vintage computers in active use

William Donzelli wdonzelli at
Fri May 27 11:45:08 CDT 2016

> OK, where can you buy some?

You ask the community. You ask on the list or elsewhere. "Hey, I need
a 361459. Anyone have one?".

>They haven't been made since about 1970.

But in those six or seven years - wow, did they make a lot of them. In
Binghamton, we have some of those dumb desk ornament things that suits
like to hand out. One of them is has the 100 Millionth (!) SLT module
(OK, we know that being a dumb desk ornament, they probably made some
number of 100 Millionth SLT module, but the point is clear). Oh, and
the desk ornament is dated fairly early in the game!

> sent out a letter to all 360 users who had machines under contract, giving a
> date when they would no longer guarantee that any particular machine could
> be repaired, due to lack of spare modules, and a second (later) date when

Typical IBM.

> Remember, SLT is DISCRETE transistors and diodes on ceramic
> hybrid substrates.  At least in my experience, mid-size 360's would need a
> card replaced every few months.

SLT and S/360s did indeed have teething problems. It took a while to
get the bugs out of the system.

> But, I'll bet that oxygen and moisture will continue to take their toll at a
> slower rate.  Remember, all this gear is now about 50 years old!

IBM SLT cards and modules seem to do well - I have picked up more than
a few that were exposed to the elements, and if they are not beaten up
(curse those crappy thin aluminum covers they used!), moisture tends
to not be a big issue, thanks to the silicone goop underneath.


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