day see an article about an NCR Century machine – the 101 or 151 will do nicely – being brought back to life.

This Month’s Rants

October 2012
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Pipe Count

Dr. Data's Pipe Count

480 (+/-)

Dr. Data has PAD - Pipe Acquisition Disorder

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