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Derek Child: Burrough B6700 N-Gen II

The Artist and Work of Art

Derek Child's Burrough B6700

Although little is known about the  creator of this  collage, the work is significant  within the collection from the point of view of  its constituent parts. Burrough B6700 N-Gen II is mad from decommissioned computer parts from systems prior to 1985. The artist/creator, Derek Child , was a member of the computing faculty at the time of the work's creation.

The Boroughs B6700  itself was a large computing system  that operated on a double clock cycle, a low-speed for the multiplexor and non-arithmetic instructions, and a higher clock speed only for arithmetic instructions. The low-speed was either 2.5MHz or 5MHz, with the latter the most common. The arithmetic instructions ran at 5MHz or 10MHz. The speed settings could be changed in the field when the customer paid for the upgrade. Memory cycle time was one of 0.5 usec, 1.2 usec or 1.5 usec.

The choice of a steam locomotive for the parts may reflect a slight sense of humour on the part of the creator. Much like steam locomotives, computer systems have developed fast and systems soon become old and obsolete.

Burroughs B6700 system

References

Burroughs B6700 System: http://www.retrocomputingtasmania.com/home/projects/burroughs-b6700-mainframe