PCB Radiography Kindergarten.

Below is the result of test-firing a newly-installed miniature PCB radiography system.
The victim is a standard FG TRNG Analogue Unit:
Click for full resolution (Warning: 14MB)

Detail of left op amp, with bonding whiskers visible:

The substrate, aluminum RF shield frame, SMT contacts, vias, and the two layers of the PCB are clearly distinguishable. Likewise resistors (nearly transparent) [...]

A Solid-State HDD for Symbolics “MacIvory” Lisp Machines.

This post concerns the “MacIvory” Model 3 Lisp Machine. It is of interest strictly to bolixologists.

This is a recipe for a working replacement of an ancient SCSI HDD, such as found in the MacIvory, with an inexpensive solid-state disk.

You will need:

A “SCSI2SD” device. Mine is a model 6, but [...]

Symbolics “MacIvory”: PCB Photographs.

This post concerns the “MacIvory” Model 3 Lisp Machine. It is of interest strictly to bolixologists.

Click on a photo to see detailed version.

Machine chassis:

The Ivory NuBus Board Set (i.e. the LispM itself, the Mac Quadra is otherwise ordinary):

“Ivory” NuBus board, component-side:

What’s under the [...]

Uncrating of Symbolics “MacIvory” Machine

At long last, got hold of one of these:

Kalman Reti, the Last Symbolics Developer, Speaks of Lisp Machines.

Boston Lisp Meeting; June 28, 2012.
Update: Here’s a mirror of the film. The Google copy appears to have been censored.

Going Nowhere Really Fast, or How Computers Only Come in Two Speeds.

Is there a ballpoint pen in your pocket?  How fast is it?
What do you mean, you don’t know? You didn’t ask the salesman?
There is indeed a maximum speed at which the little ball in the pen can roll and still leave a satisfactory trace of ink upon the page.  Would you pay [...]

Tim Daly on Symbolics Lisp Machines

Tim Daly on Symbolics and the elimination of the Compile-Pray-Debug Cycle:

“The Symbolics machine (its kittens all the way down…) gave me the insight that one of the most important parts of programming is the time it takes to “close the loop”. Start from the point of failure, find the failure in source code, fix the [...]

Posted in: Lisp, NonLoper, SoftwareArchaeology, Symbolics by Stanislav 1 Comment

Symbolics Open Genera

Better screen shots from other people:
Ralf Moeller
Rainer Joswig

Secrets of the Symbolics Console: Part 2

Let’s take another look at the console. There are several boards inside, but this is the only one which deals in custom Symbolics protocols (as opposed to the widely-known intricacies of operating a black-and-white CRT.)

The rough annotations are my own. Click on the pictures for super-size (~10MB!) images.
Once again, the Phase Encoded Video decoder board:

A: [...]

Secrets of the Symbolics Console: Part 1

The machine does indeed power up and run:

But this is not enough.
The console is a museum piece. While a Lisp Machine circa 1986 might last for a reasonably long time between repairs, a CRT of the same vintage likely will not. Moreover, it is a pain to have around, even if it were indestructible. Wouldn’t [...]

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