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Around 1960 IBM set out to reinvent electronics and computing up through the 21st Century. Solid Logic Technology was going to be the future.
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By Fran

12 thoughts on “IBM’s Alternate Future Of Electronics”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Letthe Smokeout says:

    You and Dave have just destroyed a piece of history by sticking a big screwdriver in it.
    There are other people that try to make these NASA artifacts function and power them up.
    Now you and Dave have ruined a spare module.
    Now there is one less pcb left due to your ignorance.
    I am sure the other smarter people are not happy about this.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gertsy WozHere says:

    Amazing stuff. Working as an operator on both an IBM 3081 and 3090 in the late '80s to early '90s I remember the over-engineering inside those cabinets. But something I really don't understand is why do North Americans call Solder Soder ?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MetamorphicWonders says:

    Fran. I have a Ferranti micro chip from the 1950s. I have no clue what it does. It comes with a certificate congradulating the owner on receiving the new chip. Its tiny. I am in the UK. I would like your opinion on what it is. Its very old and seems to be a give away sample when chips were first made ? I can send you some photos and a copy of the paperwork.. maybe something rare?

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Larry Menasco says:

    The resistors on the ceramic were not carbon, but was a resistively conductive ceramic glaze when fired in a kiln (a belt fed kiln with different heat zones). The resistors were laid out to be a bit below the intended value, then using what amounted to a micro sand blaster, the resistive ceramic would be slowly etched away at one edge until their value rose into tolerance. If for some reason the value was overshot, a little more of the resistive ink could be screened on and sent back through the furnace for another try. Later in time, the micro sandblasted would be replaced by CO2 and other lasers for trimming away the resistive material in a far more automated process.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thean Hoo Yew says:

    My first job in the early 90's was coding RPG on an IBM midrange S/36. That multiuser, multitasking machine had only 256K of memory! Programs were much less complex in those days, and I guess the proper use of the RPG cycle and indicators helped.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars judson leach says:

    I just wanna say, This is THE Most Fascinating Fran Video I have Ever Watched! To be honest… The technical stuff is over my head… I just find them REALLY pretty! – As much "Art" as "Science" – Does anyone else agree? Those designs are beautiful!

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony Norton says:

    What a coincidence! I learned Fortran using punch cards too in the early '80s. I hated having to throw away and retype a whole card because of one mistake and the long lines in front of the card reader. I dreaded seeing someone with a huge COBOL stack in front me, because inevitably a card would jam-up the reader and you had to wait for a lab tech to unjam the machine.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dean Lonagan says:

    Fran you brute..that was a big pair of pliers..but I love that old tech too..I used to go to refuse dumps and recycle old b n w tv boards for the resistors etc..smd's are just not the same..

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joe Olejar says:

    I know it is an exaggeration but it seems like I keyed a hundred thousand of those punch cards when I was a EE student at Carnegie-Mellon University in the sixties. I remember the celebration that was held when the second 128K of memory was added to the 360.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Buck Calabro says:

    Our System/3 from the mid/late 1970s also used the same type of cards. It's hard to remember all the terminology now, but I think that the card plugged into cages. The cages were given a letter; one side was BGMS (mnemonic Buy General Motors Stock) and the other DJPU (Dow Jones Price Up). If memory serves, the cages were assembled into gates that were on hinges that you could swing out to service the individual cards. Fans at the bottom blew cold air (from the under-floor air conditioning) up through the cages, exhausting out of the top past thermal sensors. If a gate got too hot, a red light labelled Thermal Check would illuminate and the CPU would halt. Anyway, the service manuals told you what card needed to be swapped by its address: Gate, cage, card. Each card had its own part number, of course, just as each SLT did.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars dakrontu says:

    At 14 min: Writing Fortran on punched cards then putting them into the hopper of the reader. Yes I remember those days too. Using a mainframe across the Atlantic ocean, communicating by satellite link as the internet was not even a figment of imaginations in the 70s. All that heavy duty hardware, with the capacity of a PC running Windows 98. Kept in service decades later due to software that could not be migrated easily as source code was usually no longer available. Employing developers late into their working lives, simply because they knew such things as Cobol, while those around them were doing other stuff. How times have changed, thank heavens.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars William Squires says:

    I have (or had) some boards with these metal-can ICs, both the small ones, and much larger (say, 1-1/2” square) ones, along with lots of house #’d plastic 14/16-pin DIP ICs, plus a few 8-pin ones and those resistor packs. Most (of the boards) usually had a scattering of “normal” carbon comp resistors, and a few transistors, and other passives, plus what I thought were dual-diode packs (on top, they were labeled “+-+-“, but when I measured them, they were dead (open.) Maybe they were two “dry” electrolytic caps in a plastic package?? Some boards had larger 24/28-pin DIP ceramic-case ICs, and even a few 40-pin ones, all labeled “(C) IBM”, but they had the “i” Intel logo on them. I’ve still got a few.

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