Biography

After many years in the computer and networking industry, starting as an assistant to designers, then up the ladder to Network Architect then migrating to the dizzy heights of Consultant. The last 5 year contract had me living and working in the middle of the Sahara Desert designing and implementing a Data Centre and wide area network. This network supported an Oil and Gas company in Algeria. Just about to hit the ripe old age (sorry we don't use the word OLD!) of 70 I decided to pack it all in and retire. I have made decissions and been in some very scary places before in my life but that was probably the scariest decision I have ever made.

 

During the Algeria contract the wife and I decided to change our base to Southern Spain, it’s nearer to Algeria and warmer, so everything was dumped into two big lorries and shipped down to Spain. Most of my junk, the wife’s words not mine, were then stacked in my workshop come garage, in today’s lingo “Man Cave”, and that's where they stayed for quite a few years.

I was recently clearing my workshop of up to 50ish years of junk when I found a plastic shipping container and inside a SWTP 6800 computer, I decided to lift it out of this supposedly water tight plastic shipping container when the rust and decay showed up, the result being it just fell to pieces, yes literally! So off to the dump, even all of the PCB tracks had decayed!

 

I found, in the container in good condition, as they were in sealed plastic bags, a large number of spare parts including processors and interface devices of the 70's vintage. My Big Mistake, they should have gone to the dump as well, but no, I thought I might just use them in a project some day!

 

Being now bored out of my scull (retiring isn’t all it’s cracked up to be) I decided to populate a circa 1970’ish PCB, that I had spared from the dump, with some of the components I had also spared! Ahhhh when I applied power onto the aged board I found the traces were a mass of breaks. Yes, that was the thin edge of the wedge, I decided to reproduce the MC6802 design with a new PCB layout built using today’s standards. The layout done and Gerber files were generated and sent off to my PCB printer in China (SEEED) and the rest is in the Web Pages.

 

When I started these projects I had no specific use for the computer designs other than the effort to keep the brain cells working, I suppose this concern was prompted by a number of my colleagues, of simular vintage as myself, showing distinct signs of brain fade. The old saying is "if you don't use it, you lose it" well, from what I have seen, I am a believer.

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