View Full Version : Pr1me memories

February 7th, 2009, 02:15 AM
This forum brings back fond memories of the Pr1me mini in use at the office circa 1985.

The "mini with mainframe functionality":


And, of course, PRIMOS:


Good times sorting the punch cards after a data keyer dropped a couple trays' worth. Later, the satisfaction of a mag tape drive finished writing and rewinding, clackety-clackety-clack. Lots of fun changing data row-by-row using the ED command. And then there was the time a system manager caught an employee sleeping under the raised floor tiles (plunger down on tile, lift, look down to see...sneakers!).

Too bad about Pr1me's up-and-down history:


Ah, well, by the mid-90s the whole system fit onto an Exabyte 8mm tape drive. The calls for repair were as often as thrice weekly, but it was fun to watch the guy pull out all those boards inside the cabinets. Sad to see the Pr1me "heritage system" components roll out the door and onto the truck, replaced by a four-foot-high rack of servers.

But what was the significance of "Gandalf" in the context of Pr1me functionality?

Cheers! CC


February 7th, 2009, 02:56 AM
Ahh Prime. I used one for data crunching during my graduate days and have fond memories.

You are probably aware of the Prime emulator on the net but if not telnet to prirun.dyndns.org 8001.

Type "login guest" then "pr1me" for the password (note the third letter is a 1, not an i).

Help shows a list of commands.


nige the hippy
February 7th, 2009, 03:15 AM
I had just started on-the-job training doing component-level repairs on prime minis when the workshop I was working in got closed down. My kind of thing, spending a week tracking down a fault was not uncommon.

"Gandalf" made a range of datacomms products, I don't know whether it's that you mean in this context. I was on a tour of liverpool university while at school. We happened to walk past a 6' tall rack cabinet with smoked glass doors and thousands of blinkenlights showing the status of all the terminals which were connected through it. It was introduced as "The Gandalf".

Liked the Vids! Tom Baker was my favourite early Dr Who, and Romana was the first "assistant" I remember who ever did anything to assist! Very scrummy in a willowy kind of way;)

February 7th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Speaking of Gandalf, I have several LDS 140s stacked up around here and can find NO info on them.

Obviously, they are telecomm devices, but, does anyone have any more info on them?

While we are at it, I also have a bunch of KTI Model 9.0N units that I struck out on, info-wise, so, as long as we are tiptoeing through the memory banks.....

March 31st, 2009, 05:34 AM
Apologies for the delay, but thank you for the responses. Yes, nige, Gandalf was datacomms. If memory serves, the cabinet was about 2 meters tall, certainly taller than the Pr1me gear. Sorry, Druid, I have no info on the LDS 140s. And thanks, tezza, for the note on Pr1me commands (yes, "1" not "i").

On a general note, remembering the sight of all the hardware (and manuals) carted out the door, it's too bad you can't turn back the clock and capture gear and manuals BEFORE it all goes to the rubbish bin.