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Hey to all here. I'm interested in building a really super old, super huge mainframe. Are there places like Atariage that just deal with computers/computing? Thanks for whatever help you have

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That will be one impressive electric bill.

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Generally they use a 415 Volt AC power source, and a lot of it.

 

And it's not just a case of one box and off you go.

 

For a minimal system you have CPU, a disk controller, preferably 2+ hard disks, a terminal controller and 2-3 terminals. Then you have cooling, typically a beefy AC system blowing air into a false floor.

 

Problem #2 is that there'd be practically no vintage mainframes left - they become worthless for their intended purpose and are scrapped for gold/metals salvage.

 

You'd be better off running emulation, e.g. Hercules. IBM has even PD'd an old version of a 360 series OS.

 

From there you come to another problem - getting hold of any software that'd be of any use to you.

 

Not to mention the problem of knowing how to set stuff up. If you can find ready made system images then that'd be easy enough. To build the OS/software side from scratch though, not the sort of thing just anyone could do.

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Hey you never know what an ad on Craigslist can turn up!

 

But your best bet would be emulation and then building your own mainframe shell around the computer, you could then copy a design from a favorite movie like Tron or those sentient mainframes from the Fallout games, etc. You'd have a lot more freedom as regards to size, and you could even wire up some reel to reel decks and flashing lights as part of the facade.

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