Prime minicomputer simulator?
drb at msu.edu
Fri Aug 17 17:14:01 CDT 2007
> I don't know much about Prime machines (I'm much more of a DEC-head, for
> those that don't know me), but the setup in the ad looked interesting.
> I'd be curious to learn how that installation would compare to early
> 1980s DEC kit, I'd guess either a VAX 11/750 or 11/780 in terms of
> power, but that's an uneducated guess.
> Can someone who knows both brands make some sort of comparison?
So the hardware shown is (a) a GE Terminet ksr, (b) 300 lpm chain
printer, (c) 800 bpi tape drive, (d) 50 series CPU of indeterminate
model, (e) CDC 9762 removable pack drive (80 MB).
The 750 CPU was a 1 MIPS engine, and would have had up to 8 MB of RAM.
The slower possibilites (250, 550, 550-II, 650) would range from .5 to
.7 MIPS. Prime 750s competed fairly well with 11/780s in the market.
Prime were fond of calling the 50 series 32 bit systems, but that's
stretching the truth a little. At their roots they were 16 bit systems
which had grown (many) extensions, but were not as thoroughly 32 bit as
I once worked on an 11/780 with 60ish users at a time. Not fun. I
doubt most Prime 750s were abused quite that hard.
Note that the hardware shown is actually late 70s at best, but then I
guess that's true of any advert. In Prime's case, though, it may
actually be more pronounced, as they reused CPU boards in those three
digit models in a way that makes you wonder how much difference there
was. For more on this, see list of CPU board sets at:
The comp.sys.prime faq shows the machine models in order of release.
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