[rescue] looking for IBM System/36 software

Jim Hickstein jxh at jxh.com
Sat Mar 28 20:42:57 CDT 2015

On 3/28/15 8:30 PM, Jerry Kemp wrote:
> I did my S/34 & S/36 work at a luxury (lake) boat manufacturer in the
> central part of the country, aka BFE Kansas.  We had been on a S/34 for
> a few years before we ordered the brand-spankin'-new S/36.
> We had a special room for it with its own cooling and power.  FYI, this
> is very early 1980's, I had no idea what a data center looked like, or
> if those even existed in 1981.  This room was certainly not a raised
> floor data center.
> Anyway, we got it in, and it seemed that we blew up parts and boards
> every day.  IBM FE were on site every day replacing components and
> fixing things.  At some point, someone got the idea we needed to look at
> the power feeding into the S/36, this was pre UPS, at least for this
> company.  The power was great during the day, but at night, it (power)
> was doing all kinds of funky things and killing S/36 parts.  Once the
> S/36 was getting fed clean power, all the problems disappeared and it
> was smooth sailing from there on out.

Well, we had it tough.  :-)

I think it was the IBM mainframes at the Ministry of Economic 
Information that were summarily SHUT DOWN at 5 pm sharp every day 
(something like, Mao once said "last one out turn off the lights" and 
this came to be broadly construed _and_ to have the force of law).  With 
a circuit-breaker the size of a wheelbarrow.  And every morning at 8 am 
sharp many FEs descended on it and resuscitated it.  Again.  (Beijing, 
1988)  Anyway, that's what they told us.  (Ministry of Railways was 
something else, again.)

On the western outskirts, on some kind of disused (it was hard to tell) 
military compound, our own power was continuous -- provided we detailed 
an intern to sleep in the machine room at night, with a fire 
extinguisher at hand -- except on Monday mornings.  It was down on 
Monday mornings "for maintenance".  We eventually got enough of the top 
brass coming through (they're a government steering committee? who's 
steering the goverment?) that someone ordered that to stop.

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