For those people kind enough to listen to my presentation at the Science Museum on the CDC 6600 for Cambridge Wireless Wireless Heritage SIG ‘The Old Greys to Flash Mob Kensington’ event here are a handful of links with more information
- Here is the link to the PDF of the fabulous little book showing how to design a super computer ‘The Design Of A Computer, The Control Data 6600 by J.E. Thornton‘ (reproduced with permission see last page). All the diagrams I used in my talk are in this book.
- For a quicker introduction to the CDC see this article from The Register from 2007. (includes some very nice photos).
- There is a video of the internals of the CDC 6500 at Living Computer Museum in Seattle. The 6500 is interesting. The 6600 has a smaller brother the 6400 with the same architecture, construction and instruction set. A 6500 is dual CPU machine a pair of 6400 CPU sharing memory.
- If you are really interested there is a ‘Survival Guide’ for using the CDC machine and then …
- You can get a Guest Account on the Living Computers: Museum + Labs restored and running CDC 6500 machine. I simply my reason for wanting access as ‘nostalgia’.
And finally here is the famous letter were IBM react badly to the release of the 6600:
Quote T.J. Watson of IBM: “Last week CDC had a press conference during which they officially announced their 6600 system. I understand that in the laboratory developing this system there are only 34 people, “including the janitor.” Of these, 14 are engineers and 4 are programmers, and only one has a Ph. D., a relatively junior programmer. To the outsider, the laboratory appeared to be cost conscious, hard working and highly motivated.
Contrasting this modest effort with our own vast development activities, I fail to understand why we have lost our industry leadership position by letting someone else offer the world’s most powerful computer. At Jenny Lake, I think top priority should be given to a discussion as to what we are doing wrong and how we should go about changing it immediately.”