New phones, IRIS is working again and a new reception information board
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Another busy bank holiday weekend and we are able to open on all 3 days. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave up their time over the weekend.
IRIS Air Traffic Control
Peter V finally got IRIS working again on Monday after spending most of the day investigating why the BEG processor would not boot. After much changing of cables and boards it turned out to be another faulty DZS11 serial card in the RBEG processor. The last replacement board turned out to be faulty from the start and after fitting yet another replacement the system finally booted again. This is now 5 serial cards that have failed in the past few months with no obvious cause so further investigations are needed to try and discover why. This is equally important as we are down to the last 2 spare DZS11 boards supplied with the system.
Some of the merchandise we ordered to sell in the shop arrived during the week so our shop display cabinet does not look so empty now. Lin spent several days setting up the Point Of Sale terminal with the items for sale and we were able to open the shop for all 3 days of the bank holiday. We sold several T-Shirts, Pens and Pads over the 3 days and the POS system is working well. Several more items are due next week to expand our collection of goods and the more we sell the more money that goes into the museum - so please be generous when you visit. Nice work Lin.
ICL 2966 restoration
Pete H was in during the week and for the first time had 5 devices all powered up and running at the same time. These where the 2 disk drives he has been working on, Line Printer, Card Reader and main processor cabinet. We dread to think what the electricity bill will be like as all the units are very power hungry. Still, if things get a bit cold in the museum we know where to go to get warm now! As significant progress has been made by Pete H, it is hoped that the ICL/Fujitsu engineers who initially helped with the processor cabinet will visit again soon to start work on the next main cabinet; the main processor memory. Pete's next milestone is to allow the heads to load on one of the drives. Given that this has not been done for over 15 years we all have our fingers crossed we don't hear that distictive high pitched whine as the heads bury themselves into the disk surface.
New phone system
Barney was in on Saturday and with Peter V's help he was able to wire up the first few extensions on the new Panasonic phone system he fitted several weeks ago. We now have one of the 3 outside lines connected with the remaining two and the additional extensions expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Well done Barney and Peter V.
New reception information board
Our new information board was installed in the reception area of the museum by Bex on Saturday. It took a little longer than expected to actually get it fixed to the wall as what appeared to be normal brick turned out to be a patchwork of continental brickwork (the sort used to build houses quickly in Spain and Italy which are red and full of holes!). After much drilling and various types of fixings, Bex finally managed to secure the battens to the wall and fit the display in place. Peter V fitted and partially cabled up the monitor that will go on it and this was completed by Kevin M and Ben on Sunday.
Our new research office is almost complete. Bob spent much of the week and Saturday fitting 5 new book cases and a group of volunteers filled the shelves with books on Saturday for a photo session. It looks really good now so nice work Bob and all. We should be able to install some PCs, network cabling and a phone in the next few weeks to finish it off.
New kitchen is complete
The final job was completed by Pauline on Monday when the walls in the Kitchen were painted. It has had a lot of use since Pete H finished the cabinet installations and it has meant we now have much more room in the Admin office to manage the museum and to eat lots of Pizza!
Sauna (aka server room)
It is becoming increasingly urgent that we sort out cooling for the server area due to the temperature steadily increasing as the warmer weather arrives. After several discussions on Saturday it was decided that we need to fit an air conditioning unit ASAP but as always funding was a problem. The other problem was the server area was fully open to the main building so we would also need to enclose the area to seal it off so an air conditioner would actually work. We believe the cost to do this may approach £1000, quite a large sum to us. So, unless we find a sponsor to support this work (or someone who can donate some air conditioning equipment) we may have to try a juggle some of the finances allocated to other projects to do it. This is likely to take several weeks yet so we have to find other ways to keep the place cooler to stop a melt-down until we find the funds to do the work.
Cray YMP restoration
Preliminary work has started on restoring our Cray YMP system by Volunteers Adam and Simon F. This is another of our long term projects to return an old machine to working order. Initial inspection has started with the power supply and power connections. Some pictures of our Cray can be seen here.
Another Elliott 803 workshop
John Sinclair gave another of his 803 workshops to some of the volunteers on Saturday. This time it covered the basic 803 architecture and how the system performed some of its activities.
The visitor counters showed over 1000 visitors to the museum over the bank holiday weekend which is really good.