(7) P82 — more than you might think . . . . 40 years ago —
P82 (project 1982) was conceived and constructed more than 10 years after the moon landing Apollo project and the HP-2116 series. We have the luxury of off-the-shelf multiple gate logic with excellent reliability. Detailed study of the HP machines of course found its way into our logic design and without knowing about Apollo Guidance Computer at the time, there are similarities in the use of back-plane to string everything together. Our experience makes us even more in awe at the AGC project.
Our metal working tools were quite basic: a small vice, hacksaws, files, and emery cloth. The only electric tools were a hand-held drill and an original 1977 emco-unimat lathe [totally metal, made in Austria – not the plastic version made much later] used in its vertical drill stand position.
Of course we still have the lathe!
Design of the P82 controller allows direct control of slide projectors and other room devices with dedicated instructions, and also extended control by data exchange with semi-autonomous remote circuits.