4CHM – IBM 1401 DEMO (downstairs)

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Session Topic: Museum Field Trip: IBM 1401

Wednesday

Convener: IBM retired personnel

Notes-taker: Oscar Manso

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

This session consisted on a demonstration of the operation process of the IBM 1401 to run a punch card program that printed the name of a user in big letters formed by the composition of ascii characters using a basic ascii art generator program that produced something similar to this:

 YYYYYYYY        YYYYYYYY    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE      SSSSSSSSSSS
 YYYYYYYY        YYYYYYYY    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE     SSSSSSSSSSSSS
 YYYYYYYY        YYYYYYYY    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE    SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
 YYYYYYYY        YYYYYYYY    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE    SSSSSSSS    SSS
  YYYYYYYY      YYYYYYYY     EEEEEEEE              SSSSSSSS
   YYYYYYYY    YYYYYYYY      EEEEEEEE              SSSSSSSS
    YYYYYYYY  YYYYYYYY       EEEEEEEEEEEEE          SSSSSSSS
     YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY        EEEEEEEEEEEEE           SSSSSSSSSS
      YYYYYYYYYYYYYY         EEEEEEEEEEEEE            SSSSSSSSSS
       YYYYYYYYYYYY          EEEEEEEEEEEEE               SSSSSSSSS
        YYYYYYYYYY           EEEEEEEE                     SSSSSSSS
         YYYYYYYY            EEEEEEEE                     SSSSSSSS
         YYYYYYYY            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE     SSS    SSSSSSSS
         YYYYYYYY            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE     SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
         YYYYYYYY            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE      SSSSSSSSSSSSS
         YYYYYYYY            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE       SSSSSSSSSSS

The data fed into the program consisted of a punch card that had been created by one of the attendants by typing her name using a punch card writer. The demonstration also included a description of the components of the system and the evolution of the IBM data processing facilities from its beginnings. The photograph included shows the maintenance undertaken by the team of IBM engineers previously to the demo session.

IIW19 WED FieldTrip IBM1401.jpg