From: Richard A. Cini, Jr. <rcini_at_msn.com>
Date: Tue Jun 24 20:30:12 1997


        I also have a "Datamasher", which did work at one point. Now, I can't seem to
get it to boot from the Diagnostic Diskette. I don't know if the diskette is
bad, or if the floppy is bad. I don't know if it is possible, but would you
be willing to make a copy of a known-bootable disk and send it to me?? I'll
cover the cost of postage. I'd also like to get some sort of operations
manuals, but that is probobly not in the cards at this point.

        Anyway, when I first got the 23 (also known as the 5322; from a school in
Gerogia), I made contact with John Kelley, whose wife worked on the Datamaster
project. Below is a copy of the message thread. I thought that you might be

#: 517922 S0/General [H]
    07-Dec-94 18:27:07
Sb: #517503-#IBM 5322 Datamstr?
Fm: Richard Cini 70153,3367
To: John Kelley 73467,450 (X)


        I do have several questions:

1: An historical Perspective -- What was IBM's original purpose for that
machine?? I read somewhere that the Datamaster was supposed to be IBM's first
'personal computer' (which flopped after a short time, and was replaced with
the IBM PC). If that's true, how long did IBM make the 5322? The PC was
introduced in 8/81, but my 5322 has manufacturing date tags in late-1982.
        What was it like working on a project like that? I've always been
fascinated by the thoughts of people who basically created a
multi-billion-dollar industry, the market climate, as well as comparing the
capabilities of those machines to today's. In fact, I collect old,
historically-significant computers.

2: Was there any real software available for that machine, or was it
around for too short of a time to garner any significant market support?

3: What was its specifications? I didn't take the whole thing apart yet,
just cleaned it up and turned it on to see if it worked. (Yes, it works!)

4: Do you have any of its documentation original; maybe a system manual
a system diskette? How about schematics or a service manual?

5: Anything else that you may find useful.

Thanks so much for your (and your wife's) help!


There are 2 Replies.

#: 518568 S0/General [H]
    09-Dec-94 08:51:43
Sb: #517922-IBM 5322 Datamstr?
Fm: John Kelley 73467,450
To: Richard Cini 70153,3367 (X)

  I will convey your questions to the expert and get back to you. I can tell
you this regarding creating a multi-billion-dollar industry: the folks doing
the development work were too busy with heavy overtime in the trenches to have
much opportunity for "big picture" thinking. IBM had a very structured
software development process.
  Back to you later,
  - John K.

#: 519705 S0/General [H]
    12-Dec-94 08:52:04
Sb: #517922-IBM 5322 Datamstr?
Fm: John L. Kelley 73467,450
To: Richard Cini 70153,3367 (X)

  Things were busy this weekend but I did get some info for you.
  The System 23 (Datamaster) was indeed the first move towards a PC. It was
the first IBM product to use a non-IBM processor, namely the Intel 8085.
Interestingly, this fact is what made the product revolutionary within IBM,
and a threat to some. Apparently there was much conflict internally over the
non-Blue processor. Some say that the only reason the product saw the light
of day was that Frank Cary (then chairman of IBM) had gotten convinced by the
backers of the system. Otherwise it would have died of attacks from the
entrenched interests.

 It was actually IBM's first attempt at a PC. IBM provided business software:
billing, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, inventory,
report-writer, etc. IBM provided telephone support through an Atlanta location
to users of this software. The "real" PC came along right on its heels and so
it never saw large volume, but thousands of users called the support lines, so
it was in use. There may have been third party software as well.

 Some of the managers and developers who worked on this product also worked on
the development of the real PC. The 23 apparently started shipping in 1980,
and was still being sold when the IBM PC emerged. Big brother was then
eclipsed by little brother.

 We don't seem to have much documentation or info on specs but something may
turn up. I'll have to get back to you on that.

 To me, the interesting thing is that this "PC version 0.5" was almost killed
by internal interests, just as the real PC was almost killed.

 Good luck with your collection!
  - John K.

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 97 11:23:18 BST
From: Philip.Belben_at_powertech.co.uk
To: classiccmp_at_u.washington.edu
Subject: EBCDIC
Message-ID: <9705238670.AA867090681_at_compsci.powertech.co.uk>

Last week - while I was on holiday on the Noprfolk Broads - someone (I
forget who) asked if there had ever been a microcomputer that used

Anyone else out there have one of these? Know any more about it?


Received on Tue Jun 24 1997 - 20:30:12 BST

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