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#3: IBM 360/40 at ISR

posted May 14, 2019, 4:59 AM by Jeff Ogden
On Tue, May 7, 2019, at 9:14 PM, Jeff Ogden wrote to Greg Marks:
When was the IBM 360/40 installed at SRC/ISR?  Was it purchased or leased? What OS did it run, OS360, MFT, MVT, DOS, something else?

I’m working to fill in a timeline of mainframe computers at U-M.


On May 10, 2019, at 6:49 PM, Gregory A Marks wrote:


I cannot think of any documents I have left that would provide those details with certainty. I can deduce likely dates from the following:

I started work at ICPSR in 1964. I think the NSF funding quest started in 1965. The 360/40 arrived once the new ISR building was occupied in 1965. It was in place for a period of time, maybe a year or more, before the 360/67 arrived at the Computing Center - my recollection about that is fuzzy. The timeline at https://isr.umich.edu/about/history/timeline/ suggests a 1967 installation, but I would guess earlier than that. So my best guess is 1966, but it might be early 1967.

I recall only that it was the simplest form of OS/360. Looking at the Wikipedia piece on OS/360 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS/360_and_successors I would conclude ISR had the simplest, OS/360:PCP which handled a single stream at a time.

ISR had a tape-based 1401 before the 360/40. As I recall, the nature of the job queue being one job at a time, first-come, first-served was the same with both systems.

I am planning to clean up a lot of old boxes of accumulated stuff during the summer. I think I threw away most of my ICPSR stuff about 20 years ago, but if I find anything relevant to your question, I’ll let you know.

Kudos to you for doing this work, Jeff.          All the best.          ...Greg

On May 10, 2019, at 9:19 PM, Jeff Ogden wrote:

Thanks. Someone said that they thought that the 360/40 at ISR was used mostly as a remote batch station to MTS. That didn’t jibe with my memory, but I wasn’t around yet (I arrived in Ann Arbor as a freshman in the Residential College in the fall of ’68, took my first computer class in ’69, didn’t take my second one until ’72, and went to work for Interface Systems later in ‘72) so anything I know is at best second hand.

I suspect that the 360/40 was used as a remote batch station at some point as well as for running jobs directly. I’m guessing that a lot of those jobs were OSIRIS. Later the 360/40 was moved from SRC/ISR to the UNYN [a public site in the Michigan Union by the U-M Computing Center] where it was a full time remote batch station. The fact that the U held on to the 360/40 for such a long time makes me think that is was probably purchased rather than leased.


On May 10, 2019, at 10:47 PM, Mike Alexander wrote:

Thanks, that’s earlier than I thought.  I doubt that it was earlier than mid 1966 since there were very few , if any, 360s in Michigan then.  When I needed to test the code for the 360/50 we were getting I had to go to Chicago to find one that I could use for testing.  I’m quite sure there wasn’t one in Ann Arbor then.  That was in April 66.  This is consistent with Greg’s recollection.