IRIS is sick, the shop opens and new pictures
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A lovely day on Saturday brought in a lot of visitors and we had a good volunteer turnout as well.
Air Traffic Control is grounded!
We clearly did not cross enough fingers or touch enough wood over the past few weeks as the BEG boot problem on IRIS has returned with a vengeance. Peter V spent most of Saturday knee deep in PDP 11 spares trying to get to the bottom of what was causing the boot problem. The DZS11 serial card was replaced again in the RBEG (after soldering and de soldering over 20 wire links to get the address and baud rates set the same between old and new cards), to no avail. Replacing the corresponding DZS11 in the BEG (another 18 wire link changes) did not help either and new ribbon cables between RBEG and BEG were tried but the problem remained. We are either very unlucky with our spares also being faulty or the problem is somewhere else now and probably has been there for some time, and the DZS11 card issues are a result of the problem, not the cause. So a more detailed and methodical fault investigation is needed, the challenge being we don't have years of experience in maintaining them to know where to start! I'm sure Peter and Ben will find the problem and get IRIS working again.
Pete H completed the mains wiring in the reception office - Thanks Pete - and on Saturday Peter V fitted a temporary network point for the POS terminal and rewired the phone line between the admin office and reception so we could plug the credit card terminal into the phone line in reception. Both POS and card terminal and fully functional now.
We have a Shop
Well, actually a reception office, POS terminal, credit card terminal and some empty display cabinets, but it's a start. We have a number of items on order which will have the Museum logo on them, and these should be with us next week. We also made our first sale, yay!, of a Colossus rebuild booklet.
The pictures donated last week were put up on the corridor walls by John S and Johan. We now have 8 large pictures and 6 small on the wall which look really good - Nice work John and Jo (although you did forget the old saying measure twice and cut (drill in this case) once. Still it's easy to fill in those extra holes in the wall!).
Flight simulator room revamp
Pete C and Kevin B (plus a few others) moved a 19 inch rack into the flight simulator room to house the 5 PCs that control the flight simulators and the real-time aircraft radar screen. They also replaced some of the bulbs that had blown lighting up the wall displays. Hopefully this will stop people switching off the machines as they are in a locked cabinet now. Nice work Pete and Kevin.
PDP8 desktop restore
Phil H is making steady progress on getting the PDP8 working that is on display in the PC gallery. As the unit is a basic PDP8 we have plenty of spare parts. Phil has, however had to put a sign up on the PDP8 saying 'Men Working On Line' as he has given a few visitors a shock when he moved as they did not know he was there. He is working behind and below the barrier that people come up to and read information cards on, in a dark area which is not easy to see.
We had an unusual party visit the Park and us on Saturday. They were a scout group who were all dressed in 1940s versions of their normal uniforms. They looked really smart.
The door counters suggested we had about 675 visitors during Saturday. This may still be a bit high as we have not yet worked out some adjustments to exclude ourselves and some multiple counting seen on some doors. Still, it shows visitor numbers are increasing which is always good to see.