IBM 7074 and then some: "Systems we love" conference

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Mon Jan 23 14:52:15 CST 2017

On 01/23/2017 12:25 PM, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 2:16 PM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
>> On 01/23/2017 11:00 AM, Steven Maresca wrote:
>>> Just wanted to share an excerpted story just sent to me by a 
>>> colleague, regarding an IBM 7074 supplying data to Java 
>>> middleware, ultimately feeding a modern webapp stack: 
>> The 7074 was referred to as a "supercomputer".  Can any decimal 
>> machine really bear that title?
> I suppose it could.  I would apply the term to a computer that's the 
> fastest out there by a fair margin, and uses innovative or 
> distinctive bits of architecture to make it so.  A CDC 6600 clearly 
> qualifies on that basis, as do the Cray 1 and the ILLIAC IV.  I've 
> heard the IBM Stretch mentioned as well, I don't know it enough to 
> comment.  It seems hard to imagine that a decimal machine could 
> overcome the inherent disadvantages of being decimal so successfully 
> that it can reach supercomputer status, but in theory I suppose it 
> might be possible.

The 7070/74 was just a member of the 7000 line.  The 7030 STRETCH and
even the 7090/94 were both binary and far faster.

It's just that I bridle a bit when hearing the young 'uns refer to any
physically large machine as a "supercomputer".

It's the same feeling that I get when I see press releases today that
relate that David Gelernter single-handedly developed the parallel
computation.  He's not old enough; at 61, he was still in high school
during the ILLIAC IV era.

Now, get off of my lawn!


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