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Many of you are too young to remember

A discussion forum for anything even marginally Hauptwerk-related.

Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby RichardW » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:13 pm

organassist wrote:My first programming job was as an Assembler programmer on an IBM 370 mainframe computer with only 256KB of memory.

You were lucky!

My first computer was a Raytheon 703 with 16kB of RAM, no disk and a paper tape reader and punch. The keyboard (Teletype) was the size of a small piano. The computer filled one 4' tall 19" rack. The "high speed" paper tape reader and punch filled another and we had some custom electronics in a third.

However, in spite of it being the mid-seventies, I did manage to get it to play the toccata from BWV565!

I must stop, you are making me feel old.

Regards,
Richard
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby Grant_Youngman » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:21 pm

organassist wrote:My first programming job was as an Assembler programmer on an IBM 370 mainframe computer with only 256KB of memory.

I wrote code using a pencil and a coding sheet which I had to submit to the Punch Room to be keyed onto cards.


Most of you guys are just showing what newbies you are.

My first "personal computer" had 8K words (56 bits plus Hamming bits— I'll leave the byte conversion to the reader) of electrostatic display tube memory with a 10 microsecond read time and 20 microsecond write time (with warnings not to keep "reading" the same location too often since the bits would diminish and create errors) around 1000 dual triodes and delay lines, ran at roughly 1 MHz (it was "asynchronous" - meaning operations sent an "I'm done" signal, so there wasn't a clock as such), and consumed something on the order of 20KW of power. We did have 4 mostly unreliable tape drives, and data entry was 6-level paper tape keyed on a Friden Flexowriter. The vacuum tubes all had small lamps across the filament connections, so that if a filament went out the lamp would light. Anyone with a brain, while running a lengthy computation, would periodically walk between the racks to make sure none of the lamps were lit :-)

It was an absolutely marvelous and in many ways groundbreaking machine. The light show on the console and electronics racks while it was running was out of this world. Sadly, it did not run Hauptwerk :-)
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby toplayer2 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:51 am

My score was 26, so I must be dead but too cantankerous to lie down and accept it!

Joe
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:37 am

No, Joe. You are immortal, 'cause you aren't dead yet. :roll: Found forgetting about birthdays helps "sort of". More like putting your head in the sand and leaving other parts exposed. That's negative progress. OTOH, positive progress is seeing (die) hard core real pipes only people coming around to agreeing about how good Hauptwerk really is - initially they agree about using H/W for a practice instrument. But that's ok.. We all had to start with something. :wink:

Rgds,'
Ed
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby Antoni Scott » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:18 pm

Richard Dorf, of course, is most well known for the Schober organ kit. The classic model had a 32 note pedalboard that was not an AGO spec since the front to back length was shorter. The stop tabs could be pulled out and replaced with certain custom stops, one of which I remember was the "Schobertone". One thing that I remember about the Schober was its reverb system which was a record headm several playback heads followed by an erase head, It was an endless loop tape that required replacing frequently as well as requiring head cleaning to remove the ferrous oxide tape material. The Schober was unique back then because it had a Great to Swell as well as a Swell to Great.
Richard Dorf also wrote a book in the 1950's all about electronic organs. This was sort of the hey day of organs since there were so many companies. Everett had an Orgatron which used real vibrating brass reeds for the tone generators. The sound was particularly stable (which was a problem for vacuum tube oscillators) and the ensemble was rich due to the fact that there was basically one oscillator per note, unlike the Schober and other cheaper designs. I think the problem with reeds was that they were slow to respond and lacked upper harmonics. I'm not sure if Wurlitzer (who also used brass reeds) corrected this.
Conn Organs was popular for the fact that they used one vacuum tube oscillator per note per keyboard. The ensemble was supposedly better (too long ago for me to remember).
Over in England, John Compton saw the limitations of slow responding reeds and had "voices" etched on rotating optical discs. I remember hearing one in 1960 and commenting on how authentic the Open Diapason sounded. Although reeds were slow I always thought, that unlike vacuum tube oscillators, they had an attack - steady state- and decay component missing in all the others. Possibly, reeds were too expensive and complicated. Richard Dorf explained all of this way back in the 1950's.
So today, we have Hauptwerk, with realism and adjustable just about everything. All the young organists and enthusiasts out there dont even know what us old folk had to listen to. The journey has been interesting.
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:30 pm

Antoni Scott wrote:The sound was particularly stable (which was a problem for vacuum tube oscillators) and the ensemble was rich due to the fact that there was basically one oscillator per note, unlike the Schober and other cheaper designs..


Schober used a frequency divider setup. One oscillator per note, additional octaves of that note were divided so there was one tuning coil per note. I added a couple fans to move the air as an attempt to keep the temperature stable without which, as you played (for a while) the frequencies would vary.

Schober had very good customer service. They replied very quickly to any questions one might have. They also had a demo record available. You know that black disc thing with a small hole in the center that you put on a "thing" called a turntable. I believe I still have one of those demo records, but don't remember exactly where I "filed" it. I also have a turntable. :o On the Concert model record, there were 12 (recorded) tones that you could use to "tune" the organ.

In place of that, there is a YouTube featuring the sound of the Schober Theatre organ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgaPsbwpqOo.

Certainly not a Paramount 450, but not too bad for the 1950's. The whole line of Schober organs are shown as well as the ReverbaTape unit that Antoni referred to.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby joeroberts » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:03 pm

OMG...Where has the time flown?
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Re: Many of you are too young to remember

Postby engrssc » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:15 am

Something about - Time flies when you are having fun - maybe?

I go back to all the steps involved in making Hauptwerk what it is. Quite an evolution. 8)

Rgds,
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