I ran across these two images last week. They were in the same envelope and I’m thinking it’s the same kid. They’re not dated but mid-1980s is my wild guess.
I’m not at all sure what was being demonstrated but what I learned is that some things change quickly and other things are more difficult to improve upon.
Bonus: This made me smile on my walk in this morning.
Who got married? Joe and Marla!
A bit further along, up turns this in the Ray Courtyard. Mazel tov!
The computer appears to be an HP Series 200, model 236. Official model number “9836”. Following HP’s well-developed notions of technical/scientific vs business, this was a “technical” computer introduced at the end of 1981 following the introduction of the IBM PC by a few months. Original price was $11,950. See HP Museum http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=3
Dig the flat wheel on the upper left corner of the keyboard. That is a scrolling wheel. Later, we had mice.
The 9836 could control many, many instruments from Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturers. Those instruments were really expensive, usually $25k and up. So $12k to automate them wasn’t a crazy idea. A friend worked on a signal generator that cost $250k.
Also, the printer appears to be an HP ThinkJet, which was introduced in 1984. The fat cable between the 9836 and the ThinkJet is an HP-IB (IEE 488) cable. Which means it was the HP-IB model of the printer.
I joined HP in 1985, so my first personal computer was an HP 9920, basically a 9836 with a separate keyboard and monitor.
My first was a 9845 or 9845C, as I recall–part of the old HP3047 phase noise measurement system. Where I was, I think we called the wheel an RPG (rotary pulse generator) or a knob. AFAIK, RPGs were common on HP instruments for some time before the 9836. I don’t know if there was any causal connection, but they look related to the R1’s crank.
If you /really/ like RPGs, try http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=684.
I like the contrast between the shiny new computer and the dusty old scale.
Me too. That scale is still functional.
I imagine the HP computer is not still functional if you can even find it
I saw an HP 9836 in a machine shop at Stanford. It was covered in cutting oil and half the paint had peeled off. It was running fine. Of course, your watch could probably emulate the 9836 at ten times the original speed…
According to http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=3, the HP Computer Museum claims to have 5, all working, although one had a dead monitor.
I have found that the enduring technology related to computers is the IEC removable power cord. I save those when the rest of the machine goes in the E-cycle bin.