Tek AI workstations (was: success)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Thu Mar 16 21:35:04 UTC 2000

Bruce O'Neel wrote:
> "Jecel Assumpcao Jr." <jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
> > First a little story. At the 1986 "National Computer Fair" in Rio de Janeiro
> > (Brazil), I was showing a little Smalltalk based Network Computer
> <snip>
> That reminds me.  A while go, '84 or so, I say a demo of a computer
> from Tektronics which was a fantastic demo of Smalltalk.  My boss and
> I at the time debated a long time buying a few (keep in mind that we
> were a vax 780/fortran group) given that the demo looked way faster
> than the 780 we shared, even when we were the only ones on it.
> Looked like a great system.  What was it so that I can keep my eyes out
> for one?  I think lack of fortran killed it for us eventually.  
> Too much scientific code in fortran, too little time to figure it all out
> to rewrite it :-(  Scientific reputations are made after running some
> truely horrid code...

Hmmm... there seems to be surprisingly little information on the Tektronix 4404
(68010 based) and 4406 (68020 based) Smalltalk machines on the web. Perhaps
someone on the list who has one of these gathering dust in a basement would
care to comment on them?

I do have some old Tek catalogs in a box somewhere, but there weren't many
details. As far as I know, however, you could choose to run a Unix clone as
well as Smalltalk on these machines. It is very likely that you could get
Fortran as an option (f2c didn't exist back then yet, did it?), so it seems you
missed a neat opportunity :-)

-- Jecel

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