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IBM Supplemental Control Panel for 360 - why this is historic..

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  • B Degnan
    As a follow up to my post... This unit is historic because it shows that portable computing devices similar to what eventually became the Altair/IMSAI were in
    Message 1 of 2 , May 29, 2010
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      As a follow up to my post...

      This unit is historic because it shows that portable computing devices
      similar to what eventually became the Altair/IMSAI were in use before
      the microprocessor was available. It shows were some of the inspiration
      for the whole toggle switch idiom came from. (aside from the minis who
      had toggle switches of course). This unit would have had to have used
      the CPU of the mainframe and it would not need RAM. It was the merging
      of data controllers like this plus the microprocessor that led to the
      microcomputer. The toggle switches were used as I/O, but there was no
      brains or storage on board. All this thing would have needed is a
      microprocessor and a little RAM, and in theory it could have been a
      microcomputer.

      Bill
    • Jim Scheef
      Bill, The thing that made a computer a mainframe was not size, it was I/O speed. You may have part of a channel interface. My understanding is that channels
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 5, 2010
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        Bill,

        The thing that made a computer a mainframe was not size, it was I/O
        speed. You may have part of a channel interface. My understanding is
        that channels were the highest speed interconnects to big IBM machines
        (big being relative to the era). Sridhar?

        Jim

        B Degnan wrote:
        >
        >
        > As a follow up to my post...
        >
        > This unit is historic because it shows that portable computing devices
        > similar to what eventually became the Altair/IMSAI were in use before
        > the microprocessor was available. It shows were some of the inspiration
        > for the whole toggle switch idiom came from. (aside from the minis who
        > had toggle switches of course). This unit would have had to have used
        > the CPU of the mainframe and it would not need RAM. It was the merging
        > of data controllers like this plus the microprocessor that led to the
        > microcomputer. The toggle switches were used as I/O, but there was no
        > brains or storage on board. All this thing would have needed is a
        > microprocessor and a little RAM, and in theory it could have been a
        > microcomputer.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        >
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