[TUHS] Reaction to the 3B2 at Bell Labs

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Nov 28 01:29:47 AEST 2022

Many schools were similarly gifted; I had them both at Georgia Tech and
at Emory.  They didn't see a lot of real use. The one more-or-less cool
thing they had was a soft power switch; pushing it started an orderly Unix
shutdown (usually).  Once in a while one had to yank the cord from the
wall to shut it down.


"John P. Linderman" <jpl.jpl at gmail.com> wrote:

> We were "gifted" a 3B2, as in "take this and use it!". I ran a "ps" command
> in single user mode, and it took 20 seconds to run.
> Our machine names were themed around bird names, so we christened the 3B2
> "junco". Our director said we had to get along,
> so we renamed it "jay". But everyone knew what the J stood for. The 3B2
> served as a doorstop.
> On Sat, Nov 26, 2022 at 11:44 PM Phil Budne <phil at ultimate.com> wrote:
> > Larry McVoy wrote:
> > > I read the Wikipedia page on the 9000.  It's sad that the 9000
> > > wasn't cancelled when they had better alternatives.
> >
> > In an oral history Bob Supnik described Ken Olsen couldn't get his
> > head around the fact that the NVAX chip could equal the 9000:
> >
> > @2:59:45 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3tcCBHRIfU
> >
> > In part 2, Bob described how then DEC VP Gordon Bell having earlier
> > predicted when the microprocessor performance curve would cross over
> > minis and mainframes:
> >
> > @1:51:45 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3tcCBHRIfU
> >
> > He also talks about how the company couldn't command the bsame gross
> > margins as it did in the VAX era.
> >

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