On 29 Oct, 2006, at 09:07, cctech-request at classiccmp.org
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 17:37:01 -0400
From: "William Donzelli" <wdonzelli at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Collections of (physically) large computers
OK, so how much floor space does his largest
I am not sure, but from some pictures I have seen, he has a LOT of
stuff for his two IBM 709s. And then there is the 7094 system. And the
S/370 system. Each system may take up 500 square feet.
I am impressed, the very first computer I wrote a program for was a 7094
installed at Imperial College, London. Later on I got to see it and
a disc drive hooked up to it. There was a story about a disk platter
and the computer room being blasted with shrapnel. I remember it being
unavailable for several months whilst they replaced every
in it. We got to use the CDC 6600 at the ULCC (University of London
Centre) whilst it was being repaired. We used the small Fortran compiler
PUFFT (Purdue University Fast Fortran Translator) on the 7094. The size
was certainly comparable with Flossie. Keeping one machine of this
is a lot of work, the thought of keeping three running is daunting.
For that matter, if I were to get all the stuff together for my
Hitachi AS/6 (A Japanese 3032 clone), it would probably not fit in 500
square feet either. The processor is 21 feet long by three feet wide,
and does not contain any RAM or the channel I/O hardware. The six
spindle 3330 DASD string is 15 feet long by 4 feet wide. Then the
three tapes with controller is another 12 by 3 feet, then the card
reader and punch take up two more three by six footprints, then the
network box, then the 1403N printer, then the comm controller at five
by four, then the other comm controller at 3 by 3, then some more junk
I could hang off it if I wanted to. When you add this all up, then
figure in the space needed to open the doors and gates for servicing -
well, it is a large plot of land.
Yes with access space it adds up. So I'm not the only nutter!
I think Sridhar is in the same boat. For that matter.
that 4381 system
that sold on Ebay six months or so back would also fits (and sinks) in
that boat, having a couple good DASD strings.
Ok so you do know different. Why is there so little discussion of
the list? Is there a more appropriate list? Maybe as we all have
manufacturer's kit we have little to talk about, but we still face
problems, thing like tracking down media, repairing peripherals, fault
finding logic, keeping the machine clean and stopping them rusting,
keeping the offline support stuff working - keypunches, Flexowriters,
Teletypes etc, though maybe that is not a problem for you as your
machine has a comms controller.
Flossie has well over 4,000 printed circuit
boards and weighs about five tons.
I don't think I'm supposed to post pictures to the list and I don't
have a web site
so the best I can do is to refer you to a picture someone else has made
available. It is also very difficult to get a picture of all of
Flossie as it is so very
cramped in the barn.
Here is an old picture of a very similar machine to mine, except it
has four one
inch tape decks whereas Flossie has six half inch decks. Also Flossie
tape I/O and three drums instead of one in the machine pictured.
I am actually trying to buy a building so I can get all this junk
in one place.
I am trying to extend my building so I can reassemble the second
will also give Flossie more space. No plans yet to get the second
actually running, but maybe one day.