3053Re: [midatlanticretro] Big rescue opportunity...
- Apr 12, 2006I can't remember the name of the town, but it was somewhere in northern NJ alongthe coast. They seemed to have some connections with Belcore in Holmdel, soprobably in that general area, but definitely not Holmdel.Bob----- Original Message -----From: BOYD BORRILLSent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:18 AMSubject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Big rescue opportunity...Bob;Where in N.J. was PR (ne Interdata) located. Weren't they near the company that originallly made big analog computers and came out with a big digital in about 1966?Both companies tried to hire me very early in their history, and I seem to remember them being closely linked. I was just finishing a big job for PE (on their SDS computers) when they started talking about a deal with Interdata, in 1968-'69.Ray
Bob Applegate <bob@...> wrote:Wow! I used to do a lot of work on Perkin-Elmer machines in the mid 80s until I finallyconvinced management to replace them with HP systems. Our company moved a lotof their systems to run our network monitoring software (yeah, companies dedicatedminicomputers to monitoring network traffic). And yes, they were all 32 bit machineswith a common operating system.Their OS was called OS/32; I joked with my friends at Microsoft as to why they didn'thave OS/2 ready, yet I was using a "much better" OS/32 at work.PE machines were big number crunchers, and the OS stank for multi-user applications.I forget what the multi-user hack was called, but the base OS only supported a singleuser, and you'd load this horrible hack to allow multiple sessions. FORTRAN was theprogramming language, but they eventually added a bugger C compiler. We ran aZ80 cross assembler for our development (Dave... what was the assembler? It wasthe same one you guys were using at HDS at the time).When I visited the VLA (Very Large Array) in New Mexico the first time and got thetour, their data processing center was filled with big PE machines. I got talking to oneof the guys there who said PE was the only viable way to crunch all the data comingin from all the dishes in a timely manner. Ugh... it was awful for code development, butran heavy math stuff really well.At one point, I ran our big MPU system... Multiple Processing Units. We had 10 bigcabinets. One contained all the 300mb hard drives and tape deck (9 track). One hadthe main CPU and I/O control unit. The other 8 big chassis held one additional CPUeach. Very big, very impressive.PE was based in NJ, so we got excellent support from them. Every now and then I lookfor old PE stuff on eBay, but I guess it's either all stored in old storage areas withcobwebs or long-tossed into landfills. This is an interesting find, and deserves someattention because those machines were very common in the 70s/80s but are very hardto find now.Bob----- Original Message -----From: Evan KoblentzSent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:44 PMSubject: [midatlanticretro] Big rescue opportunity...A guy in the NJARC works for a computer consulting company in Eatontown
(right next to Wall Township, where InfoAge is)... He's got a whole
motherload of Interdata minicomputers, peripherals, and random other stuff,
and he says lots of it still works. I'm meeting him tomorrow at 3:00 at his
office to check it out. He said much of it came from the NJ and NY lottery
commissions and other places. He's also got documentation for much of it
and contacts with the company founders. Interdata has a long history,
explained at http://www.ccur.com/corp_companyhistory.asp?h=1 ... They claim
to be the first company other than DEC to run UNIX on 32-bit minicomputers.
They also did lots of work with Bell Labs, which makes sense -- it's good
for our museum to have things from a very local company.Pioneer Purveyor of Personal Processing Power
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