Thursday, April 21, 2022

Entrex has been added to Bitsavers!

Many thanks to Al Kossow and team for scanning and making available their full collection of Entrex publications.  Very rare and unknown, mostly, until now!

Here's the collection:

Also Nixdorf has had a collection there since May 2019.

Of particular interest to us here:


And found in a "Pertec" subfolder of bitsavers:

"Nixdorf is so intent on dumping the Entrex name that they're gradually replacing nameplates on their installed equipment. However, changing the name hasn't improved the product.  It is still an Entrex with all its inherited inefficiencies. The 600 Series operating system (DPEX) is not a truly new design, but it has a few capabilities (such as 80 Series (ADEX) operating system). In an effort to keep 80 Series software upward migratable, the DPEX operating system was forced to retain many of the years old, keypunch replacement, design and programming concepts inherent in the older systems.

Nixdorf has been successful in selling as benefits "Features" we believe are shortcomings...."


Also, this John W. Rollins, Jr. oral history artifact references Entrex.  

It contains a REALLY interesting real-life case use of the Entrex System!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Nixdorf 620 System in Bremen, Germany - Acquired & Saved!

We were thrilled to acquire this and take delivery!  Now we just need to find a way to get it from it's holding place in The Netherlands to the central USA...we're working on that, and we have great friends in Europe to help! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Conversation with former Entrex technician Bob Rooney

Thu, Apr 7, 2022 at 1:22 PM <robert rooney> wrote:


Sorry it’s taken so long for me to respond.  Just came across your site again.  It sure brings back a lot of good memories!!!

I started at Entrex in Burlington Mass in the summer of 1974 (summer job between jr and sr years of high school.  I then went back to work for them in May 1975 and stayed until June 2000!!

Yup, Entrex to Nixdorf to Siemens Nixdorf and Siemens.  They whole time working on the 280, 480, 600, 655 systems.  Each a successor to the prior system. 


Summer 1974 assembling data scopes and recently introduced data terminals

May 1975 back to work in the wave solder room - a single person hell hole!  If you can imagine, hot greasy, messy, etc.

That didn’t last long when a friend from the board test department started to show me TTL logic diagrams and I soon started troubleshooting circuits boards for many of the boards in the system and terminals down to the component level.

1977 Promoted to group leader of the data terminal assembly line – they wanted a tech to man the department because they were having too many failures in the field on new installs.

1979 Moved on to the ‘staging test dept’ where systems were configured with all the components (except the data terminals) the customer ordered and we would run them through tests, and alignments of tape and disk drives, etc.  let them run a few days before moving them to the shipping dock. 

Aside from the mentioned systems I also got to work on the Nixdorf made systems we sold in the US: 8850 8860 8870 8890

1982 Moved the ‘national support group’ where I provided hardware support for the x80 600s and 8850 systems to the US customers.

1984 Moved to the software side of ‘national support group’ Supporting the DPEX operating system and some DIDOS o.s. DIDOS was the German version of DPEX.

1987 As Unix started to make inroads and customers no longer wanted proprietary systems  DPEX  was ported to UNIX as an application called DCPA.  It ran on Siemens-Nixdorf RM risc based servers and also x86 servers – using SCO Unix, Unixware,

I had a big hand in developing the applications to convert the DPEX- based customer libraries (their editor programs) and data; output it all to tape and read it back into the Unix servers.  There were hundreds of customers that needed this done. 

1998 things started to slow down and they were actually letting people work from home at that time through a dial-up connection.  Colleagues were laid off, etc.  I was able to re-locate to my house.

I actually had two 8850s at my house and an array of Siemens PCs.  X86 servers where shipped to my house for staging, installing DCPA, and creating conversion tapes. 

June 2000  worked slowed and they were looking for volunteers for a lay off. 

Oct start at Lucent which became Alcatel-lucent and then Nokia.  Stayed until let go in Jan. 2018.

About 10 years ago I scrapped all the equipment. 

Please feel free to fire away; I’ll try to answer anything I can.

Have a great day,