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Collected hereunder are images and videos related to Prime Computer.

Still Images

From Computing at Chilton

These images are drawn from a history of computing at "the Atlas Computer and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories", 1961-2000. They are (c) Science and Technology Facilities Council, available from

From University of Sydney

This image comes from the University of Sydney. This image may be used for research or educational purposes, in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). For all other uses see

From Wikipedia

This image by Al Costanzo comes from the Wikipedia page on Prime Computer. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

From Rhode Island Computer Museum

In the collection of the RICM is a 9650 system, and some photos of the system and its components are on their web site. The RICM source page is

In the CPU cabinet, from the top, are found the Virtual Control Panel (VCP), the RAM power supply, the RAM backplane, the CPU backplane, the CPU power supply, the I/O controller backplane, the I/O power supply, and the power distribution / ventilation unit. A number of backplane slots contain black plastic airflow spacer cards. Most of the tan/rainbow colored internal ribbon cabling is dressed to the right, and eventually reaches a bulkhead where it would meet external cabling (typically round grey cables) that would connect onward to devices.

In the tall peripheral cabinet, two Century 315 MB Winchester drives are seen. There may be serial terminal support hardware in the bottom of the cabinet, but it is not visible from the front.

The two tape drives fill a short peripheral cabinet.



Television advertisements were produced by Prime during the 1980s. A few of them have survived, and are available here. The best known are the ones starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward of Dr. Who fame, but as you'll see, other characters are represented.


January 26, 1988 was Pr1me breaking through day, when the projected revenue between Prime and newly acquired ComputerVision was expected to break one billion dollars.

The Worcester Centrum was rented for the day, All of the Massachusetts facilities were bussed there. I think even New York and New Jersey employees were also brought in. We had speeches and a performance by 'The Spinners'. And of course a free lunch.

The layoffs started a year later, almost to the day.

—David Teichholtz,, 14 Mar 2008

The Breaking Through event was a thanks to employees, and a motivational and propaganda tool. Response to it by a number of (ex-)Prime employees who posted to was fairly negative, though in the video, many are clearly enjoying the party.

In 1990, a Prime Australia employee took his new video camera to work, filmed the office, and introduced some co-workers. The audio is a bit low.

In 2014, Ian Primus exhibited his 4450 machine at VCF East. A fault developed in the electrical power connection for the machine, resulting in numerous parts of the system being damaged.