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What Mainframe and why?

acorn_1401

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Mar 1, 2023
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What mainframe would you like to have and why?
- ignoring costs of running the thing, and assuming you had the space for it and things?

What would you do with it? e.g. use it as the worlds most expensive clock


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My reply would be IBM 370, it was in a book when I was younger (The Adolescence of P-1) that had that system as the system that stored the AI at one point. - with it I would get it to somehow "talk" to me like in the book.
 
Honestly if I was to ever touch a mainframe it would probably be a 2000+ era Zseries running Linux. Where do you find applications to run on one other then writing your own or spending mega millions.

Minis are more interesting to me and there just barely. I do have a Microvax 3100 85 that I snagged for $20 at a recycler that was intact with drives and loaded OS plus software.

High end computers to me are mostly multi-processor servers or workstations.
 
Honestly if I was to ever touch a mainframe it would probably be a 2000+ era Zseries running Linux. Where do you find applications to run on one other then writing your own or spending mega millions.
Keeping software in mind is why I'd never own a mainframe as a functional piece. Uptime is hard enough but hardware-activation licensing is especially brutal. Either you are in the maintenance window with the vendor still and they go after you for cracking the key to enable something useful like Java acceleration or you are EOL and good luck finding how to activate more than 8 disks in a 32 drive array.

I'd rather a Connection Machine. The software environment is somewhat well known and it's just a giant co-processor matrix for a computer that can humorously fit inside the cabinet.
 
The only time I ever used a mainframe was during college writing code in Fortran to solve simultaneous chemical reactions. I do remember loving the IBM terminal with funky 122 key clicky keyboards. You had something like 2 seconds of mainframe time which I barely used any of to finish the project. Running the same thing on a 286/12 I had at home would have taken much much longer. No idea what the mainframe was or even where it was to be honest.
 
What mainframe would you like to have and why?
- ignoring costs of running the thing, and assuming you had the space for it and things?

What would you do with it? e.g. use it as the worlds most expensive clock


------------------------------------------------

My reply would be IBM 370, it was in a book when I was younger (The Adolescence of P-1) that had that system as the system that stored the AI at one point. - with it I would get it to somehow "talk" to me like in the book.
I would go for an emulated mainframe.
Examples are "Hercules" for the IBM /370 family, "Desktop CYBER" for Control Data 6000 and CYBER series and "SIMH" which emulates DEC VAX, DEC PDP-10 and many others.
 
Got an emulator for a CDC STAR-100 or ETA-10? Desktop CYBER is a bit buggy in my experience.
Hmmm - I am not sure where your "buggy" experience comes from.
It runs any and all 6000 and CYBER series operating systems including COS, SCOPE 3.1, KRONOS, NOS, NOS 2 and NOS/BE.
Desktop CYBER is being used for post-processing of telemetry data during rocket launches.
Oh well I am glad I have nothing to do with it anymore.
 
I tried running SCOPE 3.1. Could never get a DIS display to come up. Could be that for ordinary batch stuff, it's fine, but I spent too much time looking into the eyes of a DD60 to forget the stuff the operator can do. Experience from SCOPE 3.1.6 to NOS/BE as well as SSD systems.
 
I tried running SCOPE 3.1. Could never get a DIS display to come up. Could be that for ordinary batch stuff, it's fine, but I spent too much time looking into the eyes of a DD60 to forget the stuff the operator can do. Experience from SCOPE 3.1.6 to NOS/BE as well as SSD systems.
You are referring to a buggy version of SCOPE 3.1 OS.
The DIS problem has nothing to do with the emulator.
You have the SCOPE 3.1 source, so you can fix it and rebuild the OS using the supplied batch jobs.
Quite likely the DIS problem is just a matter of ordering of modules on the deadstart tape.
 
Ok, it was called a Supermini and not a Mainframe, but a Honeywell DP6/96 would be my preference. Mainly because I still use them at work and we have the OS's and some software to run on them and we must still have a copy of Pacman and Invaders somewhere.

And I could also call on Daver2 for support :)
 
Is there any Honeywell DP6/96 working / being brought to life in the uk Gary? - that are not at active power station.
 
Is there any Honeywell DP6/96 working / being brought to life in the uk Gary?

Where I work we have 8 operating DPS6/96 in the production system working 24/7/365 and have been since 1988 with another one on wheels as an emergency standby. Then we have at least 5 machines in the development/maintenance environment and I believe our support contractor has some at their site.

We also have a stock of spares. We have got rid of the big CDC CMD and SMD disk drives and also the reel to reel tape drives, but basically its as it was designed in the early 80's.

These machines run the main control room alarm, display and data handling duties at one of the UK's nuclear power stations where I work, so they are very little changed from when they were installed.

So yes, very much alive and kicking :)
 
Haha ignoring number I work with.

Disks drives and reel to reel, you mean the good stuff? - were you able to take any of it home?

I know it’s a silly as question as how long is a piece of string but do you know when it will be decommissioned? - they got any plans for the computers after?
 
An NCR 8550 with all the trimmings, and a motor-generator for the UPS. Why? It had a hardware based database engine constructed out of 20 or so wire wrapped boards festooned with discrete logic. There were literally database commands in the instruction set. It also supported virtualization and could boot up off a special microcode disk to look like an IBM. Whats not to love?
 
Haha ignoring number I work with.

Disks drives and reel to reel, you mean the good stuff? - were you able to take any of it home?

I know it’s a silly as question as how long is a piece of string but do you know when it will be decommissioned? - they got any plans for the computers after?

Well, probably another 10 years at the very least, and the RICM and the NWCM have first dibs :)
The disk drives are sat around in some places, totally unusable due to dust and dirt but also unremovable due to nuclear security. The platters would probably have to be destroyed as formatting them would be impossible.

(The RICM sold a couple of machines to us on the understanding that they go back when we have finished with them)

Which DP6's do you work with ? I know the RAF used them.
 
Sorry I had asked the previous question without remembering seeing elsewhere that you had at least worked with them recently, so I had edited the question a little bit to reflect you might work with them at a power station.

It’s these long term units that I like a lot, there is one at the CHM (uk one) that was a reel to reel that until a few years ago was used on the underground. Real workhorses
 
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