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, 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.


By Nick Heath

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.