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Thread: Computer Technology

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    Computer Technology

    I decided to make a thread for these because I want to make this an ongoing project. Feel free to leave constructive comments or critique.

    I worked all night last night making photographs of a couple different main boards I have hanging in my office. A friend of mine commented that there is an interesting anachronism shooting this digital computer technology with clockwork mechanisms using "analog" film (please don't argue about the term analog, I know, hence the quotes). The first board I have been experimenting with is a logic board from an arcade machine. Please let me repost this story I mentioned on another thread:

    Many years ago my grandfather had this massive logic board hanging up in his shop. In retirement he repaired electronics, including arcade machines, and this is one that was pulled from a broken machine. He died tragically in a car crash when I was a young teenager. I saved this board, among a few other things from his shop, before my grandmother's family threw most things away (that's another story...). I just recently rediscovered this logic board in some stored stuff at my parent's house, and decided I should make some photographs of it. I looked up this logic board and discovered it was made in 1975 for the Midway arcade machine "Wheels." It's apparently a fairly uncommon cabinet. I found a catalog from the era and this board cost $600 back then to replace, which calculating for inflation is about $2800 today.

    Here's a few images of this board:





    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Next is a motherboard and Pentium 486 chip. This was actually the mainboard of my first computer. Well, it was actually my parents' computer, but it was given to me after they had it for a while. This was actually a later 486 chip, apparently released in 1992 when I was 7. I vividly remember learning MS-DOS commands and programming in QBasic with this computer. When I got into music I learned how to use the computer's built-in speaker through QBasic and programmed in simple 1-note melodies, transcribing such things as the main theme to Star Wars. Later on we upgraded to Windows 3.x and I got my first experience with a GUI (though I might've used an old Macintosh in school first). Here's a picture of the chip/socket and an abstract of the huge PCI slots:





    That's all for now but I will be rooting through my bin of computer parts at my parents' house soon to unearth some more old stuff. I still have the mainboard to the first computer I built when I was about 16, as well as a ton of classic computer and audio gear that I never threw away.

    All of these have been shot with my Linhof Master Technika and 150mm f/9 Schneider G-Claron, on Efke 100 film dev'd in Pyrocat.
    Last edited by Corran; 19-Dec-2017 at 19:00.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  3. #3
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Through hole parts
    Math Co-processors
    66MHz CPU
    ISA slots
    Gates in DIP packages
    2 layer boards with no power planes

    And they say aliens don't exist.

    Good find.
    Last edited by ghostcount; 19-Dec-2017 at 14:20.
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Thanks, I had to look up some of that. I guess those are ISA slots, as opposed to the more modern term / slot of PCI. Most of this stuff is too old for me to remember specifics, or I never knew because I was too young.

    I remember the big debate on graphics cards around 2003, and the competing infrastructure of PCI-e or AGP. Luckily for my computer build I chose the right one (PCI-e) since AGP got phased out, as I later needed to replace a graphics card that literally exploded. I wish I had that one to photograph! All of the capacitors on the board were split open like a banana peel from some sort of power overload.

    Here's a look at the setup for these:

    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  5. #5
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    I look at your images, I see cities, streets, buildings.

    Perhaps, we are electrons.

    Recently I subscribed to Quanta Magazine Twitter Feed. https://www.quantamagazine.org/ Every few hours they teach me science and show the impossible depth of existence. I see correlation and metaphor. I told them, if they find the Switch, don't touch it!




    ps: Make sure ANY gaming board or part is vetted. They are in great demand.

  6. #6
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Yes, a friend of mine also mentioned cities and streets - specifically the old models used for urban planning. An interesting parallel.

    I did some research and found someone in Australia that owned this arcade logic board and we discussed value. It's not worth much, which was actually a relief because if it was, I might be tempted to sell it. But I like it better on my wall as a remembrance of my grandfather. Besides which, you can see in the first photo on the upper right, there seems to be one part missing. It was likely the problematic part that caused him to have to get a replacement logic board, keeping the rest for spares later.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  7. #7

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    Re: Computer Technology

    Reminds me of work in the early 80's.
    Principal Unix System Engineer, Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems

  8. #8
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Perhaps I've progressed 50 years from my usual F/64 aesthetic?
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  9. #9

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    Re: Computer Technology

    Thanks Corran for reminding me to do same.

    Designed, laid out and prototyped well over 300 boards in my early career and I kept a significant amount of them for show and tell to the grand kids whenever I get those ...

    The arcade board brings out memories ... fun,

    Thanks for sharing ...

  10. #10
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Technology

    Thanks Rudi. The same grandfather I mentioned gave me a breadboard project kit when I was much too young to handle a soldering iron, but boy was it a wonderful experience. I practically taught the "Electronics" chapter in my HS physics course (my teacher admitted it wasn't really her focus and was not the strongest with the concepts). Sadly it's been a long time since I've busted out the Ohm's Law so I've forgotten a lot.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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