That poor System/36

Scott Quinn compoobah at
Sat Oct 13 18:08:55 CDT 2007

>  I really want something bigger and something that just screams "I'm 
> dimming your lights!". A crimson running off a serial terminal does 
> not seem to cut it for me.

IBM is a different mindset at the mini/mainframe levels than UNIX-type 
systems, and hobbyists suffer from the fact that IBM does not court the 
hobbyist market. Notice that I did not say it was a worse mindset, just 
different, nor did I imply that any company must bend over backwards 
for the hobbyist.

IBM minis are optimized for database, accounting and semi-mainframe 
type tasks, too, and there are many pitfalls and booby traps in place 
to prevent horrible and unscrupulous people from buying them secondhand 
without giving IBM their cut, at least on the AS/400 level. You might 
want to look at one of the heftier VAXen or Alphas running VMS- 
different from UNIX and bulletproof, but still from within the same 
"interactive terminal" mindset. The OpenVMS Hobbyist program and the 
availability of free/low cost documentation and help is a big plus 
there, too.
A VAX 7000 or AlphaServer 4k series will dim the lights on a branch 
circuit, definitely, and if that doesn't cut it you can plug in a 
couple of LaserJet IIISIs. Note that dim lights = low voltage = bad 
news for extended operation of SMPSUs, though :).

Be patient: RealityEngines happen.

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