Mainframe computer

Note the tape drives, woman in "mod" attire, man with black shoes, thin tie, nerdy glasses, raised floor (wires ran under it), toggle switches, flourescent lighting. This was very "bright future" stuff in the dim past.


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  • Martin English 7y

    you kids and yer modern tape drive thingies. Wheres the card reader ? how will you IPL off the Init without your original card deck ?

    Doesn't matter anyway... There's a market for about 5 of these things, worldwide, max.
  • Adam Chernow 7y

    I bet you some kids these days have never seen one up close. Marquette's VAX was more advanced than what is in the picture, but it still took up a good chunk of the server room.

    I think it was retired about 2 years after I graduated. Or at least the student info system was. Someone over in MSCS might still be crunching statistical information on it.

  • bruce.lerner 7y

    The "dim past" also known as less than 50 years ago. And Martin you do mean toggle switches and paper tape readers, right?
  • metakappa 7y

    how did they post twits ?
  • TheWillEd 7y

    I love how people think Mainframes are dead and gone, that's not true. IBM still makes them and markets them, and there's still a large business for them. Mostly for number crunching and database processing.
  • Harry Myhre 7y

    the older mainframes were more fun. Some of my jobs read from all three tape drives. And I had access to "the computer room". So during daytime testing, I went in and mounted the tapes, then I could watch a yellow light on the master console that showed CPU useage. We didn't have any other system monitors. There were some lights back on the disk drive controllers that also showed activity. Was way more "hands on" than today.
  • Bookshelf Boyfriend 7y

    Ok, this has got nothing to do with dating or the internet, but we love it and it does have a man, a woman and a computer, so we used it for our Beginner's guide to online dating anyway!
    Thank you.
  • Richard Welty 6y

    i'm thinking this is an early IBM System/360, dating from the mid-60s. discrete transistors and maybe some small scale IC packages (just a couple of gates). three tape drives is the minimum necessary to do a tape-to-tape sort (4 is much easier, see Knuth's art of computer programming volume on sorting for the painful details of tape sorts.)
    the card reader and the model 1403 printer are clearly around the corner, you couldn't run this thing without them.
  • *STARKIT* 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Robots, Automatons, Mainframes and the Silicon Revolution, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Mark Cunningham 5y


    I am planning to use this image in an online educational presentation teaching about mainframe computers.

    You can see it here:

    You will be fully credited.


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Uploaded on July 1, 2008
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