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21 Mar 2004

Site History: Bull Systeme X

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Gerard Vanderschooten

Sat, 21 Sep 2002

System X was dedicated to the Bull support group activity (training, developpement, validation of new releases and modifications, etc). It was installed in Louveciennes (around 1982) where the Bull Support Group was install.. and then moved to INRIA platform when Honeywell Bull decided to no longer develop new Multics platform and that the Bull Support Group was reduced (down to one guy..). The System X configuration was bi-processor, with one of each of the existing technologies (68 and DPS8-Multics) to allow training of field engineers with both ones.

(Click any image for a larger view)

General view of system_X

General view of system_X, with Pierre Orcel (our System_X operator) in front, putting some label on cable before installation, and, from right to left in the back, Gilles Sauvagnat (with the beard), a member of the support group, Paul Schramm (you probably know this guy from Phoenix, that I hired in 1982 for one year.. and that left France back to the states 10 years later, after having be the last member of the support group!), and myself.

engineers, CPU doors open

I am with a newly hired engineer for the support group, way to remind it's name! Discussing in front of a "door-opened" cpu..may be for debugging or more probably for the new guy's training purpose.

Engineer at terminal

Just me at the Multics operator terminal with the two datanet in my back (one was the regular model used by every Multics, the other one is the new DSA one design by Bull, both are based on the same level-6 hardware, but the Bull one is more OSI oriented). In the back one can recognized the board tester.

engineers looking inside cabinet

G. Sauvagnat and myself checking something in the MSP (probably one of these damned hardware problems!)

engineers at operator console

G. Sauvagnat and myself at the Multics operator console.. probably after having solve some problem..I'm smilling!! I hope these information could be found interesting by some people! I will try to chase thru my remaining neurones to find more about this time!

Bull system_X

One in color of SystemX. Can see in the rear the larger cabinet of the 68 CPU and on the right the DPS8 one.

Updated 21 Mar 2004

By the way, SystemX was my "baby" as I'm the one that defined the required configuration for the Bull support group and that took care of it as long as I was the support group manager...until 1987 few time after the announcement of the "no-future" for Multics.