Funeral for a mainframe


9 Responses to “Funeral for a mainframe”

  1. richter says: Here was a post made back in 2005 honoring an HP Enterprise Virtual Array. Our company has also had a funeral for a notification platform, this included flower arrangements and an eulogy.

  2. Abbey says:

    I’m another U of M student who’s excited to see her university featured on Boing Boing. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a student teaching block when this happened and missed it.

  3. BCJ says:

    Yay, my university mentioned on Boing Boing. By the by, it was the University of Manitoba, not the University of Winnipeg.

  4. n says:

    I love the phrase “Unix-grade facial hair”. I’m going to try to work that into as many conversations as possible.

  5. jawells says:

    The IBM 650 is notable for two things: first, its unusual bi-quinary architecture. Not quite binary, not quite decimal, it worked like a digital abacus.

    Better yet, the machine served as the platform that Donald Knuth cut his teeth on for programming! His Selected Papers on Computer Science has a chapter on his appreciation for this machine. I’m sure he’s sad to see it go, too.

  6. Halloween Jack says:

    I wonder how cold it would have to be for a brass band to have their lips frozen to their mouthpieces?

  7. jcarpenter says:

    I’m sure the IBM 650 was retired years ago. The final mainframe was an Amdahl Millenium 1015. I think the funeral was for the mainframe in general, as they have now converted to a client-server architecture.

  8. Observe The Banana says:

    I wish more old equipment was honored this way. It always made me sad to see a machine transition from the newest and greatest thing that everyone is fussing over, to a useless hunk of scrap metal unceremoniously pushed out the back loading dock after giving years of service.

  9. tomic says:

    That’s sad! I wonder if it was in any way still operable, there can’t be many 650′s around still.

    But by no means is it a “mainframe”, which generally applies to those big multi-user machines with hundreds or thousands of terminals. The IBM 650 was essentially a one-user machine, architecturally, about as bit as an ATMEGA8. It’s internal arithmetic was DECIMAL! It was huge by today’s standards, but that doesn’t make it a mainframe…

    Never used one, well before my time, but they are genuinely a “classic” machine (that word is grossly overused to meaninglessness). It really defined an era.

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