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Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Decsystem 20/20 (Digital/DEC) bigger than a pdp11

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  • Bob Applegate
    It sounds like we should have a meeting at Sridhar s house!!! Do you have a picture of your dining room on the web someplace? Bob ... From: Sridhar Ayengar To:
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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      It sounds like we should have a meeting at Sridhar's house!!!
       
      Do you have a picture of your dining room on the web someplace?
       
      Bob
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:56 PM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Decsystem 20/20 (Digital/DEC) bigger than a pdp11

      William Pechter wrote:
      > A KL is about 10 foot long by about 5 foot in width (footprint) and
      > pulls a ton of power -- and it's hot running ECL. Think about 3 or 4
      > 11/70 mini's in the room.
      > This is 10K ECL logic IIRC. To run it requires the front end 11/40 and
      > the rest of the ECL logic. Not to mention the RP06 Memorex 667 (IIRC)
      > disk drives with their power load and weight. (Could be lucky and have
      > RM05's on it -- but usually the system pack was on RP06...)
      > Bill

      First of all, a 2020 is a *KS*, so it's smaller. Second of all, I
      currently run an IBM S/390 G1 (some Bipolar, some CMOS) in my house,
      which is bigger than a KS.

      I used to run an IBM ES/9021 in my parents' house which ran *much*
      hotter than a KL-10. I had to pour a concrete pad outside for the heat
      exchanger.

      I currently run an S/390 G1 (including CPU + DASD controller + 1 DASD
      rack + 3490 tape jukebox), VAX 6660, VAX 7640 and a couple racks full of
      other gear in my dining room. There's also a VAX 8700 in there, but it
      isn't powered on. I had to reinforce the floor to hold the weight.

      There are dozens of other machines in various places in the house.
      Including a PDP-11/70 (in the basement), which I've had since I was
      about 11 years old.

      I have years of experience running mainframes in a residential setting.

      Peace... Sridhar

    • Sridhar Ayengar
      ... There aren t that many places to sit down. I have more computers than furniture. 8-) Plus, most of my hardware might not be considered classic . ... No
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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        Bob Applegate wrote:
        > It sounds like we should have a meeting at Sridhar's house!!!

        There aren't that many places to sit down. I have more computers than
        furniture. 8-)

        Plus, most of my hardware might not be considered "classic".

        > Do you have a picture of your dining room on the web someplace?

        No but I can take one tonight.

        Peace... Sridhar
      • Herb Johnson
        There were lots of comments following my reply to casual interest in the DECsystem 20 on eBay. First; those not familiar with the KS-20 should look at the eBay
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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          There were lots of comments following my reply to casual interest in
          the DECsystem 20 on eBay.

          First; those not familiar with the KS-20 should look at the eBay
          listing. It's a SMALL mainframe, but still a machine that needs, er,
          some thought before purchase. At $4K in current bidding between two
          people, I don't think MARCH plans to chase this "item", and it does
          not need rescue.

          There were comments about the KS versus the larger KL. It happens that
          the KS I ran was replaced after I left with a KL. They had to DOUBLE
          the air conditioning to two 5-TON A/C's (60,000 BTU's EACH). This
          machine ran 24/7 of course. I know it used much more electrical power
          too. The room had NO RAISED FLOOR; with the KL in there the air volume
          in the room was so loud and swift that it was dangerous to your
          hearing; raised floors keep that noise underneath the floor.

          Comments about Compuserve: I knew people at the time at Compuserve.
          They used KL's and KI's (bigger DEC mainframes) to run their systems,
          and KS's for network controllers throughout their 1980's network. They
          ran a proprietary OS.

          Comments about running these systems "at home". Sridhar says "I've
          done it at home...as a teenager.." In subsequent posts he hints at
          what that actually took: "had to reinforce the floor to hold the
          weight"; "had to pour a concrete pad outside for the heat exchanger".
          That's my point, Sridhar: you have to do SIGNIFIGANT SITE PREPARATION
          to run these things, most notibly air conditioning and electrical
          power. There are costs to doing so. One can run them until "it starts
          to get hot", some people I know of only run their mainframes in the
          winter, in the garage. Sridhar, all these choices have consequences
          for use: why not think ahead about them?

          Since MARCH apparently has a number of people who are experienced in
          owning and running mainframes, then MARCH has some access to good
          advice and SUPPORT (if persons come forward) if there is a decision to
          obtain some mainframe and to put it to a PLAN of use. But given the
          space and access to electrical power MARCH has, I'd imagine that PLAN
          would be to RUN IT for some extended period on a regular basis.
          InfoAge would certainly have to agree, and I presume some deal for
          paying for power would be necessary. Unless, as in the case of Claude
          Kagan's Burroughs system, it's far too old to operate and is
          sufficiently valuable as legacy for display and preservation.

          But I don't set policy and I don't know any plans, these are my
          opinions. I will not be in charge of any mainframe for MARCH. It's too
          big a commitment for my time, it's not in my area of old computing
          interests. I'm glad others are interested, I hope they step forward
          when and IF a PLAN is discussed.

          Herb Johnson

          Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
          <a href="http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
          <a href="http://retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
          my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
          if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
          "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
          S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
        • Evan Koblentz
          Group announcement: MARCH now stands for, Mainframes Are Really Cool, Herb! ... - Evan ... From: Herb Johnson [mailto:hjohnson@retrotechnology.com] Sent:
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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            Group announcement: MARCH now stands for, "Mainframes Are Really Cool,
            Herb!"



            :-)



            - Evan


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Herb Johnson [mailto:hjohnson@...]
            Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 11:33 AM
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Decsystem 20/20 (Digital/DEC) bigger than a
            pdp11

            There were lots of comments following my reply to casual interest in the
            DECsystem 20 on eBay.

            First; those not familiar with the KS-20 should look at the eBay listing.
            It's a SMALL mainframe, but still a machine that needs, er, some thought
            before purchase. At $4K in current bidding between two people, I don't think
            MARCH plans to chase this "item", and it does not need rescue.

            There were comments about the KS versus the larger KL. It happens that the
            KS I ran was replaced after I left with a KL. They had to DOUBLE the air
            conditioning to two 5-TON A/C's (60,000 BTU's EACH). This machine ran 24/7
            of course. I know it used much more electrical power too. The room had NO
            RAISED FLOOR; with the KL in there the air volume in the room was so loud
            and swift that it was dangerous to your hearing; raised floors keep that
            noise underneath the floor.

            Comments about Compuserve: I knew people at the time at Compuserve.
            They used KL's and KI's (bigger DEC mainframes) to run their systems, and
            KS's for network controllers throughout their 1980's network. They ran a
            proprietary OS.

            Comments about running these systems "at home". Sridhar says "I've done it
            at home...as a teenager.." In subsequent posts he hints at what that
            actually took: "had to reinforce the floor to hold the weight"; "had to pour
            a concrete pad outside for the heat exchanger".
            That's my point, Sridhar: you have to do SIGNIFIGANT SITE PREPARATION to run
            these things, most notibly air conditioning and electrical power. There are
            costs to doing so. One can run them until "it starts to get hot", some
            people I know of only run their mainframes in the winter, in the garage.
            Sridhar, all these choices have consequences for use: why not think ahead
            about them?

            Since MARCH apparently has a number of people who are experienced in owning
            and running mainframes, then MARCH has some access to good advice and
            SUPPORT (if persons come forward) if there is a decision to obtain some
            mainframe and to put it to a PLAN of use. But given the space and access to
            electrical power MARCH has, I'd imagine that PLAN would be to RUN IT for
            some extended period on a regular basis.
            InfoAge would certainly have to agree, and I presume some deal for paying
            for power would be necessary. Unless, as in the case of Claude Kagan's
            Burroughs system, it's far too old to operate and is sufficiently valuable
            as legacy for display and preservation.

            But I don't set policy and I don't know any plans, these are my opinions. I
            will not be in charge of any mainframe for MARCH. It's too big a commitment
            for my time, it's not in my area of old computing interests. I'm glad others
            are interested, I hope they step forward when and IF a PLAN is discussed.

            Herb Johnson

            Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
            <a href="http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a> <a
            href="http://retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a> my email
            address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com if no reply, try in a few
            days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch
            floppy drives S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"





            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • Sridhar Ayengar
            ... LOL Peace... Sridhar
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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              Evan Koblentz wrote:
              > Group announcement: MARCH now stands for, "Mainframes Are Really Cool,
              > Herb!"
              >
              >
              >
              > :-)

              LOL

              Peace... Sridhar
            • B. Degnan
              On a tangent ...I have two racks of servers (modern ones) that draw 600-900W per power supply each. I am sure that the IBM Series 1 ate a lot of juice, but
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 26, 2006
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                On a tangent ...I have two racks of servers (modern ones) that draw
                600-900W per power supply each. I am sure that the IBM Series 1 ate a lot
                of juice, but would they really pop a 40 AMP circuit breaker? I will check
                the manuals if anyone is interested. Here is the inventory of the IBM
                Series 1 system at my house. It was given to me by Roy Soltoff.

                IBM Series 1 System Inventory:
                qty) description
                2) 6' IBM 4997 Rack Units with shelves to house the processor and peripherals.
                1) IBM 4956 Processor (see
                http://www.btxmuseum.de/Hardware/geraet.asp?id=120 for German
                equivalent pic of control panel) See also below.
                1) Cambex Corp Model 80810 2-tape drive storage device (no tapes)
                1) IBM 4962 8" disk drive (w/ 3 boxes of software)
                1) IBM 4967 Hard drive (69kg)
                1) IBM 4963 Hard drive (55kg)
                1) IBM 4963A Hard drive (55kg)
                1) IBM 4978 display station and keyboard (display is bad, single horizontal
                line only. Unsure if it is part of the original Series 1 set up.)
                12) Series I system software/hardware manuals "standard 3-ring binder sized"
                20) Series I system software/hardware manuals (tall, blue, with IBM written
                on them)
                There is documentation for all components, plus service logs, software
                documentation, installation instructions, etc. Pretty complete.

                Misc. papers and other documentation and receipts.

                3 boxes of IBM software on 8" disks, including diagnostics for hardware.
                1 box of cables and jacks for additional display stations/terminals
                1 box of printer ribbons (no printer)

                product literature and period IBM sales circulars, etc.

                * The 4956 Processor is full of the appropriate cards for the peripherals
                (hard drives,
                tape drive, terminals, etc.) The system appears to have been upgraded at
                least once. I
                have been able to cable up most peripherals to the matching processor
                cards. I do not
                plan to power up the system at this time. I have cleaned each subsystem,
                but overall it
                was "clean enough" already. Most of the wear is on the rack unit, dings
                and the like.

                16 serial ports I believe.

                Overall condition is OK. Some dust removed. Not powered on.




                Bill D

                At 12:38 PM 10/26/2006 -0400, you wrote:
                >Evan Koblentz wrote:
                > > Group announcement: MARCH now stands for, "Mainframes Are Really Cool,
                > > Herb!"
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > :-)
                >
                >LOL
                >
                >Peace... Sridhar
              • Herb Johnson
                ... (chuckle) The DEC-20 went to one of four bidders at $16,000 DOLLARS. Who s laughing now? I think the seller, probably the buyer too. Herb
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 27, 2006
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                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Sridhar Ayengar
                  <ploopster@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Evan Koblentz wrote:
                  > > Group announcement: MARCH now stands for, "Mainframes Are Really Cool,
                  > > Herb!"
                  > >
                  > > :-)
                  >
                  > LOL
                  >
                  > Peace... Sridhar
                  >

                  (chuckle) The DEC-20 went to one of four bidders at $16,000 DOLLARS.
                  Who's laughing now? I think the seller, probably the buyer too.

                  Herb
                • Sridhar Ayengar
                  ... If I had had that much money, I would have spent it on that. Peace... Sridhar
                  Message 8 of 29 , Oct 27, 2006
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                    Herb Johnson wrote:
                    > (chuckle) The DEC-20 went to one of four bidders at $16,000 DOLLARS.
                    > Who's laughing now? I think the seller, probably the buyer too.

                    If I had had that much money, I would have spent it on that.

                    Peace... Sridhar
                  • Evan Koblentz
                    If I had that much money I would pay off my car loan..... ... From: Sridhar Ayengar [mailto:ploopster@gmail.com] Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 4:10 PM To:
                    Message 9 of 29 , Oct 27, 2006
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                      If I had that much money I would pay off my car loan.....

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Sridhar Ayengar [mailto:ploopster@...]
                      Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 4:10 PM
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Decsystem 20/20 (Digital/DEC) bigger
                      than a pdp11

                      Herb Johnson wrote:
                      > (chuckle) The DEC-20 went to one of four bidders at $16,000 DOLLARS.
                      > Who's laughing now? I think the seller, probably the buyer too.

                      If I had had that much money, I would have spent it on that.

                      Peace... Sridhar



                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Alexey Toptygin
                      ... If I had that much money, I d take a sabbatical to play with my collection of classic computers... round tuits are the thing in shortest supply in my life.
                      Message 10 of 29 , Oct 27, 2006
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                        On Fri, 27 Oct 2006, Evan Koblentz wrote:

                        > If I had that much money I would pay off my car loan.....

                        If I had that much money, I'd take a sabbatical to play with my collection
                        of classic computers... round tuits are the thing in shortest supply in my
                        life.

                        Alexey
                      • Stanley Brewer
                        I remember Claude saying that he was the only private residence in NJ to have 3 phase power. The RESISTORS could only run the Burroughs B-205 in the winter,
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jun 27, 2008
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                          I remember Claude saying that he was the only private residence in NJ
                          to have 3 phase power. The RESISTORS could only run the Burroughs
                          B-205 in the winter, even then it got so hot in the barn that they had
                          to open windows!

                          Stan


                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I have an IBM Series 1 system with three mammoth hard drives, tape
                          drive,
                          > disk drive. I plan to (attempt to) power it up this winter to heat
                          my house.
                          >
                          > Bill
                          >
                          > At 06:31 PM 10/25/2006 -0700, you wrote:
                          > >I didn't think Compuserve ran on a KS...
                          > >They're a lot smaller and IIRC they used a bit slice AMD
                          processor... kind
                          > >of like the 11/730 of DEC PDP10's...
                          > >I can really appreciate the work that goes into getting a mainframe
                          > >running in a residential setting -- but I'm surprised the ES ran
                          cooler
                          > >than a KL...
                          > >That was one of the biggest power sucking beasts DEC had (except
                          for my
                          > >favorite VAX --- the 8650. The 440 volt feed to that one was amazing.
                          > >I don't have the info on what sucked more power -- the KL or the Venus.
                          > >The machine I'd love to have had here was the KB11-CM 11/74 single CPU
                          > >that we had in DEC Princeton. An 11/70 in the DEC Datasystem 570 blue
                          > >would be my next choice and the Red White and Blue11/45 Industrial
                          PDP11
                          > >would be next. (Just for the cool look factor...)
                          > >Bill
                          > >Sridhar Ayengar <ploopster@...> wrote:
                          > >William Pechter wrote:
                          > > > A KL is about 10 foot long by about 5 foot in width (footprint) and
                          > > > pulls a ton of power -- and it's hot running ECL. Think about 3 or 4
                          > > > 11/70 mini's in the room.
                          > > > This is 10K ECL logic IIRC. To run it requires the front end
                          11/40 and
                          > > > the rest of the ECL logic. Not to mention the RP06 Memorex 667
                          (IIRC)
                          > > > disk drives with their power load and weight. (Could be lucky
                          and have
                          > > > RM05's on it -- but usually the system pack was on RP06...)
                          > > > Bill
                          > >
                          > >First of all, a 2020 is a *KS*, so it's smaller. Second of all, I
                          > >currently run an IBM S/390 G1 (some Bipolar, some CMOS) in my house,
                          > >which is bigger than a KS.
                          > >
                          > >I used to run an IBM ES/9021 in my parents' house which ran *much*
                          > >hotter than a KL-10. I had to pour a concrete pad outside for the heat
                          > >exchanger.
                          > >
                          > >I currently run an S/390 G1 (including CPU + DASD controller + 1 DASD
                          > >rack + 3490 tape jukebox), VAX 6660, VAX 7640 and a couple racks
                          full of
                          > >other gear in my dining room. There's also a VAX 8700 in there, but it
                          > >isn't powered on. I had to reinforce the floor to hold the weight.
                          > >
                          > >There are dozens of other machines in various places in the house.
                          > >Including a PDP-11/70 (in the basement), which I've had since I was
                          > >about 11 years old.
                          > >
                          > >I have years of experience running mainframes in a residential setting.
                          > >
                          > >Peace... Sridhar
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • Sridhar Ayengar
                          ... I know someone who lives in New Jersey and has three-phase service to provide power to a three-phase compressor he uses to run his automotive lift as well
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jun 28, 2008
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                            Stanley Brewer wrote:
                            > I remember Claude saying that he was the only private residence in NJ
                            > to have 3 phase power. The RESISTORS could only run the Burroughs
                            > B-205 in the winter, even then it got so hot in the barn that they had
                            > to open windows!

                            I know someone who lives in New Jersey and has three-phase service to
                            provide power to a three-phase compressor he uses to run his automotive
                            lift as well as a variety of pneumatic tools at the house.

                            I don't know if he had it long enough ago to have had it when Claude was
                            speaking, though. He is an older fellow.

                            Peace... Sridhar
                          • Stan Brewer
                            Older than Claude? : ) Claude must have been being figurative. Stan
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jun 28, 2008
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                              Older than Claude?  : )
                              Claude must have been being figurative.                

                                                       Stan

                              Sridhar Ayengar wrote:

                              Stanley Brewer wrote:
                              > I remember Claude saying that he was the only private residence in NJ
                              > to have 3 phase power. The RESISTORS could only run the Burroughs
                              > B-205 in the winter, even then it got so hot in the barn that they had
                              > to open windows!

                              I know someone who lives in New Jersey and has three-phase service to
                              provide power to a three-phase compressor he uses to run his automotive
                              lift as well as a variety of pneumatic tools at the house.

                              I don't know if he had it long enough ago to have had it when Claude was
                              speaking, though. He is an older fellow.

                              Peace... Sridhar

                            • Sridhar Ayengar
                              ... I m not comepletely sure how old Claude is. He looks like 70s or 80s. If so, this guy would roughly be the same age. Classic car old-timer. ... Indeed.
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jun 28, 2008
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                                Stan Brewer wrote:
                                > Older than Claude? : )

                                I'm not comepletely sure how old Claude is. He looks like 70s or 80s.
                                If so, this guy would roughly be the same age. Classic car old-timer.

                                > Claude must have been being figurative.

                                Indeed.

                                Peace... Sridhar

                                > Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
                                >>
                                >> Stanley Brewer wrote:
                                >> > I remember Claude saying that he was the only private residence in NJ
                                >> > to have 3 phase power. The RESISTORS could only run the Burroughs
                                >> > B-205 in the winter, even then it got so hot in the barn that they had
                                >> > to open windows!
                                >>
                                >> I know someone who lives in New Jersey and has three-phase service to
                                >> provide power to a three-phase compressor he uses to run his automotive
                                >> lift as well as a variety of pneumatic tools at the house.
                                >>
                                >> I don't know if he had it long enough ago to have had it when Claude was
                                >> speaking, though. He is an older fellow.
                                >>
                                >> Peace... Sridhar
                                >>
                                >
                              • Herb Johnson
                                ... I ve been out of town and so did not follow this thread until my return. Here s some comments. I ran a KA-10 for Ohio State, and later established the site
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jul 9, 2008
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                                  William Pechter <bpechter@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I didn't think Compuserve ran on a KS...
                                  > They're a lot smaller and IIRC they used a bit slice AMD
                                  > processor... kind of like the 11/730 of DEC PDP10's..

                                  I've been out of town and so did not follow this thread until my
                                  return. Here's some comments.

                                  I ran a KA-10 for Ohio State, and later established the site for its
                                  replacment, a KS-10 (the system in apparent discussion here). I was a
                                  paid, full time, system manager. Both ran TOPS-10.

                                  The KS is one pair of rather wide (24-inch) cabinets, and used much
                                  less power than any other PDP-10 or -20. Compuserve used the KS-10's
                                  as some kind of network node controller (whatever that was). OTherwise
                                  they ran the KL's or KI's. Maybe they had a KA somewhere, at some time.

                                  Anyone interested in what these are, can search the Web for PDP-10's
                                  and PDP-20's, and get correct and better information.

                                  There are probably software emulators for these machines. Again,
                                  search the Web.

                                  Running a mainframe, and keeping it running, is a serious commitment.
                                  I get a little tired of saying that. So run around the Web, look for
                                  people running these today. Size up what they are doing, come to your
                                  own conclusions. Or, rent a truck, grab a mainframe and fill your
                                  basement, and blow your circuit breakers as you learn. Or, run an
                                  emulator and just wrassle with the software. Your call.

                                  Herb Johnson
                                  retrotechnology.com
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