Archive preparation, server cabinet reorg and an Intellec 4004

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It was a busy week and weekend for the volunteers with lots of activity in various parts of the museum.

Archive room preparation

Bob J spent most of Saturday scraping off the residue from the concrete floor after pulling up the carpets last weekend in preparation for the arrival of the new archive shelving. The room is now ready so well done Bob and the others who helped.

Elliott 803 core store fault finding

Several years ago the second 4K core store on the 803 developed an intermittent fault and it was disconnected by John S with the aim of looking at it later... Saturday was that 'later' time when Peter O and John S decided it was time to get it working again. The first problem was discovering how the store was disconnected, it was so long ago that John S had actually forgotten what he did. After a bit of signal tracing the 2nd store was reconnected (actually a hard wired link was removed) and a store test ran without any problems. It was only when a tape was loaded (which by default loads into the top of memory i.e. the newly connected store) that a fault was discovered. Peter and John then spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out what was wrong but the fault remained. Further investigation will be done next week.

Server cabinet reorganisation

Ben T and Peter V spent most of Saturday reorganising the equipment in the server cabinets in preparation for fitting the much needed air conditioning. The server room will be boarded up and sealed in a few weeks time so they had to re-organise the space better and make use of a bigger 19 inch cabinet in place of one of the smaller ones currently in use. The work involved re-fitting the guide rails in the new cabinet to take the shelves from the old cabinet, moving a large Compaq and Dell server with disk arrays and moving the other remaining cabinet so the large 19 inch cabinet would fit in the space. The work was completed but the bad news was the Compaq server failed to restart due to a failed fan and the server running the screens in the PC gallery also failed to start. The Compaq problem was due to a failed fan (the bearings were shot) and a replacement was ordered from e-bay, and the PC gallery server had a failed PSU which was a special size so we had no spares. A replacement PC was found but had a problem with the motherboard but should be fixable.

PC gallery exhibit changes

Even though the PC gallery was only officially opened last week, we have re-arranged some of the equipment on the shelving to show off more British computing items. Some of the additional items include: Sinclair QL, Sinclair Spectrum with micro drive, Sinclair Spectrum +, an open ZX81, Amstrad CPC 464, Apricot with micro screen and keyboard and a commodore Vic 20.

Intellec 4004 development system

We have recently received a donation of a very rare and early Intellec 4004 development system serial number 007. This was one of the first development systems for the Intel 4004, 4 bit microprocessor.

Debits and Credits

We are all very excited at the imminent arrival of 18 punch card machines from Liverpool. They are going to make up the majority of a new gallery with a working title of 'debits and credits'. We still have a great deal of work to do over the coming months to get the machines and gallery prepared for public viewing. More details will be available in the future.

A burn't sausage and burger anyone?

It's that time of year when the evenings are warmer and lighter and the thoughts of standing over hot charcoal grill (cough splutter...) come to mind. It's BBQ time and the volunteers are all looking forward to our first private BBQ of the year next Saturday after the Museum closes. As usual a vast amount of planning and preparation has gone into this special event and all fingers and toes are crossed that we will get a nice day. Can anyone remember how to put up the gazebo's? Thanks for the pics Steve!

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