Help Identifying RAM Chips

From: Allison J Parent <>
Date: Wed Nov 5 19:49:55 1997

<Are you saying that, 10 years ago, the military had machines that could car
<out calculations with the speed of a Pentium II -300? (I hesitate to mentio
<the Alpha 5-433, because I think the alpha project was originally funded b
<the military)

No! the military had the best available technology of the time and only for
applications that needed it. However P-II or alpha level perfomance was
hard to come by ten years ago as that was your BIG cray and CDC type
machines. Actually much of military technology was super rugged and not
always the most modern. The computer(s) for F16 fly by wire are not very
exotic save for they are absolutely fault tolerent, after all an error
there can kill the pilot and destroy the aircraft at the maximum or cause a
mission abort at the minimum.

I say this as in the 71-72 time frame I had a friend that was a computer
hacker and was able to get the then surplus Minuteman missle computers.
Compared to the PDP-8I we both knew it was terrible! All transistor, no
core (it used a 65kw disk for all storage). It was a major programming
challenge to make it do anything even though it was in pristine condition.
My understanding is a similar computer was used in the Intruder
fighter/bomber which was then the current military inventory.


Alpha was not funded by military or even military business which formed only
a small part of total DIGITAL bisiness. Alpha was DEC trying to figure what
they could do to out VAX their VAX. The basic design had to address three
problems, bigger numbers, super huge memories and indexes than might fit in
32bits and a need for more speed than even the most scaled and piplined vax
could deliver.
Received on Wed Nov 05 1997 - 19:49:55 GMT

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