Columbia University Computing History   

Columbia DEC-20 Machine Room Scene 16 May 1984

Columbia DEC-20 machine room
Text and Photo: Courtesy of Tom De Bellis; click photo to enlarge.
This is a scanned photo that was taken on May 16th, 1984: the day I was awarded the Italian department's Medaglia d'Oro prize for scholarship. No coffee, just a $100 and a certificate. Mother and Grandmother approved... Anyway that is the reason why I have a suit on and was washed, showered and shaved (as opposed to my normal fuzzy self in shorts). CU20D decided to die that day and we were all over there scratching our heads. I was talking to the guys before going off to get my award.

You can tell that CU20D is down because my mother is standing to the left of CU20B, shooting towards CU20A. The RP06 in the foreground is part of CU20D's PS: pack and has its device selector out so that no further funnyness could zorch the structure. There are three rows of RP06's: the row in the front was CU20D, the next row was CU20B and the row beyond that is CU20A's disks.

CU20A is dimly seen in the background. You can see an RP06 disk pack on the far left of of the machine near the 10 ton air conditioner, To the right of this is a stack of backup magnetic tapes (which I wish I had!), to the left of Vace's shoulder is the 9600 baud modem that we used to implement CCnet to CMU.

The people in the photo, from left to right are: Ken Rossman, Eric Weaver, Vace Kundakci (now Director of AcIS), Thomas DeBellis (me!), Andrew Kosoresow (a part time systems programmer who worked for me) and Phil Cokorinos, the head of SA (Systems Assurrance, a.k.a. Data Communications). Remember that this was in 1984, so there was no HSC50, CI nor RA81 disk arrays.

–Tom De Bellis, December 2003.

Andrew Kosoresow went on to get two PhDs and join Columbia's CS faculty. He died June 1st, 2003. From Columbia University Engineering News, Fall 2003:

Vaçe Kundakcı moved to CCNY in 2007 and retired from there.

Columbia University Computing History Frank da Cruz / This page created: December 2003 Last update: 11 April 2021