[TUHS] Why did PDPs become so popular?

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Sat Dec 30 11:07:51 AEST 2017


In my second career after UNIX, I spent a lot of time writing high performance image processing software that ran on just about every platform out there:   Sun3 , Spark, the DEC SPIM, ALPHA, the iTanium (or as we called it the iTanic), HP PA/RISC, Apollo DN10000, SGI from the O2 and the Indy all the way up to the reality engines, Stellar, Ardent, IBM RS6000,  Masspar,  weird IBM things like the W4 card in the PS/2, i860 OKI workstatiosn, Intergraph Clippers, and probably more I'm forgetting.    The Alpha was hot stuff for about nine months.   Ran OSF/1 formerly DigitalUnix formerly OSF/1.

I remember one day Stardant called and said they needed the G1000 they loaned us right back.   I boxed it up (it was a tradeshow machine and came in a road case).   I set it on the loading dock.   The next day Stardent announced they were going out of business.    A year later I was out on the loading dock and "hey, is this stupid thing still here."   A few minutes later I get a call from our sales guy.   He's got a call from a guy looking for a copy of Motif for the Stellar G1000.   I laugh.   He says "I know, they're out of business."   I said, "Yes, but today's your lucky day.   I still have one."   I powed it up, pulled off the Motif to send the guy and then trashed the machine.   One of my  coowrkers "decapitated" the WysePC the thing had on top of it as a control/bootup processor.    We had one of the CPU cards on the wall as a "art" for a while.



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