IBM Geekness

I guess I have a weakness for IBM’s full system descriptions. The z990 is the latest of these. It’s just neat to read about things all the way from instruction sets and microcode, to the way that cooling happens in card cages.

Ooooh, an issue on tapes. I remember the IBM mass store that I saw at the Federal Systems Division; a couple of robot arms were used to bin tape cartridges in a honeycomb, transferring them to a few readers on demand and putting them back once they were cached on disk. Occasionally the arms would drop cartridges on the floor of the unit. Our tour guide: “The techs draw lots to see who gets to go in and fetch them.” The arms were pretty quick and strong…

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