IBM system 3 Re: PDP-12 on eBay (IBM 650 on ebay)

From: Andreas Freiherr <>
Date: Tue Jan 14 09:28:20 2003

William Donzelli wrote:
> This seems to be a good test to see if you are an official old-timer in
> the computer collecting hobby - passing up a free machine that today
> people would kill for.
> I have been there, many times (IBM, Amdahl, DG). How about others?

The worst thing I ever had to see so far was a DECsystem-10 (KL10 CPU)
go into the dumpster. It was a complete computing center, including
(IIRC) 3M words (36 bits each) of MOS memory, two RP06 disk drives, one
RP07, TU77 tape, a frontend (PDP-11 with 96 serial lines), Ethernet, and
a line printer. The printer alone was so heavy that we needed four
people to navigate it out of the room, even though it was on wheels.
Only the plotter (a Benson 1322, tractor-feed paper, something close to
a meter wide, with two vacuum columns similar to tape drives) was kept.

This must have been in the late 1980s, the site had been started in 1972
with a KA10 and then upgraded stepwise. I joined the staff in the early
80s. The successor was a pair of VAX-11/750 and later a 6310, an 8600,
and, in 1992, one of the first Alphas.

There are other computing centers I had to see go away (VAXen, two CI
clusters, let alone the smaller stuff), but the -10 hurt me most. I wish
I had the space, air condition, and power (I was told the CPU alone
needed 27kW) to keep this beautiful system.

Does that qualify for an "official old-timer"?

Rumor had it that there was a whole bunch of -10s at some Scandinavian
university (Oslo? Stockholm?) in the 1980s. Anybody know what became of

Andreas Freiherr
Vishay Semiconductor GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany
Received on Tue Jan 14 2003 - 09:28:20 GMT

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