> Retrotechtacular: The IBM System/360 Remembered. hackaday.com/2022/05/13/retrot

I worked on an IBM 390 (which had multiple 360s as ancillary processors) back in the 1980s. COBOL, BALR (assembly), C, and JCL (Job Control Language).

In Dungeons and Dragons fantasy world terms it was a 'Legendary Beast'. The whole thing filled a room bigger than most high school gymnasiums – not counting the tape storage vault.

Besides multiple chain printers for greenbar paper it had a three story high laser printer you fed with two ton rolls of paper. It would feed in one of those rolls at high speed, print on both sides of it, and then cut the paper into individual sheets and fold them.

I was in the control room when the laser printer jammed one time. I thought it was a very short earthquake at first. People actually fell down.

@jackwilliambell I wonder if they still make laser printers like that. The "cut two-ton rolls into sheets as needed" bit is damned awesome. The "three stories high" bit, somewhat less so.

Follow

@skquinn

That wasn't the only trick it could do. You could feed in rolls that were pre-printed with forms or checks and not only would it print in the right places on both sides it would cut them properly and seal them into envelopes.

It was incredibly noisy, even for an environment full of 9-track tape drives, hard drives the size of washing machines, and SO MANY chain printers. pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/ch

@jackwilliambell So they almost certainly *don't* make them like that anymore... which is a shame.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Rusted Neuron – an Intentional Community

Rusted Neuron is a Mastodon Instance operated by Jack William Bell