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Thread: Techno-Archeology: TimeLine Product Documentation and Upkeep

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    @ecc83 -
    there exists at least one working example of every machine ever made?
    I'm hoping so, and further, that for our cases we can get enough contributions of the irreplaceable items, like the firmware (hopefully the last revisions, when the products were at their most developed point) that we can keep these machines going for as long as possible. I would say there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of different machines which are now obsolete that required this very rare (not "out there" generally) software that had to be custom coded on a per-product basis. Some of it very difficult to code, written in such obscure formats (much uglier than "C" or higher-order languages) as Assembly Language or worse- raw machine code. Very difficult times in our tech evolution, even for the best and brightest.

    @jpmorris - Thanks again for the offerings, and please don't worry about clouding the thread too much. They're basically on target toward the greater good. Disc space is cheap, I'll gladly download whatever you can give, and hopefully pass it on to someone in need if I can't use it myself.

    As for your sync troubles over the years- I feel for you, and hopefully with some of the wisdom you're passing along I can avoid some of the pitfalls. Sync is apparently a tricky subject, as many who've been there with their careers riding on the outcome were ever so grateful for sync issues to be over historically with the (then) approaching digital wave. For myself, I'm sure I'll be facing them as well, but this thread I think will help me. We'll see....
    What didn't work with your Lynx setup, problems with the decks not resolving? Or were you forced to use the wrong machine profiles and hope that the deck ballistics were close enough to work?

    As you mentioned in some of your posts I've read (about the ATS-500 thread miroslav kindly linked, for example)- if you've got bad information from the manufacturer it leaves you "swimming in a sea of pudding", so to speak. Likewise the wisdom you imparted about cabling being very specific, even down to having to do special shielding for the critical lines, such as Capstan Servo, for example, is not lost on me.

    By reading some of the TimeLine Service Bulletins as I have today, even the guys designing these things forgot a few lessons- allowing ground loops to be built-in to certain cables because of unpredictable ways the different deck manufactures were terminating them internally, for instance. Or having to do post-production fixes on PCB's because they forgot to separate Analog and Digital grounds in certain places (the I/O daughterboard of the Microlynx comes to mind). Mixing Analog and Digital is extremely difficult, as these lads can attest, especially when you can't use your sense of hearing to help suss out problems with the results, instead having to depend only on knowledge, logic, intuition and lab equipment.....oh, and luck.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
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    I have had a thought, and this might be complete and utter BOLLOX! Try to email the British Science Museum?

    I saw a programme a year or so ago where they have a hanger somewhere out in the wilds of England stuffed with old tech' much of it hulking computers. They were painstakingly restoring it cosmetically but I would guess there are some VERY clever people there know a lot about early code? They have I know built the second Babbidge Engine.

    Thing is, the guys that designed and coded this stuff have got to be in their 50s or older? If the data is not saved soon I think it will be gone for good and that's just AUDIO and related systems!


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