What is sitting on [Bob Alexander]’s table within the video underneath didn’t get started out existence because the desktop calculator it seems that to be.with options the unique designers could not believe became out to be an enchanting challenge, and a shuttle down the retrocomputing rabbit hollow.
A bit clarification is so as. Certain, with its Nixie show, calculator keypad, and chunky mid-century design, the Wang 360 desktop console looks as if a unfashionable calculator. However it is in reality just a dumb terminal for a miles, MUCH larger field, known as the Digital Package deal, that might are compatible underneath a table. The foot-warming section that used to be as soon as attached to [Bob]’s console through a thick cable that were unceremoniously lopped off through a prior proprietor. [Bob] made up our minds to treatment the placement with trendy electronics. The console became out to have enough space for a customized PCB sporting a PIC32, some level-shifting parts, energy provide modules that come with the high-voltage provide for the Nixies, and a GPS module as a result of Nixies and clocks simply pass in combination. The fascinating bit is the programming; [Bob] selected to emulate the unique Wang strategies of doing math, which come with multiplication through logarithmic addition. Doing so replicates the unique appear and feel of the calculator right down to the fast development of numbers around the Nixies because the logarithms are calculated the usage of the show registers.
We generally frown on antique equipment being given trendy guts, however on this case [Bob] hit simply the appropriate steadiness of recent and outdated, And for the reason that the Digital Programs those consoles had been attached to head for $1500 or extra on eBay, it used to be a better option than letting the console pass to scrap. A in a similar way respectful manner used to be all for.
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