Home-brewed, tenth-scale Cray-1A

Computers & Mobile
Home-brewed, tenth-scale Cray-1A


When NYC Resistor’s Chris Fenton wanted a Cray, he wasn’t talking about a casemodded PC. No, he really wanted his own Cray. His exhaustively-researched machine simulates the functionality of one of the old-school supercomputers, to the point where he’s researching old Cray resources looking for programs to run — apparently you can’t exactly download Centipede for the Cray off the Internet, who knew?

No hackerspace is complete without it’s own rockin’ supercomputer – and when a Gibson isn’t available, a Cray-1 will have to do. My 1/10-scale, binary-compatible Cray-1 is finally done! This project took a long time (almost as long as my infamous electromechanical computer, or *gasp* the MegaScroller), but it’s done. And it’s awesome. NYCR now has its own Cray-1A, complete with wrap-around pleather sitting area. Eat your hearts out fellow hackerspaces!

Brave hackers take note, Chris has made his working files available on his site. [Via NYC Resistor]

2 thoughts on “Home-brewed, tenth-scale Cray-1A

  1. RocketGuy says:

    I work in an area that used to house a Cray, and apparently they discovered that some jobs would inexplicably slow down slightly, usually around 12-1pm. This cause a lot of head scratching and drama for a while until they figured out what was going on.

    As it turns out, if people sat on the pleather bench surrounding the machine(like during lunch), the EMF from their bodies would actually interfere with the machine’s operation and slow things down by a fraction of a percent. Probably only noticeable given the extremely optimized bus structure (and lack of shielding?).

    So they put up a rope barrier. No cray bench for you!

    I presume that the use of modern components has probably made this unlikely to happen on the scale model, but I’m not dinging it for the lack of that “feature”.

    Truly an awesome build!

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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