back to article Remember the big IBM 360 mainframe rescue job? For now, Brexit has ballsed it up – big iron restorers

Plans to restore an aged IBM mainframe found in a disused building in Germany are on hold because of struggles to find a way to haul the hardware to the UK. Brexit worries seem to have put the frighteners on haulier companies and the team behind the project are turning to German firms to transport the gear westwards. The …

  1. corestore

    I was the underbidder on the eBay auction...

    ...and I'd still take it off your hands if you're really struggling ;-)

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: I was the underbidder on the eBay auction...

      Or maybe assist them rather than apparently gloat? Surely your cause is common?

      1. corestore

        Re: I was the underbidder on the eBay auction...

        Oh I would absolutely be assisting - but I'm in New Zealand, so a bit out of range.

        And I think your reply was a bit harsh and uncalled-for; the wink at the end was intended to be interpreted as humour.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?

    A credit card & a phone will get a hauler scheduled in under an hour.

    If they want it moved in the next day or two, that's another (self induced) matter.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Seriously?

      But will it get a haulier with a tail lift that won't be destroyed under the weight, or a truck with the right number of tie down points - that's what they're struggling with, apparently, and from the write up, I assume that's the non-trivial part of the exercise.

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: Seriously?

        Yeah, I mentally went though my clients drags, as we work for a couple of international hauliers.

        It's the tail lift that's the deal breaker. All the artics with lifts are normally doing food type work and aren't so much in the general pool of available units.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        I think the problem is the tail lift, though the weight limit itself shouldn't be a problem these tend to be standard only on non articulated box vehicles. Full size artics are normally expected to be loaded at a dock or by forklift so this does cut down the availability of suitable vehicles, but would two trips in a 18-ton box side blow the budget?

        Basically it's just a heavy & fragile load that doesn't come in standard pallet sizes, most of the big UK hauliers will be able to shift this without a problem.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          "Basically it's just a heavy & fragile load that doesn't come in standard pallet sizes"

          I palletized mine on pallets I borrowed from a hauling company. No, they weren't standard sized, but they were off-the-shelf. The guy I borrowed them from was surprised when I returned them.

      3. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        Would this be an opportune moment to maybe go back to IBM and ask them for help? It would/should be great PR and they'd definitely know the right hauliers.

        1. seven of five

          Re: Seriously?

          IBM systems are usually shipped with Hasenkamp. They´ll certainly know how to handle an S360.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            DEC used Bosman, now Mainfreight, a lot. They have extensive facilities right at the Dutch-German border, and list a distribution location in Nürnberg.

        2. Douglas Wardle

          Re: Seriously?

          There's nobody left at IBM who knows what it is. They might send you a laptop carrying case from one of last year's trade shows if you ask politely.

      4. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        They may actually want a haulier that has trucks (of the appropriate capacity) with a truck-mounted forklift..

        We've had a couple of deliveries of construction stuff for our house, multiple full pallets of cement and building blocks for instance, and they all came by truck with one of those picking the load off the truck bed and putting it on our garage path.

        Trucks carrying those forklifts will probably be curtain-sided, not hard-sided, but as long as there are plenty tiedown attachment points (and they tend to be) I don't see that being a problem.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          I used a standard pallet jack to move 'em on and off the truck. Forklift before and after.

      5. jake Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        Last time I moved a Mainframe, I used a 10,000lb payload 26 foot Penski rental with a 3,000lb hydraulic lift on the back. Cost me all of a couple hundred bucks. I did the driving, took four trips, probably could have done it in 3. If I was in a hurry, I could have rented four trucks; I have enough drivers handy.

        1. The Pi Man

          Re: Seriously?

          Last time I moved a mainframe - a Burroughs B1900, I smashed it to pieces and carted it out bit by bit.... Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but I genuinely hope they get it moved and fired up.

        2. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          Last time my mate Neil moved an IBM (AS/400) he totalled the truck and the (mini-)Big Iron inside.

          On the plus side he wasn't asked to do it again....

        3. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

          Re: Seriously?

          I was thinking the same thing except with a uhaul. They might just need to buy their own truck (small enough where they don't need the commercial license, if they don't have one.) and make multiple trips.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            The rental I had didn't require a commercial license here in the United States.

            1. Dave Bell

              Re: Seriously?

              This is the UK. Anything over 3.5 tonnes gross can be tricky, and I was excluded from that for medical reasons. Above 7.5 tonnes gross and you definitely need the special licence.

              Between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes an ordinary driving test before 1997 gave you the necessary C1 rating.

              When you figure in the insurance and the regular training requirement, I doubt it would be practical.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                Between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes an ordinary driving test before 1997 gave you the necessary C1 rating

                <Waves> (1982 if any is interested. I can also drive a road-roller..)

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?

        Even if you specify the weight and have it come through normal hauliers, they will still send it last mile in a box truck that's got a tail lift that's too weak to move it, even if you had to pay extra for the privilege and specify the destination has no unloading facilities.

        I had to fork the last machine I had moved like this out with my jcb for this very reason, and very nervous it made me too, as the forks mounts were welded on the week before and the tail lift requirement was paid for because the machine weighed 3t. I should have refused the delivery but the machine cabinet already looked like someone had used it for a game of conkers en route and I just wanted to get it back out their clutches. Once I had unloaded it and it powered up, the driver told me it had fell off the tail lift at the depot testing it when it fell like a stone (but they'd sent it in that vehicle anyway)

        If its rare, don't send it general freight logistics, unless each machine is palletised inside a very sturdy protective wood crate... Find someone who will care, and handle it end to end on its trip. If you can't find that someone, be that someone.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      This is not a job for general purpose hauliers such as DHL or Pickfords.

      One that specialises in piano removals might be able to help depending on the dimensions of the computer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?

        "One that specialises in piano removals"

        I think the operation is called pianorectomy. Carry on.

        1. sbt Silver badge
          Coat

          Just quietly...

          You're thinking of the fortectomy; Pianos are too soft.

          I hope they find a suitable transporter; I've been following their adventures with interest.

          Mine's the one with the harmonica in the pocket. -->

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        One that specialises in piano removals

        Although a mainframe is less prone to spontaneously falling from the sky.. (Hopefully!)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously? Try PL!

      They're looking in the wrong place! Can I suggest El Reg ask them to look over the boarder in Poland, I can pretty much guarantee there'll be dozens of willing, suitable, and much cheaper than DE or UK haulage firms there. Just my 2p :)

  3. NanoMeter

    Not the Crysis joke

    But can it run Space Invaders?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Not the Crysis joke

      It could with a rewrite....

      Aliens positions shown on a printout updated at timed intervals.

      Left / right / fire on punched card.

      It would make for a easy post game tactics discussion.

    2. smudge Silver badge

      Re: Not the Crysis joke

      But can it run Space Invaders?

      When I was at university in the mid-70s, the main machine was a 360/44. Batch processing most of the time, but in the afternoons it ran a timesharing system called RAX.

      This predated Space Invaders - and the terminals were all green-screen alphanumeric "VDUs". However there was a moon landing game, where you controlled (I think) vertical and horizontal velocity by manipulating thrust, and the system would give you frequent (textual) updates on altitude, rate and angle of descent, etc.

      I don't think I ever landed successfully.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Not the Crysis joke

      Porting ADVENT to it would teach you a lot about programming it :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm somewhat doubtful, hauliers are always after money, it's just a question of price.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Unfortunately, large companies are busy stockpiling goods and parts in case BJ gets his wish and we crash out. Large companies with large bank balances.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I thought, and was kind of hoping he'd actually keep this particular promise, that he'd do us all a favour and be dead in a ditch by the end of the week, so the next idiot can get a chance.

        How does the saying go? Don't put your trust in princes, or sons of Eton?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      If you can get something into a container, you can move it to pretty much anywhere on earth. But if you have special requirements, as this shipment does, then your options wll be severely limited. And you won't just any charlie behind the wheel or operating the thing.

      That said, Germans ship heavy machinery a lot so should be possible to find a suitable company though it won't be cheap.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        If you can get something into a container,

        Loading/unloading a container that's sitting on the ground is not too difficult; it's just a 20cm or so threshold that you need to negotiate. So, a long enough ramp or a couple of pallet movers can do that job. But getting the loaded container(s) full of System/360.on and off the truck would probably require a more serious crane than those you might find on such a truck itself.

        When we moved we would be in temporary housing for a few months, so we moved the essential stuff there by box van, stuffed the rest in a 20' and 10' container and had them moved to a temporary storage location. That crane on the truck was straining to lift the 20' one (which may well have been caused by books being a fair part of its contents). I don't want to gamble on such a crane being able to lift a container loaded with some big iron gear.

        The benefit of using containers is that they can load a big piece, tetris all kinds of boxes and smaller stuff around it, then the next big piece, etc. Plus they can construct a supporting frame in place for the larger/higher pieces wedging them against the container walls. Have the container delivered, take a couple of days putting the gear into it (our packing the boxes, and the boxes into the containers for the move was done over two weeks or so), then have the shipper pick it up, possibly with the assistance of an auxiliary crane. That way the activities that require the most hands, brains and dedication can be done during a weekend, while the shipper drops off and picks up the container on weekdays with just one of the team supervising.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: If you can get something into a container,

          So, a long enough ramp or a couple of pallet movers can do that job.

          Even that's not going to be easy with something like a System 360. Whichever way you look at this, cheap and easy aren't on the options.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: If you can get something into a container,

            They did get the gear out of that building in much the same way, negotiating a three-step height difference. So yes, you need a solid ramp but they appear to be well aware of that and capable of building a sturdy enough one.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At my old job we used to use a company called 'Carry Gently', and this sort of job is their bread and butter. Their speciality is moving large delicate items like mainframes around.

    I'm not sure that £5000 would be enough though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also try Bishopsgate. I'm sure they would like the free advertising and goodwill.

  6. Trygve Henriksen

    Ask Drew Pritchard?

    The host of the Salvage Hunters show on Discovery.

    I don't know how much the lift of his car can handle, but he do know how to secure fragile cargo.

    He probably have to take two trips, but if he can take a stop or two along the way to buy some old industrial light fittings, he'll probably jump at the opportunity.

  7. beast666

    Correction: The EU ballsed it up.

    1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      That's not a correction, it's a falsehood

  8. Qarumba

    The Reg is getting as bad as the BBC in finding things to blame on Brexit. The guys are having difficulty getting a haulier and there is no mention in the article that any of them blamed Brexit. The only mention comes from the author of this article "Brexit worries seem to have put the frighteners on haulier companies..". It's a poor world we live in when you cannot have any faith in politicians and even less in reporters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree. I desperately try to avoid any stories that involve Brexit or politics on this site now as to be honest I would just love one place I visit for IT news to be devoid of all of it. Also, people are foaming at the mouth about it, refuse to see the bigger picture, especially in the comments and more often than not it tends to be those who are obsessively remain (I acknowledge there are obsessive leavers, they are an exception, neither are acceptable).

      My interest was piqued though in wondering what possible reason Brexit could have caused an issue for this project and was left wanting. Brexit hasn't happened yet. You can't blame it. There is no reason for the headline at all. I despair when this site gets biased articles.

      1. Citizen99

        Exactly, upvoted.

      2. Dave Bell

        It seems a pretty fair comment. Up until last Friday the Brexit date was fixed to Halloween. The French Ambassador, on St Crispin's Day, seemed to be why we didn't get a definite date fixed until Monday. Operation Brock was still being set up at the weekend, to use the M20 to park-up HGVs facing border delays.

        Anyone who doesn't think hauliers were worried is crazy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Anyone who doesn't think hauliers were worried is crazy.

          Ahem, they already knew how to handle it so were not worried. Everythings been planned for months and months and known about for 3 bloody years, all they are waiting for is the actual "yes go ahead" with plan A or plan B!

          Which can piss them off as it scuppers proper planning.

          If you are in the business of shipping stuff about and dont know how to do that from a 3rd country after 3 years of knowing that you'd need to know how to do it I suggest a different career. Logistics isnt for you. If this were the Apprentice I'd have heads roll if they couldn't explain to me what the hell they had been doing over the last 3 years of work completely ignoring the fact that we may need to handle a no deal brexit as like with any other non EU country.

          Its like having someone booked to install a boiler in your house only for them to turn up without any tools because even though you booked 3 months ago they had no idea that they would need to install a boiler. Then you ask them why they drove 70 miles to get to you, with a boiler in their van but no tools and didnt think that that would be an issue till they knocked your door. Instead of accepting blame for their own obvious incompetence they try to blame the smartphone they got the job order on. You catch a glance at the screen and it clearly says "boiler install" and again you ask the legitimate question of why they didnt plan on bringing their tools.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Qarumba

      Makes for good click bait

    3. Davidmb

      "It's a poor world we live in when you cannot have any faith in politicians

      ... and even less in reporters"

      Have you just been released from the cave you grew up in?

    4. joeW Silver badge

      It seems to be the restoration team blaming Brexit - El Reg is just reporting on that.

  9. andy 103

    Disposal cost

    Presumably the reason it was advertised was because the disposal cost would have been pretty high as well. Partly because someone would have to transport it, even if it was being done in Germany.

    Their blog states that they aren't actually sure what they've bid on. Entering a 4500 Euro bid under such circumstances is odd behaviour at best.

    Guessing the reason it was described as a Puma computer is because it has a Puma logo sticker on it. Can only see it on the high-res copy on their blog here: https://ibms360.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DSC_0002.jpg

    I mean good luck to them. But pretty sure someone saw them coming here.

    Incidentally there have been parts of aircraft - including Concorde occasionally - on ebay. Other than looking at them and going "ah lovely piece of history" you're paying a lot of money to take something nobody else wants off their hands, i.e. they are disposing of it - at your expense.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Disposal cost

      You nay have a point, but as there are very few operating System 360 or 370 systems left in the world, the chance of obtaining a near complete example of either is a chance to be jumped at.

      Unlike your example of Concord, which would be almost impossible to return to operational status (see the trials of getting Vulcan XH558 to fly again), there is a chance that one or both of these systems may live again.

      Both 360 and 370 were hugely influential, both in architectural and construction terms for the whole of the computing industry, introducing the concept of documented near-open architectures, plug compatible peripherals, solid-state electronics, common instruction set across all models, and introducing the concept of backward compatibility that even extends in some degree to the latest z15 systems today.

      You could argue that this is all available under emulation, but until you are in the presence of one of these things quietly rumbling away in a machine room, you don't really appreciate how big they were!

      What I'm surprised about is that IBM Germany of UK have not themselves provided any resource, as even they don't have a 360 or 370 in their Hursley (UK) computing museum (not sure about Germany). Mind you, even to them these machines are ancient history, as I doubt that any hardware engineers from this era are still working for IBM. I only have vague memories of working on these types of machines from my time at Durham University, using both an System 360/65 and a System 370/168, and I'm getting towards the end of my working life.

      1. Rabster

        Re: Disposal cost

        Assuming things haven't changed, IBM Hursley Lab used to be a single cost centre and controlled its own budget in a way most of IBM couldn't. Tell them to try contacting the lab, not whatever they call the marketing or service people these days.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Disposal cost

          IBM Hursley is/was a development lab. and thus is not under the IBM UK company, but reports directly to the US holding company. The full company name is IBM UK Laboratories Ltd.

          The Hursley site is not full any way you look at it. Some space is leased out to bits of IBM UK (for example, the remains of the UK Software Centre and parts of the TSS Hardware Front Office) is in Hursley. This has happened as other IBM locations in Basingstoke and the South East have been closed.

          UK CICS support and training, and some other Z Series support and training is done at Hursley, although I believe that the main CICS development was transferred to Toronto some time back. I think there is also some Storwize/Spectrum Virtualize development still done there, but there is now very little in development work done anywhere in IBM in the UK nowadays.

          I also think that Hursley may be one of IBM's UK cloud centres.

      2. Anonymous IV

        Re: Disposal cost

        > I only have vague memories of working on these types of machines from my time at Durham University, using both an System 360/65 and a System 370/168

        In the early 1970s Durham University used to make use of Newcastle University's IBM 360/67 which ran Michigan terminal System (MTS) time sharing. The link between Newcastle University and Durham University was described as costing "a diplomat's ransom"! But presumably you are referring to a slightly later era?

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Disposal cost

          Was it a 360/67? I was at Durham between 1978 and 1981, and then worked at Newcastle Polytechnic (also a part of NUMAC - Northumbrian Universities Multiple Access Computer) from 1982 until 1987.

          When I was there, the 360 was running batch workloads under MVS or one of IBMs other batch OSs, and MTS was running on the 370 doing both batch and interactive work. I only wrote a single program that was executed on the 360 as an exercise in the IBM JCL in the computing course I was on.

          While I was at the Poly, the 370 was replaced with an Amdahl 5730 (I think, I might be wrong on the model number) over one weekend. It was painfully slow on the Friday, and quick on the Monday. I don't know how difficult the work actually was, but I'm thinking that they kept the same FEPs and DASD strings, just replacing the CPU, memory and swap cabinets. I'm sure it was not that simple, but I just don't know the details.

          Durham also got their own IBM 4370 (again exact model number may not be right) air-cooled CMOS system sometime in the mid '80s, also running MTS.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Disposal cost

        It's definitely a 360, and it looks to me like a Model 20 of one description or another, and I assume the greybeards rescuing the thing have clues, so ... Ol' Bill of Occam suggests it's not a pig in a poke.

      4. murrby

        Re: Disposal cost

        I know one engineer from this era still working for IBM - but he's in NZ!

      5. druck Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Disposal cost

        Unlike your example of Concord, which would be almost impossible to return to operational status (see the trials of getting Vulcan XH558 to fly again), there is a chance that one or both of these systems may live again.

        Whilst the British Concordes were left to rot outside, or had the wings chopped off to transport them to museums, the French have kept one of theirs in a hanger in flight condition, regularly running up the hydraulics systems to keep them in order. One day they'll fly her again to make one last attempt to steal the glory of this mainly British technology.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Disposal cost

          According to one C. Stross, there was a fairly heavily modified one in a hangar somewhere in England. The people tasked with keeping it flying were having trouble finding parts for it at one time, but I think the need is now gone...

  10. HarryCoh

    Have you tried asking IBM if they would help, there may be some moeny in their publicity budget !!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good luck with that.

    2. tfewster Silver badge

      The CEO has a helicopter they could use..

    3. druck Silver badge
      Unhappy

      The only budget IBM would allocate; is to the legal team to prosecute the restorers for performing unauthorised repairs, and the compliance team make sure the licences have been paid on any software when its running again.

    4. fredesmite Bronze badge
      Mushroom

      India Business Machines

      India Business Machines has gone to great lengths to ensure no employees are left from that era ..they have been replaced with hipsters playing cloud programmers.

  11. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    FWIW

    When I was at Uni (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and later, for trade shows, we used household movers (in the US, Allied Van Lines, and their ilk).

    They used to have special divisions for moving heavy and fragile goods, primarily for deliveries to end users (we got a used CDC CYBER74) and to trade shows.

    Might be worth a call to the local movers to see if they can handle it. Agree that the liftgate is a problem, as trailers usually don't have a power source for them. But movers also have low trailers and ramps which, as I recall, handled the CDC without a problem. Bearing rollers and Johnson bars did the rest of the moving.

    If there's any way to load the gear from a loading dock, you'll have a much easier time and you'll only need a forklift.

  12. Edwin

    Containerise it?

    Could you not pack it up in a couple of standard shipping containers?

    Might cost a little more, but if you can load it into containers, then the shipping is a doddle and you no longer need a lift.

  13. d3vy Silver badge

    If the tail lift is the issue would it be possible to load everything into an iso container on the ground (Small step up but not as big as trying to lift into the back of a truck *) and then crane the whole thing onto the back of a truck?

    * from what I remember from the blog they had to negotiate some steps etc to get the units out of the building... and most of the kit is on wheels.

    1. Robert Sneddon

      Turing Trust

      A charity I've helped out with a few times, the Turing Trust reconditions old donated computers, printers etc. and ships them to African schools.

      https://turingtrust.co.uk/

      The process involves getting a containerload of gear together, reformatted, checked and catalogued and then on a Friday a truck with a HIAB crane arrives and drops a full-sized shipping container in a yard next to the storage area. A group of volunteers load the container over the weekend using pallet trucks and a ramp (supplied by the container hire company if needed) then once it's full the doors are closed, the HIAB truck returns on the Monday and lifts the container onto its back and drives off.

      Typically there's eight to ten tonnes of weight in the container when it's ready to ship, the truck cranes are rated a bit higher than that.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a company called Relay Europe that specializes in moving lorry loads of IT equipment around Europe. They are based somewhere near Slough. I see their trucks around quite a lot. Maybe worth a call.

  15. IGotOut

    MAN Trucks have a plant in Nuremberg..m

    ...maybe they know someone that can help?

  16. martinusher Silver badge

    Surely a Container's the better option?

    I think the problem's trying to get a box truck to move this. If I were faced with this problem I'd rent a container and fork lift and load the kit myself, adding bracing and tie-downs as necessary.

    This is how people move house internationally. Its how you manage weird (non-standard) loads.

    1. MrBanana

      Re: Surely a Container's the better option?

      Yup, moved from the UK -> US and back again with all my stuff via container shipping. On the way out used lift vans and a shared container (don't do this if the other half of the container is subject to a divorce settlement), on the way back I needed a full container - '65 Mustangs take a bit of space.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Surely a Container's the better option?

      >Surely a Container's the better option?

      Maybe a Docker can help with the transportation

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just need to book a "Man with a van"

    Just for the cliché

  18. Aseries

    As 1980s mainframes go those are pretty small entry level systems for medium size businesses.

  19. imanidiot Silver badge

    This is a job for a company specialized in machinery relocations (Think hauling a bridgeport knee mill or bigger). I don't know how many of them exist in the UK, but they should be pretty common in Germany. The relevant search term would be "Industrieumzüge". These are companies that have forklifts,trucks with loading ramps and experience in moving stuff that's too heavy or large for a standard shipping company to handle.

  20. RancidRodent

    Why not get a quote from a specialist company?

    Why not get a quote from a specialist IT transport company such as Technimove (Croydon) (who IBM usually use themselves) then set up a "fundme" account to raise the required amount of cash? Simples.

  21. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Out of curiosity, what is the power draw of this thing once up and running?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Power

      The last 360 I set up (a 2025), the processing unit alone required 7.5kva of 208v 4 wire 3 phase. Add the requirements for all the stuff you want to connect to it when drawing up your power needs. Don't forget your backup power ... and line conditioning. These things HATE power fluctuations. They hate flaky grounding, too, so don't skimp there ... I built my machineroom/museum/mausoleum/morgue with an Ufer ground, just to be sure. It's probably overkill, but ...

      What's the heat output of the above CPU? Glad you asked ... try 21,000 BTU (about 5.25 kcal), so when planning your retro data center don't forget about the electricity your AC, humidifier and air handling equipment will need ... It likes to live at about 63F (17C) and ~50% humidity, so again don't skimp!

  22. SteveCarr
    Thumb Up

    Ah, 370/125.....

    We ran a nationwide realtime parts and accounting system on one of those beasts, with 20+ online branches and dealers all online at a mix of 1200 and 2400 bps. CICS 1.3 or1.4 with a home brewed ISAM file system, everything written is IBM Assembler. Those were the days.....

  23. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Sounds familiar

    > it seems it's difficult to send a UK truck into Germany

    Reminds me of the price hike on software and support we all got from Microsoft and other companies dealing with 1's and 0's when brexit was announced in 2016. No real reason, just an excuse.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Sounds familiar

      No real reason except gbp plummeted immediately after the referendum and still hasn’t recovered

  24. fredesmite Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    ti-990

    I know a man who had and entire TI-990 minicomputer ,crt monitors, big trident hard disks dx10 OS running in his garage for many ,many years .

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