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

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Wed Nov 15 19:09:49 CST 2017

> On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:06 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> 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.

Then again, our college computer room (1973) was the place where the computer services director was often see, chain smoking away.  No mainframe there, but a large PDP-11 and an IBM 1620.

Earlier, there was the SAGE computer (the air defense one, not the PC by the same name), which had built-in ash trays at each operator station.


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