Here's what happens when an 18 year old buys a mainframe...
pete at petelancashire.com
Wed Mar 30 11:36:15 CDT 2016
First access was when I was 16 and used the remains of 3 Teletype 33's to
make one working unit, the same neighbor who got me the machines help get
and fix a modem, I had access to the the HP 2000C at the local college from
home. (guess the year).
First oldie computer was a then not oldie Burroughs B720, I worked at the
plant where they were made and got one that was freight damaged. About
1,000 14+16 pin DIP 7400 TTL packages and ran at 2 Mhz.
Next was a Data General Nova (no suffix the original) with a Teletype 33
ASR, And a high speed tape reader. Still wish I had it now. Love being
able to turn it off and back one without loosing data other then what was
in the registers.
One day I got a call, "do you want some minicomputers ?". Stupid question.
"Come down to Veterans Stadium (Philly) with a truck", the caller was a
friend who was an electrician. The company that won the bid to replace the
game board at the stadium had the remains of the old setup piled up ready
to go out for scrap. I filled the truck with General Automation SPC-16's
and I/O boards, cables, etc. enough to control over 100 individual 120V
The big regret .. 1975, get a call "do you want an IBM mainframe" .. but
was moving 3,000 west thee weeks after the call. Was a whole computer room
360/45, disks, tapes, etc. everything except the 1403 Model 5, but the
Model 2 was in the offer. If I had not accepted the job and was not moving
I actually had free use of a warehouse.
After moving, 1981 I paid $100 for a 4 Racks of DEC, Rack 1 PDP 11/45, Rack
2, RP03 controller, Rack 3 4 x RK05s, Rack 4 a TU?? two RP03's, VT100's,
etc, etc. Filled 1/2 of the basement. I ran RSX11M on it.
The last big box at home was a SUN M5000, but its now gone to a good home.
The last offers I've turned down are a Sun/Fujitsu M9000 and a V890,
My employer would not let me or anyone have the IBM Z/?? and it went out as
E-scrap a couple months ago.
In storage there are twp DEC Alpha DS20E's and a older DS20 that I'll do
something with or find a home for.
On Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 8:16 AM, <ethan at 757.org> wrote:
> I started getting serious about collecting vintage computers when I was
>> about 20, so not much older. That was in 1993, and I was scrounging
>> PDP-11/23s and VT100s and VT220s, so most of what I was finding was
>> 10-15 years old at that point. The more things change, the more they
>> stay the same!
> IIRC My first large home computer (220v) was a SGI 4d/480VGX.
> It had the LED CPU usage meters on the front.
> Eventually I ended up with two Challenge XLs and four L's to replace it,
> and two Onyx's and a Origin 2000 full rack. SGI hardware was so cool.
> Ethan O'Toole
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