IBM mainframe goes for 99 cents

From: Scott Stevens <>
Date: Sun Feb 27 08:02:43 2005

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:39:28 +0000 (GMT) (Tony Duell) wrote:

> > Even better is when you get so well known locally that people bring
> > stuff you! Someone gave brought me a big box of stuff pulled out of
> > an old
> My father came home one day (before he retired) and said 'Is a DEC
> PRO350 of any interest'. Of course I replied in the affirmative to
> which he said 'OK, there's one in the back of the car for you'. I then
> received a _loaded_ PRO 350 (it even has an ethernet card in it...), a
> VR241 monitor, keyboard and the proper desk for it with the motorised
> column for the monitor.....

My dad brought home an IBM 5100 from work for the weekend a couple of
times in about 1975 when I was in High School. It was a pretty neat
machine. Didn't get to keep it, though. Then he bought a TRS-80 Model
1, which I did eventually get to keep, when he replaced it with one of
the first IBM PCs.

Grew up around old IBM stuff because Dad started work with IBM in
computers back in 1956. I sure wish I had grabbed all the old books and
material he had before they moved in the mid 80's and trashed most of it

Attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis 1982-84 when they still taught
the 'computer electives' on 6800 based systems. Worked for years in the
Medical Device industry, lastly slinging embedded code for the
microcontrollers in various devices.

Slowly accumulating a 'Superfund Site' of all sorts of electronics and
computer gear (we have land. more outbuldings are required!) Right now
trying to get a 1970 Chevy C-10 pickup running well enough to be able to
haul the BIG stuff back from the auctions.

First 'computer' was a TI SR-56 programmable calculator (all I could
afford in 1977) Before then was one of the timesharing nerds in High
School who stayed after class to use all the %&$_at_#$% expensive thermal
paper ("ten cents a foot!" the math teacher used to yell at us) in the
Silent 700 Terminals slinging BASIC on the MERITS timesharing system.
(the teletypes were usually more available, but were upper-case only and

Was probably the last person to turn in the FOCAL language assignments
for the 'Introduction to Computer Programming' course at Hamline
University in St. Paul. (to do so, I had to power up and bootstrap the
PDP-8 in the Science Building- most people just turned in the FORTRAN
assignments (run on the batch terminal in the library) for the course)

Probably one of the last people alive to use the PDP-8 in a commercial
production setting (they were still being used 1981-84 in a 'COM'
microfilm shop in Minneapolis that I worked at)
Received on Sun Feb 27 2005 - 08:02:43 GMT

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