cclist at sydex.com
Thu Jul 19 10:31:09 CDT 2007
> From: "Rod Smallwood" <RodSmallwood at mail.ediconsulting.co.uk>
> I once saw a Univac FAST RAN Drum memory. What a lump!!!
I think you mean "FASTRAND"--and probably a FASTRAND II or III. A
great hulking movable-head mass storage device that was being used in
the Univac line long after the competition had moved to disk.
Basically a couple of nickel-plated sewer mains in a fluorescent-
lighted box. I wondered if the box would flip over if the bearings
on one of the drums suddenly seized up.
I encountered one sometime around 1970 on the newly-installed 1108
system at IIT in Chicago. Situated in a converted storefront on
Michigan Avenue, truck traffic rumbling by and shaking the old
building would cause the FASTRAND to hiccup with errors.
Sperry Univac must have offered the college a heckuva deal on the
installation. It replaced a S/360-40 setup that turned in years of
good performance. I could not imagine an installation going from 8
bit characters on a 32-bit machine to 6 bit characters on a 36 bit
system, with lousy drum printer output (instead of a 1403) to boot.
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