retrotechnology.com, retrotechnology.net

retrotechnology:repair, restoration and/or reuse of old technology, particularly but not limited to mechanical and electronic technology. History of old technology trends and how they reappear in new technologies of the 20th and 21st century.

This site includes "Herb's Stuff", a support and sales site for S-100 computers (IMSAI, MITS Altair, Compupro)and other 1970's computers systems (Heathkit, DEC) of the 1970's; floppy drives support including 8-inch; and Apple Macintosh computers of the 1980's.

Herb Johnson, site owner & proprietor - click here for biography.
email: info AT retrotechnology D0T com

Thanks for visiting this domain. We will update this page with site changes as they occur. Check back for details. But refer to the sections mentioned here for specific and current information. Last edit of this page May 12 2012.

Computer retrotechnology for sale and show: Herb's Stuff

For 1970's and 80's computers, follow this link to see the Herb's Stuff home page.. I have a variety of "classic" computer interests, about computers of the 1970's through the 1980's. My biggest and oldest computing collection is my S-100 personal computer equipment and documentation from the 1970's and 80's.

I also sell older Apple Macintosh equipment and parts from the earliest Macs to PowerMacs. Among other old computer items, I have some Multibus, STDbus and VME cards and manuals; some old SGI and Sun computers, also some DEC and DG equipment.

For floppy disks and drives starting with the 1970's eight inch drives, check my floppy drives Web page. We have manuals, technical notes and discussions, actual drives and diskettes for sale.

For test and repair of old electronics, I have some electronic test equipment that you may be interested in purchasing. Also I have some odds and ends bits of equipment and books that I've found while obtaining all those other items.

Computing retrotechnology: history, display, restoration, revival

For a VERY retro-technology computer, consider an astronomical computing device built by the Greeks over 2000 years ago. Here's my Web page on some recent work on the Antikythera Mechanism, and my very small involvement with that work.

The "personal computer" was NOT invented by IBM in 1981. The history of CP/M development in the early and mid-1970's is indexed on this Web page. It includes earliest products of Digital Research and Digital (Micro)Systems by Dr. Gary Kildall and his colleagues; and the work of others in the mid-1970's to develop the foundations of today's personal computing.

A dominant popular personal computing standard of the 1970's and early 1980's, was the S-100 bus first used on the Altair 8800 by MITS and the IMSAI 8080 by IMSAI. The history of S-100 development is this page.

From August 2007 to Sept 2008, I worked for the MARCH vintage computer club on an exhibit and Web documents of their donated 1970-vintage PDP-11/20 system. It was used to develop document scanning technology for the U.S. Census and the Post Office, at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST). MARCH resides at InfoAge Learning Center in Wall, New Jersey USA. The exhibit was first shown in September 2008 and included many original DEC documents and papertapes; and videos of an operating PDP-8 were shown on a Linux system which included the Web documents I created. A copy of those documents and the "virtual" exhibit are at this link on my Web site.

I have several Web pages about computer restoration. They collectively describe repair, restoration, and display of computers of the 1970's and earlier; and why people should bother to do so. I offer why this is a valuable activity, and how restoration can be organized and supported. I'll list various organizations, Web sites, events, and individuals who actively support repair, diagnosis, restoration of these early computers.

I also show vintage computers, at public events. Here's my S-100 computer exhibit of May 2012, at the Vintage Computer Festival - East 8.0. near Wall, NJ USA. I did a similar exhibit at the Vintage Computer Festival - East 7.0 in 2011, same location.

Why bother to retain "useless" knowledge? For one, it's not so useless. What do YOU do when your refrigerator catches fire? I fix it - because I know how.

Some old computers are worth a redo. My old friend and electronic designer, Lee Hart, was discussing a 30-year-old microprocessor design a few years ago. I bugged him into making his ideas into a kit. I've sponsored and written the Web pages about how he did that, and built one. It runs the RCA 1802 processor, developed in 1975 and used extensively by NASA on the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter (but not Voyager or Viking!). See how he and his Cosmac friends re-developed the classic Cosmac Elf design into an Altoids-can-size "membership card" computer.

Retrotechnology materials - GLASS AND OPTICS

OPTICAL GLASS IN ASTRONOMY:

Optics is a great example of old technology used in new ways, and new technology used in traditional methods of optical work. I and my ATM colleages are building telescope mirrors for amateur astronomical use, turning glass blanks into finished mirrors. Check out my work on figuring an 8-inch mirror; and my work on making an 8-inch mirror from start. I've been an amateur astronomer since the 1990's. here are details on my amateur astronomy interests

Retrotechnology materials - IRON AND MINERALS AND TOOLS

IRON MINES:

I live in New Jersey in the United States. Few Americans realize that iron was mined in New Jersey from the Colonial period of the late 1600's, up to the late 20th century. New Jersey supplied iron in war and in peace. In this section My colleagues and I explore the remains of the most productive iron mines in old New Jersey: the Richard, Allen and Teabo Mine remains at Mount Hope County Park, in Morris County in north NJ.

METEORS:

Beyond these terrestrial minerals, I've collected some meteorites. Check this section for photos.

Site history, references, other domain

References: I've been in business for several years. Many people have been pleased to get "good hardware at good prices" from me, and I have references from them accordingly. Here are references from my Apple Macintosh sales; from my S-100 sales; from my SGI system sales.

History: The domain retrotechnology.com was established in 2003, from Web pages first established in 1997 under another domain name. This is the PRIMARY site for Herb Johnson's "Herb's Stuff" Web pages. Sales from those pages support this site and these activities. If you have REALLY old links to me at "pluto.njcc.com", please change them.

Alternate domain name and contact The alternate domain name to "retrotechnology.com" is "retrotechnology.net". If any "retrotechnology.com" links fail, change ".com" to ".net"; or check "retrotechnology.org" for info. - Herb Johnson

email: info AT retrotechnology DOT com

Visitors to this domain page since August 5th, 2003

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Copyright © 2012 Herb Johnson