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

Jon Elson elson at
Wed Jan 25 11:39:25 CST 2017

On 01/25/2017 12:19 AM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 01/24/2017 10:01 PM, Jon Elson wrote:
>> And, the 7074 was a serious computer, given the vintage.  Either 4 or
>> 6 us core cycle time was QUITE good in 1961 or so.  10 us
>> instruction execution time was pretty decent.
> I find the whole period amazing.   Consider that the 709 was introduced
> in mid 1958.  It's only 6 years to the S/360.  It seems that when
> transistor manufacture matured enough, the floodgates really opened.
> After 1958, nobody but developing or Warsaw pact countries even
> considered vacuum tube computing.
Well, of course.  If you look at the design of some of the 
last gasps of the tube generation like the Bendix G15, you 
will see what incredible hoops they had to jump through to 
make a viable product. Or, look at SAGE, which filled an 
enormous building with walls of tube-encrusted cabinets.  
Transistors and core memory really changed the landscape 
completely.  On the other hand, computers like the LINC were 
quite useful with a really modest number of transistors, 
certainly no more than 1000 or so, while the 7070 used 30,000!


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