Symbolics 3600

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lowpoly

28 Feb 2019, 20:54

My Symbolics 3600 is on ebay:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/123669165374

Image

Thanks.

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

28 Feb 2019, 21:01

Oh boy!!!!

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depletedvespene

28 Feb 2019, 21:03

Well, bring it back before anyone finds it and tries to take it home!!!

Menuhin

28 Feb 2019, 22:04

Does it mean the Miniguru Elder is quitting the keyboard hobby??

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

01 Mar 2019, 02:02

Put in my measly bid (probably not my last :( )

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lowpoly

01 Mar 2019, 12:10

Menuhin wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:04
Does it mean the Miniguru Elder is quitting the keyboard hobby??
I never really got enough into collecting. I remember, even back in the day, when I was buying keyboards all the time, even then I didn't know which direction to take with collecting? I love this keyboard but it just would sit in a box for another 10 years. Doesn't make sense.

Menuhin

01 Mar 2019, 14:07

lowpoly wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 12:10
Menuhin wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:04
Does it mean the Miniguru Elder is quitting the keyboard hobby??
I never really got enough into collecting. I remember, even back in the day, when I was buying keyboards all the time, even then I didn't know which direction to take with collecting? I love this keyboard but it just would sit in a box for another 10 years. Doesn't make sense.
By the way, I really like the thumb-front-edge buttons design of Miniguru, too bad you do not have time to further develop this project.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

01 Mar 2019, 18:52

Beautiful. Would love to have it. A bit out of my budget, though. I'd trade a Beamspring for it. Good luck with sale!

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lowpoly

02 Mar 2019, 15:12

Menuhin wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 14:07
By the way, I really like the thumb-front-edge buttons design of Miniguru, too bad you do not have time to further develop this project.
Still have to clean-up the code that worked, then was "tidied" by someone else, now doesn't compile anymore. :cry:

Can't go back either because of significant changes.

To this day I have the prototypes on my desk but never used them to keep them "new". Changing to one now, maybe this'll do the trick.

@XMIT: Thank you!

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

10 Mar 2019, 20:44

Grats to the winner and to lowpoly!

Slom

10 Mar 2019, 21:01

Slom wrote:
21 Feb 2019, 20:16

Auction from April 2017, 1400$
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1980s- ... 2843230774

Auction from May 2018, 1700$
https://www.ebay.de/itm/273228721418
March 2018, 2500$

O_O

anybody up to fitting an exponential :D

(we could get a fourth data point if lowpoly tells us what he paid initially, would be interesting if its on the curve)

Menuhin

10 Mar 2019, 21:06

Congrats 🎉 to the winner

But I think a Mint-condition Symbolics keyboard can go higher - and given the switches, the caps and the company behind this keyboard design are all now historical legends - definitely will get an even higher price in the future.

Slom

10 Mar 2019, 21:16

Menuhin wrote:
10 Mar 2019, 21:06
Congrats 🎉 to the winner

But I think a Mint-condition Symbolics keyboard can go higher - and given the switches, the caps and the company behind this keyboard design are all now historical legends - definitely will get an even higher price in the future.
Fuck what are these switches anyway? I just realised that these are the mystery switches I asked about here:
viewtopic.php?p=370478#p370478
https://web.archive.org/web/20130406171 ... e_9691.jpg (pic on archive.org as the original is dead)

compare with lowpolys pic from geekhack:
Image

here is what SD looks like (from webwit)
Image

Sorry but SD switches are crap at least 50% of the time, in my experience. (sample size ~6, at least thats the boards I found with a very shallow search through my flat right now). And when they are crap you realize just how crap the design of these is, no way to clean them properly ...

I agree about the caps, on the fence about the company.
Last edited by Slom on 10 Mar 2019, 22:28, edited 2 times in total.

Menuhin

10 Mar 2019, 22:06

At least these switches should be the famous for its over-engineering for reliability hall effect switches, in mint condition.
They enjoyed good reviews when they are in good condition, but I'm no expert in how they can be cleaned.
Known variants:
wiki/Micro_Switch_SD_Series#Known_variants

Slom

10 Mar 2019, 22:53

I'm jesting a bit, of course ;) The fact that I have 6 of these around probably means they are not that bad. When Micro Switch SW is the beamspring of linear switches, SD are maybe the Model M ;)

But the more interesting thing to me right now is that the symbolics keyboard sold here *doesn't* have SD switches. So what are they?

They remind me a bit of ST or SC switches. But not quite the same I think, and the slider is completely different. I know the newer symbolics keyboards had a variant with tactile switches, maybe the older ones did as well.

EDIT: just to be clear, I totally think they keyboard is worth it. The mystery switches make it even more interesting in my opinion :)

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lowpoly

11 Mar 2019, 18:51

Well, that was kind of unexpected... Congrats to the new owner!

As for Symbolics: They not only did the Lisp stuff, they also had a graphics suite, I think it was named S-World and S-Graphics. Later this was sold to Nichimen Graphics to be renamed to N-World and N-Graphics. That evolved into an animation program called Mirai, and a cheap $99 version called Nendo. Mirai was used for (parts of?) Gollum in LOTR. S-Graphics had very powerful polygon modeling tools andd I think the concept of edge loops was introduced here. This is still in use today if you look into 3dsmax' EditPoly modifier for example. You can also get Wings3D for free which is a powerful polygon modeller based on Nendo (highly recommended!).

Later Nichimen sold the graphics suite to some employees and they finally stopped working on it. The Miniguru of 3D graphics. :lol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirai_(software).

While this ended like it did, the concepts set into motion by Symbolics are still important and literally in daily use today.

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lowpoly

11 Mar 2019, 20:04

I didn't get the software names quite right, here's Wikipedia's N-World page.

Slom

11 Mar 2019, 20:22

Wings3D is great!

As for the "dark" sides of symbolics:
Symbolics felt that they no longer had sufficient control over their product. At that point, Symbolics began using their own copy of the software, located on their company servers—while Stallman says that Symbolics did that to prevent its Lisp improvements from flowing to Lisp Machines, Inc. From that base, Symbolics made extensive improvements to every part of the software, and continued to deliver almost all the source code to their customers (including MIT). However, the policy prohibited MIT staff from distributing the Symbolics version of the software to others. With the end of open collaboration came the end of the MIT hacker community. As a reaction to this, Stallman initiated the GNU project to make a new community. Eventually, Copyleft and the GNU General Public License would ensure that a hacker's software could remain free software. In this way Symbolics played a key, albeit adversarial, role in instigating the free software movement.

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lowpoly

13 Mar 2019, 13:42

Is it because their software was based on academic work?

Slom

13 Mar 2019, 21:28

lowpoly wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 13:42
Is it because their software was based on academic work?
That I don't think they are that much of a legendary company? They probably are and I'm just rationalizing the fact that I don't want to afford one of their keyboards :D

Funny thing is, I wasn't aware of the mirai/nendo connection. I came to this the other way: Interest in fringe programming languages => Erlang => Wings3D ;)

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