IBM 5120

From: <(>
Date: Fri Sep 19 08:47:30 1997

> > A brief speculation on IBM numbering. 5123 is probably a derivative of
> > 5120 in some sense. 5322, on the other hand, looks like a variety of
> > System/32 (the 5320). System/32 begat System/34 (5340) begat System/36
> > (5360 = large, 5362 = desk side, 5364 = dekstop) begat AS/400 (I think).
> > System/38 also fits in there somewhere (5380) so you would expect a
> > System/23 to be called 5230.
> Close but it went S/32, S/34, S/38 -> AS/400 and S/36 -> AS/400
> The System/36 was a completely different line and incompatable with the
> S/38. It was also developed after the S/38 (1983 compared to 1978 I
> believe). The AS/400 is based on S/38 hardware but has the capability to
> run S/36 software. (Actually the new AS/400's can be configed to run as
> a S/36 actually running the S/36 operating system.)

Interesting. I only once (I think) ever used a System/38, so I was not
very familiar with it. But I used a S/34 a lot, and when I had to write
software for a PC front end to a S/36, found the S/36 very similar from
the user interface point of view. Also, the 5360 looked physically like
a more modern 5340, complete with an updated version of my favourite
floppy drive (23 disks in one drive!). Alas, I never found out what
became of the old 5340 that I worked on (this was as a student before
university) - when I went back for a vacation job, it had gone, and all
the software had been moved to, you guessed it, another 5340!

I also once posted to a newsgroup within IBM, "Is there a similar group
for 5300 series minicomputers" which received the inexplicable reply,
"The system/38 isn't a minicomputer." (The S/34 and S/36, in which I
was interested, certainly were, so why wasn't the S/38? On the other
hand, the PC graphics terminals 537X weren't.) The group did exist, but
I never read it much in the end.

Still, enough reminiscing. Does anyone know if there are any S/34 or
even S/32 machines still around? I once had a short e-mail exchange
with someone who might have been going to acquire a S/34 but AFAIK he
never managed it.

Received on Fri Sep 19 1997 - 08:47:30 BST

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