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Thread: Card Ram

  1. #1
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    Default Card Ram

    By accident I stumbled across a photo that is also Avatar for Chuck.
    Can somebody elaborate more on this type of Ram?

    ziloo








  2. #2
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    Ah, one of the more obscure "Rube Goldberg" storage devices--the NCR 353 CRAM. Decks of magnetic cards selected by notches on the edge and 1/4-round rods. Rotate the rods in the right way and the selected card drops out. CHM has a great brochure on it:

    http://s3data.computerhistory.org/br....102646240.pdf

    One thing the brochure doesn't mention is that if a card encountered an error, it was unceremoniously ejected onto the floor. One quickly learned to have a box ready by the side of the CRAM unit.

    My personal delight is in strange peripherals. CRAM (what an unfortunate name) is one of my favorites. The IBM Photostore is another. Lawrence Livermore had one and folks used a utility to "touch" each of their disk files so that they wouldn't be banished to the Photostore.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    My personal delight is in strange peripherals. CRAM (what an unfortunate name) is one of my favorites. The IBM Photostore is another.
    I bet you like storage tube CRTS, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    .....My personal delight is in strange peripherals.....
    Yes...specially when there is something mechanical about it!

    ziloo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    ....Ah, one of the more obscure "Rube Goldberg" storage devices....
    You really got me on that one for a while Chuck....specially with that Germanic name!
    I actually thought Rube Goldberg was the inventor of that storage device!!!!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziloo View Post
    You really got me on that one for a while Chuck....specially with that Germanic name!
    I actually thought Rube Goldberg was the inventor of that storage device!!!!
    Rube Goldberg is the US equivalent of the British Heath Robinson. More or less.

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    I had a lot of fun with the IBM 3850 "beer can and pigeon hole" storage device.

    CDC made its own version--the big difference was that the "picker arms" on the IBM unit were purely mechanical, but the CDC used, IIRC, pneumatics. One of the reasons for two picker arms on the IBM unit was that, in case of failure, one arm could push the failing arm out of the way.

    Williams tubes and mercury delay lines, not so much for me. On the other hand, I have a soft spot for the PB 250 mini that used magnetostrictive delay lines for pretty much all storage, including registers (serial operation). If you bashed the side of the unit with your fist, you could get it to drop bits...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    If you bashed the side of the unit with your fist, you could get it to drop bits...
    I hereby nominate this for quote of the year!

  9. #9

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    Didn't Friden make a desktop calculator that used acoustic delay in steel tape? I recall someone thinking that it was a clockspring that powered the device.

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    Yup, there were a couple of early calculators that used delay lines or shift registers for storage.


    Oh, I don't know about being the only way to drop bits. I think Frank (falter) gets the same effect on the stuff he works with.

    And then there were disk drives that could leak a pool of oil on the computer floor... The old Bryant disks had a bottle and plumbing to catch oil leaks.

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