I am confident of most of the following information except oddly the manufacturer. I think that it was NCR but I am not quite sure. I have no idea of the model.
The machine had 32k of memory but 24 bit words not bytes. "Byte" was not yet in my vocabulary. Mostly, these words stored numbers: integers in 2's complement or floats. When characters were stored, they used a 6 bit code and were packed 4 to a word. Obviously, the coding was not ASCII, "ASCII" was also not yet in my vocabulary. There was no room for upper and lower case so it was usual to work entirely in upper case. If you insisted on lower case then you needed to use shift characters. Space was coded as 0. When I discovered ASCII later, I was surprised that space was 32, 0 had come to seem the natural code for space.
One reason that I am confident of this is that the number 2^23 = 8388608 is still burned into my brain as 8388607 was the maximum positive integer.
No hard disk and it was quite a while before I learned to use the tape drives.
The system accepted a few simple control commands. A typical program looked like this:
&JOB;3733;JOHN;MY FIRST PROGRAM &OPER; PLEASE LOAD TAPE XXX123 H1 &FORTRAN;
Loads of ugly code with GOTOs and stuff
STOP END &RUN;
FORTRAN was the most commonly used language but COBOL, ALGOL, and an assembly language called NEAT (I think) were also available.
So, can anyone confirm that it was a NCR or correct me?
Would anyone be able to guess the model?