Author Topic: Knew it was a Series 1 before I read the article  (Read 528 times)

rcjordan

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Knew it was a Series 1 before I read the article
« on: December 04, 2021, 08:15:10 PM »
/r: TIL The US Military still uses 8 inch floppy disks on outdated IBM computers to run the nuclear missile systems. It's because they are incredibly hard to hack. The computers are essentially air-gapped and the old IBM computers are reliable. They could run for another 40 years with spare parts.


US Military Uses 8-Inch Floppy Disks To Coordinate Nuclear Force Operations - Slashdot
https://slashdot.org/story/311663


The IBM Series 1 was the Lego of the computer world.  Developed as a process controller, IBM would turn to it whenever they needed a 'custom' machine --bank teller machines for a large chain of banks, for instance.  I developed my wholesaler package on one using a 3rd party language because yet another 3rd party developed an 80-col punchcard optical reader for it. We were a massive punchcard operation.

Brad

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Re: Knew it was a Series 1 before I read the article
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2021, 09:55:08 PM »
When I was in grade school we made Christmas wreathes using round pizza cardboards and old IBM punch cards.  In high school the computer class used punch cards.  The computer students were programing "horse races" and accepting 25 cent bets.

rcjordan

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Re: Knew it was a Series 1 before I read the article
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2021, 10:29:27 PM »
In its standard enclosure, the S1 was about the size of a refrigerator, just a bit narrower.  A good friend of mine was a custom software consultant focusing on the S1 for large and/or governmental clients.  She had a good tale about getting an emergency call from a large community college campus.  All of their buildings had lost HVAC.  They traced cables to a forgotten basement and found a long-unattended S1 that had been doing environmental control across the campus.  It was completely clogged with dust.

Mine ran about 20 years at the wholesaler.  IIRC, there were no serious hardware issues until near the end when the floppy drive started to fail.

ergophobe

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Re: Knew it was a Series 1 before I read the article
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2021, 11:28:32 PM »
>>Christmas wreathes

I was just talking about this with a friend. My aunt worked at the bank and used to bring the punch cards home by the stack for making wreathes with the nieces and nephews. And as we were talking about it, I realized that data security and privacy was just not a thing back then. Details from a few dozen of your transactions might end up tacky and ugly Christmas wreathes around your community.