Josef “Jeff” Sipek

Happy 50th, System/360

It’s been a while since I blahged about mainframes. Rest assured, I’m still a huge fan, I’m just preoccupied with other things to continuously extoll their virtues.

The reason I’m writing today is because it is the 50th anniversary of the System/360 announcement. Aside from the “50 years already?” sentiment, I have a couple of images to share. (I found these several years ago on someone’s GeoCities site. It’s a good thing I made a mirror :) )

I also came across this video from 1964:

Sharing the Computer's Time

Earlier today, someone I know sent me this Time article. I started reading the article, but something seemed a bit odd. To not spoil it for you, here’s the text of the article:

The computer has become a main stay of big business in the U.S., but most small and medium-sized companies still find it too expensive for normal use. Last week two of the biggest computer makers, General Electric and Control Data Corp., introduced new systems that will offer the small business man the same computer advantages as the biggest corporation. Their move to what is called “time sharing” is part of a growing trend to market the computer’s abilities much as a utility sells light or gas.

Dial for the Answer. Business some time ago began using computer centers to process data cards, count receipts or keep track of airline reservations from distant offices. Time sharing goes much beyond that. It links up as many as 500 widely separated customers with one large computer, lets each feed its own problems to the machine by telephone through a simple typewriter console. The time-sharing computer can answer questions in microseconds, is able to shift back and forth swiftly among the diverse programming needs of many companies, small and large.

Although still in its infancy, time sharing is already being used by business, government and universities. Boston’s Raytheon Co. prepares contract proposals, and Arthur D. Little solves problems in applied mechanics through a time-sharing system run by Cambridge’s Bolt Beranek & Newman. An other time-sharing firm, Keydata, will soon take up the problems of Boston distributors of liquor, books, automobile parts and building materials. Control Data, which introduced two time-shared computers last week, will open the U.S.’s biggest sharing center in Los Angeles next year. General Electric already has 88 customers, last week added a New York center to its service centers in Phoenix and Valley Forge, Pa.

From New York, IBM gives shared-time services to 50 customers, including Union Carbide and the Bank of California. Under G.E.’s system, a company can rent the big G.E. 265 for 25 shared hours a month for only $350, compared with a normal monthly rent of $13,000 for individual computers.

Plugging Them In. Some companies have discovered that time sharing has reduced to one-fiftieth the time needed to answer a problem, have found access to a large computer more profitable than ownership of a small or medium-sized machine. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the pioneers in time sharing, now has 400 users for its IBM 7094 computer, has served scientists as far away as Norway and Argentina. Experts predict that by 1970 time sharing will account for at least half of an estimated $5 billion computer business, will be used as widely and easily as the telephone switchboard.

Yep, that’s right, this article is dated: Friday, Nov. 12, 1965. :)

First Edition UNIX

As I mentioned over a week ago, people have found copies of First Edition UNIX source. Today, I managed to accidentally stumble on a google code project with said code: unix-jun72.

You can check out the entire code from the subversion repo:

svn checkout http://unix-jun72.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ unix-jun72

Then look at something like pages/e01-01…

$ cat pages/e01-01 
/ u1 -- unix

unkni: / used for all system calls
sysent:
	incb	sysflg / indicate a system routine is
	beq	1f / in progress
	jmp	panic / called if trap inside system
1:
	mov	$s.syst+2,clockp
	mov	r0,-(sp) / save user registers
...

Pretty sweet, huh?

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