Cray J932SE (was Re: Straight 8 up on Ebay just now)

ethan at ethan at
Tue Jul 19 10:03:20 CDT 2016

> The photo of that unit is entertaining. Whoever buys it will need to setup
> 3x 30A 220v outlets. That's going to make some licensed electrician very
> happy.

At the old small office I would just pop some breakers out and replace 
them with 2 pole 30 amp ones. When it was at the hackerspace there was 
some sort of fused cut off switch box on the wall, so I terminated a 
twistlock 30A and ran from there over to a subpanel that had the 3 
twistlocks for the Cray cabinets. I used A-B B-C C-A phases, so 208V each. 
I still have the subpanel and also a SquareD Powerlogic monitor w/ CTs and 
stuff that are mounted to the board that was with the system (might be 
visible in the picture.) I used a rubber core cable to run between the two 
-- which I originally had picked up to temporary run a 6 watt argon laser 
system with from time to time.

I originally had 4 of the J932SE systems, they were all HIPPI'ed together 
to form one system when used for power engineering for nuclear subs or 
something (Bechtel.) I dunno, it was all secret and they destroyed all of 
the hard drives and such from the system.

I never really thought the power was that crazy, I work in datacenters and 
these days there are single racks using twice what the Cray takes!

> I worked with a Cray for a while of about the same vintage (pre-SGI Cray
> running UNICOS and using an Sun SPARC Classic as a helper). It was a large
> telco (MCI) and used for fraud-detection on calling cards. It was a
> UNICOS-based system in a private Colorado Springs datacenter about two
> blocks from some sort of manufacturing site for Cray (the building is on
> Rockrimmon in Colorado Springs - the former home of the late Seymour
> Cray).
> I thought the whole rig was interesting, but it was barely a few weeks
> before the whole company went through a near-death experience (two words:
> Bernie Ebbers) and I walked across the street to another company and
> scored a new gig (it was the late 90's, you could do that sort of thing
> then). I never got a chance to get really proficient with the hardware or
> with UNICOS. It was my singular regret with that gig, though.

Very cool! NASA LaRC had a J916 system used by some scientists for 
something, other than that I don't know of any others. I was a SGI guy at 
the same place, had some nice boxes.

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