Wisconsin DOT – IBM 360/65 Multiprocessor

When I started at Wisconsin DOT in 1975, the computer system in place was an IBM 360/65 MP, with 2MB of memory. It was a mix of IBM Core (1.25MB) and 750KB of (slightly slower) Itel memory (I had originally recalled it being the other way ’round, but my first boss at DOT remembers it this way.)

There were IBM 2314 disk drives – but not all of the banks shown in one of the photos. By the time I arrived, they had added quite a few Memorex 3330 “washing machine”disks, shown in the photos.

We had maybe a dozen IBM 2401 tape drives, later replaced by 3420 tape drives, and a couple of IBM 3705 Communications Controllers.

This system was replaced by an Amdahl 470 a couple of years later – though the tape drives, printers, card readers, the 3705’s and the like remained.

Motor Vehicle Department IBM 1401

IBM 1401 729 Tape 1401 Printer
IBM 1401 with 729 Tape and 1403 Printer

Long before the MP/65, MVD, as it was then known, operated an IBM 1401. In this picture, it is off to the right, behind the woman with a white blouse. In the middle rear of this photo is the IBM 1406 storage expansion unit (maybe 3 1/2 feet high, with a slope to the upper part of it, and behind that are three IBM 729 tape drives (and a bit of a fourth one off to the left). Of to the left you can just make out an IBM 1403 printer.

Motor Vehicle Department IBM 360/30

The 1401 was replaced by an IBM System 360 model 30, shown here.

IBM System 360 Model 30
IBM System 360 Model 30

Going around the horn, from left to right, you can see an IBM 1402 card reader (with the men standing in front of it), what look to be a couple of IBM 7330 tape drives (with red panels in the middle), then, to the right, just peaking out are a couple of IBM 2311 disk drives (about 7.5MB removable disk packs) and in the front right, an IBM 1403 printer. The 7330 tape drives would have felt like a *downgrade* from the IBM 729’s on the 1401: they were slower, and very noisy. Unfortunately, the 360/30 CPU is not visible in this photo.

After the MP-65, the Amdahl 470

In 1977, WisDOT replaced the IBM 360/65-MP with and Amdahl 470. What an upgrade! It had twice as much memory at 4MB (eventually upgraded to 16MB), and was incredibly fast. Also in these photos is a Remcom device that emulated an IBM 2780 RJE station, a pair of IBM 3705 Communication Cntrollers and some IBM 3350 disk drives. On interesting thing was that the console of the Amdahl 470/V6 was run by a Data General NOVA minicomputer (pointed to by the young man in one of the photos).