Compiled by Dean Takahashi, Times staff writer

Still a Mainframe Man: Gene Amdahl, founder of computer maker Amdahl Corp., doesn’t believe the mainframe is dead.

Despite the popular notion that mainframe computers will be replaced by smaller, faster networks of workstations and personal computers, Amdahl told the Orange Coast Venture Group at a luncheon in Irvine that corporations will still need to compute huge reservoirs of data that are best tackled by mainframes the size of a walk-in closet.

“There’s going to be a lot of price competition in the mainframe market, but it’s still got the biggest installed base,” said Amdahl, a former Newport Beach resident.

Barely 2% of mainframes have been replaced by networks of PCs, Amdahl said. Still, it’s hard to change public opinion. Amdahl said that his newest company, formed in 1987, had a great deal of trouble arranging financing.


The company, Andor International Ltd. in Cupertino, makes caches, or devices that speed the flow of data between a mainframe computer and its storage system.

Asked about what he thinks of AST Research Inc., Orange County’s biggest maker of PCs, Amdahl replied, “Who’s AST?”