IT WAS OCTOBER 1977, IN THE CAMPUS COMPUTING CENTRE’S first room set aside for computer networking. Amid the nest of cables, a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP 8e fed coded data to an adjoining room where a state-of-the-art “Big Iron” computer—an IBM System/370, model 148—had been installed that year.
Allan Trumpour, BSc ’69, a senior programmer analyst in the Computer Science department, remembers the mainframe system was the university’s only central service computer, handling all of the teaching, administrative and research loads. It would have had one or two megabytes of main memory, with a price tag of between half a million and three quarters of a million. The desktop PCs installed last spring in the Computer Science teaching labs have 2000MB of main memory—at about $1,000 each.
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