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Fw: IBM 1620 Restoration Project
I knew you folks would be interested in this. Remember the 1620 in Smith
Hall? Or the 1620 at PMC (now Widner College)? Or the boxes of cards to
play Christmas carols? Ok, so maybe George and I have been at this longer
than some of you...
From: Dave Babcock <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 3:21 AM
Subject: IBM 1620 Restoration Project
>Dear Friend of The Computer Museum History Center,
>You are receiving this email because either you are one of our regular
>volunteers, you've expressed an interest in the IBM 1620 or you are somehow
>connected with the IBM 1620.
>For those not familiar with The Computer Museum History Center, check out
>following web sites:
>It's a go!
>The Computer Museum History Center has given the official "go ahead" to a
>project to restore it's IBM 1620 computer system to operating condition. I
>be leading the project with the help of Joe Crespo (one of the original IBM
>1620 development engineers) and David Wise (the owner of the only
>1620 in the world).
>The History Center has in it's collection an IBM 1620 Model 1. It is an
>level machine with floating point, a card reader/punch interface (no card
>reader/punch unit though) and a 1623 expanded memory unit. The console
>typewriter is missing but we have a donor with one. At one time the
>must have had a 1311 disk attached but the drive, 'J' gate interface and
>were removed by a previous owner. Aside from the missing typewriter, the
>hardware is complete and in good condition.
>It is our plan to bring up the basic 1620 and 1623 that we currently have.
>other peripherals can be acquired, then we will consider restoring them as
>A PC will be used as a program load device connected to the IBM 1620
>standard paper tape interface.
>We are also developing an associated web site on the IBM 1620. The current
>work-in-progress version can be accessed at:
>We need help in quite a number of different areas: hardware trouble
>and repair, software design and coding, hardware design and implementation,
>metal cabinetry work, logistics, documentation, web page authoring,
>down replacement parts, electrical wiring, technical consulting,
>typewriter repair, etc. If you have the time and the interest we could use
>your help and skills.
>The restoration work on the machine itself will be done at the History
>in Mountain View, California. Much of the other work can be done at home.
>tenative plan is to have work days every other Saturday starting January
>We don't expect people to come every time but enough times so that there is
>continuity to the work being done. We understand the time constraints of
>volunteers and appreciate the help and support that you give. While we
>have a deadline, we want to make reasonable progress on the project.
>We are still trying to locate more IBM 1620 Model 1 parts, peripherals and
>documentation. Specifically, SMS cards, paper tape reader/punch, card
>punch, 1311 disk drive and interface circuitry, more 1620 software, level
>schematics, 1620 manuals and books we don't already have, more information
>the 1620 web site, and CE tools. If you know of a source for any of this,
>please let us know.
>For those interested and available to help with the restoration there will
>kick-off/training meeting for the project on Saturday, November 21st from
>10:00am until 3:00pm at the History Center.
>We'll be going over the project plan, forming 3 sub-teams (1620 HW, 1620
>interface HW/SW), learning the machine's architecture, opening up the
>a hardware "tour", etc. In short, we'll be covering all the basics you'll
>to know when the real restoration work begins in January.
>A lot more information will be coming about the meeting in a few weeks, but
>wanted to get the word out early so you could save the date.
>Are you interested?
>I am setting up two email aliases - one for those on the restoration team
>one for those who won't be able to help with the restoration but want to
>in touch about the IBM 1620.
>Please reply to this email and tell me which (or neither) of these email
>you would like to be on. If you can help with the restoration, let me know
>what area(s) you'd like to be involved with.
>Future emails will only be sent to those who have asked for them.
>I am very excited about this project and know that we'll be successful in
>restoring this historic machine to operation.
>Thank you for your time to read this and consider helping with our
>[Dave Babcock, firstname.lastname@example.org]