Recent Additions to BitSavers

BitSavers is a preservation archive of documentation and software for vintage computers. It is run by Al Kossow, who is the software librarian for the Computer History Museum. BitSavers is a wonderful resource for both historians and collectors of vintage computing. You can subscribe to an RSS feed for the documentation or an RSS feed for the bits to be made aware of new additions to the archive. Two recent additions to the archive shed some light on early computer graphics products.

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Basic Four Terminal Sighting

Vintage Computing systems are often sought out by film and television crews to be used as props during filming. Starring the Computer is a web site devoted to sightings of computers in film and television. Recently while watching an episode of Fringe, I noticed a Basic Four terminal lurking in the background as Walter Bishop opens a dimensional doorway to a parallel universe.

The Museum has one of these Basic Four terminals in it’s collection. The terminal dates from the mid to late 1970s and is interesting in that it does not use a microprocessor for it’s control circuitry. The logic of the terminal’s display and editing functions is implemented entirely in discrete logic using 7400 series parts.