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PR1ME Time

Prime Computer advertisement

All of Prime’s extensive software, including its operating system, was written in FORTRAN. After initially pursuing control applications, Prime found success focusing on business applications.

PR1ME Time

Prime (also PR1ME) was yet another minicomputer company founded by ex-Honeywell employees, some of whom had worked on Multics, an early timesharing system.

The firm’s products reflected its roots: they were clones of Honeywell computers. But the Prime 300 in 1974 added the paging hardware necessary to support timesharing, which was unusual in a minicomputer.

Prime 300/400

Bill Poduska, Prime’s lead technical founder, tested the original concept for the Prime 300 at a NASA lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, modifying a Honeywell DDP-516 to add paging hardware needed for virtual memory.

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Banking on Computers

Bank trust departments once relied on bookkeepers wearing green visors to crunch numbers. SEI Corporation proposed changing that by providing bank officers with desktop terminals linked to SEI’s Prime 300 computer in Philadelphia. The computer would crunch the numbers instead.

After Wells Fargo Bank signed up, sales took off.

Al West, co-founder of SEI

Al West and his Wharton Business School friend Steve Katz came up with the idea for SEI while still in school.

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