399RE: [midatlanticretro] IBM 4956 Series I Minicomputer (plus free items available)
- May 2, 2005Bill, that's a great story! Thanks for sharing.I might print the 4956 parts in this week's issue of Computer Collector Newsletter.Hello.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of billdeg
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 7:27 PM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] IBM 4956 Series I Minicomputer (plus free items available)
This weekend I took a Ford cargo van to Virginia to pick up an IBM
4956 Series I Minicomputer from Mr. Roy Soltoff. I received a tip
from MARCH's own Kelly Levitt. The system included three harddrives
(weighing about 150 pounds each), a control unit, tape drive, 8" disk
drive. The computer system is housed in twin 6' cabinets. It's a 16-
bit system. I am guessing that this particular unit was originally
installed around ~1979-81. The overall condition is good. I read
that this system was a contemporary of the PDP 11. I must be crazy to
have taken this, but ....
Roy and I disassembled the IBM system piece by piece and hauled each
component separately into his lawn tractor's trailer. We then took
the items up to the driveway to load into the van. It took 4 hours.
Also included were all the manuals, disks, literature, etc. that came
with the Series I.
In addition to the IBM, Roy had a lot of interesting stories to tell
about when he was involved with Tandy computers during the TRS 80
era. His company was called Microsys (mike-ross-iss) and he furnished
custom systems and software for the Tandy era. Roy was an (or the)
author of the TRS 80 Model IV operating system. In fact he had a
prototype TRS 80 Model IV computer, without the FCC label and serial
number. It has an all-white keyboard.
Roy is cleaning house. In addition to the IBM Series I, Roy allowed
me to take whatever else I wanted from his large stash of PC's and
components. I took what I could fit in the van in the space
remaining. My favorite items were the TRS 80 Model IV prototype,
Tandy Model 12, and a Lobo MAX 80 computer. I also took few other
systems and a lot of useful cables, manuals, parts, 8" disks, drives,
But there's more there, especially for IBM/PC collectors!
If anyone is in the VA area, Roy has the following items to give away:
1) Leading Edge PC (I accidentally took the manuals, call me to
2) Eagle PC w/ twin 5 1/4" and external 5mb Percom harddrive
3) Tandy PC (it's a 286, can't remember the exact model, TA?)
4) Tandy 1000 (a nice one, but I can't remember the model, not an SX)
5) *Tons* of peripheral control cards for TRS and PC systems
6) TRS 80 model I monitor clone, a nice Magnavox monitor
7) manuals and software on 5 1/4" and 8"
8) intersting mystery stuff in various boxes, cables, jacks, etc.
You would need a van to fit it all if you took everything. Let me
know if you're interested and I will get you in touch with Roy. There
is enough for more than one person.
Back to the IBM...I have re-assembled it, now I have to figure out how
to use it. I know TSO, which I guess will be the user interface
system, but if you're in the Delaware area, feel free to stop by to
kick the tires and lend a hand. I would like to donate this computer
to a museum after I clean it and test it. This might be a fine
addition to the technology museum in NJ. Perhaps someone needs a 14"
150 40MB harddrive? ha ha
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