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I guess I've 'always' had the typical geek fascination with high-performance
computing, but what really crystallised my interest in them was an experience
I had back in the early 1990s. I was in Edinburgh, trying to track down
some pdps. I ended up at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC),
where I found a pdp-11/45, just decommisioned, which had been running as
a communications front end. I also found the most impressive computer I
had (and have) ever seen: a Connection Machine CM-200, flashing all its
lights at me in a very beguiling fashion! I determined there and then that
I would try, in a few years when such machines were being retired, to secure
one for the Corestore.
Unfortunately this tale has a sad ending; I let around five years go by, not realising just how long a period that is in high-performance computing, before I spoke to the people in Edinburgh again: 'oh I'm sorry, we finished with that machine six months ago - it was carted off for scrap. We kept a few of the boards as souvenirs...'!!!
I have had some luck in tracking down other machines, and I've thrown together a couple of pages about them:
CM-2a - a smaller version of the CM-200.
CM-200 - I actually managed to find another one!
CM-5 - another sad tale... the CM-5 is the followup to the CM-2x series, based around SPARC chips.
Convex 220 - a Convex rescued.
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I'm always looking for anything to do with Connection Machines - systems,
parts, manuals, software. Particularly looking for front-end systems (Sun,
Microvax, or Symbolics LISP machines), front-end interface cards, cables,
software etc. etc.
I'd also give houseroom to a Cray - preferably something fairly small, such as an EL-98 or EL-94.