Free IBM system/1(?) in eastern US.

Paul Berger phb.hfx at
Tue Nov 22 16:56:29 CST 2016

On 2016-11-22 3:31 PM, jim stephens wrote:
> On 11/22/2016 10:09 AM, william degnan wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 2:31 AM, Guy Sotomayor Jr<ggs at>
>> >wrote:
>>> > >The IBM Series/1 was introduced in 1976 and withdrawn in 1988.  
>>> There
>> >were
>>> > >originally 2 models and another 2 models were added later...
> Ultimate's Pick implementation for the IBM mainframe had a channel 
> attached Series One with serial channels available for communications 
> to IBM 3151 ASCII terminals.  if you ran the usual pile that IBM had, 
> there was a program that ran in the Series one that put up a screen 
> similar to a 3270 on each 3151 terminal, and acted much like a 3270 
> terminal, but with Ascii terminals and using cursor control and the 
> like to do the screens.
> A standalone controller, the 7171 also did that as well.
> On the 9121 mainframes there was a 68000 equipped board and subsystem 
> called the Hyfas that did the same directly from boards in the 9121 
> chassis.
> IBM disclosed Ultimate on a method to bypass the 3270 software and do 
> direct I/O for byte I/O to use the terminals on all three of these 
> subsystems like direct attached Ascii terminals.
> Also there was a Pick Series one implementation by Pick Blue in Seattle.
> I also know that some number of Sears Roebuck stores had Series One 
> systems for their POS control in each store up to the end of life of 
> pretty much a real Sears chain, and the product.  There was a large 
> flood of systems at the time that the IBM POS systems were converted 
> to some other backend system (I didn't track what the replacement 
> configuration was).
> I've not set foot in a Sears store in 30 years due to them screwing me 
> in 1976, so don't know much about any of their gear since, but I am 
> pretty sure on the Series One from some people who acquired systems at 
> that time, in the early 90s.

I understand that the Sears stores in the US replaced their Series/1 
machines with a 9371, Sears Canada replaced theirs with a small AIX 
system as did the late Eatons Dept store.  State Farm Insurance agents 
used to have Series/1 machines in their offices, they too replaced them 
with 9271s.  The machines in the Sears stores stores did not have the 
operator panel, nor did they have a diskette drive so if you wanted to 
run diagnostics on them you had to haul these items packaged as a CE 
tool to the site with you. The biggest problem with servicing Series/1 
was they where so reliable that unless you where maintaining a lot of 
them you never got good at them.

The channel adapter on the Series/1 had a rather large flaw, if you did 
not disable the interface before shutting down the Series/1 it would 
upset the channel it was attached to causing a flurry of channel checks 
that could bring the host system to its knees.  When I worked in the IBM 
Toronto Lab we had two channel attached Series/1 machines with 72MD 
diskette units that we used to create diskettes from images sent to us 
and also to send diskette images.  These Series/1s pretended to be a 
3270 control unit so that the MVS host system knew how to talk to them.


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