Remembering the Cray-1

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In the latest installement of This Old Box, The Register has an interesting overview of the Cray-1. Included in the article is a bit of history for Seymour Cray as well.

The Cray-1 is to supercomputers what Sigmund Freud is to psychiatrists.

For those of you young whipper-snappers that don’t have the Cray-1 stats tattooed on your forearms, check it out:

  • Released: 1976
  • Price: ~$5M – $9M
  • Proc: 80Mhz
  • Memory: 8MB Max main memory

The pictures look to be from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. They have several other supercomputers available for your viewing pleasure.

Read the full article here.


  1. One of the ladies I met in Chippewa Falls while I was there for training actually helped wire Serial #1. Sonja. She’s still a fixture at Cray.

    Cray has an amazing number of 20-30+ year people per capita. I was amazed by the dedication of the folks that survived the SGI takeover and cutbacks. They are truly die hard Cray folk.

    When I told them that in the last 10 years I had worked for IBM twice, AT&T Wireless, Northrop Grumman, and now Cray, well, they looked at me like I was nuts. Why would anyone want to change companies like that?

    Cray may or may not survive the next few years. But it definitely won’t fail because of the people that work for it.

  2. Greg Lindahl says

    Not only is the Cray-1’s processor not measured in Mhz and Megabytes but rather in cycle time and megawords, but also I would hope that it would not be compared to a charlatan who single-handedly set back his ‘scientific’ field by 50 years.

    — greg