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

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Tue Aug 17 21:33:35 CDT 2010

On 8/17/10 9:12 PM, Rich Alderson 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.

  Point taken. ;)

> 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.



Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL

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