These photos were salvaged by Peter Wooster when Reuters Canada shut down its operations in the Exchange Tower in Toronto. There are four groups of photos:
A] Mainframe hardware at E.T.((two images)
B] 3705 and Alpha hardware at E.T. (two images)
C] CAI LSI-2 boards owned by Peter Wooster which he has photographed. (two images)
D] English (London and Oxford) Alpha installations of various sizes
E] Continental Alpha installations of various sizes
I have created five different index pages for the benefit of those with limited bandwidth connections. I have provided hasty incomplete captions for the Toronto pictures. Any help in identifying mystery component would be appreciated.
A] Mainframe pictures
Amdahl 470V6 and 470V8 at Exchange Tower. An air conditioning unit is visible to the right of the windows. Right Amdahl cabinet is 470V6 power distribution unit. 470V6 CPU is to the right and not visible in this image.
The desk height white cabinet in the foreground held a Data General mini-computer which controlled the Amdahl 470 in certain circumstances such as IPL and diagnostics.
The two clocks affixed to the ceiling above the V6 PDU display EST and UTC.
Memorex 3670 and 3650 Disk Drives. The five rows in the back are Memorex 3650 fixed disks. A sixth row of 3650s is visible to the left end-on. Three rows of 3670 removable disk drives are shown (first row is viewed from the rear). I assume the 3670 drives are 3670-II double density models (200mb per disk).
Three large air-conditioning units are barely visible in the photo. At the extreme left lower corner, a dark vertical panel is part of an A/C unit. The front of another is seen at the rear of the room. The end panel of a third A/C is on the right in front of the first 3670 row.
The device to the left of the nearest 3670 row is a 3673 Head of String (H.O.S.). It was the intermediary device that communicated between the serial interface of the string of disk drives and the parallel interface to the 3674 Storage Control Unit (SCU) which in turn attached to the IBM (or Amdahl) channels. In the upper left corner is a stack of unused floor tiles towers above the end-on 3650 row.
B] 3705 and Alpha hardware at the Exchange Tower (two images)
Three single frame 3705s are visible. A & P served PROD; 3705S served Intern. Above the large letter P, some pressure sensitive tape labels giving 3705 NSC & ESC addresses are visible but not legible. On 3705S two white magnetic tape labels document channel cabling.
Blank panel on left of picture is rear of a 3705 with a white side panel. 3705KL (two frame machine) which served PROD with both IPSANET and some local terminals is hidden behind the white-sided 3705. Glass wall to right of the single frame machines encloses noisy and dusty unit record equipment. An IBM 2821 is visible to the right of 3705P.
The control panel switches for 3705P appear to be set to Function Six with switches BC set to X'26'. (The resolution is inadequate and switch reading BC is inferred from digits to left of the black centre area.) These settings combined with switches DE set to select the receive half of a synchronous netowrk link would provide information about the current error rate on the link. Zero in the upper display would indicate zero CRC failures in the current 15 minute sample. The lower register value of X'58' shows 88 instances of inter-frame garble in the current sample. The two lights in the bottom row are Program Display and Wait. The Wait light is slightly brighter than in midday operation which would suggest the picture was taken at a time of reduced load.
Alpha and modems:
Extreme right rack was Vadic (later Racal Vadic) answering modems. To left is rack with IP SHARP COMMUNICATIONS cover plates. One plate covers a U-shaped piece of sheet metal which supports three small PCBs: AMM Autospeed, UMM breakout, 3705 HD to FD. Seven Alphas (nodes 130 to 136) are mounted in two racks. Two of the Alphas have expansion chassis. More cover plates are visible. The leftmost rack on right side (by the ladder) has some RS-232 patch panels at the top. To the right at the top is a row of RS-232 A/B switches.
There are some mysteries: Leftmost rack below patch panel was white panel with two horizontal black stripes. I suspect this might be 1200 bps Vadic answer-only modems. Sparsely populated rack below this and above IP SHARP COMMUNICATIONS plate is a mystery. Just to the right is a dark panel bordered by two vertical metal strips. This is a rack of Gandalf limited distance async modems with a maximum speed of 9600 (??) baud. These modems served HDS terminals in the Exchange Tower office running at speeds of 1200 bps and up. Forth rack to the left (next to rack with three Alphas) appears to have a modem below the three IP SHARP COMMUNICATIONS cover plates. Object below the "modem" with two vertical handles is a mystery.
On the wall underneath the wooden spool are some small black boxes. On the wall underneath the wooden spool are some small black boxes. They contained patch panels to connect in-building 327x terminals to IBM 3274 controllers.
The desk with two telephones holds a HDS 104 terminal. There is a single RS-232 A/B switch which switches the 104 between hardwired mode and the modem which is between the switch and the CRT. Foreground telephone is connected to the modem. Orange plastic object is a zarf to hold a disposable coffee cup.
There are three racks behind the HDS 104. Most all of this equipment was associated with synchronous modems used to connect the Alpha and 3705s to remote nodes. At the top right is another HDS 104 with keyboard viewed end on. This is running the comm monitor APL program and showing no lines down. At top left is a passive protocol analyzer. Below the datascope is an oscilloscope with a specialized use. XY input to the scope came from the adjacent two pole rotary switch which selected output from one of the modems in the centre rack. The scope displayed a received signal constellation from the selected modem. This was of some use in eyeballing telco caused line impairments. It provided visual support for the QAM lecture to which some visitors were subjected.
Centre modem rack top has four identical rack mount modems. I suspect these are V.29 Codex or Racal Milgo modems. The gap below is blurred. There once was a Western Electric 209 9600bps modem in that rack but I cannot identify it. The bottom four modems in the centre rack are TCTS DataRoute STUs (limited distance synchronous modems). The top of the right rack is a mystery. Might be Gandalf Supermodems (9600bps). Six beige boxes with two green lights are Directran 611 asynchronous modems used by Bell Canada Dataroute. Below the Directrans are a 208 dialout modem with an ASCII controlled autodialler below it.C] CAI LSI-2 boards owned by Peter Wooster which he has photographed. (two images)
Synchronous Modem Controller (SMC) was a CAI device to attach a single Bisync line to an Alpha. The large white chip is labelled: top row COM2501 bottom row SMC 7/11. The black chips for 74xx or 74xxx types. The silver vertical lines between the chip rows are metal rails. These rails provided stiffening and distributed +5V and ground to the chips. The upper edge connector served two purposes: jumpers provided device and interrupt addresses; an RS-232 cable connected here.
Core Storage. This board provided 16,384 16-words (32K bytes) of storage with a 1200 nanosecond cycle time. It was possible to install two boards to double the memory size but this was not normally done in IPSANET nodes.
D] English Alpha installations of various sizes
London: The three people shown are Geoff Oxer[left], David Chivers, Roger Barnacle[right]. Left rack has nodes 4 and 26. Kennedy tape drive (connected to node ??) is behind Geoff. There is an another Alpha below the tape drive. Another Alpha is behind David. Rack on the right contains three shelves of Codex modems (two per shelf). Devices above and below the shelf-mount Codex modems are older rack-mount Codex modems. Green panel at top is a patch panel to assist in quick modem swaps. Location is basement of 132 Buckingham Palace Road.
Oxford site photo by Geoff Oxer. Node number is in hex rather than decimal as in London N26. The modem above "N4E" is a Racal Milgo 2400. The left hand rack contains eight asynchronous modems. The rack and modems were supplied by the British Post Office. It was known as a "Control 200A".
E] Continental Alpha installations of various sizes. The asynchonous modems were provided by the national PTT and little information is available about their manaufacturers or model numbers. These installations were photographed by Geoff Oxer.
A Teletype ASR33 is visible to the left of the racks. It displayed network event messages originating on the Continent. Five Codex LSI modems are seen to the left of the ASR33.
The third rack includes an 8" floppy disc drive near the top. The bottom of the rack has two kinds of low speed modems. The fourth rack has low speed modems.
Amsterdam2 shows key cabinet, electrical distribution panel, and two small cabinets to hold PTT-supplied line conditioning equipment
LSI-2 and Codex LSI modem
Codex shelf mount modem similar to those seen in London photo is visible at top right.
Below the Alpha is a rack which carries two UMM breakout panels. The left most panel has four asynchronous cables; the centre panel has a single synchronous cable. Flat cable above the breakout panel was connected to a UMM in the Alpha chassis. In North America, the breakout panels were normally at the rear rather than the front.
A synchronous modem and four asynchronous modems are visible at the bottom.
The UMM breakout panel below the Alpha shows twelve low-speed cables. The extra four were connected to hard-wired terminals in the office. The package on top of the rack which looks like a pizza container held a spare board for the Alpha.