Huge IBM 1800 find (and need some help)

drlegendre . drlegendre at
Sat Mar 21 03:57:21 CDT 2015

Wow, it sounds like you really "petted the puppy", eh? Now you own it, and
it will never leave you.. ;-)

In any case, good for you! I only wish I had the kind of space a man would
really need to devote to this kind of materiel. Best of luck, my friend!

On Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 3:17 AM, Johannes Thelen <johannesthelen at
> wrote:

> I hope this is not too long story, but I'd like to start from beginning...
> I was selling and donating my 80's computer collection away, because I
> really couldn't get anymore kicks of home computers (gateaway theory is
> right, Commodores are step to mainframes ...)
> Anyways, I asked every buyer have they seen any thing big, old computers
> anywhere here in Finland. One guy gave hint of some truck sized IBM, which
> he had seen at his old job. He told it is probably going to scrap yard and
> he sent photo of it. I was stunned, FULL 1800 SYSTEM.
> Next step was find boss who decide what is going to happen that IBM. I
> called him and asked how's IBM. Firstly he thought I'm gold digger. After
> some talk, he became convinced I'm real deal. Sadly, he told me that IBM is
> in their private museum, and not for sale or not planned to donate
> anywhere. But he invited me to see that IBM. I was little dissapointed, but
> better than nothing I thought.
> After couple months, I went to there to see IBM.  Boss had changed at that
> time, there was new guy. He also understand historical value of that big
> iron, no doubt it.  We drove plant where that IBM was. When I see it, I was
> stunned. It was absolute spectacular! It was stood 30 years after service
> in dry and warm warehouse, same place where it installed early 70's. It
> have stood still almost long as I have wander this world! Time was stopped
> that room, it looks like we have got back to 80's on time machine. 2311
> disk packs was left probably just where they are 30 years ago.
> Here's pic:
> System contains 1801 CPU, 1803 additional core storage unit, 2841 drive
> adapter, couple 2311 hard drives, 1826 data adapter, 1443 printer,
> terminals, card readers/punches, etc... It is giant system!
> Now comes twist to plot, this new boss suddenly asked: "When you could
> make pickup for this IBM?". I'm not that type guy, who can get be quiet
> that easy, but I could just stutter something like "I can pickup every you
> want". :D
> So, I was so excited, own IBM 1800, that is just what I have always
> wanted, own mainframe :D (...360 would be even better but this would do the
> trick as well ;) We have not that much computers back 60's or 70's. like
> below 200 at 1970. So you can imagine how rare big iron is here and it is
> totally unlikely you could find anything this good at Finland these days.
> **************
> But now comes the problem. This IBM is in second floor. There is only
> (wide) staircase down to street level. So cabinets have to partly
> disassemble to light those "little" bit.
> I would need some kind of document of wireharness and schematics, so I get
> it back together. Also good pictures inside of cabinets would help, so I
> know what is waiting me there. And by the way, what weights so much these
> units? CPU weights 907kg, why? Is power supplies so heavy or is there lead
> poured to structure ;) ?
> I'm picking this up next week, at least small items, so I would need some
> good advices also. Rolling cabinets via stair case is not option ;)
> Also any help to bring this back to life is welcome! Thaaaaaanks!
> - Johannes ThelenFinland
> Before microcomputers blog (Finnish)

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