Typical Prime 300 Virtual Computer System: central processor with 128K byte main memory, 12M byte disk, 300 lpm printer, magnetic tape, paper tape reader/punch and CRT system console.

From a Prime Product Announcement c. 1975

What Is It?

Could several people or departments within your organization use similar systems?

With a Prime 300 virtual computer system, up to 31 users can be provided with resources like those just described at a cost per user of as little as $5,200. No, that's not the monthly rental; that's the total purchase price per user for a Prime 300 capable of providing 31 complete and independent virtual computer systems. Or looking at it another way, for a total purchase price of about $165,000, one Prime 300 virtual computer system can provide computing resources equivalent to 31 systems worth, if purchased individually, close to $2,000,000. Equally impressive savings are available on smaller configurations too.

What Can It Do?

Having up to 31 separate virtual computers in one box means there's a lot of computing power available to tackle just about any mix of applications. For example, users can simultaneously develop real-time application software, execute batch command files, handle data base management, use the system as a sophisticated computation tool, even develop microprograms for the Prime 300's optionally available writeable control store, or other microprogrammable devices.

Each user is free to write and execute programs in FORTRAN, BASIC and Macro Assembler languages. Since all Prime programming systems utilize a common file structure, programs or sub-tasks within a program written in any language can access any data base without modification to either the program or data.

The Prime 300's virtual memory Disk Operating System automatically and transparently allocates all real system resources among the users of the virtual machines. By applying virtual machine techniques to the handling of I/O operations, each userterminal has direct on-line communication to any peripheral device in the system. This means, for example, that disk backup can be handled on-line, data can be read directly from any input device to a terminal or transferred from a terminal directly to any output device. A file management system supervises the Prime 300's memory hierarchy and provides each user with a variety of direct and sequential file access methods.

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