PDP-1 as minicomputer [was RE: OT - sort of]

Rich Alderson RichA at vulcan.com
Tue Aug 17 20:12:42 CDT 2010

From: Dave McGuire
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:12 PM

> On 8/17/10 7:59 PM, William Donzelli wrote:

>> Compare apples to oranges - when the VAX-11 line was out, IBM had the
>> 4300 line. These machines were specifically designed not to require
>> operations staff, a big infrastructure, pure batch operation, and so
>> forth.

> Wow, was the 4300 series really intended to not need an operations
> staff?  If so, they sure did miss the mark there.

> I worked for a company that had a 4341, and frequently visited four
> customer sites, with three 4341s and a 4381.  (I worked in field service
> at the time, unfortunately not for IBM)  I think the smallest operations
> staff for any of those intended-to-be-operations-staff-free machines was
> two employees.

Ahh, but Dave, the typical IBM mainframe shop required 8-12 operators.
>From that point of view, the 4300s were marvels of low operational staff.

At the University of Chicago, I was friends with the lead graduate student
on the STEM (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope), the one that made
the IBM logo out of individual gold atoms.  Their graphics processor was
a 4361--and they had no professional operations staff at all.  The grad
students did the minimal amount to get it running, and that was all.

Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Server Engineer
Vulcan, Inc.
505 5th Avenue S, Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104

mailto:RichA at vulcan.com
mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org


More information about the cctalk mailing list