A computer pioneer, he is credited with the invention of core memory;
fascinating stuff, when you realise that a "read" involves a couple of
write cycles :-) Sense windings, etc...
And 386BSD was released on this day in 1992, when William and Lynne Jolitz
started the Open Source movement; well, that's what my notes say, and
corrections are welcome (I know that Gilmore likes to take credit for just
Roberto Mario "Robert" Fano (11 November 1917 – 13 July 2016) was an
Italian-American computer scientist and professor of electrical
engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of
Robert Fano, computing pioneer and founder of CSAIL, dies at 98
Professor emeritus helped launch field of information theory and
developed early time-sharing computers.
Tom Van Vleck just passed this on the Multics mailing list. Fernando
Corbató has passed away at 93.
Clem organized the wonderful Unix 50 event at the LCM two days ago, where
we saw a working 6180 front panel on display (backed by a virtual DPS-8m
This is our heritage and our history, let us not forget where we came from.
- Dan C.
I'm looking for a list of all hard disk drives that DEC supported prior to
~1970 or so as part of some research I'm doing for my talk this fall in
Lillehammer. so far, I've only found one listed in a pdp-9 brochure (the
RB09 listed in the PDP-9 handbook). Are there others? I've seen a reference
to an RA01, but have seen no details on it. It appears that Rx## is the
pattern to look for in that era.
Alternatively, if someone can articulate the XX## naming scheme of the
time, that would be great. I've seen Dx## for different communications
modules, for example, but don't know if I can generalize.
We really should take this off-list if you want to continue the discussion
as it has little to do with simh and more history (so I'm CCing the TUHS
COFF list. I'll include simh for now, but if you reply please kill the
An Eagle or Eagle-II was a whole lot lighter (and physically smaller) than
an RP06 or RP07 (or an RM series drive for that matter). It is interesting
to hear you had problems with the Eagles. They were generally considered
the best/most reliable of the day. The SI controller on the Vax was less
so, although many of us in the UNIX community used them.
FWIW: I was accused of jinxing the 19" SMD Ampex drive by Masscomp's field
service team. The story is we could never make the Ampex drives work
reliably at UCB (they were cheaper in bytes/$ than the Eagles at the
time). When I was being recruited to Masscomp as I was leaving UCB, they
were trying to use Ampex as their high-end SMD drive with the Xylogic 440
controller, but had not (yet) had a failure. [Xylogic, like Masscomp, was
ex-DEC folks]. Anyway, I had mentioned @ UCB we had given up on the Ampex
drive on our Vaxen, and within 2 weeks of my starting to work darned near
all of them that Masscomp owned had failed.
PC (Paul Cantrell), tjt and I did eventually make them work but only after
we got Xylogic to redesign the 440 to be the 450 controllers and PC spend
hours with the microcode team on the error recovery logic. Funny, the
450/Eagle combination (and later Xylogic 472 tape) became the de rigor in
the UNIX community.
BTW: if Mark and the simh team is to ever to create a solid
Sun/Masscomp/Apollo simulator, they will need to emulate the Xylogic
controller family. One more thing for the forever growing list of things
I'd like to do when I retire, but I think I still have the engineering
specs for them and PC and tjt are still to be found ;-)
On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 9:19 AM Tim Wilkinson <tjw(a)twsoft.co.uk> wrote:
> Back in 85 have had applications to purchase a 785 – 780-750-730 then 725
> rejected, we were fortunately given a 750 by a sister company who were
> upgrading to a 785, but they took their disks. So we had to buy for
> To keep the bean counter happy we went for a System Industries controller
> and 4 super Eagles.
> But back then there was a problem with the eagles and all 4 had to be
> swapped out 4 times.
> Carrying them up stairs to the computer room was not fun. The platter size
> may have been reduced. But the weight!!!
> *From:* Simh [mailto:email@example.com] *On Behalf Of *Clem
> *Sent:* 01 July 2019 14:08
> *To:* Patrick Finnegan <pat(a)computer-refuge.org>
> *Cc:* SIMH <simh(a)trailing-edge.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [Simh] Which PDP-11 to choose
> I can not say why it followed that naming convention, but it did. The
> drives of that day were referred to as 19" technology since that's how they
> mounted. FWIW: Most manufacturers at the time used the same platter
> size as the original IBM 1311 (which as you pointed out was 14"), but not
> everyone, for instance, the Fujitsu Eagle used 10.5-inch platter. FWIW:
> I answered a bunch of this in:
> On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 8:52 AM Patrick Finnegan <pat(a)computer-refuge.org>
> On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 7:32 AM Clem cole <clemc(a)ccc.com> wrote:
> 19” form factor for the disks drive fir the space in the 19” relay rack.
> You’re right the platters themselves were smaller. The disks were referred
> too by the mechanical FF. 19, 8, 5.25 etc.
> But, 8" hard drives have 8" platters, and 5.25" hard drives have 5.25"
> platters. The casing on a the 5.25" drive in front of me is almost 6" wide.
> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campai…> Virus-free.