Harris H800 Computer

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Thu Apr 21 09:27:46 CDT 2016

> On Apr 20, 2016, at 11:33 PM, Mark J. Blair <nf6x at nf6x.net> wrote:
> Back when I spent a couple of years at UNLV in the late 80s, I had a class in which I was forced to use an account on a Harris H800 computer, if my memory serves me correctly. Being a BSD snob, I felt that was a terrible imposition, much like being forced to calculate compound interest on a stone-age abacus made from partially petrified dinosaur turds. *Without gloves.*
> Now, of course, I'm a lot more easy-going, and downright curious about things that might not have been my first choice for a computing environment. Even VMS!
> So, does anybody here know anything about that family of computers? I seem to recall getting a tour of the computer room once, and the two front panels of the machine were swung open to reveal two thick, mattress-like beds of twisted pair wires. That seemed nauseatingly primitive to me at the time, but now the memory seems fascinating.
> I also seem to remember an operator's console with two round CRTs on it, but I might have fabricated that memory from whole cloth.

Thick mat of twisted pair wiring, and console with two round CRTs, that's a good description of a CDC 6000 series mainframe.  They certainly weren't as easy to use as Unix machines, but a lot faster than anything else at the time they were released.


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