Front panel switches - what did they do?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Wed May 25 12:08:18 CDT 2016

On 05/25/2016 09:01 AM, jwsmobile wrote:

> McAuto in St. Louis used a lot of the /20's for their printer farm,
> and that was the only place I ever saw one in use.  They spooled tape
> to printer in the use it was put to.

According to WikiP, IBM leased over 7,000 of the 20s, so that would make
it a contender for volume--I doubt that half as many 1130s were sold.

Anecdote time.  A Chicago-area manufacturer of fans and blowers used the
usual (for the time), collection of unit-record equipment for their
accounting and inventory needs.  It worked well and the operation was
pretty much a one-person setup.

The president of the company was visited by an IBM marketing guy who
made said president's eyes go all glassy with the prospect of having a
real computer and detailed reports being delivered to his desk every
morning.  So he installed a 20 with its (censored) "Mother Fletcher's
Card Mulcher) and associated gear, which, I believe, included a 2311 and
a printer.  He also would up hiring 2 more people.

He got nice thick reports delivered to his desk every morning, as
promised, but found that he could get more information by (shudder)
visiting the manufacturing floor and talking with the managers there.
So the stacks of green-bar paper piled up, unread.

He was later invited to an IBM shindig set up by marketing. During
which, he approached a systems engineer and described his operation,
leaving out the fact that he already had the 20 setup.  The response
from the SE was that a simple unit-record setup would be more than
adequate for many years for an operation his size.

He was on the phone to IBM the next day, canceling the lease of the 20
and associated gear.
My bad experience with the Model 20 was based on my wanting to syntax
check a small deck of assembly.  I knew where a rarely-used 20 was
hiding out.  So, with a bit of help, we got the assembler loaded and ran
my deck in.   I was greeted with the printer spewing out error after error.

You know, you might start off a S/360 program with something like:

			BALR	15,0
			USING   *,15

URP!  BALR?   Reg 15?


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