Another classic comp job

Roger Holmes roger.holmes at
Tue May 13 05:15:11 CDT 2008

> Message: 22
> Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 11:57:16 -0500
> From: "Jason T" <silent700 at>
> Subject: Re: Another classic comp job
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
> On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 10:31 AM, Evan Koblentz <evan at>  
> wrote:
>> Dave, are you not familiar with RAMAC?
> Could they really still have a running RAMAC?

Why not? Early computers were built to last, some still are but  
competitive pressure means 'commodity' machines seem to be lucky to  
last more than twice their (UK) legal one year warranty period.

My (1962) 1301 can even still read the magnetic tapes which were last  
written in the 1970s and the drums still had the bootstrap program on  
the write protected bands (of similar age) once we had got the timing  
logic adjusted back to specification.

When designing something as revolutionary as RAMAC, they would over  
engineer and only in later designs start paring things down. A few  
revolutionary designs do of course have weak points and they either  
don't make it past prototype stage or the market soon finds the  
weakness and stops buying them.

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