Before PCs
ICL 1900
IBM 360
Facom M160-F
Canton System
Digital Soup




In 1979 mainframe computers were kings - and a switch from a couple of tired IBM 360/50’s to this shiny Facom M160F made us the high-tech leaders of the local IT community. This may look ancient now but installing this all-new mainframe was one of the highlights of my career.

A career that started in the mid 1960’s as a trainee programmer just prior to the actual installation of a new ICL 1903 for the CWS at their Menswear factory in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It was a 1903 because the intended 1902 was lacking the memory and performance to run the actual software that ICL had help develop. So my early programming work was to fix bugs and try to improve system performance - working in ICL’s PLAN (assember) and Input/Output Package. The luxury of Cobol did not come until a few years later.

I’m currently searching for more info to expand this bit of pre-PC computing history ...



Facom M-160F by Fujitsu











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