Early 360 machines (Was: Front panel switches - what did they do?)

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Wed May 25 20:26:10 CDT 2016

On 2016-05-25 10:14 PM, Jon Elson wrote:
> On 05/25/2016 05:31 PM, Noel Chiappa wrote:
>>      > From: Jon Elson
>>      >> I interned at IBM Bermuda, and they had a 360/20 as their 
>> main service
>>      >> bureau machine; it had (IIRC) ... a 4301 printer.
>>      > I'm guessing, maybe, that would be a 1403 printer?
>> Ah, right you are! The old grey cells are, well, old! ;-)
>> Those printers had an amazingly long life! They were first introduced 
>> in 1959
>> with the 1401 computer, and, like I said, the brand spanking new 
>> System 3
>> they got in ca. 1976 came with one! I wonder when IBM stopped producing
>> them?
> I believe IBM recycled them from retired machines for an amazing 
> length of time.  Certainly, a number of 1403s were in use on 370 and 
> even later systems.  I was recently surprised while digging at 
> bitsavers to find out how ancient the 2821 controller was - all SMS 
> cards and some very ingenious magnetic transformer tricks to do the 
> address selection of the core stack with as few transistors as 
> possible.  (The 2821 was the controller for the card read/punch as 
> well as the 1403 printer family.)
> Jon
The 360/25 came with a built in attachment for a 1403 and the whole CPU 
was not much larger than a 2821.  When I first came to Halifax in 1979 
one of the banks was still running 360s in their paper processing 
center, they had a 22 and a 25, each one with a 1403 printer, 2501 card 
reader, 3411 tape drive, and a 1419 cheque sorter.  By that time all the 
other banks had 370 systems and 3890 cheque sorters, another long lived 
machine, announced in 1973 and still in use today.  The original 
machines had a 360 CPU bolted onto the end as a control unit.  One bank 
had a 370/115 CPU and when they got a 3890 they had to replace it with a 
faster CPU because the 3890 would overrun the channels.


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