In a talk on the IBM 360 and the computers it replaced the speaker at 39:35 describes the 7070 as 'a dog', and elsewhere contrasts it unfavorably with the 1401 (which considerably exceeded expectations). This description is significant because the speaker is a former IBM executive, who seems to know what he is talking about.

What went wrong with the 7070? How was its design inferior to contemporary computers?

  • 5
    According to wikipedia backward compatibility was part of the problem (it was quickly replaced with 7080 for that reason. ee en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_7070. The only people with first hand experience would be in there 90's Sep 13 '20 at 6:19
  • 1
    This page paints the 7070 as 'the computer nobody wanted'. But on the whole, I think we're unlikely to improve on Wikipedia's reasoning. Sep 16 '20 at 0:51
  • 1
    Backwards compatibility was the big issue for all computers before the 360, the thing customers kept complaining about with each new machine. It was with the 360 that IBM bet the farm, basically making the decision that all future mainframes would be able to run software from earlier ones. I was with IBM the day we removed the last bit of 24-bit code from ISPF, when the machines had already been full 64-bit for a great deal of time.
    – paxdiablo
    Aug 17 at 13:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.