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The CM-2a is the low-end machine in the CM-2x line. Imagine a single 'cube'
sliced-off from the CM-200 'hypercube' - that's a CM-2a. Could be configured
with up to 8192 CPUs (!).
My system came from the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.
A single translucent black cube...
...if that doesn't qualify as 'sexiest computer of all time' I don't know what does!
OK OK it needs dusting... All the interfaces live on the lower rear...
From left to right:
Power on/off and cover up/down keyswitches (yes, there's a little motor which raises the perspex cover to reveal the boards!)
Front-end interface - Connection Machines are essentially enormous co-processors; they do nothing without a front-end workstation. Sun, VAX, or Symbolics LISP.
RGB connectors for the integrated Display Buffer - for visualisation of results.
Two connectors for Data Vault - an optional external hard disk array which can buffer the data for the computations.
Power connector - 220V, 1-phase - a supercomputer you can run at home! (and I intend to! :-)
Cover off, showing the almost-complete board set.
The NX board is missing, and it’s critical; it’s the interface between the Connection Machine and the host front-end system. I desperately need to locate one of these boards! email tmfdmike attt gmail dawt com (spoiled for spammers) if you can help, or know anyone who might…
There are very very few Connection Machines in any kind of museum - I believe CHAC has one, I have heard William Donzelli has one, that's about it. I don't believe there are *any* other CM-2a machines in captivity. If you know otherwise, please email me!
http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/geog/gessler/collections/ ...Nicholas Gessler has a couple of CM-2s.
http://tinyurl.com/kauy This appalling URL, which I have shortened, gives some good background on Connection Machines.
http://mission.base.com/tamiko/cm/ The striking design of the Connection Machine was the work of the wonderful Tamiko Thiel
http://www.inc.com/magazine/19950915/2622.html A fascinating article chronically the rise & fall of Thinking Machine Corporation, the company that produced Connection Machines.
http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/vs-cm-1-2-5.html The Computer History Museum have three Connection Machines...
http://g-lenerz.de/sgistuff/movies/jpark.html ...and a CM-5 starred in 'Jurassic Park'!