Bleg: Slide Projectors


Is there any use for Kodak slide projectors and carousels? Do people buy them on EBay, for instance?

I am cleaning out my office closet. I’ve been slowly but surely digitizing my slide collection, and the carousels are piling up.

Open thread.

102 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Good question. Will they have a comeback like Compact Cassette tapes and players?

    I have a few full carousels in boxes (but no Kodak projector) and weirder still, a European linear tray projector and trays. Yay me.

  2. 2
    Gozer says:

    Where’s a penny farthing-riding hipster when you need ’em?!

  3. 3
    km says:

    There was a plea for one on NextDoor in my area last week. I wonder who holds on to the means to read old media – maybe libraries do, or could.

  4. 4
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @trollhattan: Wha? cassette tapes? Googling, yeah, it seems there’s been a bit of an uptick. Geez. The things these hipsters could do with that dosh. Light it on fire to keep warm, ffs.

  5. 5
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Good question. Will they have a comeback like Compact Cassette tapes and players?

    Those have had a comeback? News to me. I bought some you could record on like 10 years ago. Haven’t checked to see if they still sell them in stores. I used at least one to record a message for a time capsule to be opened in 30 years (2039). Hopefully it’ll still be in good shape to be played and understood by then. It was Maxell brand tapes that I bought.

  6. 6
    Spanky says:

    On the flip side of the bleg: What’s the best protocol (and/or product) for digitizing slides?

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    Right? When somebody says “mix tape” they really want a mix tape.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    Nikon and Minolta used to make really nice automatic scanners. Now there seem to be top-end and cheap ones with nothing in the middle.

    Basically, load four to six slides into a holder (or a negative strip) and run it through the scanner. The best have good software that handles color conversion and dust spot removal. Without that last feature every image will take a lot of work cloning out all the spots.

    It’s tedious but doable. An 8YO would be a perfect assistant. Or, mail them off to a digitizing service.

  9. 9
    gene108 says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Have cassette tapes from the 1980’s that still work. They should be good for over 30 years.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    JCJ says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Maybe fans of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” want to emulate the movie, music and tapes and all?

  12. 12
    chris says:

    Recently learned that there is a new store in Halifax which only sells vinyl LPs and cassettes. Nope, not going.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    This is a 51 year old slide scan of Charlie Block taken from our “compound. This picture faces away from the DMZ. He sent it just last week.

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    Got some I can’t mail and since there’s a couple thousand of them, really can’t scan them in one at a time either.

    My dad shot a shitload of slides when in Vietnam, as did my father-in-law. Both pilots, so there’s some amazing pics in there. Would sure like to get ’em out.

    Last time I used a slide projector was for an art project by a friend of mine back in 2002. Think my dad last used his in 06. The thing still works. Getting replacement bulbs is probably an issue.

  15. 15
    Adrian Lesher says:

    Lots of similar Kodak slide projectors for sale on Ebay. Just search for Kodak carousel slide projectors.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    We cannot discuss carousel projectors without input from Don Draper.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @The Moar You Know: I’d love to see them. Flickr has a huge collection under “Tour of Duty”

    ps Chopper or fixed wing pilots?

  18. 18
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    FTR I have 3 carousels of (~400) slides from my second European trip (Italy/Yugoslavia, 4 weeks, 1985) but no slide projector. I keep meaning to have them digitized but it’s not easy finding a scanner with sufficient dpi that’s reasonable to rent, or a service that won’t charge arm/leg/fambly joules for the procedure.

    (Taking slides was a superficially smart idea – they were significantly cheaper to develop than prints – that turned out to be stupid for me: It really only made sense if you were a sufficiently inept photographer to throw out 7 shots of 8, but I tended to keep more like 7 of 8. Now what I need [but am terrified] to find out is how much the colors have faded in 33 years… )

  19. 19
    Bess says:

    Slide projectors certainly were a primitive way to look at one’s pictures. I scanned in my thousands of slides almost 20 years ago and gave away stacks of trays a perfectly good projector to someone who hadn’t yet appreciated digital.

    People who just want a good viewable copy of their pics may want to use a flatbed scanner. I’d check for reviews online. See if Tom’s Hardware has anything. A good flatbed won’t cost much and can do a lot of slides at once.

    And software can really improve the images from slides that have deteriorated over the years. Even an ‘auto-adjust’ routine will often make a big improvement. Plus you can make significant improvements with a free software package such as FastStone Image Viewer. Just straightening horizons and cropping out the telephone on the edge type stuff can take many pics up a level.

    Then, if you upload your pics to Google Photos (let them adjust the file size and it’s free) you can see your photos from any device that can get online. Google Photos is my third level of backup following two large capacity hard drives kept in different physical locations.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Chyron HR says:


    Slide projectors certainly were a primitive way to look at one’s pictures.

    Oh, for sure. Not as primitive as thinking somebody is the messiah because a bird landed near him one time, but still pretty primitive.

  22. 22
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @trollhattan: Used to work sound at the college and community theaters. I know how to splice reel-to-reel tape, including emergency repairs in the middle of a show.

    I don’t think there’s anything in that skill set that’s useful for anything or anybody.

  23. 23
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Fun fact during the great freeze of NC when we were stuck in our house for 12 days because the world outside was a block of ice I started a fire with the wood we had stored and then kept it going with video tapes. They were worthless at that point and burn slowly and hot. Kept the house toasty and warm for weeks.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: With the little angle cutter and tape?

  25. 25
    J R in WV says:


    Surely that’s in Korea, not the “DMZ” in Vietnam?

  26. 26
    PWill says:

    Actually just bought a Vivitar projector on EBay to replace one that was lost/stolen 25 years ago. Have at least 1500 old slides I’d like to see again/digitize. The solution I find easier than scanning is just to project them then photograph the image with a digital camera — even a phone. Comes out great.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    I can still roll one spectacular joint or “build” a spliff if need be. Remember in Jamaica there were bread bags that were unwaxed and made great spiffs?

  28. 28
    divF says:

    Yet another joke that is lost to advances in technology …

    “Nothing is more conducive to profound sleep than an after-lunch lecture. The lights are dim. The audience is a tranquil sea of slack-jawed men and women. Blood is being massively shunted from brains to intestines. Hundreds of eyeballs begin a slow roll upward as the speaker recites the only statement the audience will remember: ‘May I have the first slide, please?’ ”

    Oscar London, M.D., Kill as Few Patients as Possible

  29. 29
    Bess says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Take a look at this scanner page on the B&H Photo Video site. The first flatbed scanner they talk about sells for about $70 and has dust/scratch along with color recovery routines included in the software.

    You only need huge DPI counts if your intention is to make very large prints. High resolution TVs are only 4 megs.

    A flatbed also gives you the ability to scan in prints. My sister and I scanned hundreds of family photos going all the way back into the 1800s and now they are ‘stabilized’, stored in many places and won’t get thrown out when someone doesn’t recognize their value to others.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @J R in WV: No, Korea. I did 13 months there before Vietnam because I was on 17 and you had to be 18 to go the Nam.

  31. 31
    Mart says:

    As time marches on our recorded history has shorter lifespans.

  32. 32
    BobT says:

    1. Someone, somewhere will buy anything. That’s the power of EBay.
    2. Trend now for copying slides is to put them on a light table and photograph them with DSLR. Macro/Micro lens or extension tubes are helpful. Resolution can be quite good.

  33. 33
    Doug R says:


    Maybe fans of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” want to emulate the movie, music and tapes and all?

    Are you sure that’s “IT“?

  34. 34

    @Bess: Used to get the B&H catalog. Never bought anything, & glad I didn’t; seems they keep prices low on the backs of their employees.

  35. 35

    @raven: And the grease pencil?

  36. 36
    gene108 says:


    Not really lost to technology. The first slide would just be from PowerPoint and not a projector.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mart: Reminds me of the Digital Domesday Project.

    The “Domesday Book” is a manuscript recording a census of Britain in 1086. For its 900th anniversary the BBC decided to create a digital multimedia something similar reflecting 1986 Britain. They worked on it between 1984 and 1986 and published it on LaserDiscs using the LV-ROM format. By 2002 there were almost no devices left that could read them. Various projects to resurrect and reformat the data have come and gone over the years, and as of now, it appears that the data are not generally available in any accessible format. The manuscript from 1086 is still readable, of course, assuming you know 11th C Latin.

  38. 38
    Schlemazel says:

    We have slides from our grandparents vacations in the 50s and 60s, the quality was fading badly so my brother transferred them to digital. If any of us had any photoshop skills I suppose we might restore them but as of now they are just faded memories.

    Really, no matter what the media, if you have stuff on old media you need to make modern copies. It is not just that you may find a day when there are no players but the media itself degrades. Even CDs will die in time and tape is a sure thing. I have transferred from 8 inch floppy to 3.5 inch floppy to CD to DVD to digital stored on USB/external hard drive. All of those will fade in time

  39. 39
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Used to work sound at the college and community theaters. I know how to splice reel-to-reel tape, including emergency repairs in the middle of a show.

    I don’t think there’s anything in that skill set that’s useful for anything or anybody.

    Maybe not, but I love you for knowing how to do it. :)

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @M. Bouffant: I don’t recall that, tell me more?

  41. 41
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @raven: Yep

  42. 42
    divF says:

    @gene108: It was only with that kind of projector, and in large lecture halls, that a projectionist would be changing the slides as instructed by the speaker. With current technology, where the speaker controls the display from the podium, the words “may I have the first slide, please” are never said.

  43. 43
    zhena gogolia says:


    Absolutely. For me that’s either the signal for sleep or for an ocular migraine.

  44. 44

    With the arrival of Powerpoint and laptops and digital projectors, the slide show projectors are no longer in use.

    I would suggest looking for any museums of technology or local history for donations.

  45. 45
    Duane says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Im old enough to remember when taking pictures was a really big deal.

  46. 46
    Bess says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    I don’t know how B&H keeps their prices low. I suspect they have to due to companies like Amazon and Best Buy selling the most popular products at a low margin price.

    Fact is, B&H is where profession and serious photographers most often shop because they offer a wide range of gear and first class service. If you’d rather trade somewhere else that’s up to you but anyone wanting some good information about slide scanning might wish to avail themselves of the free B&H information.

    BTW, B&H no longer stocks the first flatbed scanner they talk about.

    But it is available from other merchants. Whom I’m sure pay their employes many times the going wage and furnish them with two hour catered lunches and free massages during work time.//

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    ps Chopper or fixed wing pilots?

    @raven: Fixed. FIL is USN, F4 driver, multiple MiG kills, Dad is USAF, Batcat recon (EC121) and then “cargo” (C141, body repatriation and medevac).

    Dad was the only commercial pilot left who was jet medevac qualified and young enough to still be employed with an airline when W did Iraq, his life got pretty exciting for a few months.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    Another donation suggestion would be to check with your local art museums. You would be surprised how much “modern” art of the past 40 or 50 years relied on now-obsolete technology that museums are scrambling to stockpile so the artist’s intention is not lost. Some artists refuse to have their videotape works transferred to DVD or other digital formats because it will no longer reflect what they intended, or a dead artist’s estate will refuse permission, so museums have to keep that period technology on hand.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:


    With current technology, where the speaker controls the display from the podium, the words “may I have the first slide, please” are never said.

    I see you are dealing with different people than I do. I see lots of people who need to have the booth run their PowerPoint slides for them. But I’m dealing with artists and writers, not scientists.

  51. 51
    zhena gogolia says:


    I was gonna say . . .

  52. 52
    Bess says:

    @Schlemazel: You don’t need very many photo editing skills in order to greatly improve old faded slides. And you don’t need PhotoShop.

    I’ll again FastStone Image Viewer because it’s free and the software I use for at least 90% of my editing. There are several other free options. And if you want to do more advanced things like parallax adjustments you can use GIMP which is free.

    Try downloading a copy of FS, get one of your old digital photos into the ‘full screen’ mode, and hit Auto-adjust Colors. Chances are that will make a big improvement. If you want to make some more color adjustments you can dive deeper.

    And then hit Sharpen and that will reduce some of the fuzziness that tends to be a feature of old slides.

    If anyone wants some handholding to get started let me know here and we can set up a discussion elsewhere.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @The Moar You Know: I have a buddy who was an A6 driver, he said he and his buddy flew under the golden gate one day! Another pal flew P3 Orion’s out of Cam Rahn. I flew home on a 141 way back when!

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne: I sometimes work for a professional staging company. The most fool-proof method of today is to give the presenter a remote that only triggers a cue light in front of a human operator, who then triggers the actual device. For some human psychological reason I don’t understand this leads to the least confusion and muckups.

  55. 55
    Bess says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The Centre for Computing History has recovered the text and images for the Doomsday Book and plans to make it publically available as soon as they complete their work on copyrights.

  56. 56
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes, 100 years from now Betty’s great great great great great whatevers will be able to hold up those slides and still see an image, but chances are the digital files will be somehow obsolete and unreadable, either because the file format is no longer commonly used or because whatever the digits are stored on can’t be accessed. Keep those shoe boxes around.

  57. 57

    @raven: To mark the exact spot on the tape where you want to make the cut. What I was taught in the radio biz, anyway.

  58. 58
    Schlemazel says:

    I had a program that worked really well for editing photos. It would have done simple stuff like that easily. But it only ran under 3.1 . . .

  59. 59
    RAVEN says:

    @M. Bouffant: Cool, thanks!

  60. 60

    When we were cleaning out our Iowa house to move, we got rid of a projector, carousel, and screen. We advertised in the local swap sheet and sold them to a guy for $20. He came over and picked them all up.

  61. 61

    Spent the afternoon at our son and DIL’s house, where we exchanged gifts, ate goodies, and watched the fifth Fast and Furious movie. This is the episode that several of you mentioned in which they drag a safe through the streets of Rio.

  62. 62
    debbie says:


    Not at all primitive. Also a very good way to reprint photos. The transparencies created higher-quality photos. However, my scanner (Epson) came with a slide thing. It held about 10 slides, so at least there was 10% less fiddling around.

  63. 63
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    Slide projectors certainly were a primitive way to look at one’s pictures.

    Media went down hill since Camera Obscura.

  64. 64
    debbie says:


    You might also want to take a look at Graphic Converter. It’s free.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    Donating to libraries, schools, and museums are good ideas. If that doesn’t work and you’re on FB, you can try their Marketplace. A couple friends do this and they’re pretty happy with the results.

  66. 66
    cliosfanboy says:

    @raven: fyi, there was a DMZ between north and south Vietnam too.

  67. 67
    RAM says:

    Cheryl, you might check with your local historical society to see if they need a projector for their collections. We have gotten donations of a couple of them; we’re full up now. But we like to have machines that actually show the media we collect, and not just slide projectors. We got the donation of some 8mm home films, but they weren’t on reels, they were in these goofy cartridges. Fortunately, we subsequently got the donation of a projector for the cartridges, so I quickly made digital copies of the movies by projecting them on white poster board–a real movie screen just doesn’t work for duplicating–and using our video camera to make a dupe, which we then saved to DVD as well as digital files on our Macs.

  68. 68
    raven says:

    @cliosfanboy: Oh really? I posted a scanned slide of a mountain outside of my compound in Korea and JR asked if it was the Nam and I responded. Did something I said lead you to think I didn’t know there was a DMZ in Vietnam??? Do you know what WTF-K means?

  69. 69
    Bess says:

    @debbie: Slide film was preferable over print film for large prints. But watching one’s pictures on a screen you had to set up in a dark room was pretty primitive compared to looking at them on a large screen TV/monitor. Flat screens don’t have cooling fans producing a masking noise. Slides don’t get stuck in the flat screen if the mount is a bit messed up. And one does not dedicate a closet to screen, projector and piles of carousel trays.

    And one needed to keep a certainly not cheap spare projector bulb on hand. The bulbs didn’t last long.

    Then there were the moths who were drawn to the screen in the summer….

  70. 70

    Cheryl, so you have Freecycle where you live? Check on line. You can give stuff away there.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:
    I was real good at splicing 1 in paper tape with corrected punches. In 1973. I’m not holding my breath for that to come back.

  72. 72
    zhena gogolia says:


    It was someone else who said that must be Korea, not the DMZ in Vietnam. cliosfanboy was responding to them, not you.

  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bess: But the resolution was higher.

    I was involved with a team that was tasked with transitioning from slide shows to high-def video projection for (major sound system manufacturer X). Video was brighter, whiter, much easier to distribute. But resolution was a sacrifice, and as we were doing our A/B comparisons what really struck me was how stable a still image looked from a slide projector versus the way the electronic projection “swam around”. It was almost a relief to look at the slide compared to the video. But most people don’t perceive their media with this kind of acuity in the front of their minds.

  74. 74
    zhena gogolia says:


    I would tell you it was JR in WV to whom cliosfanboy meant to be responding (don’t know why they addressed it to you), but then he’d say I’m making it all about ME! Screw it.

  75. 75
    debbie says:


    I’ll still take the color quality of slides over anything digitally produced. It just ain’t the same.

  76. 76
  77. 77

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll check them out. I’ve been working on the closet most of the afternoon, and shoveling snow off the front steps. I’ve got the top half of the closet reorganized. Tomorrow I think I’ll work from the bottom up.

  78. 78
    catclub says:


    They were worthless at that point and burn slowly and hot.

    anything that burns slow and hot is not worthless…. if it is cold outside.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    Man that sold me my first house flew back seat in I think A6. Said he got shot down 3 times. 1st they managed to land on the carrier. 2nd time they splashed next to the carrier, something about hydraulics-no landing gear. 3rd time they made it just off the coast, splashed. Luckily they got picked up by friendlies. He resigned his commission the next day. Nice that officers could do that.

  80. 80
    Chris T. says:

    @Bess: Be careful with “sharpen”. This actually reduces the information available in the image and hence sort of damages it, even though the result tends to be more pleasing to the eye. In fact, this is kind of true of all the image processing tricks, but sharpening in particular is one that should be done just before displaying, and the amount of sharpening to use depends on the display.

    The TL;DR version of this is: after scanning, keep the original raw data and/or the color-corrected (or colour-corrected) data.

  81. 81
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: They was some cowboys.

  82. 82
    different-church-lady says:

    @catclub: Indeed.

  83. 83
    dnfree says:

    @Ruckus: In 1966 I wrote a computer program on an NCR computer (the assembler language was called NEAT for National Easy Assembler Technique) to convert paper tape that came in with a 7-hole code system into a paper tape with a 5-hole code system. Then someone just had to cut off the extra paper on the new tape so the 5-hole tape reader could read the converted data, and voila. Talk about useless skills. (People now probably don’t even know that “National Cash Register” ever even made computers.)

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    this motherfucker

    Ali Rogin @ AliABCNews
    Trump then makes two flagrant lies in a row: 1) He said the US military got its first pay raise in 10 years. FACT: The military has received a pay increase each year except for ’83 and that was a technical glitch. PolitiFact rated it Pants on Fire.
    Then 2) He said he raised the military’s pay by ten percent. FACT: It was raised 2.8% in 2018 and another 2.6% in the current NDAA.
    Here are the quotes from his speech in Iraq: “You haven’t gotten [a raise] in more than ten years. More than ten years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one.”
    “You had plenty of people that came up and said, you know, we can make it smaller. …I said no. Make it ten percent. Make it more than ten percent. Because it’s been a long time.”
    Both those quotes are lies that the president has been called out on before.

    I’d just like to state again how much I hate that we use infantile terms like “pants-on-fire” and “Pinnochios” to talk about this kind of demagoguery

  85. 85
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Duane: Now I’m old enough to remember when my attempt to capture the, shall we say, frisson of the Mobe march in DC (15 Nov 1969) was demolished at its inception when after snapping the first picture, the film advance lever of my Instamatic stuck & then, in response to the repeated entreaties of my thumb, broke because the film itself was frozen solid to its reel in temperatures that as I recall were in the low teens Fahrenheit. (There were lines out the door & down the street at every restaurant & coffee shop downtown & most of us weren’t even particularly hungry, we just wanted to wrap our hands around a mug of anything that was halfway warm…)

  86. 86
    Duane says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: You said Instamatic. That’s funny. I was two days from my 9th birthday when that happened. You are old.//

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bess: 1 – It’s “Domesday”, not “Doomsday” and 2 – I expect them to complete their work on copyrights on or about the 12th of Never.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dnfree: Friend of mine retired last year after 40 or so years at NCR.

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    @Duane: And a Swinger?

  90. 90
    Duane says:

    @Raven: That’s personal and I don’t know anything about that.

  91. 91
    m.j. says:

    …just thinkin’ out loud here…
    If you were able to have two slides from very slightly different angles but of the same object, would you be able to use two projectors to produce a stereoscopic effect?

  92. 92
    J R in WV says:

    I sure knew NC built computers. I never worked with one, but I applied for a job there while on Unemployment back in the day.

    And six-level paper tape, and mylar tape for programs, the paper tape was for data that was being edited and ran through a photo-typesetter as we went from hot-type to offset style production.

    Then I went to school for software…

    Long time passing.

  93. 93
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    To be fair, those terms were invented in a more civilized time.

  94. 94
    Bess says:

    @Chris T.:

    Sharpen if the result is more pleasing to your eye. And different degrees and types of sharpening is needed for different purposes. But most of us don’t need to be concerned about that. We’re just trying to turn our snaps into something that doesn’t make us wince with embarrassment.

    And, yes, always save your “negative” be that the scan of a slide or print or an image out of your digital camera. Do that and you can go back later when your editing skills and/or software has improved. Make a copy and edit the copy. Store copies in separate folders.

    Save your slides and film strips. I packaged up my slides with sheets of computer paper and tape. Made what looks like a package of Saltines with 50 or some number of slides in each package. Packed them into a box. Taped the box shut. Put the box out of the way somewhere that wouldn’t get too hot or get wet. Haven’t looked them since.

  95. 95
    Bess says:

    @debbie: It’s not the same. I shot slides for over 40 years. I really wish I had a digital camera instead. Film shots just don’t cut it for me.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    If you want to get rid of the projector, I’d be very interested. have a carousel of slide which would be pleased to be able to see.

  97. 97
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    Dunno if you saw my late response to you re: Vanity Fair.

    Pretty good and moves right along smartly. Got all but the final episode under the belt and no complaints.

    Frances de la Tour as Aunt Matilda and Martin (Doc Martin) Clunes as Sir Pitt Crawley are top notch.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    There were actually a lot of companies building computers back in the 70s. But they got sold to business, and they were weak at best. That of course in not new info for you if you programed back that far. I started programing numerical control machines by hand in 73. Cutting 3D parts, using a slide rule to do the maths. What can be done today in 15-30 minutes would take a day or two, if you could figure out some of the maths at all, because intersections were the tough concepts, one really had little idea where they really were in space. And when we got our first computer it was an Apple II – 128 and a tape punch, to replace the teletype console we had been using. In the late 70s it was great that we could us 1200 baud serial, a whole new world. Today? 5 axis machines that can be programed on a desktop that you can purchase anywhere.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:


    Radio Shack! With a cassette drive.


  100. 100
    Bess says:

    @Ruckus: About 1974. PDP-E. 16 megs of memory. Paper tape storage. Teletype input. Size of a refrigerator. Dumber than a Casio digital watch. But, wow, did it open up a new world. I’d been building electromechanical control systems for the previous few years. Relays, steppers, mechanical timers,….

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    dnfree says:


    Yes, I remember some of the companies that have disappeared. I even worked on some of them, like DEC. PDP11-34! Process control! Opening and closing valves and weighing ingredients for toothpaste, and all done in Fortran. I used to brag that I knew COBOL, but I’d never done it for money. And I am in awe of 3D printers, and GPS/mapping systems, and automated driving systems.

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