[Cryptography] 6600 memory size (was: cryptography Digest, Vol 32, Issue 31)

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Thu Dec 31 17:43:45 EST 2015

On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 10:50 AM, Peter Capek <peter.capek at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jerry Leichter wrote:
> Story from years back:  The CDC 6600 - the supercomputer of the early
> .....

> It's not very important, but this recounting is quite wrong, and I'd like
> to correct it before it propagates.
We had a 6400 at the Univ of  Arizona in the '60s.
In the first year all jobs were run twice.  Once on the old IBM and
again  on the 6400.   One of the big advantages was the speed of
the IO hardware.   Cards were transported from the input window in
the old building read on the card reader of the 6600 to a pair of tapes
one tape set was run local and the other run on the old IBM.

Commonly the 6400 was finished near midnight while the IBM labored
till dawn.  The operator would drop the day file and reboot... he and I
would then
program at the console using the room of hardware as a personal computer.

The interesting bit from a security world view is how the OS was loaded
and how jobs were managed by SCOPE.   The generation of key pairs
is an interesting & important activity well justified for buildings
modest hardware systems where Unix and Windows do not make sense.

I suspect a number of lessons from these historic system designs
have value ignored by too many "kids" that have grown up only with our
modern interactive operating system (Unix/WindowZ) perspective.

  T o m    M i t c h e l l
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