Call for manuals and maybe floppies: IBM 8100

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Thu Aug 26 16:48:29 CDT 2021

My next project once I finish my IBM 1410 FPGA implementation (so, a 
couple of years out, probably) would be to write an emulator for the 
boat anchor known as the IBM 8100.  I had exposure to these things back 
in the 1980s.  The project was not really a success: the DPPX operating 
system was way overkill for the underpowered machine, and wasn't 
reliable enough or capable enough to run them at remote locations with 
central administration.

The machine had some fairly sophisticated features:
    Two groups of 64 sets of registers with 8 32 bit registers each
    Auto increment and auto decrement indexed addressing
    Address translation - but not paging
    A primitive form of I/O channel

I have a set of install floppies for the DPPX operating system and some 
of the associated software (but, sadly, not COBOL or Assembler), imaged, 
and verified to contain what the labels say (via dd conv=ascii), but am 
short on information.

(Of course, if someone else has floppies, all the better.  I can image 
them - they are 8" DSDD, with the first track single density, kinda like 
an RX02).

I do have the Principles of Operation GA23-0031 and
the DASD devices (including floppy) Description GA23-0053

But in order to manage an emulator and actually install DPPX I would 
need just a bit more hardware info - or I would be flying blind to some 
degree as far as the operator panel I/O interaction.)

Hardware Manuals:

8130 Processor Description GA27-3196 and/or
8140 Processor Description GA27-2880
(There was also an 8150, but I doubt the releases I have would run on it.)
8140 Processor Operators Guide GA27-3197 and  GA27-2879 (Expanded front 

8101/8102 Storage / I/O Unit  GA27-2882
Communications: Loop, Display, Printer: GA27-2883

(The "Loop" was a LAN like thing - kind of akin to the Apollo Domain 
ring, off of which one hung local terminals, such as the IBM 8775).

Distributed Processing Programming Executive (DPPX) Manuals

Installation Primer: G320-6048
Installation Guide: SC27-0401
IPO Planning Guide: GC20-1883

Assembler: SC27-0412
Assembler Messages: SC27-0416

(The machine also supported APL, PL/I, COBOL (which we used), FORTRAN...
But I don't have floppies for those - heck, if the assembler wasn't 
standard (I doubt it was), I don't even have that, even though we had it 
at our installation, along with COBOL)

DTMS (database, transaction mgmt.)
    Messages: SC26-3918
    Customization Guide (SC26-3937)
    Application Development Guide (SC26-3938)
    Administration Guide (SC26-3939)
    Operation Guide (SC26-3940)
    Reference (SC26-3941)

True story:  The early releases of DPPX were just awful buggy.  We ended 
up dedicating 3 conference rooms (with the dividers open) for a "warm 
room" for something like 3 months, housing our personnel and IBM 
personnel up from Texas.  At one point one of the IBM'ers was overheard 
on a public phone in the hallway of our public building telling someone 
he was there "to help the hicks from Wisconsin".  That got reported to 
our management and to IBM's management, and he was on the next flight 
back to Texas.  ;)

On the flip side, I was testing database recovery (it was my thing, back 
in the day - though we did not end up using the database / transaction 
manager).  I found some bugs in the database log journal recovery 
process.  I mentioned it to one of the IBM'ers in passing, also pointing 
out it wasn't urgent since we were not going to use DTMS anyway, at 
least not soon.  He pretty much begged me to report it - and anything 
else I found wrong.  Completely polar opposite attitude of the guy in 
the previous paragraph.


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