36-bits, no waiting (was Re: Paul Allen's DECsystem-10)
teoz at neo.rr.com
Tue Jan 9 23:46:39 CST 2007
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ethan Dicks" <ethan.dicks at gmail.com>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
<cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 12:23 AM
Subject: 36-bits, no waiting (was Re: Paul Allen's DECsystem-10)
> On 1/10/07, Brad Pritts <bpritts at pritts.com> wrote:
> > Well, we used lots of PDP-10's in the timesharing... business in
> > the '70's and '80's. By the late '80's this business was dying fast.
But it was fun.
> > Yes, Compuserve was a big player...
> There are still 36-bit machines (Systems Concepts SC-40s, IIRC)
> running in Columbus at what _used_ to be called CompuServe
> Headquarters (now just another AOL campus :-/ ) They got rid of the
> DEC-manufactured machines well over 10 years ago, but still run their
> endlessly hacked version of TOPS-10 on real (not emulated) 36-bit
> I haven't seen them since 2003, but at that time, there were more SC
> machines at the WorldCom data center in Hilliard, OH (at what was
> _going to be_ CompuServe Headquarters before the company was bought
> and divided). I was told that WorldCom had to keep them running for
> some obscure billing app that was written in FORTRAN and couldn't be
> ported (or at least had been the subject of several failed attempts to
> port). Given the history of things, I would think it was full of
> CompuServe extensions, perhaps what they called XF4, perhaps something
> descended from that.
> So in Central Ohio, at least, 36-bits survived into the 21st Century
> for commercial usage. Personally, the last "productive" thing I did
> was to run Zork under the Panda distro of klh10/TOPS-20. I used to
> have a 36-bit account when I worked at CompuServe, but they'd cleaned
> all the old "service" menus and items off before I started there - it
> was an empty shell of its former glory by 2001.
Speaking of CompuServe, what happened to all the files those online services
used to have (like hardware drivers and software upgrades) before the
internet took over as a source of file distribution?
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