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Old 03-28-19, 06:56 PM   #1
Lex Parsimoniae
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default The Fairchild_F8 Or How I Learned to Code..

Back around 1975, there was an place in Cambridge MA where me and some of my Ham radio buddies would buy power supplies parts. We had a source for old UHF Taxi cab Moto radios that required 22 amps at 12 volts.
One day, I saw they were selling the F8 eval kit. I had been learning about TTL and modems etc, so I wanted to buy the kit. It came as a bare board with all the tiny parts loose in a bag.
Later on I built a terminal (TV Typewriter 2)
I expanded the memory buss so I could use S-100 Buss RAM cards. After finding a photo-diode array that could read paper-tape (an early form of computer tape) I learned a lot about machine language programming with that little board.. Later I went on to buy the IMSAI 8080 Learned it's machine code and ran CPM and Basic. I loved Basic, and used it for all sorts of applications during my career at NEC as engineer and then as Tech Nerd at MIT Lincoln Labs.
A few years after I retired, I removed the F8 from it's big aluminum box, tested it, and then mounted it on a wooden board. This rare early microcomputer was going to be handed down (with the IMSAI 8080) to my family.

Yeah, that was the plan. It didn't work out. During the winter I noticed some rust on my large crescent wrench, but since nothing seemed to be wet, I just cleaned up the wrench and tossed into the basket of tools I had been using.
It was a very slow leak.. But, I didn't notice it until today..
I guess procrastinating replacing those defective 1/2" fittings was a bad idea. This summer, I'll be doing a lot of PEX work.. Those fittings were recalled decades ago, I was pushing my luck.. Until I ran out.

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My hobby is installing & trying to repair mini-splits
EPA 608 Type 1 Technician Certification ~ 5 lbs or less..

Last edited by Daox; 03-29-19 at 09:16 AM..
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