Old Control Data Drives

Billy Pettit bpettitx at comcast.net
Sat May 16 16:50:48 CDT 2015

Chuck Guzis wrote:

One more category springs to mind--5xx would be printers (e.g. 501 and 
512).  Maybe I;m trying to forget about what it was like having a 
machine gun on one side (501 drum printer) and a screaming banshee (512 
train printer) on the other side.

8xx also includes drum storage.

To add a little more: 1XX was test equipment; 3XX was paper tape equipment; 7XX was interconnect gear.

Later the numbers were changed to an elaborate code that used 2 Alphanumerics a dash, 3 more alpha numerics.  This was later modified to include another dash and alphanumeric.  For example, a disk drive might be: BJ-3A4-C.

There is a model decoder somewhere on bitsavers.

And there was a whole family of unique specially designed  peripherals called SPAM boxes = Special Purpose Alogrithm Machines.  These were usually all electronic.  Most were used in the oil industry; for example strip recorders/readers for seismic data.

One I worked on a lot when in Houston, would add up all the one bits in a large field of data.  For some applications, the petrol companies loved it.

Inital telecommunication products started here then evolved into their own families.

Chuck,  I'll swap you for the time I was at CERN working on 627 (one inch) tape drives and some idiot rewound 24 of them at the same time.  It was a gag they pulled on new operators.  It could take an hour before you could hear people talk again.

Billy Pettit

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