IBM System/3 turns 40 !

Henk Stegeman h.j.stegeman at
Thu Jul 30 15:35:09 CDT 2009

Hi all,

On 30 July 1969 IBM announced the IBM System/3 in the United States.

It is today fourty year ago that IBM offered the first medium-sized
computer for the small business companies.
The System/3 was not compatible with the System/360, as it featured
a complete new architecture. It also featured a complete new
punch card format, which was a small revolution within IBM.

See for the development story behind the System/3:

IBM promoted this new system with a 14 minute promotion movie.
This movie can be seen on youtube.
Be patient, it takes until 3:22 until you find out what
it's about:

"Are you getting the most out of your workforce and tools?"

And until 8:18 before you see the new S/3.

During its live span approx 50,000 System/3 where build.
Today only a few have escaped the scrapyard.
The number of still running S/3 can be counted on one hand.

After the succesful S/3 IBM announced the S/32, S/34, S/36, S/38 and AS/400.
The S/38 was architecturally completely new compared to the S/3/32/34/36

All System/3 models had been withdrawn from marketing by June 1985.


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