Warehouse Party
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Computer Warehouse Party
Paul Pierce's Major Donations

July 31, 2014, 1-5 PM
and an epilog - June 17, 2015

At an undisclosed location near the metropolis of Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum (CHM) has a gigantic overstuffed warehouse :-))

Paul Pierce, a major antique computer collector in Portland, Oregon, was having his own problems with overstuffing - One of the tenants in his large overstuffed warehouse is doing well and needs more room - we should all be so lucky.

So Paul decided to donate some of his major items such as:
- an IBM 650
- an IBM 709
- an IBM 7094
like truck loads, to another full warehouse, and the other full warehouse, not having the above major items, accepted. !!

This warehouse party ( are you kidding?? ) is a celebration of the above event.
Guest of Honor, Paul Pierce
The IBM 650, Donald Knuth's long time love
Looking around
Crime and Punishment, a staged scene ;-))
Epilog - June 17, 2015

Back in the misty dawn of history, before television, radio was king, and listeners used their imaginations to fill in the visuals. A favorite comedy pair was "Fibber McGee and Molly". A highlight of almost every radio show was Fibber McGee searching for something, and opening the door to their overstuffed closet.

The sound effects crew pulled out all the stops, audibly portraying the crashing of items falling out of the closet. And just when you were almost saturated with the banging and crashing of falling objects, there would be a brief pause, and one more item would hit the floor.

Great timing, great fun, the sound effects crew helped guide your visual imagination ;-))

Of course, many people are involved with a living breathing "growing" warehouse -
In a real-estate downturn, the CHM building committee, with Grant Saviers, did "due diligence" and acquired this warehouse. Wall insulation, earthquake resistance, and major rackage later, much material from the NASA Ames rental storage, and "Visible Storage" arrived. And of course, more humans and a cataloging scheme are needed to help pack more in, and record/retrieve what is where .

Guest of Honor, Paul Pierce
Here is Paul Pierce, donor of the above listed major artifacts, at the console of his donated IBM 709, telling a story of a defective switch. The operator had to hold some switch down to make the machine work until repair, on an 8 hour run, sending out for food and water. A IBM 737 or 738 Magnetic Core Storage , ?? 32 K?? of 36 bit words, is at Paul's back. Not seen are a power supply cabinet, and another cabinet of logic.
Another view, the side, showing swing out gates with "acres" of vacuum tubes. There are plugable sub-chassis with about 8 tubes each for quick replacement for maintenance. The wiring is on the back side -

The IBM 650, Donald Knuth's long time love
Some 650 emulation/simulation notes
At the immediate rear is the power supply cabinet, with multiple selenium rectifiers 4"x4"x12". Some previous owner had cannibalized the indicator lamps and switches. Paul had some fabricated, but still a work "on hold".
This machine had a drum memory, 2000 words of 10 characters/digits each word. That's all folks, in this age of giga-byte memories ;-)) This was pre-magnetic core memory, so to reduce access time the drum was spun at 12,500 RPM. This gave a memory access time of 96 us min 4,800 us max.
Len Shustek is showing his first IBM 650 program to Gardner Hendrie and John Shoch, all CHM Board members. In modern parlance, this program is hand assembled - everything is numbers. "I wrote that first program at a weekend school visit program sponsored by IBM in 1961, when I was at the tender age of 13. In retrospect, that day changed my life."

Looking around
Paul Pierce w John Hollar. Note wall insulation. Main Hall, in foreground are Doug Martin & Al Kossow Towards Reception Room
Aurora Tucker, employee, knows people I know in Golden Gate NPS, including Nicole Hayduk who worked at CHM Heavy Lifter This is the second level, and bottom of third.

Crime and Punishment, a staged scene ;-))
What can be more boring than a warehouse? right?
Villain !! Introducing Stan Paddock, a "results" guy, well known for asking forgiveness after, rather than permission before. Notice Bill Newman (left) and Lyle Blickley (right) leaving the scene - rapidly !! Actually, this machine is "owned" by the 1401 Project, for spare parts, and Stan (with tool bag !!) is taking some needed taper-pin jumper wires from a relay panel.
Caught !! While Stan was "working" we asked Karen to come over and look. Here is Karen Kroslowitz, catching Stan "red handed". Karen is, among other things, manager of the warehouse, and responsible for protecting and cataloging the contents. Len Shustek, Chairman of the CHM Board, observes.
Ain't we got fun ;-))

Epilog - June 17, 2015
To escape repairing a sick
IBM 1401 at CHM in Mountain View, three "hard working" volunteers headed to the great CHM warehouse. Ignacio (Iggy) Menendez as crew chief, claiming to know why we were going. Stan Paddock as chauffeur - clean sobriety test. Ed Thelen, along for the ride.
Here is Kim Hayden, Assistant Archivist. I thought warehouses were dim, dusty, and had bats flying about. Sarah Schaefer is carefully photographing artifacts, Gretta Stimson is offering a cheery greeting :-))
OK, archivist, what is this?? Did she say "Electron Gun for Data Storage"? L->R Dave Cortesi, Dennis Load, Toni Harvey, Taylor Terrill - intern. I need more photoshop practice.
Security must have glitched! Would you let Iggy and Stan into your warehouse? with tools?? A reason for the trip. A needed part for one of the IBM 729 Tape Drives here. The coupling between the High Speed Rewind Motor (left), and the electromagnetic clutch stack (right).