vintage computers in active use

Brent Hilpert hilpert at
Thu May 26 13:03:46 CDT 2016

On 2016-May-26, at 10:32 AM, Diane Bruce wrote:
> On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 06:19:51PM +0100, Rod Smallwood wrote:
>> On 26/05/2016 17:48, Fred Cisin wrote:
>>> On Thu, 26 May 2016, Brent Hilpert wrote:
>>>> A friend notice this in the news, I heard it mentioned on the radio 
>>>> this morning too:
> A friend of mine had a collection of PDP-8s years ago during the 70s.
> Ontario Hydro asked him if he could sell them a few. I always wondered
> what they were doing with them, today I think I found out.

All this reminds me of the systems I've missed out on:

A few years ago, a high school acquaintance I chanced to meet and who was working in operations control at a local oil refinery told me the large multi-rack PDP-11 system for process control had been decommissioned and dumped about a year earlier.
"Ya, that's too bad, you could have had it."

Around 10 years ago, an acquaintance from the radio museum who worked at the telco told me about a PDP-8 used for automated dial testing had been discarded a couple years earlier. Don't know what model PDP-8 it was but as he described it was used for rotary dial testing, so it was probably a pretty early model.
"Ya, that's too bad, you could have had it."

Around 10 year ago, I failed to organise a truck to pick up an 11/83 system decommissioned from the telco.
"You idiot."

I wish I knew what happened to the Foxboro system at the other local oil refinery when that refinery was decommissioned.

I should ask a fellow I know who works at the local cyclotron built in the 70s whether any of the original control system is still there, but I doubt it.

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