The MCC Workshop Mission
I may change this message from time to time, but not the mission. This is a hobby Website, and I will work on it as time (and energy) permits. My lifelong dream has been to own and operate a Surplus Store - A real one - full of airplane parts, and old equipment, and castoffs from factories. I would explore these things, and help my customers understand, and make use of, the stuff. I would search for cool stuff to help make the hobby of electronics, and technology, more fun, more accessible, less expensive, and, perhaps, educational. Since that store is not going to happen, this Web site will serve as my outlet.
The Workshop is about understanding technology, and experimenting. And, in order to understand today's technology, you have to understand yesterdays. So there will be a lot of Vintage and basic information on this site. I also like to write (my wife calls it pontificating), so there will be a lot of words (and pictures). I also suffer from severe nostalgia, so I will spend a bit of time on technology history, (See Vintage Equipment & Computer Corner) and the basics. I intend to explore technology, create and build fun projects, explain tools, equipment and techniques, and uncover useful resources.
What this site is not about is "State of the art". Partly because the necessary tools are often out of reach of experimenters. That does not mean I won't address and use modern technology, but I am going to concentrate on accessible projects, and experimenting, and using surplus parts and equipment, and sticking to a hobby budget. Today's technology, while sometimes finding a revolutionary new application, still works with the same principles as before. The advances have mostly been in size and speed, quality assurance, and putting computers on the desktops of engineers. Even your new PC works essentially the same as the original PC/AT. It is much faster, and there is more stuff packed into the same space, but the architecture is virtually identical. The microprocessor is still based on Von Neuman's principles, and the software still works one little step at a time. Yesterdays technology is also much more accessible - You are not going to create the next iPhone in your garage, (unless you have a lot of specialized stuff).
Neither is this site about computers. They will be used as tools. The Computer Corner section will concentrate on basic computer principles and architecture, days gone by, and the applications of computers to experimenting. I also have a good collection of retro computer stuff. and I have been involved with computers through much of their existence. Univac, DEC PDP, Apple, Atari, SWTPC, Radio Shack, Xerox, all the PC generations, and on. My first home computer was an OSI 400 (with 16k of ram, on four boards, and an ASR-33 terminal) It was the predecessor to the official S-100 buss. I have been programming since the 70s'.
Feedback is also very important. I hope to put in place soon a way to get feedback from anyone who might be interested. What they do, where they do it, what they use, what they want to learn, or experiment with. And, I DO need ideas. Feel free to email at any of the contact links with info, questions, complaints or suggestions. And, finally, the opinions in here are mine, based on my experience, and my interests, but certainly open to interpretation.
One last thing. This website is being created by hand, in the spirit of the site. No fancy web authoring tools (or non-fancy ones:-). It will not contain any major "Hi-tech" content, except maybe in a special section. There will be NO pop-ups, no background music, and no interminable flash content. I will use words, pictures, some audio, some video, animations and ASP to tell the tale.
I have over 40 years of experience in electronics, mechatronics, science, physics, and computers, building and experimenting the entire journey. So tune in from time to time and follow me as I look back, and venture forward.