Masscomp computers?

From: Joe R. <>
Date: Wed Nov 24 07:15:16 2004

At 12:47 PM 11/24/04 +0000, you wrote:
>On Wed, 2004-11-24 at 07:25 -0500, Joe R. wrote:
>> Does anyone on this list play with the Masscomp computers?
>I'm the only person I've ever seen ask about them on here :)
>They seem to be pretty much unknown. I haven't found the keyboard/mouse
>yet for the one at the museum, so seeing what state it's in is a long
>term project at present! It's also missing a castor, but that's the
>least of the problems ;)
>Andrew K. Bressen replied to me with the following info:
>Masscomp did indeed make multi-cpu machines,

  Yeap, each chassis can have up to four CPU cards. I think the dual
chasssis machines could have up to eight but I'd have to check on that.

>and also had an os called RTU (Real Time Unix).

   Yeap, I just sent that manual to Al K. I have at least three other
manuals here.

>They also had another unix called, I think, OS/32.
>I don't know which one was used by the multiprocessor boxes.
>I think the CPUs were mostly 68k's,

   The CPU in mine is 68020. It's card looks similar to Multibus but is
longer and has different connector. (I'll post pictures later.) It plugs
into the SMI bus. There's also a Multibus chassis in them for the IO cards
AND there's also STD+ card sockets in them for data acquisition cards. STD+
is an enhancment of the regular STD bus. Some of them also had VME sockets!
 The use of four different busses really surprised me.

>system bus might have been multibus.
>They had early successes as graphics/cad workstations,
>so yes they had mice.

   Some did, some didn't. Some only used termials but others had graphics
capabilities. I think mine all just used terminals.

 Masscomp was bought by Concurrent,
>so there used to be some info on the concurrent users
>group web pages at That seems gone now,
>but might help you dig up some old stuff there.

   There'll be lots more there soon!

>I used to help run one at the Columbia U CS dept; I remember that the
>ethernet card had an 80186 that the OS downloaded a network stack to.

  It uses an Excelan EXOS 201 Intelligent Multibus Ethernet Controller. I
have manuals for it. One of them has already gone to Al.

>I seem to recall a hardcoded 14 or 15-hop limit on the IP stack on the
>version we had, which confused us for a while when we wondered why the
>machine would talk to some machines but not others.
>I believe the owner of may still have a number of
>operational or nearly-operational masscomps.

    I'll check and see if they want some more. These are too neat to destroy.


Received on Wed Nov 24 2004 - 07:15:16 GMT

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