Burroughs L-series paper tapes

Stan Sieler sieler at allegro.com
Thu Aug 6 15:07:34 CDT 2020

> Mike Stein writes:
>   > I remember there was another L9000 rescued in California years ago,
> but maybe that's the one you have now.

My consulting company was in Redwood City, CA.  Our nextdoor neighbor had a
company leasing new cars.  They ran the company on a Burroughs L9000.

About August of 2000, they were at the point where they could no longer
obtain ledger cards (roughly 8x11 with a magnetic stripe down the side for
computer data), for the L9000, so they were going to move to a PC-based
The owner knew I was a computer collector, so he offered to give me the

I was tempted...but it was a large machine, so I arranged for it to be
given to the Computer History Museum (where I was, or became (timeline
hazy) a senior docent).

I remember the owner saying that only the cleverness of their independent
maintenance guy had kept the machine running ... to the point where he'd
machined some replacement parts himself.

I talked to the elderly lady who ran the machine (i.e., did the data
entry).  She compared it to the PC, and lamented the loss of the L9000.
The L9000 was so much faster and easier to use!  She could probably enter
data four or five times faster on the L9000.  It wasn't just a matter of
familiarity ... much of the slowdown was due to the GUI nature of the PC
program they switched to, and they no longer had the luxury of having
relatively purpose-related hardware on the L9000.


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