"Personal" Computers (Was: Details about IBM's early 'scientific' computers)

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Wed Nov 15 19:06:12 CST 2017

On 11/15/2017 02:39 PM, Rick Bensene via cctalk wrote:

> Perhaps the glass-room meme isn't so much bogus, as it is a sign of
> the cultural times.   In those days, the big machines were very
> expensive, and required a lot of support --  that meant special
> power, air conditioning, raised floors, and highly-trained people.
> The "management" of these big machine installations had a lot at
> stake...and as such, they were very protective of their machines,
> which is most of the reason they were encased in glass (they needed
> to be glass to be able to show them off without letting people
> in...in the days, big computer installations were class icons).

Remember also, that this was long before the indoor "no smoking" rules.
 Many folks smoked like chimneys and just about every installation that
I experienced back then prohibited smoking around the machines.

Food and drink around the machines was also a definite no-no.  Not just
to prevent contamination (e.g. dumping your Coke into the keyboard of
the operator's console), but also because food attracts vermin, which
can do a number on those cables underneath the raised floor.

So the "fishbowl" approach made a lot of sense.


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