« Colon Pal, the future of plush toys | Main | Probing for fun and profit »

Computers of the future in the past

Recently I was going through a whole bunch of stuff in my garage and came across a whole bunch of glossy literature for equipment that one of my previous employers, Signal Science, used to sell to the government.  It has been a good four years or so since I have seen a real VT100 type terminal in use anywhere.  For the time, this puppy, the ELPS-97 system was state of the art.  Now I am pretty sure that you could do all the same ELINT tasks performed by this system on a desktop PC and 200watts of power, versus 5KW

 ELPS-97

You may ask, what is this young lad's connection to this...

In college I had the task of surplussing the last of these systems that was used in house.  With elbow grease and a hack saw (yes, a manual hack saw and a package of several blades) I cut up one of these into small enough chunks to fit on the lift gate of the truck from either Halted Specialties or Weird Stuff Warehouse.  Sometimes I wonder what was done with the VAX 11/780.  I hope that someone was able to salvage it and build something similar to the VAXbar built by Vance.

Signal Science was a great place to work.  That is where I got my real start in the IT industry and exposure to people that I still consider close personal friends today.  Even though I had a lot of tasks to do there that nobody else wanted, I also received encouragement and mentoring at a young age.  I just hope I have the ability to give some sixteen year old kid the chance to cut up a Sun server cluster so I can pass on the IT torch. 

 

And if you like those, check these these oldies:

    SigSci-ClassicCorporateOverview.pdf - The Signal Science Corporate Overview
    SigSci-DPS100.pdf - The DPS100 processor
    SigSci-FlashPoint.pdf - The FlashPoint DSP system
    SigSci-SpreadSpectrum-SSDS-11.pdf - The SSDS-11 Spread Spectrum system

 

Bookmark and Share

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.spectrox.com/blog-mt/mt-tb.fcgi/6