Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 10th Dec 2017 23:54 UTC
IBM

I recently came across a challenge to print a holiday greeting card on a vintage computer, so I decided to make a card on a 1960s IBM 1401 mainframe. The IBM 1401 computer was a low-end business mainframe announced in 1959, and went on to become the most popular computer of the mid-1960s, with more than 10,000 systems in use. The 1401's rental price started at $2500 a month (about $20,000 in current dollars), a low price that made it possible for even a medium-sized business to have a computer for payroll, accounting, inventory, and many other tasks. Although the 1401 was an early all-transistorized computer, these weren't silicon transistors - the 1401 used germanium transistors, the technology before silicon. It used magnetic core memory for storage, holding 16,000 characters.

Some people have access to the coolest stuff.

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Comment by supercompman
by supercompman on Mon 11th Dec 2017 04:20 UTC
supercompman
Member since:
2008-09-14

Here's a video of the card being printed:
https://youtu.be/5p5e_70711E

Reply Score: 2

Obsolete Stuff
by Alfman on Mon 11th Dec 2017 13:42 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

Some people have access to the coolest stuff.


My friend collected an old mainframe that was being thrown away. He eventually threw it away too when he had to move.

They have sentimental value, but these things take a serious amount of space, aren't practical at all, the mechanical parts aren't easily replaced, no more media is available, would probably cost several times a new computer just to ship...

I'm happy reading about others doing cool stuff with them, but TBH other than conversation starting, I don't think many of us would really find such a hobby enjoyable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Obsolete Stuff
by The123king on Mon 11th Dec 2017 14:49 UTC in reply to "Obsolete Stuff"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I'd sleep in a tent if it meant i could have an old mainframe in my house.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Obsolete Stuff
by darknexus on Mon 11th Dec 2017 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Obsolete Stuff"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'd sleep in a tent if it meant i could have an old mainframe in my house.

After spending all that money on a mainframe that doubles as a heating system for the whole house, you'd sleep outside? ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Obsolete Stuff
by The123king on Tue 12th Dec 2017 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Obsolete Stuff"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Well, no. I'd be more inclined to hang a hammock between the tape drives and the CPU

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Obsolete Stuff
by darknexus on Wed 13th Dec 2017 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Obsolete Stuff"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, no. I'd be more inclined to hang a hammock between the tape drives and the CPU

Yep, that'd keep you warm right enough. Even better if you're one of those that needs to have background noise to help you sleep. Now you've got a heater and a noise generator that can crunch numbers, just in case you wake up bored in the middle of the night. ;)

Reply Score: 3

Mainframes are available
by wigry on Mon 11th Dec 2017 16:54 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

Here's what happened to one guy who bought a mainframe from eBay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45X4VP8CGtk

Reply Score: 6

RE: Mainframes are available
by Alfman on Mon 11th Dec 2017 18:18 UTC in reply to "Mainframes are available"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Here's what happened to one guy who bought a mainframe from eBay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45X4VP8CGtk


+1

Wow, that's awesome and hilarious!

At $237, the university probably just wanted it gone. When universities do upgrades, they usually have a ton of old stuff to toss out of storage, most of which still works but has no market value. I've actually gotten a few things from university bins, stuff I wouldn't have bought if it weren't free, but still!

It makes me happy that this mainframe found a good home, although the flooding could pose a concern, especially when he goes to college and nobody's home to watch over things because he said his parents don't go in the basement, haha.

Edited 2017-12-11 18:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mainframes are available
by wigry on Mon 11th Dec 2017 21:01 UTC in reply to "Mainframes are available"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

And for those interested "whats in the beast" or what makes a mainframe, then here are couple of videos going deep into hardware tear down and you will start to appreciate the engineering in these systems. The cooling and the CPU-s are mind boggling. The systems are essentially becoming a scrap for many companies and instead of selling them, they tear it down to bare essentials and sell the raw materials instead. Sooo much copper and aluminum inside that those are worth much more than the whole thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuXrsCqfCU4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSrazG8DPUk

Edited 2017-12-11 21:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Germanium Transistors
by Sauron on Mon 11th Dec 2017 17:07 UTC
Sauron
Member since:
2005-08-02

I have a old Rigonda portable TV that uses germanium transistors in the high voltage circuits. Perhaps some of these electronics companies should think about using them again, they are certainly robust that's for sure. ;)

Reply Score: 3

Perhaps a "bad" goal
by cjcox on Mon 11th Dec 2017 18:59 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Not sure we should make it a goal to keep using our computers for decades.

But do let me know how your reasonably contemporary http://cdn2.knowyourmobile.com/sites/knowyourmobilecom/files/styles... phone is doing.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Perhaps a "bad" goal
by The123king on Tue 12th Dec 2017 08:09 UTC in reply to "Perhaps a "bad" goal"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

You never know, you could end up with a job in the military... https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/60-minutes-sh...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Perhaps a "bad" goal
by kwan_e on Tue 12th Dec 2017 12:04 UTC in reply to "Perhaps a "bad" goal"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Not sure we should make it a goal to keep using our computers for decades.


I'm pretty sure I want the computers running the local power station to not have to upgrade every few years.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Perhaps a "bad" goal
by wigry on Tue 12th Dec 2017 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Perhaps a "bad" goal"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Better yet be upgraded without a single second offline - thats what mainframes excel for. Deallocate one CPU from running any jobs, open the rack, pull that book out, put a new one in, and enable it for accepting the jobs. This way you can upgrade the whole mainframe (CPU, memory, power units, IO interfaces etc) while keeping the jobs running.

Edited 2017-12-12 12:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Perhaps a "bad" goal
by cjcox on Tue 12th Dec 2017 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Perhaps a "bad" goal"
cjcox Member since:
2006-12-21

Few years != Few decades

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Perhaps a "bad" goal
by kwan_e on Wed 13th Dec 2017 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Perhaps a "bad" goal"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Few years != Few decades


I'm pretty sure I want the computers running the local power station to not have to upgrade every few decades.

You feel proud?

Reply Score: 0

Comment by ayeshaji
by ayeshaji on Tue 12th Dec 2017 16:11 UTC
ayeshaji
Member since:
2017-08-30

I'm almost certain I need the PCs running the nearby power station to not need to update like clockwork. http://www.gurgaoncompanion.com

Reply Score: 0