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VDennis - 9/19/2014 12:12:21 PM
   
RE:Most Unique Artifact
Sav says:

In 1977, the installation I worked for in the U.K. installed an IBM 3850 Mass Storage System (MSS). As an early user, we developed—in conjunction with our Local IBM reps—a collection of more efficient operating procedures.

Eventually, our MSS configurations—yes, plural—grew into a twin A4 and a separate A3, along with their associated staging DASD. The twin A4 was in operation for about nine years, during which time, it halved the run time of our major production scheduling suite, essentially a homegrown ERP system in today’s parlance. During this time, the MSS picked cartridges at up to 900 per hour; we worked our systems very hard.

In the late 1980s, as customers were replacing these systems with newer high density real DASD, I was fortunate to rescue a DRD and some of the honeycomb and cartridges from a scrap metal truck at a nearby installation (see pictures).

I kept these artifacts in my garage as a conversation piece until 2008, when I donated them to the U.K. Computer Museum at Bletchley Park, the home of the code breakers in World War II, prior to our migration to Australia.

Our twin A4 consisted of two boxes, each 19 feet long by 3 feet wide by 6 feet high, plus four full strings of 3330-11 DASD with their associated 3830-3 control units, provided the equivalent of 2360 3330-1 disk volumes (236 GB) at a cost approaching $5 million.

Today, I can buy a 3.5-inch disk drive from Western Digital, that I can hold in my hand, with 8 TB of storage for around $500—the equivalent to 32 of my MSS systems! Time moves on.
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RockFox - 9/19/2014 11:11:29 PM
   
RE:Most Unique Artifact
My data processing career began in 1963 at Slippery Rock University with IBM punched card tabulating equipment such as the 403 Accounting Machine. I had over 100 panels wired for the 403. We acquired our first 32K IBM 360/30 in 1968 and my task was to migrate ASAP from the tab equipment to the computer. I essentially used the RPG I (Report Program Generator) to emulate the 403 boards. The RPG logic came very to easy to me -- essentially Input-Calculate-Output. There was a special coding pad for each function and keypunched the specifications into certain columns. Ex: The record length was punched into columns 24-27 of the File Description Spec.

Looking at printouts of the compile was difficult because there was no indication on the printout of what column or specification you were seeing. The GX21-9129 IBM RPG Debugging Template was a great help. It was a tri-fold card that was placed on the printout and you could then determine what specification you were seeing.

I found that programmers who had never used tabulating equipment hated RPG. I remember doing some pretty fancing processing with it.

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sczehne@us.ibm.com - 9/19/2014 3:13:22 PM
   
RE:Most Unique Artifact
Back in the early 1990s when CMOS ( vs Bipolor), ESCON (vs bus and tag), cartridge tape (vs reel), and 3 1/2 inch disk drives (vs large platter) were new to the market, IBM sales people had to explain to mainframe customers what these things were. To help, IBM created a sales suitcase with models or samples of the technologies to explain what they were. I'm emailing the picture to destination@destinationz.org as the upload link did not work.

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