Mini Mainframe Computer

  The Ancient One 17:26 21 Oct 2007

Can anyone tell me where I can find information on building Mini Mainframe Computers? I can find all about the Mainframes but it seems its not as easy for Mini's (probibly due to the cost).

Regards Jurgen

  UncleP 18:22 21 Oct 2007

I assume you mean what used to be called minicomputers. There was a time when they formed a fairly distinct group between desktop and mainframe computers, and included workstations and small analytical and control computers - remember the PDP8 series? But with time the boundaries disappeared, and the term tends to be used for smaller mainframe-type computers built mostly for specific applications. So there is no standard design, just a mass of proprietary products.

As a matter of interest, what was the aim of your project?

  The Ancient One 02:51 22 Oct 2007

I just like extending my knowlegde of computers as I'm studying Access BIT and hope to go on to University to achieve my goal,an MBA.

I'd like to find out what the propriatary products are as i'm interested in Mainframes and if possible, to build one. I've already built a Server.

  UncleP 03:48 23 Oct 2007

Most of the companies who made minicomputers in my day have gone bust or been taken over. Even IBM is said to be concentrating on software applications these days! Oddly, I saw a book today which claimed that these types of computers died out as identifiable sub-species in the 1990s. In fact 'mini-computer' is now being used to describe a small (but powerful) PC - quite a different beast from the original.

One company that is still around is Hewlett-Packard; originally they made sophisticated electronic measuring instruments, and moved into computers as a way of controlling these and analyzing the readings. I doubt whether they would be willing to sell the individual components of one of their modern middle-range machines, even if you could afford it. But they are (or were) a friendly company and might be willing to help in the construction of a replica of one of their earlier ground-breaking machines, now of historical interest. Worth a try, at least!

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