[TUHS] ATT Hardware

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Sat Jun 30 04:48:17 AEST 2018

On Fri, 29 Jun 2018 09:16:12 -0400 <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
> The recent reference to the Dennis's comments on ATT chip
> production had me feeling nostalgic to the 3B line of computers.
> In the late 80's I was in charge of all the UNIX systems (among
> other things) at the state university system in New Jersey.   As a
> result we got a lot of this hardware gifted to us.    The 3B5 and
> 3B2s were pretty doggy compared with the stuff on the market
> then.   The best thing I could say about the 3B5 is that it stood
> up well to having many gallons of water dumped on it (that's
> another story, Rutgers had the computer center under a seven story
> building and it still had a leaky roof).

We had huge numbers of 3B2s at Columbia that were gifted to us by
AT&T. They didn't know what to do with the things, so the undergrads
were subjected to using them for their labs for a few classes like
computer graphics. The blits attached to them were neat, though. If
only the same could have been said for the overall system.

> The 3B20 was another
> thing.   It was a work of telephone company art.    You knew this
> when it came to power it down where you turned a knob inside the
> rack and held a button down until it clicked off.

We had one of those donated, too. It was put into an extra machine
room and not used for very much, I think because the version of the
OS it came with didn't really do networking at a point where
everything else at the Columbia CS department did.

At one point we considered reusing its disk pack drives for some of
the Vaxes but unfortunately the cabling was incompatible. 

Perry E. Metzger		perry at piermont.com

More information about the TUHS mailing list