Tech Model Railroad Club
The Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) [http://tmrc.mit.edu/ ] is a student organization at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) and one of the most famous model railroad clubs in the world. Formed in 1946, its HO scalelayout specializes in automated operation of model trains.
Additionally, the TMRC is one of the wellsprings of
hacker culture. The 1959 Dictionary of the TMRC Languagecompiled by Peter Samson, who some say coined " Information wants to be free", included several terms that became basics of the hackish vocabulary (see especially " foo", "mung", and "frob").
It was also at the TMRC that
Steve Russellwrote one of the earliest interactive computer games, " Spacewar!".
1962, TMRC's legendary layout was already a marvel of complexity (and was to grow further over the next thirty years). The control system alone featured about 1200 relays. There were SCRAM switches located at numerous places around the room that could be pressed to stop the trains' movement if something undesirable was about to occur, such as a train going full-bore at an obstruction. Another feature of the system was a digital clock on the dispatch board, which was itself something of a wonder in the days before cheap LEDs and seven-segment displays. When someone hit a SCRAM switch the clock stopped and the display was replaced with the word "FOO"; at TMRC the scram switches are therefore called "foo switches".
Design-wise, the layout is set in the 1950s, a transition period when railroads operated steam, diesel, and electric engines side by side. This allows visitors to run any engine they want without anything looking out of place.
Steven Levy, in his book "", gives a stimulating account of those early years. TMRC's "Signals and Power Subcommittee" liked to work on the layout's relays, switches and wires. The "Midnight Requisitioning Committee" obtained parts independently of campus procurement rules. The "Signals and Power Subcommittee" included most of the early TX-0and PDP-1hackers and the people who later became the core of the MIT AI Labstaff. TMRC was even given a PDP-1 by 1965, although it had no space in which to install it. Forty years later that connection is still very much alive, and a recent dictionary of hacker slang accordingly includes a number of entries from a recent revision of the TMRC dictionary (via the Hacker Jargon File).
In 1997 TMRC moved from building 20, a "temporary"
World War II-era structure, to building N52, the MIT Museum building, sometimes called "the Plywood Palace," [ http://www.eecs.mit.edu/building/20/] which had been home to the MIT Radiation Lab during WW II. As a result, the majority of the layout was destroyed. A new layout, under construction, is controlled by "System 3", comprising around 40 PIC16F877 microcontrollers under the command of a LinuxPC. An unusual feature of the layout is an 18-story building from the MIT campus, replicated in HO scale and wired with an array of window lights which can be used as a display for playing Tetris, in reference to a legendary (but apocryphal) MIT hack.
* [http://tmrc.mit.edu/ TMRC from MIT]
* [http://tmrc.mit.edu/dictionary.html TMRC Dictionary]
* [http://www.thedoteaters.com/stage1.php The Dot Eaters entry] on the TMRC and the development of Spacewar!
* Steven Levy, , 1984, Wikipedia contributors, (accessed June 18, 2006), and at [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/729 Project Gutenberg] (ISBN 0-385-19195-2)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Tech Model Railroad Club — Der Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) ist eine Studentenorganisation am MIT und einer der bekanntesten Modelleisenbahn Clubs der Welt. Gegründet wurde er 1946. Das vom Club verwendete Layout mit H0 Spur ist auf den automatischen Betrieb der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Tech Model Railroad Club — Le Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) est une association d étudiants du Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ou MIT) créée en 1946. Le TMRC est également une référence pour nombreux hackers. En 1959, Peter Samson compile dans un dictionnaire,… … Wikipédia en Français
Tech Model Railroad Club — El Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) es una organización de estudiantes en el MIT y la uno de los más famosos clubs de modelos de tren del mundo. Formado en 1946, su disposición de escala HO se especializa en la operación automatizada de modelos de … Wikipedia Español
History of Georgia Tech — An early photograph of Georgia Tech depicts the shop building (left) and Tech Tower (right). The history of the Georgia Institute of Technology can be traced back to Reconstruction era plans to develop the industrial base of the Southern United… … Wikipedia
Hacker (computing) — In computing, hacker has several meanings: [cite web|url=http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo/HackerCultures/origins.htm|title=webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo/HackerCultures/origins.htm ] * A community of enthusiast computer programmers and systems designers … Wikipedia
Rail transport modelling — Rail transport Operations Track Maintenance High speed Gauge Stations … Wikipedia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Motto Mens et Manus Motto in English Mind and Hand … Wikipedia
Green Building (MIT) — See also: Campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Green Building, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Cecil and Ida Green Building, also called the Green Building or Building 54, is an academic and research building at the… … Wikipedia
Computerhacker — Hacker hat im technischen Bereich mehrere Bedeutungen. Das Wort wird alltagssprachlich gebraucht, um jemand zu bezeichnen, der über ein Netzwerk in Computersysteme eindringt und zugleich Teil einer entsprechenden Subkultur ist. In engerem Sinne… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gray-Hat — Hacker hat im technischen Bereich mehrere Bedeutungen. Das Wort wird alltagssprachlich gebraucht, um jemand zu bezeichnen, der über ein Netzwerk in Computersysteme eindringt und zugleich Teil einer entsprechenden Subkultur ist. In engerem Sinne… … Deutsch Wikipedia