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MtDewd (2)

Most important product announcement that this corporation has ever made

On this date 50 years ago, IBM announced the System/360. IBM bet $5 billion and the company's future on the product. [more inside]
posted by MtDewd on Apr 7, 2014 - 47 comments

Computer says No

For the past 4 days, up to 12 million NatWest / Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been unable to pay bills, move money or get paid due to a technical problem. Customers have been unable to complete on house purchases and some are stuck because they can't pay hotel bills abroad. The new mobile banking service has also been affected. The bank has called in 7,000 staff to open all weekend as problems persist.
Just three months ago, the State-controlled bank outsourced nearly 300 back-office roles to Hyderabad in India.
posted by Lanark on Jun 23, 2012 - 71 comments

UNIVAC

To meet this need for high speed data processing, the scientists and technicians of the Eckert-Mauchly division of Remington Rand have created a miracle of electronic development: UNIVAC! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 7, 2011 - 8 comments

Expandable to 16k!

50 years ago today, IBM announced the 1401 Data Processing System. Originally designed as a spooling system for the larger machines, the 1401 became very popular as a mainframe in its own right, eventually being called 'The Model T of Computers'. By the end of 1961, the number of 1401s installed in the United States alone had reached 2,000 - representing about one fourth of all computers installed by all manufacturers at that time. 15- 20,000 were eventually built. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is having a 50th anniversary celebration on November 10th. Here's what $125,600 (or $2500/month rent) would get you: [more inside]
posted by MtDewd on Oct 4, 2009 - 52 comments

640K ought to be enough for anybody

The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 9, 2008 - 11 comments

IBM 1401, A User's Manual

"In 1964, a computer - the IBM 1401 Data Processing System - arrived in Iceland, one of the very first computers to be imported into the country… The chief maintenance engineer for this machine was Jóhann Gunnarsson, my father. A keen musician, he learned of an obscure method of making music on this computer - a purpose for which this business machine was not at all designed… When the IBM 1401 was taken out of service in 1971, it wasn't simply thrown away like an old refrigerator, but was given a little farewell ceremony, almost a funeral, when its melodies were played for one last time. This "performance" was documented on tape along with recordings of the sound of the machine in operation." The whole story with samples, pictures and video at Jóhann Jóhannsson's site. [via]
posted by tellurian on Feb 26, 2007 - 15 comments

Mainframe - The Art of the Sale

Mainframe - The Art of the Sale. Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3. Brought to you by 360comedy. It helps to know what a mainframe is, but is not absolutely essential. Enjoy! (Post contains YouTube links)
posted by purephase on Sep 11, 2006 - 5 comments

Someday, computers will only be the size of a football field.

Hercules! Not the shiny muscle man from the past, but a handy emulator for IBM S/360, S/370, S/390, and z/Arch mainframes. Unfortunately, because of IBM's bullheadedness, you can only run operating systems released when the world was young, unless, for whatever reason, you decide to run something released after the Reagan Administration. You, too, can learn how easy we young whippersnappers have it now, but beware: to effectively use most of these systems, you will need to descend into Hell.
posted by Captain_Tenille on Nov 24, 2004 - 10 comments

Cut the midrange...

Electronic music buffs cite Radiohead's Kid A as their best work. How many know that Idioteque, arguably the stand-out track owes a debt to Paul Lansky, sampling as it does Lansky's Mild Und Leise [mp3 file], a track composed in 1973 on an IBM 360/91 mainframe. I didn't. Should you find your interest piqued, you might want to read an interview with Lansky. If that was then, this is now: The excellent music video to Zeal [Quicktime] by Plaid, which, although a very different beast, is an excellent indicator of how far electronic music has come. [Probably NSFW].
posted by nthdegx on Feb 9, 2004 - 42 comments

Multics, Requiescat in Pace.

Multics, Requiescat in Pace. Wow. What does one say.
posted by baylink on Nov 12, 2000 - 3 comments

I know you're all probably missing that old mini-mainframe you used to program on as a kid, right? Ok, maybe that's just me... But darn it, I can do it again using this PDP-8/E simulator for the Mac. You can even write your own simulated DEC I/O devices like paper tape readers via a plug-in API. And for the techno-frankenstein in me, it'll run using SheepShaver on my BeBox too.
posted by grant on Nov 30, 1999 - 0 comments

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