Open Source

Anyone for Pi? Mods and hacks for the Raspberry Pi

The Pi may only cost $40 and be the size of a credit card, but it packs enough power to emulate a mainframe computer that supported thousands of users.

At community group DesignSpark.com, they loaded the Pi with an emulator for a mainframe based on the IBM 4381 processor. The mainframe dates from the mid-1980s and at the time would have been large enough to fill a room, despite specs that seem weedy compared with today's PCs. The IBM 4381 processor was capable of 2-2.7 MIPS and supported up to 32MB of RAM, compared with the Raspberry Pi's 965 MIPS CPU and 256MB RAM.

Using an open-source software package known as Hercules and an IBM 3270 terminal emulator, the Pi was able to emulate the mainframe without a hitch.

Screenshot: DesignSpark.com

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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