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DEC and The Americans [message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 09:26 Go to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: RS Wood

Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about
1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing
off.

Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
desks.

At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
with the show.

That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
bureaucracy?

Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data
and Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no
uncertain terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]):
I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
(read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
quietly keeping everything in-house.



[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
[3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309754 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 10:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mausg is currently offline  mausg
Messages: 2483
Registered: May 2013
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Senior Member
On 2016-01-25, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about
> 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing
> off.
>
> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
> a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
> desks.
>
> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
> the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
> with the show.
>
> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
> bureaucracy?
>
> Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data
> and Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no
> uncertain terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]):
> I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
> different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
> a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
> inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
> terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
> quietly keeping everything in-house.
>
>
>
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
>

probably the DEC did the job, and the staff were used to them.


--
greymaus
.
.
....
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309755 is a reply to message #309754] Mon, 25 January 2016 10:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
Messages: 7383
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
<mausg@mail.com> wrote:
> On 2016-01-25, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
>> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about
>> 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing
>> off.
>>
>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
>> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
>> a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
>> desks.
>>
>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
>> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
>> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
>> the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
>> with the show.
>>
>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>> bureaucracy?
>>
>> Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data
>> and Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no
>> uncertain terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]):
>> I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
>> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
>> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
>> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
>> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
>> different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
>> a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
>> inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
>> terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
>> quietly keeping everything in-house.
>>
>>
>>
>> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
>> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
>> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
>>
>
> probably the DEC did the job, and the staff were used to them.
>
>

Second the vote on the show, it's terriffic.

I think most of the staff would have been native Russians (or USSRians),
but Russian equipment at the time was way behind the US, and DEC equipment,
or East German clones, would have been used in Russia. DEC stuff was
multi-lingual, but so was IBM. There was less concern about back-doors in
those days because there was no internet and a lot of stuff was still
hardwired.

--
Pete
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309756 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 10:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Black is currently offline  Michael Black
Messages: 2799
Registered: February 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, RS Wood wrote:

> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're not, I
> can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about 1982 Washington
> DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing off.
>
> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian embassy to
> the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features a lot of
> prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's desks.
>
> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the terminals
> look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the desks of the
> FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate: the VT100 reigned
> from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond with the show.
>
But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.

Michael
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309757 is a reply to message #309756] Mon, 25 January 2016 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mausg is currently offline  mausg
Messages: 2483
Registered: May 2013
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Senior Member
On 2016-01-25, Michael Black <et472@ncf.ca> wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're not, I
>> can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about 1982 Washington
>> DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing off.
>>
>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian embassy to
>> the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features a lot of
>> prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's desks.
>>
>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the terminals
>> look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the desks of the
>> FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate: the VT100 reigned
>> from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond with the show.
>>
> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer

Choke, laugh.


> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.

Exactly.

>
> Michael


--
greymaus
.
.
....
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309760 is a reply to message #309756] Mon, 25 January 2016 11:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Espen is currently offline  Dan Espen
Messages: 3328
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Michael Black <et472@ncf.ca> writes:

> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If
>> you're not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in
>> about 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI
>> are facing off.
>>
>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
>> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC)
>> features a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing
>> everyone's desks.
>>
>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
>> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on
>> the desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be
>> accurate: the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would
>> correspond with the show.
>>
> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some
> computer stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if
> not, buying outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I
> thought was often lacking. They had to spend it on the important
> things.

Don't need a DEC computer to find a VT100 useful.

My first exposure to Unix was at Bell Labs where they used all kinds
of terminals. Quite an eye opener after only being familiar with
the IBM 2260 and IBM 3270.

--
Dan Espen
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309761 is a reply to message #309756] Mon, 25 January 2016 11:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Levine is currently offline  John Levine
Messages: 1086
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.

At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
the U.S.

So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
could well have similar looking home made ones.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309763 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 12:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: Rich

In comp.misc RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If
> you're not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in
> about 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are
> facing off.

> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
> a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
> desks.

> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
> the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
> with the show.

The IBM PC was released on August 12, 1981. So, for a show set in
'about 1982' (assuming 'about' might correspond to say +-2 years, for
somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of that possible time window , there was
*no* IBM PC with which to grace anyone's desk.

Additionally, keep in mind the 'speed' with which government operates.
A new desktop PC from IBM would not get 'adopted' by government agences
until well after its introduction. In my case, I can pin down a date
of about 1994 for that occurring.

So the reality is, the IBM PC's gracing the desks on the FBI set are
the "typical Hollywood, got their facts mixed up" part, rather than the
VT-100's in the Russian embassy set.

But the actual reality would be more likely that neither the FBI
offices nor the Russian embassy offices in the 1980-1984 timeframs
would have had any 'computers' on individual desks (IBM PC's or VT-100s
or otherwise). If there was even a computer in the building, there
would likely have been a limited number of shared terminals in a room
somewhere, not 'one per desk'.

> Then I thought, the Soviets had their own hardware around that time -
> I'd think they'd have chosen something native to the USSR rather than
> buying American hardware (which would run the [very real] risk of
> backdoors).

If they even had any tech more advanced than a phone and a Xerox copier
machine, I'd agree that they'd likely have tried to use homegrown tech.
They (the Russians) where the one's who'd bugged the American embassy
in Moscow at that time with so many bugs it was basically unusable.
Knowing that we'd likely try to do the same would have made the too
parinoid to trust American computer equipment. And this assumes the
embassy would have had *any* computer equipment on site. I'd hazzard a
guess that in 1980-1984 timeframe that embassies had zero computer
equipment on site.

> I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house.

The current 'cloud' is just yet another example of the pendulum
swinging between "centralized computing resources" and "distributed
computing resources[1]". It's happened before, it will happen again.
The next 'thing' will look a bit different, and will obviously have a
different _marketing_ name, but it is all the same-old same-old when
looked at through the skeptical eye.



[1] where in this instance 'distributed' means located near/on the desk
of the user instead of being accessed remotely.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309774 is a reply to message #309761] Mon, 25 January 2016 12:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stan Barr is currently offline  Stan Barr
Messages: 598
Registered: December 2011
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On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:47:58 +0000 (UTC), John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote:
>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>
> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
> the U.S.
>
> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>

The Soviets made a number of DEC clones, there was one on eBay last
year, but everything, including the RSX clone, was in Russian so I
passed...

There's a guy in the Ukraine (I think) who specializes in selling
these, but he *won't* ship to the US.

--
Stan Barr plan.b@bluesomatic.org
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309779 is a reply to message #309761] Mon, 25 January 2016 13:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Black is currently offline  Michael Black
Messages: 2799
Registered: February 2012
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Senior Member
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, John Levine wrote:

>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>
> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
> the U.S.
>
> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>
>
Yes. There was an article in Byte at some point (so it was probably close
to the end of the USSR) about their "home" computers, and they showed a
few, basically copies of US computers. But they also had
copies of US microprocessors, but at least one needed two or three ICs
rather than the single IC in the US. SO that was an indication that they
were lagging in what they could produce.

Michael
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309782 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 13:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hancock4 is currently offline  hancock4
Messages: 6561
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:26:08 AM UTC-5, RS Wood wrote:

> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
> bureaucracy?

IMHO, a Soviet Embassy in the U.S. in 1982 would not have computers
in the office because:
1) The Soviets lagged behind in technology.
2) The Soviets had extensive experience using armies of clerks for
massive information processing, so they would probably do likewise
here.
3) The Soviets were afraid of computers because they were afraid
a dissident could use them to spread anti-govt propaganda.

As to the show, The Americans, while it is entertaining, I think it
goes pretty far off into the world of fantasy, even though it is
loosely based on real events. I could certainly see a Soviet couple
pretending to be American citizens. However, I definitely do not
agree with their premise that this couple would have children and
the children would not know who they really were. Having children
substantially raises the risk of discovery, and spies do not want
to be discovered. Far better would be for the couple to live in an
isolated apartment, as opposed to interacting with their neighbors.
Further, the responsibilities of raising children, running their
'front' business, and doing their spywork would mean they'd never
get any sleep.

Anyway, I missed some episodes of last season. Could someone advise...

1) What happened with Philip and the teen girl he befriended to get
info from there father?

2) Did 'Clark' tell Martha who he was? Does Philip actually have
feelings for Martha, more than just a resource?


Also, I think the way we viewers see the show has evolved since it
first aired. Our relations with Russia has decayed quite a bit since
the premier. I think at the series premier the viewers were very
sympathetic to the Jennings, even though we saw them ruthlessly kill
people. However, now, I think viewers aren't as sympathetic and see
their dark side, perhaps hoping they'll be caught.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309783 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 13:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jack is currently offline  jack
Messages: 83
Registered: February 2012
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"RS Wood" <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote in message
news:dgmpjsF24gvU2@mid.individual.net...
> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about 1982
> Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing off.
>
> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian embassy
> to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features a lot of
> prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's desks.
>
> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate: the
> VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond with the
> show.
>
> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic mission
> to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in the
> basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would you do
> with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they have
> invested in custom software for something or other - processing visas or
> equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own hardware around
> that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something native to the USSR
> rather than buying American hardware (which would run the [very real] risk
> of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still have been anchored in academia,
> science and research,

Nope, it had moved out to all sorts of places other than that, lots
of accountants had them, before the PC and Apple II showed up.

> or would they have already made the jump to other sectors

Yes.

> - such as diplomacy and bureaucracy?

Dunno about diplomacy but certainly lots of the
bureaucracy were using them for word processing etc.

> Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data and
> Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no uncertain
> terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]): I'm
> wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service, why
> run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider (read
> Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house.

Sure, but not done with minis.

> It might look different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized
> desktops and a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to
> the cloud so inevitable?

No its not, and you can run your own cloud too.

> I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a terminal on their desk
> and some behemoth of a machine in the basement, quietly keeping everything
> in-house.

That's what your own cloud is. Not with a terminal tho.

> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
>
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309784 is a reply to message #309756] Mon, 25 January 2016 13:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jack is currently offline  jack
Messages: 83
Registered: February 2012
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"Michael Black" <et472@ncf.ca> wrote in message
news:alpine.LNX.2.02.1601251056460.9361@darkstar.example.org...
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
>> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about 1982
>> Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing off.
>>
>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
>> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features a
>> lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's desks.
>>
>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
>> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
>> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate: the
>> VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond with the
>> show.
>>
> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.

Its far from clear that they would have thought anything else
was more important. Certainly Putin himself was involved in
that sort of stuff a bit later than that 85-90, in embassies
outside the USSR, in his case mostly in Germany.

Dunno about access to DEC minis tho. The program may
well have used those instead of the russian clones of them
just because there aren't any clones available to use to even
do a decent mockup of those, so used real VT100s instead.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309786 is a reply to message #309782] Mon, 25 January 2016 14:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jack is currently offline  jack
Messages: 83
Registered: February 2012
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<hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote in message
news:a0f439ce-5fa2-46f9-a850-ac4e9a4edebd@googlegroups.com...
> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:26:08 AM UTC-5, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>> bureaucracy?
>
> IMHO, a Soviet Embassy in the U.S. in 1982 would not have computers
> in the office because:
> 1) The Soviets lagged behind in technology.
> 2) The Soviets had extensive experience using armies of clerks for
> massive information processing, so they would probably do likewise
> here.

It must be known what they actually had. In fact Putin must know
because he worked in one in that situation in Germany from 85-90.

> 3) The Soviets were afraid of computers because they were afraid
> a dissident could use them to spread anti-govt propaganda.

Doesn't mean that they wouldn't use them in embassies tho.

> As to the show, The Americans, while it is entertaining, I think it
> goes pretty far off into the world of fantasy, even though it is
> loosely based on real events. I could certainly see a Soviet couple
> pretending to be American citizens. However, I definitely do not
> agree with their premise that this couple would have children and
> the children would not know who they really were.

That doesn't explain the Rosenbergs or MacLean or Philby.

> Having children substantially raises the risk of discovery,

That is very arguable indeed.

> and spies do not want to be discovered.

All of the Rosenbergs, MacLean and Philby had kids anyway.

> Far better would be for the couple to live in an isolated
> apartment, as opposed to interacting with their neighbors.

That would raise suspicions if someone was
considering whether they were spies or not.

> Further, the responsibilities of raising children, running
> their 'front' business, and doing their spywork would
> mean they'd never get any sleep.

All of the Rosenbergs, MacLean and Philby had kids anyway.

> Anyway, I missed some episodes of last season. Could someone advise...
>
> 1) What happened with Philip and the teen girl he befriended to get
> info from there father?
>
> 2) Did 'Clark' tell Martha who he was? Does Philip actually have
> feelings for Martha, more than just a resource?
>
>
> Also, I think the way we viewers see the show has evolved since it
> first aired. Our relations with Russia has decayed quite a bit since
> the premier. I think at the series premier the viewers were very
> sympathetic to the Jennings, even though we saw them ruthlessly kill
> people. However, now, I think viewers aren't as sympathetic and see
> their dark side, perhaps hoping they'll be caught.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309788 is a reply to message #309763] Mon, 25 January 2016 14:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne &amp; Lynn Wheel is currently offline  Anne &amp; Lynn Wheel
Messages: 3009
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Rich <rich@example.invalid> writes:
> The current 'cloud' is just yet another example of the pendulum
> swinging between "centralized computing resources" and "distributed
> computing resources[1]". It's happened before, it will happen again.
> The next 'thing' will look a bit different, and will obviously have a
> different _marketing_ name, but it is all the same-old same-old when
> looked at through the skeptical eye.

note necessarily strictly centralized ... but can be some degree of
sharing (peaks & lows of useage can occur differently, online
time-sharing from 60s was tracking peaks&lows across time-zones in the
US, 10am peak on the east coast happened before west coast even
started). The trade-off then is the overhead of shared processing versus
not-needing to provision every non-shared resource for peak load.

Mainframe shared resources at the time of IBM/PC was also slow to track
better price/performance technology ... IBM/PCs were tracking new
technologies much faster than large mainframes.

Lots of clouds are now doing frequent turn-over of enormous numbers of
"pc" grade technology ... as a trade-off between the two. Cloud volume
has even gotten to the point where the "PC" technology makers are doing
custom versions/chips specifically for that market. They have even
optimized system costs to the point that power&environmental has become
increasing dominate cost factor. Less & less system price/performance,
but increasingly watts/performance ... it led to threats that big clouds
would move to ARM (power use having been optimized for battery)
.... until the I86 makers started paying more attention to
watts/performance (systems can be throw-away when next generation saves
them more in power than cost of system).

--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309789 is a reply to message #309774] Mon, 25 January 2016 14:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: mm0fmf

On 25/01/2016 17:41, Stan Barr wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:47:58 +0000 (UTC), John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote:
>>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>>
>> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
>> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>> the U.S.
>>
>> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
>> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>>
>
> The Soviets made a number of DEC clones, there was one on eBay last
> year, but everything, including the RSX clone, was in Russian so I
> passed...
>
> There's a guy in the Ukraine (I think) who specializes in selling
> these, but he *won't* ship to the US.
>

Well America wouldn't ship to the USSR when they wanted them either.

Karma payback!
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309801 is a reply to message #309779] Mon, 25 January 2016 15:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jon Elson is currently offline  Jon Elson
Messages: 626
Registered: April 2013
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Michael Black wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, John Levine wrote:

>>
>> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
>> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>>
>>
> Yes. There was an article in Byte at some point (so it was probably close
> to the end of the USSR) about their "home" computers, and they showed a
> few, basically copies of US computers. But they also had
> copies of US microprocessors, but at least one needed two or three ICs
> rather than the single IC in the US. SO that was an indication that they
> were lagging in what they could produce.
Yes, the "Agat" which means apple in Russian, but it was not available for
home use. I think the one in the article was used to compute anaethetic
doses for surgery.

The Russians also cloned the LSI-11 chip set, which was a 4-chip set, even
by DEC.

Jon
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309803 is a reply to message #309774] Mon, 25 January 2016 16:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Walter Banks is currently offline  Walter Banks
Messages: 1000
Registered: July 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On 25/01/2016 12:41 PM, Stan Barr wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:47:58 +0000 (UTC), John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote:
>>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>>
>> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
>> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>> the U.S.
>>
>> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
>> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>>
>
> The Soviets made a number of DEC clones, there was one on eBay last
> year, but everything, including the RSX clone, was in Russian so I
> passed...
>
> There's a guy in the Ukraine (I think) who specializes in selling
> these, but he *won't* ship to the US.
>

I spent a day at the the University of Havana in the mid 70's. There was
a hand wired running PDP 8 there. It wasn't a classical copy but a
re-implementation of the PDP8 ISA with 7400 series logic parts or clone
parts. It ran a 3 or 4 line Basic program I typed in during the tour I
had of the lab it was in.

w..
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309820 is a reply to message #309782] Mon, 25 January 2016 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
Messages: 7383
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
<hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote:
> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:26:08 AM UTC-5, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>> bureaucracy?
>
> IMHO, a Soviet Embassy in the U.S. in 1982 would not have computers
> in the office because:
> 1) The Soviets lagged behind in technology.
> 2) The Soviets had extensive experience using armies of clerks for
> massive information processing, so they would probably do likewise
> here.
> 3) The Soviets were afraid of computers because they were afraid
> a dissident could use them to spread anti-govt propaganda.

I would have to believe this was researched as carefully as the rest of the
background.

>
> As to the show, The Americans, while it is entertaining, I think it
> goes pretty far off into the world of fantasy, even though it is
> loosely based on real events. I could certainly see a Soviet couple
> pretending to be American citizens. However, I definitely do not
> agree with their premise that this couple would have children and
> the children would not know who they really were. Having children
> substantially raises the risk of discovery, and spies do not want
> to be discovered. Far better would be for the couple to live in an
> isolated apartment, as opposed to interacting with their neighbors.
> Further, the responsibilities of raising children, running their
> 'front' business, and doing their spywork would mean they'd never
> get any sleep.

We don't really know, do we? We know there were KGB couples as sleeper
agents, but I haven't heard about any children. One of the premises of the
show is that these children, being born in the US, would have real
documentation instead of manufactured, so their "covers" would stand up to
any possible scrutiny. In the show the KGB planned to infiltrate these
children into sensitive positions when they grew up.

>
> Anyway, I missed some episodes of last season. Could someone advise...
>
> 1) What happened with Philip and the teen girl he befriended to get
> info from there father?

I forget a lot of details, but I think this one was left hanging. The KGB
wanted Philip to sleep with her, but he was having problems because she was
younger than his daughter.

>
> 2) Did 'Clark' tell Martha who he was? Does Philip actually have
> feelings for Martha, more than just a resource?

I think he did, or at least indicated that he was a spy without specifying
Russia. So far she seemed (AIR) to go along.

>
>
> Also, I think the way we viewers see the show has evolved since it
> first aired. Our relations with Russia has decayed quite a bit since
> the premier. I think at the series premier the viewers were very
> sympathetic to the Jennings, even though we saw them ruthlessly kill
> people. However, now, I think viewers aren't as sympathetic and see
> their dark side, perhaps hoping they'll be caught.
>

Yes, I feel the same, but it's still hard not to root for Philip and
Elizabeth. BTW, I understand David and Keri are going to have a child in
real life.


--
Pete
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309823 is a reply to message #309761] Mon, 25 January 2016 18:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Quadibloc is currently offline  Quadibloc
Messages: 4031
Registered: June 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
> the U.S.

The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which were
the imitation 360s.

When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the VAX was
a popular target.

John Savard
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309834 is a reply to message #309820] Mon, 25 January 2016 18:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: kipg

"Peter Flass" <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1447103775.475454615.406502.peter_flass-yahoo.com@news.eternal-september.org...
> <hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote:
>> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:26:08 AM UTC-5, RS Wood wrote:
>>
>>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>>> bureaucracy?
>>
>> IMHO, a Soviet Embassy in the U.S. in 1982 would not have computers
>> in the office because:
>> 1) The Soviets lagged behind in technology.
>> 2) The Soviets had extensive experience using armies of clerks for
>> massive information processing, so they would probably do likewise
>> here.
>> 3) The Soviets were afraid of computers because they were afraid
>> a dissident could use them to spread anti-govt propaganda.
>
> I would have to believe this was researched as carefully as the rest of
> the
> background.

But it may not have been possible to can any russian VT100
clones to copy.

>> As to the show, The Americans, while it is entertaining, I think it
>> goes pretty far off into the world of fantasy, even though it is
>> loosely based on real events. I could certainly see a Soviet couple
>> pretending to be American citizens. However, I definitely do not
>> agree with their premise that this couple would have children and
>> the children would not know who they really were. Having children
>> substantially raises the risk of discovery, and spies do not want
>> to be discovered. Far better would be for the couple to live in an
>> isolated apartment, as opposed to interacting with their neighbors.
>> Further, the responsibilities of raising children, running their
>> 'front' business, and doing their spywork would mean they'd never
>> get any sleep.
>
> We don't really know, do we? We know there were KGB couples
> as sleeper agents, but I haven't heard about any children.

Plenty of them have had children. They would be stupid not to
because that would be one obvious way to work out who might
be a sleeper agent.

> One of the premises of the show is that these children, being born
> in the US, would have real documentation instead of manufactured,
> so their "covers" would stand up to any possible scrutiny.

And the presence of those children would make
it less likely they were KGB sleeper agents.

> In the show the KGB planned to infiltrate these
> children into sensitive positions when they grew up.

Bit risking given how hard it is to get kids
to do what you plan for them career wise.

>> Anyway, I missed some episodes of last season. Could someone advise...
>>
>> 1) What happened with Philip and the teen girl he befriended to get
>> info from there father?
>
> I forget a lot of details, but I think this one was left hanging. The KGB
> wanted Philip to sleep with her, but he was having problems because she
> was
> younger than his daughter.
>
>>
>> 2) Did 'Clark' tell Martha who he was? Does Philip actually have
>> feelings for Martha, more than just a resource?
>
> I think he did, or at least indicated that he was a spy without specifying
> Russia. So far she seemed (AIR) to go along.
>
>>
>>
>> Also, I think the way we viewers see the show has evolved since it
>> first aired. Our relations with Russia has decayed quite a bit since
>> the premier. I think at the series premier the viewers were very
>> sympathetic to the Jennings, even though we saw them ruthlessly kill
>> people. However, now, I think viewers aren't as sympathetic and see
>> their dark side, perhaps hoping they'll be caught.
>>
>
> Yes, I feel the same, but it's still hard not to root for Philip and
> Elizabeth. BTW, I understand David and Keri are going to have a child in
> real life.

We have in fact seen some of those infiltrated into 'protest' groups
in Britain get so into the infiltration that they have in fact had kids
with those they have shacked up with in the protest groups with
a massive stink indeed when the kids have essentially been
abandoned when the infiltrator has been extracted after being
exposed.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309841 is a reply to message #309743] Mon, 25 January 2016 19:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: J. Clarke

In article <dgmpjsF24gvU2@mid.individual.net>, rsw@therandymon.com
says...
If
> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
> different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
> a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
> inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
> terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
> quietly keeping everything in-house.

"Something serious in the workplace"?

Define "serious". The laptop that I got off of ebay for 200 bucks with
the original XP that it came with installed on it will hammer an '80s
supercomputer into the dust. PCs are immensely "serious" today. There
are tasks which individual machines are not good at (generally those
involving large numbers of users having shared access to live data) and
there are applications that benefit from massively parallel
architectures, but those are rather specialized and far more than most
businesses need.

> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309842 is a reply to message #309823] Mon, 25 January 2016 19:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Black is currently offline  Michael Black
Messages: 2799
Registered: February 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, Quadibloc wrote:

> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
>> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>> the U.S.
>
> The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which were
> the imitation 360s.
>
> When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the VAX was
> a popular target.
>
Maybe that explains the DEC in the tv show.

They'd procured it through legal channels, then had to wait till they had
some scheme to get it back to Russia. In the meanwhile, they set it up at
the embassy so they could play moonlander and the like.

Michael
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309863 is a reply to message #309842] Mon, 25 January 2016 22:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Quadibloc is currently offline  Quadibloc
Messages: 4031
Registered: June 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 5:30:09 PM UTC-7, Michael Black wrote:

> They'd procured it through legal channels, then had to wait till they had
> some scheme to get it back to Russia. In the meanwhile, they set it up at
> the embassy so they could play moonlander and the like.

You need a GT40 to play Lunar Lander, not a VT100!

I know, I played it once.

John Savard
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309877 is a reply to message #309863] Mon, 25 January 2016 23:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Black is currently offline  Michael Black
Messages: 2799
Registered: February 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, Quadibloc wrote:

> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 5:30:09 PM UTC-7, Michael Black wrote:
>
>> They'd procured it through legal channels, then had to wait till they had
>> some scheme to get it back to Russia. In the meanwhile, they set it up at
>> the embassy so they could play moonlander and the like.
>
> You need a GT40 to play Lunar Lander, not a VT100!
>
> I know, I played it once.
>
Excuse me. I was invoking the imagery of them "wasting time" playing
games with this computer that they had no other use for. Lunar Lander was
just a game that came to mind, it represented all games and wasn't meant
to be historically accurate.

Michael
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309892 is a reply to message #309779] Tue, 26 January 2016 03:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stan Barr is currently offline  Stan Barr
Messages: 598
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:17:26 -0500, Michael Black <et472@ncf.ca> wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, John Levine wrote:
>
>>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>>
>> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
>> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>> the U.S.
>>
>> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
>> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>>
>>
> Yes. There was an article in Byte at some point (so it was probably close
> to the end of the USSR) about their "home" computers, and they showed a
> few, basically copies of US computers. But they also had
> copies of US microprocessors, but at least one needed two or three ICs
> rather than the single IC in the US. SO that was an indication that they
> were lagging in what they could produce.
>
> Michael
>

The USSR PDP-11 clone on eBay a while back was a one-piece desktop unit
like a large Apple ][. Probably a bit too expensive new for any
average Soviet worker!

Just found this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKNC

--
Stan Barr plan.b@bluesomatic.org
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309895 is a reply to message #309892] Tue, 26 January 2016 06:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mausg is currently offline  mausg
Messages: 2483
Registered: May 2013
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On 2016-01-26, Stan Barr <plan.b@bluesomatic.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:17:26 -0500, Michael Black <et472@ncf.ca> wrote:
>> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, John Levine wrote:
>>
>>>> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers? I thought at least some computer
>>>> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
>>>> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
>>>> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>>>
>>> At computer conferences in the 1970s I saw a clone of a DEC computer
>>> made in Hungary, and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>>> the U.S.
>>>
>>> So it's unlikely the Soviets would have real DEC machines, but they
>>> could well have similar looking home made ones.
>>>
>>>
>> Yes. There was an article in Byte at some point (so it was probably close
>> to the end of the USSR) about their "home" computers, and they showed a
>> few, basically copies of US computers. But they also had
>> copies of US microprocessors, but at least one needed two or three ICs
>> rather than the single IC in the US. SO that was an indication that they
>> were lagging in what they could produce.
>>
>> Michael
>>
>
> The USSR PDP-11 clone on eBay a while back was a one-piece desktop unit
> like a large Apple ][. Probably a bit too expensive new for any
> average Soviet worker!
>
> Just found this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKNC
>

From my memories of the time, Bulgaria was selected as the country
to lead the warsaw pact into the computer age, and streams started
in the educational system there to do that. Only real result was virus
creation, and some part of tetris.

Accounts of the Hungarian Revolution was that people broke into
the secret police headquarters, while the secret police were working
on which side to go, and were amazed at how up-to-date the equipment
was.


--
greymaus
.
.
....
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309915 is a reply to message #309755] Tue, 26 January 2016 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jmfbahciv is currently offline  jmfbahciv
Messages: 6173
Registered: March 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Peter Flass wrote:
> <mausg@mail.com> wrote:
>> On 2016-01-25, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
>>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
>>> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about
>>> 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing
>>> off.
>>>
>>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
>>> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
>>> a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
>>> desks.
>>>
>>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
>>> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
>>> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
>>> the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
>>> with the show.
>>>
>>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>>> bureaucracy?
>>>
>>> Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data
>>> and Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no
>>> uncertain terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]):
>>> I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
>>> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
>>> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
>>> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
>>> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
>>> different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
>>> a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
>>> inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
>>> terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
>>> quietly keeping everything in-house.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
>>> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
>>> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
>>>
>>
>> probably the DEC did the job, and the staff were used to them.
>>
>>
>
> Second the vote on the show, it's terriffic.
>
> I think most of the staff would have been native Russians (or USSRians),
> but Russian equipment at the time was way behind the US, and DEC equipment,
> or East German clones, would have been used in Russia.

After the Berlin wall fell, JMF learned about fUSSR computing. He was
awed by what their hard/software engineers managed to get done with the
crap they had to work with. He also shuddered at the thought of what
mihgt have happened if the fUSSR had gotten "modern" hardware.


> DEC stuff was
> multi-lingual, but so was IBM. There was less concern about back-doors in
> those days because there was no internet and a lot of stuff was still
> hardwired.

<AHEM> You are wrong. Back doors were a security problem when I started
working on computers. If there was any comm access into a computer,
there could be a backdoor.

/BAH
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309916 is a reply to message #309756] Tue, 26 January 2016 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jmfbahciv is currently offline  jmfbahciv
Messages: 6173
Registered: March 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Michael Black wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, RS Wood wrote:
>
>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're not,
I
>> can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about 1982
Washington
>> DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing off.
>>
>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian embassy
to
>> the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features a lot of
>> prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's desks.
>>
>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
terminals
>> look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the desks of the
>> FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate: the VT100 reigned
>> from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond with the show.
>>
> But could the Soviets buy DEC computers?

No. The Soviets couldn't buy any US modern computers. They had to use
subterfuege to get modern gear for reverse engineering.

> I thought at least some computer
> stuff was restricted in where it could be sold. And even if not, buying
> outside of the USSR meant needing "hard currency", which I thought was
> often lacking. They had to spend it on the important things.
>
> Michael

/BAH
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309918 is a reply to message #309842] Tue, 26 January 2016 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jmfbahciv is currently offline  jmfbahciv
Messages: 6173
Registered: March 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Michael Black wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jan 2016, Quadibloc wrote:
>
>> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
>>> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>>> the U.S.
>>
>> The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which
were
>> the imitation 360s.
>>
>> When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the
VAX was
>> a popular target.
>>
> Maybe that explains the DEC in the tv show.
>
> They'd procured it through legal channels, then had to wait till they had
> some scheme to get it back to Russia. In the meanwhile, they set it up at
> the embassy so they could play moonlander and the like.

Except terminals are not computers.

/BAH
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309923 is a reply to message #309841] Tue, 26 January 2016 09:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: RS Wood

On 2016-01-26, J. Clarke <j.clarke.873638@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Something serious in the workplace"?
>
> Define "serious". The laptop that I got off of ebay for 200 bucks
> with the original XP that it came with installed on it will hammer an
> '80s supercomputer into the dust. PCs are immensely "serious" today.
> There are tasks which individual machines are not good at (generally
> those involving large numbers of users having shared access to live
> data) and there are applications that benefit from massively parallel
> architectures, but those are rather specialized and far more than most
> businesses need.

The fact that modern desktops have the computing power of old PDPs
doesn't have anything to do with deciding whether the old 'centralized'
model of computing has benefits that would be interesting today. Ask
any sysadmin who has had to deal with a fleet of PCs, each user storing
his stuff locally, people emailing each other documents to collaborate,
etc.

If modern PCs have high specs, hooray. Now put a souped-up, modern,
high spec version of what used to be called a PDP down in the basement,
and put a thin client on every desk. Live happily ever after.
Ostensibly, if desktops are 1x10^6 times more powerful, our servers are,
too: a recipe for happiness.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309925 is a reply to message #309823] Tue, 26 January 2016 09:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: RS Wood

On 2016-01-25, Quadibloc <jsavard@ecn.ab.ca> wrote:
> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
>> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>> the U.S.
>
> The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which were
> the imitation 360s.
>
> When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the VAX was
> a popular target.
>
> John Savard
#
These links look like interesting food for thought:

First, a book called Perspectives on #soviet and Russian Computing:
https://books.google.co.ug/books?id=-jSqCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA21 8&lpg=PA218&dq=soviet+computers+minicomputers&so urce=bl&ots=a4PfPVZV1k&sig=YCs1FBm6iFZQ3CmxzuPtZ-gJZ LE&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=soviet %20computers%20minicomputers&f=false

Good luck with that stupidly long Google URL.

This Wikipedia article is helpful and goes a bit into the BESM and
others:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_i n_Soviet_Bloc_countries

This page points out the BESM were mainframes, but the DVK family (ДВК)
— PDP-11 clones and the Elektronica were DEC clones

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_computer_system s

That leads me to believe they were at least trying hard to duplicate
American hardware. The comment above about PCs being not yet on
desktops in 1982 makes me wonder what the FBI must be using there - I'll
try to get a screenshot. Something like wyse terminals? Or IBM 3270s
networked to a mainframe or something? The FBI would have had money in
1982 to buy whatever they wanted, I'd think.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309934 is a reply to message #309925] Tue, 26 January 2016 09:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Andrew Swallow is currently offline  Andrew Swallow
Messages: 1705
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On 26/01/2016 14:35, RS Wood wrote:
> On 2016-01-25, Quadibloc <jsavard@ecn.ab.ca> wrote:
>> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
>>> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>>> the U.S.
>>
>> The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which were
>> the imitation 360s.
>>
>> When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the VAX was
>> a popular target.
>>
>> John Savard
> #
> These links look like interesting food for thought:
>
> First, a book called Perspectives on #soviet and Russian Computing:
> https://books.google.co.ug/books?id=-jSqCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA21 8&lpg=PA218&dq=soviet+computers+minicomputers&so urce=bl&ots=a4PfPVZV1k&sig=YCs1FBm6iFZQ3CmxzuPtZ-gJZ LE&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=soviet %20computers%20minicomputers&f=false
>
> Good luck with that stupidly long Google URL.
>
> This Wikipedia article is helpful and goes a bit into the BESM and
> others:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_i n_Soviet_Bloc_countries
>
> This page points out the BESM were mainframes, but the DVK family (ДВК)
> — PDP-11 clones and the Elektronica were DEC clones
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_computer_system s
>
> That leads me to believe they were at least trying hard to duplicate
> American hardware. The comment above about PCs being not yet on
> desktops in 1982 makes me wonder what the FBI must be using there - I'll
> try to get a screenshot. Something like wyse terminals? Or IBM 3270s
> networked to a mainframe or something? The FBI would have had money in
> 1982 to buy whatever they wanted, I'd think.
>

In 1982 the FBI could have had glass TTY as terminals. RS232 links to
the computer.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309936 is a reply to message #309923] Tue, 26 January 2016 10:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Morten Reistad is currently offline  Morten Reistad
Messages: 2108
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
In article <n87ve9$b84$1@solani.org>, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
> On 2016-01-26, J. Clarke <j.clarke.873638@gmail.com> wrote:
>> "Something serious in the workplace"?
>>
>> Define "serious". The laptop that I got off of ebay for 200 bucks
>> with the original XP that it came with installed on it will hammer an
>> '80s supercomputer into the dust. PCs are immensely "serious" today.
>> There are tasks which individual machines are not good at (generally
>> those involving large numbers of users having shared access to live
>> data) and there are applications that benefit from massively parallel
>> architectures, but those are rather specialized and far more than most
>> businesses need.
>
> The fact that modern desktops have the computing power of old PDPs
> doesn't have anything to do with deciding whether the old 'centralized'
> model of computing has benefits that would be interesting today. Ask
> any sysadmin who has had to deal with a fleet of PCs, each user storing
> his stuff locally, people emailing each other documents to collaborate,
> etc.
>
> If modern PCs have high specs, hooray. Now put a souped-up, modern,
> high spec version of what used to be called a PDP down in the basement,
> and put a thin client on every desk. Live happily ever after.
> Ostensibly, if desktops are 1x10^6 times more powerful, our servers are,
> too: a recipe for happiness.

A lot of this cloud stuff will move back to "computers that you
own but are located somewhere on the net" from "computers that someone
else owns but are located somewhere on the net".

A lot of the moves towards others computers has been founded on
a huge squeeze in hosting. If you go out and buy colo (i.e. rack space)
you will pay around $2k/rack/month for rack, power, connectivity; if
you buy single racks without any particular buying power; and you need
reasonable access ; i.e. within EU, near large city. Building the
same redundancy in your own basement will cost lots more. Orders of
magintude more. Just having the diesels, power, batteries, cooling in
costs millions. And double if you are in a standard office building.

If you are Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM you build all
of this yourself, or contract 1km2 or more. Then you pay $350/rack/month
to yourself. They can then sell the service LOTS cheaper, and will
include their services; and still make a bundle. And they have it available
now, not 7 months into the future.

Never mind that this is located in the Nevada desert, or in the Finnish
woods.

-- mrr
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309940 is a reply to message #309925] Tue, 26 January 2016 10:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hancock4 is currently offline  hancock4
Messages: 6561
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 9:35:48 AM UTC-5, RS Wood wrote:

> That leads me to believe they were at least trying hard to duplicate
> American hardware. The comment above about PCs being not yet on
> desktops in 1982 makes me wonder what the FBI must be using there - I'll
> try to get a screenshot. Something like wyse terminals? Or IBM 3270s
> networked to a mainframe or something? The FBI would have had money in
> 1982 to buy whatever they wanted, I'd think.

The TV show gave a glimpse of U.S. computing technology, too.

The FBI certainly had big mainframe computers in 1982, with tie-ins
to state police departments. The following WUTR article describes
it as of 1969 (S/360 model 50 and a S/360-40).
http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/archives/technica l/western-union-tech-review/23-4/p130.htm
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309945 is a reply to message #309925] Tue, 26 January 2016 11:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
Messages: 7383
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
> On 2016-01-25, Quadibloc <jsavard@ecn.ab.ca> wrote:
>> On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:48:00 AM UTC-7, John Levine wrote:
>>> and I gather the BESM series in Russia was a clone of
>>> S/360 running software borrowed from a real S/360 in their embassy in
>>> the U.S.
>>
>> The BESM-6 had a 48 bit word size - it preceded the EC/Ryad computers which were
>> the imitation 360s.
>>
>> When Soviet spies attempted to smuggle American computers to Russia, the VAX was
>> a popular target.
>>
>> John Savard
> #
> These links look like interesting food for thought:
>
> First, a book called Perspectives on #soviet and Russian Computing:
> https://books.google.co.ug/books?id=-jSqCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA21 8&lpg=PA218&dq=soviet+computers+minicomputers&so urce=bl&ots=a4PfPVZV1k&sig=YCs1FBm6iFZQ3CmxzuPtZ-gJZ LE&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=soviet %20computers%20minicomputers&f=false
>
> Good luck with that stupidly long Google URL.
>
> This Wikipedia article is helpful and goes a bit into the BESM and
> others:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_i n_Soviet_Bloc_countries
>
> This page points out the BESM were mainframes, but the DVK family (ДВК)
> — PDP-11 clones and the Elektronica were DEC clones
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_computer_system s
>
> That leads me to believe they were at least trying hard to duplicate
> American hardware. The comment above about PCs being not yet on
> desktops in 1982 makes me wonder what the FBI must be using there - I'll
> try to get a screenshot. Something like wyse terminals? Or IBM 3270s
> networked to a mainframe or something? The FBI would have had money in
> 1982 to buy whatever they wanted, I'd think.
>

All you need is anything before the &pg=, the rest points you to a specific
page and contains the search terms you used.

--
Pete
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309946 is a reply to message #309936] Tue, 26 January 2016 11:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
Messages: 7383
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Morten Reistad <first@last.name.invalid> wrote:
> In article <n87ve9$b84$1@solani.org>, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
>> On 2016-01-26, J. Clarke <j.clarke.873638@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> "Something serious in the workplace"?
>>>
>>> Define "serious". The laptop that I got off of ebay for 200 bucks
>>> with the original XP that it came with installed on it will hammer an
>>> '80s supercomputer into the dust. PCs are immensely "serious" today.
>>> There are tasks which individual machines are not good at (generally
>>> those involving large numbers of users having shared access to live
>>> data) and there are applications that benefit from massively parallel
>>> architectures, but those are rather specialized and far more than most
>>> businesses need.
>>
>> The fact that modern desktops have the computing power of old PDPs
>> doesn't have anything to do with deciding whether the old 'centralized'
>> model of computing has benefits that would be interesting today. Ask
>> any sysadmin who has had to deal with a fleet of PCs, each user storing
>> his stuff locally, people emailing each other documents to collaborate,
>> etc.
>>
>> If modern PCs have high specs, hooray. Now put a souped-up, modern,
>> high spec version of what used to be called a PDP down in the basement,
>> and put a thin client on every desk. Live happily ever after.
>> Ostensibly, if desktops are 1x10^6 times more powerful, our servers are,
>> too: a recipe for happiness.
>
> A lot of this cloud stuff will move back to "computers that you
> own but are located somewhere on the net" from "computers that someone
> else owns but are located somewhere on the net".
>
> A lot of the moves towards others computers has been founded on
> a huge squeeze in hosting. If you go out and buy colo (i.e. rack space)
> you will pay around $2k/rack/month for rack, power, connectivity; if
> you buy single racks without any particular buying power; and you need
> reasonable access ; i.e. within EU, near large city. Building the
> same redundancy in your own basement will cost lots more. Orders of
> magintude more. Just having the diesels, power, batteries, cooling in
> costs millions. And double if you are in a standard office building.
>
> If you are Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM you build all
> of this yourself, or contract 1km2 or more. Then you pay $350/rack/month
> to yourself. They can then sell the service LOTS cheaper, and will
> include their services; and still make a bundle. And they have it available
> now, not 7 months into the future.
>
> Never mind that this is located in the Nevada desert, or in the Finnish
> woods.
>

Obviously it takes a pretty large compNy to be able to afford this. Small
organizations will probably stick with hosting services.

--
Pete
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309960 is a reply to message #309915] Tue, 26 January 2016 12:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rod Speed is currently offline  Rod Speed
Messages: 3507
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
"jmfbahciv" <See.above@aol.com> wrote in message
news:PM00052A3D14B5F29D@aca46c41.ipt.aol.com...
> Peter Flass wrote:
>> <mausg@mail.com> wrote:
>>> On 2016-01-25, RS Wood <rsw@therandymon.com> wrote:
>>>> Anyone here familiar with that TV series, The Americans?[1] If you're
>>>> not, I can recommend it - it's pretty well done drama, set in about
>>>> 1982 Washington DC, where undercover KGB agents and the FBI are facing
>>>> off.
>>>>
>>>> Thought I'd mention it because every scene shot within the Russian
>>>> embassy to the USA (ie, the USSR's building in Washington DC) features
>>>> a lot of prominent shots of DEC VT100 terminals gracing everyone's
>>>> desks.
>>>>
>>>> At first I thought, typical Hollywood - they chose DEC because the
>>>> terminals look a bit more dated than the more modern PCs sitting on the
>>>> desks of the FBI, but poking around a bit [2], it might be accurate:
>>>> the VT100 reigned from about 1978 to 1982, so that would correspond
>>>> with the show.
>>>>
>>>> That got me thinking about how likely it would be for a diplomatic
>>>> mission to invest in DEC terminals (and presumably a mini somewhere in
>>>> the basement to which you could connect) to do business. What would
>>>> you do with them? Word processing, maybe database work, but would they
>>>> have invested in custom software for something or other - processing
>>>> visas or equivalent? Then I thought, the Soviets had their own
>>>> hardware around that time - I'd think they'd have chosen something
>>>> native to the USSR rather than buying American hardware (which would
>>>> run the [very real] risk of backdoors). In 1982 would VT100s still
>>>> have been anchored in academia, science and research, or would they
>>>> have already made the jump to other sectors - such as diplomacy and
>>>> bureaucracy?
>>>>
>>>> Final thought (mostly because I just finished Bruce Schneier's _Data
>>>> and Goliath_ - a highly recommended read that will show you in no
>>>> uncertain terms just how deeply the modern surveillance state goes[3]):
>>>> I'm wondering if there isn't room for a new age of minicomputers. If
>>>> surveillance scares customers out of the cloud, there's room again for
>>>> something serious in the workplace. Other than software-as-a-service,
>>>> why run the risk of offloading all your data to some cloud provider
>>>> (read Schneier's book!) when you can keep it in house. It might look
>>>> different, say thin clients and VMWare serving centralized desktops and
>>>> a couple racks of storage servers etc., but is the move to the cloud so
>>>> inevitable? I kind of like the idea of everyone going back to a
>>>> terminal on their desk and some behemoth of a machine in the basement,
>>>> quietly keeping everything in-house.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)
>>>> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100
>>>> [3] http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253747-data-and-goliath
>>>>
>>>
>>> probably the DEC did the job, and the staff were used to them.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Second the vote on the show, it's terriffic.
>>
>> I think most of the staff would have been native Russians (or USSRians),
>> but Russian equipment at the time was way behind the US, and DEC
>> equipment,
>> or East German clones, would have been used in Russia.
>
> After the Berlin wall fell, JMF learned about fUSSR computing. He was
> awed by what their hard/software engineers managed to get done with the
> crap they had to work with. He also shuddered at the thought of what
> mihgt have happened if the fUSSR had gotten "modern" hardware.

And now that they can have anything they want, nothing has happened in that
regard.

>> DEC stuff was
>> multi-lingual, but so was IBM. There was less concern about back-doors
>> in
>> those days because there was no internet and a lot of stuff was still
>> hardwired.
>
> <AHEM> You are wrong. Back doors were a security problem when I started
> working on computers. If there was any comm access into a computer,
> there could be a backdoor.
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309963 is a reply to message #309934] Tue, 26 January 2016 12:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne &amp; Lynn Wheel is currently offline  Anne &amp; Lynn Wheel
Messages: 3009
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Andrew Swallow <am.swallow@btinternet.com> writes:
> In 1982 the FBI could have had glass TTY as terminals. RS232 links to
> the computer.

story about another agency that was heavy glass-teletype in the early
80s. IBM was coming out with 3081 that was multiprocessor only ... but
there was problem with ACP/TPF operating system not having
multiprocessor support. Several releases of vm370 then had some
unnatural things done to it to improve ACP/TPF operation under VM370 on
multiprocessor ... but it degraded throughput for nearly all other
customers. At the same time, they did some optimization for 3270
terminal I/O which helped mask the ACP/TPF change degradation (for
customers that were heavily 3270) .... however ASCII terminal customers
were exposed to the full effect of the degradation.
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001f.html#email830420

reference to agencies being heavily virtual machine based ... going
back to cp67 in the 60s (gone 404, but lives on at wayback machine)
http://web.archive.org/web/20090117083033/http://www.nsa.gov /research/selinux/list-archive/0409/8362.shtml

this is email by Jim Gray talking about the 3830 disk controller
"locking" ACP RPQ ... but also mentions the number of ACP/TPF customers
& systems.
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008i.html#email800325

Part of the ACP/TPF issue was that clone makers continued to make faster
single processor machines and there was concern that the whole ACP/TPF
market would move to clone processors. Eventually they got around to
offerring 3083 which was 3081 with one of the processors
removed. However, there were other issues with 3081 technology comparing
poorly with clone processor makers ... discussed here
http://www.jfsowa.com/computer/memo125.htm

and they did all sorts of tweaks for 3083 trying to improve
competitivenes ... eventually including a custom channel microcode load
tailored for ACP/TPF operation ... marketed as 9083
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002f.html#18 Mail system scalability (Was: Re: Itanium troubles)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#65 ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Apps
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#66 ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Apps
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#67 ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Apps
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009m.html#30 As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009m.html#39 ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Apps
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010o.html#1 ZeuS attacks mobiles in bank SMS bypass scam
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011b.html#62 vm/370 3081
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013l.html#67 OT: NYT article--the rich get richer
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016.html#74 Lineage of TPF

--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
Re: DEC and The Americans [message #309985 is a reply to message #309963] Tue, 26 January 2016 14:05 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
hancock4 is currently offline  hancock4
Messages: 6561
Registered: December 2011
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 12:58:36 PM UTC-5, Anne & Lynn Wheeler wrote:

> story about another agency that was heavy glass-teletype in the early
> 80s. IBM was coming out with 3081 that was multiprocessor only ...

In 1979, my employe had a 158 with a tightly attached second processor.
We served a CICS network of about 500 3270 terminals. The machine was
maxed out.

I had no idea of how the dual processor worked, or how it added
capacity.

Could someone explain "tightly coupled" vs. "loosely coupled" vs.
simply having two separate machines, shared disks, and a split
workload?


(A few years later they replaced the 158 with a 30xx box, but I don't
recall what. The new machine was still maxed out as they added
more applications to it.)
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