CDC 6600 - Why so awesome?

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Tue Jun 21 16:39:16 CDT 2016

    > From: Swift Griggs

    > I see a lot of traffic about them on the list and I went out to
    > discover "why so cool?" 

One word - 'crunch'. The 6600 especially, but also its successors (7600, etc)
were _the_ number-crunching monsters of their day. For everyone who had a
scientific/engineering application that needed lots of cycles - especially
floating-point - that was _the_ machine to have.

IBM tried to outdo them, but spent a fortune, and didn't really get there -
the 360/9x was essentially a failure - only 15 /91's and 2 /95's were ever
built. (And IBM was later sued for predatory sales practices for announcing
them before they knew they could make them.) IBM just couldn't match Seymour

Speaking of whom, the 6600 was the source of the famous Watson memory (and
Cray's sarcastic response) - Google it!


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