system 36 on eBay

Michael B. Brutman mbbrutman at
Wed Jun 1 15:18:10 CDT 2005

Michael wrote:

 >> I have code in that thing .. (Specifically the low level OS that the 
36 emulator is running on top of.)

 > Is that one of the machines that uses System/38 CISC hardware?


It's actually an early version of the RISC processor used in the more 
modern AS/400/iSeries machines.

The memory is fuzzy now, so I may have some details incorrect.  It was 
around 1994 and the System 36 was long since gone, and we were deep in 
product development of the new RISC based AS/400s.  One use of the 
partially developed machine was as a System 36 replacement - with an 
emulator running on top of the partial OS of the new machine we could 
make the appearance of a System 36, and at a much better speed at that.

Remember that for the port to RISC IBM had to rewrite a good portion of 
the OS to accomodate the new processor and hardware architecture.  The 
older CISC based AS/400s used a 48 bit processor.  The new ones were 
using a 64 bit variant of the Power PC.

I don't think that most of the customers for the Advanced 36 (as this 
box was called) were aware that they were running on a pretty advanced 
PowerPC based machine.  It was a nice trick.


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