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July 8, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

It’s never possible to find anyone that knows the answer to such questions so identifying new mainframes from NEC Corp requires a deal of detective work, and it now turns out that the new Acos 3800 is not a 36-bit GCOS 8 machine at all, but a 32-bit GCOS 7 machine – which raises the question why anyone should want to run a mid-range operating system on a 500 MIPS machine – it’s like IBM coming out with a six-processor Summit machine designed exclusively to run DOS/VSE: the reason that the Acos 3800 must be a Bull DPS 7000-compatible monster is that, we now learn, it is designed to run the Acos-4 operating system and not Acos-6; NEC’s two mainframe lines are derived from the old Honeywell Level 64 – DPS 7000 predecessor, and Level 66 DPS 8000 predecessor – and instead of using the Honeywell operating system names – which were GCOS 64 and GCOS III at the time, the Japanese took the Honeywell machine numbers for its versions of the operating systems; although Bull has taken some low-end models of the 32-bit NEC line for sale as top-end DPS 7s, it seems inconceivable that any GCOS 7 users will ever need the power of the Acos 3800; a top-end 36-bit GCOS 8-compatible variant in the same technology is still awaited from NEC, but such a machine might well find a home at a few DPS 90 sites such as Eastern Electricity.

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