...only I was in the Telecom and USG groups.
WE, however, were working with HP's 9000 Series 75x PA-7000 RISC screamers of Unix desktops, with separate GPUs and memory and 8-plane graphics. Very nice machines and heavily used in Engineering environments - them and Silicon Graphics. At 1/100th or so of the cost of the big iron.
Nevertheless the rest of your comments are correct. Took desktops quite a while to catch up to that big iron I/O - if they ever did.
People who forget or even downplay big iron environments really needed to see some of this stuff actually work to gain an appreciation. For instance, the high-end IBM laser printers that the US Navy and (I assume) all big customers had back in the mid to late 80's. Used rolls of paper that needed two people to load, but when it started printing - lolololololololololol at anyone dreaming about a desktop printer even being in the same galaxy as that kind of speed. 2000 pages a minute (text), and it would run until the roll of paper ran out. The two paper loaders also had to unload the cut, fanfolded paper that came out. I have NO IDEA how much that cost.
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