Help needed please re possible loss of a Burroughs B7800 CPU

Evan Linwood evan.linwood at
Mon Apr 6 05:05:07 CDT 2015

Hi Paul,
Thanks very much, I hadn't seen those items - quite impressive.
As you say they don't appear to be directly related, and appear to be older & bigger than for a B7800 processor.
I've sent him a message asking for more details - Evan

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Paul Birkel
Sent: Monday, 6 April 2015 4:42 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Help needed please re possible loss of a Burroughs B7800 CPU

Presumably unrelated, but claims to be "gates" from a Burroughs computer:

Poor photo, alas.

On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 8:41 PM, <evan.linwood at> wrote:

> 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 
> impressive).
> (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 
> were safe.
> 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 
> the building.
> 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 
> all).
> Regards Evan

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