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Author Topic: An Historical Memory Device: Write Only Memory, By Signetics, 1973  (Read 817 times)
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PeterMcMonty
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« on: March 29, 2015, 06:42:54 18:42 »

Write-only memory
The Jargon File's Guide to Hacker Slang: write-only memory
Home Library Technology Hacker Slang

The obvious antonym to read-only memory. Out of frustration with the long and seemingly useless chain of approvals required of component specifications, during which no actual checking seemed to occur, an engineer at Signetics once created a specification for a write-only memory and included it with a bunch of other specifications to be approved. This inclusion came to the attention of Signetics management only when regular customers started calling and asking for pricing information. Signetics published a corrected edition of the data book and requested the return of the ‘erroneous’ ones. Later, in 1972, Signetics bought a double-page spread in Electronics magazine's April issue and used the spec as an April Fools' Day joke. Instead of the more conventional characteristic curves, the 25120 “fully encoded, 9046 x N, Random Access, write-only-memory” data sheet included diagrams of “bit capacity vs.: Temp.”, “Iff vs. Vff”, “Number of pins remaining vs.: number of socket insertions”, and “AQL vs.: selling price”. The 25120 required a 6.3 VAC VFF supply, a +10V VCC, and VDD of 0V, ±2%.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/write-only-memory#ixzz3VnH2uPCL

The Write Only Memory was a fake part Signetics introduced April Fool's day many decades ago. It's a hoot. This is page 1, and page 2 follows.

http://www.ganssle.com/misc/wom1.jpg
http://www.ganssle.com/misc/wom2.jpg

For those who want it in more readable pdf format, please see the attachement.

Enjoy! Cheesy
PeterMcMonty
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aplank
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 07:56:56 19:56 »

I remember reading this when it first hit the press. I found it funny then and still do.
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TucoRamirez
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 08:04:21 20:04 »

can i still ask for  samples?  the " whatever's right" package fits on my arduino
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PeterMcMonty
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 11:00:45 23:00 »

yes, for sure! There's a lot of such bricks left somewhere in Sunnyvale... most of them are used as doormat...

You have just to pay expedition expenses... some 100$/kg... well... just 2,000.00$ for package or so... Wink
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fpgaguy
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 06:43:38 18:43 »

Currently this is in use on many high end systems such as linux/unix for implementation of a /dev/null device.
Fully meeting and exceeding the high capacity data requirements for such. On systems requiring redundancy, though,
it is suggested to use two of these in an active standby fail-over configuration otherwise a large accumulation of data may
occur causing overload of the entire system and subsequent failure.

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Sailor
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 04:33:13 04:33 »

This brings to mind an item in the late '70s / early '80s. It concerned the development of a negative-time-constant device, and was reported complete with 'scope photographs etc Grin. It may have been in one of the IEEE journals, because I recall a couple of letters in following issues.

If anyone remembers it and has a link, or more details, please post.

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Magnox
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Oink!


« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 08:32:37 20:32 »

That rings a bell... wasn't in one of the 'hobbyist' mags, like PE or ETI was it? (which others were around at the time? Byte?)

I remember the 'scope pics.
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jumulab
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2015, 08:31:02 20:31 »

We all needs urgently more parts and data-sheets like the showed.
Really fun.
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Parmin
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Very Wise (and grouchy) Old Man


« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2015, 12:22:20 00:22 »

Still chuckling..
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solutions
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 10:12:24 22:12 »

You'll find this one in the old, thick, blue linear databook: http://www.repeater-builder.com/humor/pdfs/national-lh0033c-damn-fast.pdf

Some manager with a clenched anus had the datasheet changed to "ultra" a few years later.

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