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Questions tagged [ibm]

For questions regarding the products of IBM, International Business Machines.

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Coronet and Coronet II benchmarks?

I'm reading about the IBM ASC project, and I see repeated references to a benchmark known as Coronet and/or Coronet II. Does anyone know what this did?
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
467 views

How to treat an old PC

I have an old IBM PS/2 30/286, now sitting for a while on one of my desks. I'm a bit afraid that it will stop working sooner or later, so what's the best way to keep it 'alive' ? I fire it up every ...
Tommylee2k's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was bootloading from punch cards possible on System/370 machines?

I have been idly looking into how System 370 works, though mostly at software and VM/370 OS. As a part of the system generation process, one needs to use DMKDDR utility and others. So I was curious ...
Saphire's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
1 answer
520 views

PC DOS E Editor (3.13v): "Not enough memory" error with a file of 1.65 MB and 40 320 lines, even with the /S switch

Using the E editor included with IBM PC DOS 7, I can't open a particular plain text file without encountering a "Not enough memory" error. The editor was invoked with the /S switch to make ...
P. Skelling's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
514 views

What did a "blue-and-gray sheet of IBM printout paper" actually look like, circa 1994?

Scientific American's December 1, 2023 The Most Shocking Discovery in Astrophysics Is 25 Years Old outlines the "origin story" for the concept of dark energy, a term used to refer to an ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,348
5 votes
0 answers
137 views

System/3: Accessing compilers from tape [closed]

I started getting into playing with the IBM System/3 emulator from simh, and found this tape - looking at the listing it looks like there's a COBOL and RPG II compiler on that tape. What would be the ...
Toasty's user avatar
  • 67
4 votes
0 answers
126 views

IBM RS/6000 Token Ring ISA card not operational

After solving a configuration challenge, the ISA Token Ring adapter in my RS/6000 is still not connected to the ring. Extract from errpt -a: LABEL: NONE IDENTIFIER: 0118D2D0 Date/Time: ...
Michael B. Ortiz's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
161 views

IBM RS/6000 Token Ring ISA card fails configuration

The system at hand is a RS/6000 7248-100, running AIX 4.3.3. My quest is to get a Token Ring ISA card to work. The card is a 2971 as called for by the docs. SMS is happy with the card. I've set the ...
Michael B. Ortiz's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
73 views

What was the hardware-level data format on IBM 1316 or 2316 disk packs?

A description of the hardware-level track format of the IBM media used on the BESM-6 I've found is as follows (translated by Google with minimal corrections): Track header structure: ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
5 votes
1 answer
315 views

Documentation for the SALUT preprocessor of the IBM Macro Assembler 2.0

The IBM Macro Assembler 2.0 included the SALUT program, which was a preprocessor for assembly language for structured programming. It was also included in the IBM Macro Assembler/2. I am looking for ...
Marc Nieper-Wißkirchen's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
636 views

Were punching tools for punch cards with rectangular holes easier to keep sharp than those for round holes?

There is a question here on retrocomputing if round punch card holes where mechanically stiffer: Were round punchcard holes mechanically stiffer? I wondered if the reason for the rectangular holes on ...
Coder's user avatar
  • 1,068
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did the IBM ServiceFree really reach 80 MIPS in 1975?

According to Computer Wars by Charles H Ferguson and Charles R Morris, page 40-41, an IBM researcher named Cocke in the early 70s built a RISC minicomputer called the ServiceFree (because it was meant ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the IBM 1401 have much better code density than the 360?

Reading an old thread https://groups.google.com/g/alt.folklore.computers/c/53C2adEQ5jE I see a surprising claim: I told an IBM salesman once that IBM had so bollixed up the architecture that our ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
4 votes
1 answer
526 views

How to use thinkpad x230 with PCjr 4863 monitor?

I understand it is probably more trouble than it is worth, but I am keen on using my 4863 IBM monitor as a second display for my x230. So far I've looked into converting its VGA signal to a CGA output,...
jayVeni's user avatar
  • 41
5 votes
2 answers
393 views

Timeline for PowerPC CPUs from various manufacturers

I am trying to assemble a timeline of PowerPC series processors. It is complicated by the fact that there were multiple manufacturers. So far I have: IBM POWER 1990 POWER1 1992 RSC 1993 POWER2 1998 ...
user's user avatar
  • 15.2k
5 votes
0 answers
266 views

How can I prevent unwanted key repeat when using PS/2 keyboard with USB adapter?

I'm currently using an IBM Model M keyboard with a PS/2-to-USB active adapter. When I type fast on my main PC, almost any key will get "stuck" and keeps repeating until I press another key. ...
Joachim E's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
204 views

How small a punched card or punched tape batch job could be?

A while ago I read a post about creating the smallest possible ELF executable doing something observable — printing the number 42, for example — which Linux could accept and execute successfuly. The ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

History of High Availability in the mainframe and minicomputer eras?

When tracing the source of High Availability, I found to my surprise it led to a company named Tandem Computers which since 1974 made a series of minicomputers called NonStop system, to my surprise ...
Schezuk's user avatar
  • 3,754
11 votes
2 answers
623 views

IMPI Instruction set: is there any reference?

I've had an IBM 9404 B-10 for some time and I'm curious about its assembly language. I'm fully aware the AS lines were designed with portability in mind as much IBM didn't seem to provide assembly ...
Borg Drone's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
312 views

What series of AS/400 is the 9406 F2?

I am considering the acquisition of an old IBM AS/400 midrange computer. The provider has stated the model is "9406 F2". I have dived into the AS/400 information provided by IBM in their own ...
Borg Drone's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Information about a VGA card named PC-601170-R2

This card is made by Colorgraphic Communications in 1988, and has two VGA ports, and works well with a 80486 computer. I tried to used that with IBM 5150 and other XT clones, but I failed. According ...
Sung's user avatar
  • 389
10 votes
11 answers
992 views

Towards people who were there, what programs did you use to develop applications for the IBM 5150? [closed]

I want to get into programming on old MS-DOS systems, before then going to older DOSs like CP/M. However, while programming for MS-DOS I'd like to also use era-appropriate software, both for the ...
Sage Hendricks's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
264 views

How many additions per second (or, generally, instructions per second) could the IBM System370 Model 115 perform?

I can find a lot of information about that model's memory access time, but not so much about its actual computational speed. I'm interested in the number of additions per second if possible, but I'll ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
522 views

What is IBM DCF (Document Composition Facility) used for today?

I am scanning the 1986 manual of HDCF/3 (5748-XX9), the Hebrew version of IBM's Document Composition Facility (DCF). When Googling to find about the software, I see that IBM still sells this software. ...
Hanan Cohen's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

What date is 74029 on an IBM Mainframe?

I have an old printout of a Fortran code. It's a simple code intended for educational purposes. The header is: FORTRAN IV G LEVEL 21, MAIN, DATE=74029, 15/28/03, PAGE 001 I assume it's from an IBM ...
Hanan Cohen's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does Intel Inboard 386/PC work on XT clone systems?

I don't have an Intel Inboard 386/PC, but I have a plan to buy it in the future. When I read its manual, there was no support for XT clones. It says: Install the Inboard 386/PC only in the computers ...
Sung's user avatar
  • 389
10 votes
1 answer
581 views

What's the story behind IBM's SKU numbers?

Big Blue IBM seemingly since forever is using a fixed numbering scheme for all their parts, where every little thing, dingus and gizmo is labeled with the so-called IBM SKU#. It's always in the form: ...
Micropolis's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
782 views

Which keyboard replaced the IBM Model M?

Setting aside the fact that the Model M keyboard is still made by Unicomp, which keyboard did IBM market as the successor to their Model M (aka "Enhanced") keyboard? My understanding is that ...
Brian Reading's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
393 views

How can I resolve these intermittent memory issues?

I own a 1999 IBM Personal Computer 300GL (Type 6275-90U). It's a Slot 1 Pentium III, Intel 440BX chipset, with a riser board for adding PCI and ISA cards and 3 PC100 DIMM memory sockets. About 50% of ...
Brian Reading's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
759 views

Why did IBM skip "System/380" as a mainframe family name?

I've been reading Exhibit 14971 from US vs. IBM (Parts 1, 2, 3) which seems to give a very good overview of the history of the computer industry up to 1980, particularly the way IBM handled its ...
Wildcat Matt's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
471 views

How did reserve tracks work on early hard disks?

The Wikipedia article History of IBM magnetic disk drives describes the details of the IBM 2311 device, introduced in 1964, as The 2311 stores 7.25 megabytes on a single removable IBM 1316 disk pack. ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
8 votes
1 answer
824 views

What did the Big Red Button actually do on the IBM 4341? [duplicate]

Wiktionary explains the origin of the term molly guard: Originally a Plexiglas cover improvised for the Big Red Switch on an IBM 4341 mainframe after a programmer's toddler daughter (named Molly) ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 16k
9 votes
2 answers
695 views

What was the use case for the 96-column punch cards introduced with the IBM System/3?

Shown here at the Computer History Museum site (*) Not sure when they were introduced but it was before optical scanning (barcodes) was possible / affordable, maybe even before magnetic stripe ...
davidbak's user avatar
  • 6,289
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did IBM want to keep ICL alive?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Computers_Limited International Computers Limited (ICL) was a British computer hardware, computer software and computer services company that ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
9 votes
2 answers
794 views

Cleaning buckling spring keyboards

How do you clean keyboards with buckling springs? I have mentioned in an earlier question that I've recently bought an IBM keyboard but how do you clean a keyboard with buckling springs? I only know ...
oldschoolboomer's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
360 views

Unicomp's IBM model keyboards

I've recently purchased the Spacesaver M Black Buckling Spring USB keyboard (still didn't get it due to shipping delays) and was wondering whether anyone has a real original IBM keyboard. What is so ...
oldschoolboomer's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
450 views

What sort of intermediate representation did the first Fortran compiler use?

Proebsting's Law asserts that improvements to compiler technology double the performance of typical programs every 18 years, but even granted that this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it's not really ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
3 votes
1 answer
930 views

Is this keyboard a clone of IBM Model M?

I have this old Quest keyboard: And I was wondering whether IBM did allow rebranding of their keyboard technology. Physically it seems similar-looking to IBM Model M. Is that a typical el-cheapo ...
Dimitrios Desyllas's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
647 views

Was there an analog of local labels in the IBM assembly language?

In the assembly language used in Unix on DEC machines (PDP-11, VAX), one can use numerical labels and refer to them with suffixes "b" and "f" meaning "backwards" and &...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
19 votes
1 answer
775 views

Uninstalling OS/400 by deleting one program

This is about the AS/400 which is an IBM mini-computer launched in 1988. It lives on today after several name changes and considerable hardware and software changes. It is still often informally ...
badjohn's user avatar
  • 2,024
7 votes
1 answer
436 views

Did other computer companies need to license Fortran from IBM?

Reading a fascinating online book about the history of computing, I came across this passage on http://ds-wordpress.haverford.edu/bitbybit/bit-by-bit-contents/chapter-seven/7-5-assembly-language-...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
7 votes
2 answers
338 views

Why have both the ORG and LOC pseudo-operations in the SHARE/Symbolic/Fortran Assembly Programs for the IBM 704/709/7090/7094?

This is a fairly basic question, and I almost feel ashamed to ask it; I'm guessing it can be answered in a single sentence. There was a rather influential series of assemblers for some of IBM's ...
texdr.aft's user avatar
  • 3,495
29 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why was IBM's Scientific Subroutine Package superseded?

It is a familiar fact that scientific software tends to do a lot of vector arithmetic and similar, that one does not want to keep rewriting the low-level code for such, so the usual practice is to use ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
5 votes
1 answer
474 views

What keyboard protocol do IBM 3151 Terminals speak over RJ45

I've recently acquired an IBM 3151 Terminal without a keyboard and I'm not willing to spend any money on an original keyboard. This is why I've tried searching Google for any datasheets of the IBM ...
Unkn0wnCat's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
451 views

How to decode hexadecimal number in IBM/360 column binary format

I have a message: x2400\x1100\x2001\x1020\x2100\x0900\x2008\x2012\x0900\x1001\x2001\x1010\x2001\x0900\x0802\x0812\x1200\x2010\x0802\x1004\x0820\x1010\x2100\x2002\x1012 It's in IBM column binary ...
Donase's user avatar
  • 3
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What programming languages were most commonly used on the AS/400 in the 90s?

The IBM AS/400, formerly known as System/38, subsequently known as i (sic), is remarkable in being essentially the most future-proof of all the minicomputers, thanks among other things to the use of ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

How did SABRE work interactively without screens?

The SABRE airline reservation system went online in 1964, astonishing the world by being among other things the first large-scale interactive computing system. Once the IBM 3270 video terminals were ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
1 vote
1 answer
371 views

Why did IBM decide to use 8 bits for EBCDIC?

Why did IBM decide to use 8 bits for EBCDIC? 7 bits per character seems reasonable, since 2^7 = 128 symbols which is enough for all English letters and special symbols.
No Name QA's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

IBM vs DEC and business partners

A Quora question Why did Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) fail? has gathered some really interesting answers, including from former DEC people. There is one such answer I do not quite understand: ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k
1 vote
0 answers
141 views

Record definitions with IBM COBOL and IMS

A common technology stack for line of business applications in the sixties and seventies was IBM COBOL with the IMS database. I'm curious about how the combination handled record definitions. COBOL ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.4k