IBM Series/1

Paul Berger phb.hfx at
Tue Aug 6 20:28:48 CDT 2019

On 2019-08-06 5:33 a.m., Dave Wade via cctalk wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> On Behalf Of Jay West via
>> cctalk
>> Sent: 05 August 2019 18:38
>> To: 'William Donzelli' <wdonzelli at>; 'General Discussion: On-Topic
>> and Off-Topic Posts' <cctalk at>; 'Stan Sieler'
>> <sieler at>
>> Subject: RE: IBM Series/1
>> I used to run a system at Anheuser-Busch in the late 80's, ISTR it was a 4331,
>> 4341, or 4381. Under VM/370, It ran SMI's (Systems Management, Inc)
>> Pick/370 OS. IBM terminals could attach direct or via an establishment
>> controller, but dumb serial terminals could connect via the series/1's which
>> acted as a front end processor/aggregator (via a Micom switch that just let you
>> select the Pick/370 machine or one of the many Pr1me's about One Busch
>> Place).
>> There was also a standalone series/1 next to it, which ran CDI's (forget the
>> company name) implementation of Pick for the Series/1. They used this for
>> connecting a bunch of serial ports to timeclocks throughout the plant. Workers
>> coming in and out hit these and there was some Pick/BASIC code that
>> comprised a time & attendance system. Data capture from the timeclocks
>> involved the full character set which normal Pick I/O had issues with, so I wrote
>> a program in Pick Assembler to deal with that and pass sanitized/escaped data
>> back to the host.
> IBM used the Series/1s to run the door locks in its UK offices. We also had one to provide X.25 interfaces to VM/SP.
> I never did much on it. I could back it up and edit the config for the X.25 but that was about it...
> Dave
>> My most distinct memory of this is the simultaneously cute and annoying
>> 'BLEET' sound that each button on the front panel (membrane keypad) made.
>> Fun Times.
>> J
IBM used Series/1 to run the badge access systems everywhere. They where 
also used to run production lines in the plants.  In one of my jobs we 
had two channel attached Series/1 systems, that appeared to the MVS host 
system as 3274 terminal control units, and where used to create 
diskettes from images transmitted from another site.  I know of three 
chains of stores that once had Series/1 systems as a back end 
processor.  One of these store had systems without and operator panel or 
diskette drive, so to run diagnostics on them the service rep had to 
bring an operator panel and diskette drive with him.  A lot of the 
service reps where not fond of working on them because they where so 
reliable you could never become good at fixing them unless you had a lot 
of them in your territory, as a result our branch expert was the guy who 
serviced the local IBM plant.


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