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Full Version: IBM's System/360 was 50 years old on April 7, 2014
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Here are just a few links about my favorite operating system and hardware, the systems I have worked on since the late 1970s. April 7th of this year was the 50th Anniversary of IBM's System/360 and descendants. Still going strong after 50 years.

@ BBC News
@ The Register
@ Pcworld

Tons more links for those interested, just do a web search on "50th anniversary mainframe".
Wow! Now I feel old. My first job as a programmer (while working on my EE degree) was as an business applications programmer for a company which used the 360, 370, 4260 and all the cabinets for drives, printers, etc. And we thought we were high tech!
The era of big computer rooms with operators running the equipment. We usually had to call the computer operator for some sort of need all the time.
And those 3270 terminals
on and on...
Punched cards! Magnetic tape! 11 by 17 fan-fold paper for our listings! yikes!
Thanks for bringing this memories here.

I reminds me that time pass by and when you realized, you feel that you spent your life chasing the next big advanced technology only to be made obsolete by the next big thing.

When I started working on IT since the end of the 70's, I had my time implementing and supporting really high tech DataSaab D15/D16 computers (when RAM memory as done using magnetic ferrite cores, paper tape punch was high tech, and an 5MByte Hard Disk unit was the best and more than enough for any medium sized organization needs!), Wang 2200 and VS system computers, WANG-IBM interoperability (2780/3780 transfer, SNA 3274 CU, 3278 terminals...).

The world was simpler at those times: The computer solution really worked nicely, as the hardware and software were developed/tested by the same manufacturer, and the quality of the products had to be near to perfect, otherwise the customers would not accepted them.
Bugs? Yes, it existed all the time, but it were corrected in very short time to keep the customers happy and loyal to the brand.

Then downsizing took over with the x86 architectures and the world saw a small revolution in IT.
Nowadays it seems to be acceptable to go to market with an unfinished product, full of "issues"/"bugs", and because the customers are "adapted" to this new reality, everybody accepts this as the "correct" way to create products.

So, you keep learning the new high technologies to keep you self up to date, if you want to be in this business. That's what I do.
And every time I look back, I wonder how much long I will have to keep this pace. One day, maybe one day, I will stop doing this...

That's one of the many things I love about this platform. I've worked all my career on it and watched it evolve and grow, yet virtually nothing I learned had to be thrown away. That's lasting value and I don't regret a minute of it. I hope I can keep working in this environment until I retire.

There is a common aspect in what HP has done when it produces a top-quality, best-of-breed family of calculators with refinements over the years. They're careful not to make you throw out the skills and code you already acquired, to the extent possible. It's a lot different, since the IBM ecosystem is gigantic and cannot be replaced in the near or mid-term (and certainly not for the lack of attempts and trillions of dollars) but HP has still done a lot of things right, extraordinary if you consider how much committment they had to enter and differentiate in such a small market.

I hope both companies retain their traditional values as much as possible. Here's to another 50 years of IBM mainframes and HP calculators!
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