Resurrected Entertainment

Core Memory

December 19, 2008
Core Memory

Core Memory

Just finished another classic computing book entitled Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers (ISBN: 0811854426), written by John Alderman and photographed by Mark Richards. While I did enjoy the photography much better in this book than in Digital Retro, I found both the context of the photographs and the text provided somewhat lacking in substance. Although I did find the photographs to be colorful, I do not find so many pictures of wire bundles and wiring trunks to be especially interesting. While it is interesting the see the complexity in wiring for one or two of these machines, it would have been more intriguing to see various parts of the machines, and to have those parts labeled.

I have not had the pleasure of using one of these machines, let alone putting them together. I can readily identify electronic components, but without providing context for the photograph, it’s just a jumble of wires or components with no¬†discernible¬†purpose- however pretty they may appear on camera. It would also have been a great opportunity to provide more technical details on the machine, sample machine code or instruction sets, screen shots or running software (assuming the machine could even be turned on), and what not. It would have been fascinating to have a detailed list of primary technical components and their functions for each machine. Since some of these machines occupied so much territory, it would also have been informative to have a common layout diagram with a typical installation. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book and all of the machines are photographed very well, but I think it would have been better to have smaller spreads and more annotated pictures.

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