36bit still in use ?

Rich Alderson RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
Thu Dec 4 17:18:58 CST 2014

From: Sean Caron
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2014 2:56 PM

> That's very interesting to know. I had always wondered how many were
> made and where they went.

Oh, quite a few more were made.  They were used in-house at XKL for
software development and CAD work as well as electronic mail and day-to-
day computing.  They were finally fully retired a few years ago.

> Can anyone disclose the original list price of the TOAD-1? Or is that
> off-limits? Just curious.

It was public information.  List price for a minimal configuration was
$125,000.  That comprised:

   1    XKL-1 processor
   1    XMG-1 memory (32MW @ 36b/W)
   1    XNI-1 Ethernet interface (four 10baseT/AUI ports)
   1    XRH-1 SCSI interface (four FASTWIDE differential ports)
   1    DDS-2 DAT drive (internal)
   1    4GB Seagate Barracuda SCSI drive (internal) with special microcode
            to allow formatting at 2304 bytes/sector (= 512 words = 1 page)

The backplane had 7 slots, so additional memory and peripheral ports
could be added.  We also OEM'd the M4data 9914 9 track tape drive with a
differential interface to allow companies to read archival data.

Eventually we began using DLT IV drives in-house for backups, having
learned the hard way that DAT was the wrong choice, and 9GB or 18GB disks.
We'd have OEM'd those two, if we'd still been in the business of selling
Toad-1 systems.


Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134

mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org


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