The Monday Twitter Photo Challenge
Every Monday in July, @ZDNetUK_News will tweet a link to a wilfully obscure picture of some vintage technology. The first person to correctly identify the subject in a reply will win part of the Large Hadron Collider. It's a small part, admittedly, encased in a keyring, but a part nonetheless.
We kick off our Monday Twitter Photo Challenge with this portable device. Aimed at a particular and very distinctive market, it foreshadowed a whole bunch of ideas that are hot right now — but it didn't catch fire back then. What is it? Reply to @ZDNetUK_News on Twitter for a chance to win.
Your second chance to win a piece of the Large Hadron Collider, tastefully encapsulated in a perspex keyring and with a certificate of authenticity. Remember, these are not available in any shops! (*)
This photograph is part of a truly groundbreaking device from the first half of the 1970s, one that created a whole new class of computing. Named after its founder, the company was the Rolls-Royce of its sector — but is really just another badge, these days.
This particular piece is from serial number one of the device. ZDNet UK took this picture very recently at somewhere also known for astonishing breakthroughs in IT.
(*) Apart from the CERN gift shop.
Chance number three to decorate your pocket with a piece of the Large Hadron Collider in a delicious perspex keyring. Now it can search for the key to the universe, while helping you search for your keys.
Today's devious digital picture was absolutely mainstream
enterprise IT, in its day. An early member of a family of chips so well
marketed "Weird Al" Yankovic sang a song about them, this particular
device attempted to solve the eternal problem of performance versus
power consumption by coming in a fat module equipped with an enormous
heatsink. And this particular unit operated at the very highest speed
the design was capable of.
The question is: what exactly is the name of this device, and how fast was it? First to reply to @ZDNetUK_News on Twitter or our page on Facebook with the correct answer wins. If nobody's got it exactly by Friday, we'll pick the closest.
Chance number four to win a piece of the Large Hadron Collider in a delicious perspex keyring. Now it can search for the key to the universe, while helping you search for your keys.
Today's challenge is famous enough in its own right. The only product that made its company any real money, it set in place a revoluion that's still earning the UK a righteous wedge of cash to this day.
The question is: what exactly is the name of this device and what lies behind the port to the left?
Another chance to get your own physical manifestation of the Large Hadron Collider, being a hand-tooled chunklet of superconducting material (*) configured as a pocketable access control device management system — OK, a keyring — from CERN's ring to yours.
Today's challenge is the earliest yet, although there is a direct connection with last week's subject. Only two complete systems are known to survive, with one of them believed to be the oldest von Neumann architecture computer still regularly powered up and run. So: three parts to the question.
1. What is it?
2. What is the connection with the ZX81?
3. Where else could you find the handles on the unit's cabinet?
(*) Only superconducts with liquid helium - not supplied. ZDNet UK takes no responsibility for any injuries or damage done if the keyring is used in relativistic particle experiments.
Gotcha! Last week's piece of Large Hadron Collider still remains safely in our grasp, with no one guessing the identity of our mystery kit.
We duped you, our dear readers, with a Ferranti Pegasus. The link to the ZX81 is that Ferranti also made the ZX81's ULA chip. The handles on the case could also be found on Rolls-Royce cars of the time.
You may have better luck this week with this peculiar device, an example of something that saw service in three or four products, depending on how you count them. Much anticipated, it was for many people their first real lesson in IT marketing versus IT reality. Name the device and all the products it was in. First full answer to @ZDNetUK_News on Twitter wins; if no full answer, then the closest one by next Monday scoops the prize.
You may already have spotted what vintage this is, thanks to the distinctive bus and choice of components. You may also know what sort of thing it is, by the connectors at the back. But who made it, and when? They're still around and in the news, but a long time out of the hardware business. Board function and maker's name, please, to secure your piece of the Large Hadron Collider.