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Honeywell DPS8

Manufacturer Honeywell Information Systems, Inc.
Identification,ID DPS8, - DPS8/70M
Date of first manufacture about 1983
Number produced -
Estimated price or cost maybe $10 million
location in museum not on public display
donor - Tom Van Vleck says "On indefinite loan from National Cryptologic Museum, Ft Meade MD"

Most of the information on this web page was kindly supplied by Tom Van Vleck, web site Multics Home

Contents of this page:

DPS8/70M - from the Dockmaster computer site. Dockmaster is the code name for the computer site. This photo is of the machine now in the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA


from Tom Van Vleck, web site Multics Home
DPS8/70M is a descendant of the 645. The /70 is a particular model in the line (speed, memory size, etc.) The M is the Mulitx suffix.

After the "merger" when Honeywell bought the GE computer dept, the Phoenix operation became Honeywell Large Information Systems Division, and they brought out a medium-scale integrated version of the GE 600 line as the Honeywell 6000 line. The Multics machine in this line was the Honeywell 6180, an improvement over the 645 in many areas. Subsequent Multics machines used the same processor architecture, with various master-mode-only tweaks to accommodate I/O evolution. But all were 36-bit, 8 index-register, A and Q register machines with many instructions in common.

One thing that changed in the 6180 and its descendants was that the GIOC was eliminated. The 6180 used a standard GCOS IOM plus a Datanet-30 descendant called a Datanet-355. Later Multics machines such as the DPS8/70M used other I/O arrangements inherited from GCOS. If you follow the Multics links page to the History of Bull, you'll find a French view of the subsequent history, and some information on John Couleur's disastrous "New System Architecture" which wasted many millions on features that were never used by GCOS and which caused the demise of Multics.


Special features
A paged, segmented virtual memory, with integrated security controls, based on the G.E. 645 which had an early virtual memory.

It could run Multics.

See System Design of a Computer for Time Sharing Applications and Multics Home

Historical Notes
from Tom Van Vleck
This machine was used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) from 1984-1998. It was installed at the Friendship Annex site in Linthicum MD as a 1 CPU system, and expanded to a 3 cpu, 2 SCU, 2 IOM system in 1986. The system was used by NSA to support communications about computer security with industry, other agencies, and contractors.

This Artifact
"DOCKMASTER" - code name for the computer site that formerly housed this artifact. See Multics - Site History: DOCKMASTER

In an attempt at humor - one could say
" This particular DPS8/70M was born on a little ranch in Arizona and sold to the no-talk folks out by Friendship Airport, worked hard all its life and was retired, given to the NCM, loaned to CHM. "

Interesting Web Sites

Other information
- Ex-Multics folks might like to register at Multicians Registration

If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen

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Updated Aug 28, 2012