Help needed please re possible loss of a Burroughs B7800 CPU
evan.linwood at eastek.com.au
evan.linwood at eastek.com.au
Wed Apr 1 19:41:15 CDT 2015
For those who don't know, Monash University (Melbourne Australia) has
had the chassis of a B7800 CPU sitting around under a stoir case, left
over from the days when a series of large Burroughs systems had been
in use there during the seventies.
I'm no expert on Burroughs systems, but from all the Internet based
trawling I've done over the years it appears that Burroughs had a
'scorched earth' policy, and systematically reclaimed and disposed of
all B5000 and onward family machines. At least to date, I haven't been
able to find any other surviving example of a B5000 family machine (or
major components). Naturally I'd be very happy to be proved wrong.
Unfortunately all cards and power supplies had been removed but it
still had the basic frame, backplane (very impressive in it's own
right) and two large front control panels all in place (also very
(I've been told that the front panels were pulled prior to disposal).
Many of you will be familiar with Ralph Klimek and his amazing stories
of life as a technician with these machines.
He has some pictures of this particular frame, about mid way down this
page on his site:
Because I live close by, I was dropping in every so often to check up
on both this frame, and a (smaller) VAX 11/780 sitting next to it.
Because the Uni has quite a decent vintage computer display in place
at it's Caulfied campus, I had felt comfortable that both machines
On a relatively recent visit (a few months ago, late last year? I'm
not quite sure as life is a bit of a blur at present) I noticed that
both machines had gone, and that some renovations were taking place in
I felt that the machines must be safe but decided I should try and
make contact to be sure (working in ICT for so long, I should have
known not to trust an assumption),
A few days ago I got a note back saying that the Uni had requested the
builders to remove the B7800 chassis and dispose of it (the 11/780 was
moved to the Caufield collection).
Since then I've gone on a bit of a campaign to try and find out of the
machine might still be sitting somewhere with the builder (or their
sub-contracter). It's a very long shot, but in this case I think most
here on the list would agree it's worth it? Apparently the scrap metal
value would be quite low at the moment, and hopefully whoever has it
has been too busy to deal with disposal yet (a long shot, as I said).
I've managed to speak to numerous people both inside the Uni and the
builder, but have realised from them that my enquiries now need to be
pushed four ways - into two Schools within the Uni, and also two
service departments. My problem is that I'm attempting to get a
startup software company off the ground, so time isn't something that
I've got any of, let trying to push my way through contacting people
within four different internal departments (and sitting through all
the on-hold music, call transfers & drop outs).
I don't think that the Uni wants this chassis at the end of the day.
Is there anyone who can attack this at a higher level? I'm happy to
pass on relevant details to anyone who could help positively (I don't
want to cause unnecessary aggravation by posting everything here, the
people I've spoken to have already been as helpful as they can).
If it's true that it is possibly one of the last existing CPU frames
of the B5000 family, and if it went to one of the major Museums in the
US as a result, that would be a great outcome (if it still exists at
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