Cray-2s at the NSA

Correspondent Kevin Smith reports from FB

Hi Clive, I went down in the basement and dug around in my “CRI museum” and pulled out a few things. So, SN2004 and SN2005 were covered under SS-12 and SS-18 for our customer. SN2004 was RED/WHITE/BLUE while SN2005 was a shade of Brown ( see pics). Do not ask me why the customer picked that color given all the choices we gave them in the naugahyde catalog that sales had. I have one somewhere. The hour meter and CRAY2 plaque you see in the pic are from SN2005. When it was de-installed, we begged the customer to hang on to it until the new supercomputer facility was built, so it could be used as a center piece in the lobby. It was parked in an operations area for a while on the lifts, but unfortunately it was scrapped in the end. We did later provide another CRAY2 for them to display in the lobby. It came from a collector who had it stored in an unconditioned barn, so it was not in the best of shape and all of the naugahyde was peeling off. That one is now on display at the National Cryptologic Museum. SN2004 ended up going to the Smithsonian and is stored somewhere with the Arc of the Covenant! I don’t think it has ever been displayed. I have a folder with the contact names and phone numbers, but that was back in 1994, so I’m sure things have changed.

SN2004 had 68969.93 hours on it when we turned it off. I did the de-install myself and remember writing my name in black marker on some of the flow blocks for posterity before it left the site. Myself, Scott Morgan and some of the other guys from the site built a platform out of 3/4″ plywood and framing lumber to except the system with the nipples still attached. We did all of this in Scott’s garage. With the chassis on the platform, it could just be forked off of the truck. Don’t ask me why we didn’t just remove the nipples???? I think we hoped the Smithsonian would put it all back together one day! The pic of the really nice walnut “CRAY Inc” plaque was done by Scott Morgan when we became CRAY Inc in 2000. He did one for the guys that remained on the dark side (SGI) too. This was on our site office door until 10/29/2021 when I could no longer endure HPE and left. I asked the guys in the office if it would be ok to take it when I left because I could not bare the thought of someone tossing it in the trash one day. Scott was a good friend, co-worker and my “cube buddy” for 22yrs before prostate cancer took him in 2018. . .

When 2004/2005 went out the door, I saved a lot of the tools, spares. test equipment, etc. One of the field spares that came with the system was the runtime meter that was in the M-POD. It was a 120VAC meter and perfect for another application I needed one for. I have an oil fired furnace and wanted an hour meter to track burner runtime for maintenance scheduling and calculating fuel oil usage. Oil burners use nozzles that flow at a specific GPH. Mine is a .85 GPH, so it’s easy to calculate exact usage given .85 gallons-per-hour X runtime. I told my buddy Bill Brown (CRI/CRAY Site Planning + Engineering) what I had done and he had to have one too, so I gave him my other spare. Each time the furnace kicks on a little bit of the CRAY2 lives on!!!


Cray-2 Items


According to the post above the Cray-2 in the National Crypologic Museum is not either of the ones that were in service at the NSA but is rather good looking machine.


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