From 1993 till 1996 I worked for Control Data Systems (CDS) in the Netherlands. CDS was the systems integrator spin-off of mainframe manufacturer Control Data Corporation, once one of the largest computer companies in the world, behind IBM of course. An often used line was: “IBM and the BUNCH”, bunch being Burrows, Unisys, NCR, Control Data and Honeywell. I visited their HQ in Minneapolis-Saint Paul (the Twin Cities) once and had a good time there.

Back in 1993 we had a 9k6 leased-line from Holland to the corporate network, and a public IP on the desktop (cdh.cdc.com sub-domain). You could download a new linux kernel (source of course) during lunch time, we’re talking 0.99.xx releases here. The main FTP sites were Sunsite and TSX11. I ran a linux desktop (486dx2) with dosemu for WP5.1, a perfect suitable combination for reports and documents.

For anybody interested in the rich history of Control Data (you do know that Seymour Cray was CDC’s chief engineer, don’t you?) I recommend the book “The Eye for Innovation” by Robert M. Price. Note that this is not a technical book, it’s more about becoming, being and staying an innovative company.

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