My classiccmp non-retirement :-)

Nico de Jong nico at FARUMDATA.DK
Mon Jun 20 13:38:23 CDT 2005

From: "William Donzelli" <aw288 at>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
<cctalk at>
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: My classiccmp non-retirement :-)

> > For example, I can't think of any other reason why
> > Varian would show up in Al's archive and Philips would not...
> I doubt there were ever more than 100 Phillips machines in the US at any
> given time. Perhaps in Europe they were more popular, but here they were
> effectively not even a tiny speck in the minicomputer industry.
I only know about a few of Philips' types : the 400/4000 series and the
800/6000 series.
The 400 series was basically an office computer, obsolet around 1984/85. It
was superseded by the 4000, which could be programmed in Cobol (I've done
that myself), and supported a number (6?) of terminals.
The 800 was mainly (in Denmark) used for medical purposes, but never very
The 6000's basic hardware was identical to the 800's, but improved by the
Swedish subsidiary, PEAB (Philips Elektronikindustri AB) in Stockholm. It
was very popular in banks, for front- and backoffice operations.
In Denmark, there were 3 main uses :
- a local authority system, so they could enter bills to be paid, write
checks, do social security, enter year-end declarations, off-line printer
(*), concentrator / line multiplexor (*)
- a front office system for the railways' seat reservation (including car
ferry reservation) and the printing of reservation receipts. the "big iron"
was a Siemens mainframe
- a data entry system for the postal authorities
Then there was an attempt to enter the ATM marked, based on a Diebold cash
dispenser (my project)

(*) the 6000's were connected to an IBM mainframe at Kommunedata, which is a
servicebureau for the local authorities. They would generate print files
during the night, which would then be sent automatically. This enabled the
authorities to do full-speed printing, as the max line speed was 9.600 bps,
and as Kommunedata had some terrible response times, the printer would stop
and start endlessly.

I do have most of the software from this period, including the system

And then there was the 7000, which was a bastard collected from a number of
hardware vendors. The tape drive was Pertec, the disks were Control Data, as
were the floppy drives (8"). The CPU was some mini (not the DG Nova), but I
cant remember which one it was. In fact, we used to joke about the bastard,
as apart from the CPU, it was obviously identical to the Regnecentralen
4000, a danish system.


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