Any info on the Hughes HM-4118 computer?

From: Bob Shannon <>
Date: Tue Sep 4 19:47:22 2001

Many years ago I was trained on the maintainance of what was then an already vintage
computer, the HM-4118.

This was an 18-bit mini with lots of core, totally mil-spec all the way down to a
Klienschmidt teletype terminal. This computer needed to be rugged and dependable, it
was the brain for a combat air-traffic control radar system.

Built by Huge Aircrash, err, um, Hughes Aircraft, this system (called a TSQ-91)
could be set up just about anywhere in the world (and often were) on short notice to
provide command, control and communications capabilities, rather like an AWACS plane
meets a MASH camp, in a kinda-mobile ground installation.

The HM-4118 has got to be one of the most physically rugged blinkinlights mini's ever
made. It was so overbuilt it could easily win any contest for 'most-ugly-mini', yet
with its real-time, vector-graphic radar display overlays it was also the 'coolest'
computer I've ever worked with (beating things like Connection Machines).

Anyway, is there anywhere I could find info on the HM-4118, or god-forbid, ever find
one of these beasts, or its ancestors?

I do know of a stash of photographs of a TSQ-91 system in operation, some excellent
quality slides. I should see about getting some of these scanned sometime....
Received on Tue Sep 04 2001 - 19:47:22 BST

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