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Minicomputers: The IBM System/34

IBM System 34

IBM System 34

Pedro Trebbau Lopez

The System/34 also known as S/34 was a minicomputer manufactured by  IBM. It was introduced in April 1977 as a cheap alternative to the mainframes of the S/370 series . It was the successor to the System/32 and System/36 and the precursor of the smaller sister S/38 system . The S/34 served as a multi-user computer for departments and small businesses and was produced until February 1985.

The memory capacity was a maximum of 256 kilobytes of RAM . The S/34 could be operated in the basic setup of two and, by a extension through a special module, four disk drives, each with 64 megabytes. It was required to operate with a connected and ready for operation chain printer, which worked as a system main printer. Its absence made ​​the operation of the S/34 not impossible, but it caused an starting error when booting the machine. The backup was made exclusively via 8″ floppy disks. Depending on the version of S/34, there were three individual feeds and two additional slots for magazines with ten floppy disks.

A maximum of 14 terminals could be connected to the system. The terminals used were the 5250. A total of 7 terminals could be connected serially, one after another. To achieve this, each terminal had an input and output connector. The terminal on the first position with a logical o/o address was the control or system console. The operators and administrators could get there  the error messages from the SSP operating system an do the general operation of the computer.

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