Talk:IBM System/36

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What the heck? (June 9, 2006)[edit]

Neutrality dispute? Fanboy-ish? Not objective? Yikes.


I wrote this original article and I certainly don't think it is a puff piece. IBM tried several times to motivate S/36 owners to jump to AS/400, but it took IBM a decade to refresh the 5360 hardware to the Advanced 36; it took IBM 5 years from Release 5.1 to issue Release 6.0 - and the software improvements included programs that helped you calculate the size AS/400 you needed to buy. S/36 prices basically didn't go down in 10 years... but IBM market share on its own devices (displays, printers) went from near-100 percent to about 20 percent. Toward the end of the S/36 lifespan, those IBM brand prices were far above anything the third-party brand was selling, and a businessman would have to be pretty daft to pay that much money for a less-functional product.

I think the article leaves open the question of whether IBM broke the company in half (S/370, S/38 and the Future System AS/400 versus IBM System/34 and System/36) to accommodate a potential DOJ lawsuit. The 370-38-400 camp received a lot of developer attention whereas 34-36 did not.

Yes, it's true that midrange computers worked better than 1970s/1980s home computers and were more functional, and were faster, and made more sense in a networking scheme. Is <that> really a point of view?

Saying that $6,000 printers and $15,000 printers were "great"... is fanboyish? Surely not.

Yes, in my own opinion, the S/36 was a great machine. It still is a great work machine, in that it is totally focused on work: you do your job and you sign off and go home; you can't bring a game from home and run it, and you can't use the Internet.

This article doesn't tell all there is to know about S/36, or nearly all that I know about it... but it is absolutely my own writing (aside from the cleanups offered here) and it's hardly a fawning fanboy article.

Jessemckay 07:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Is This Better? (9th November 2005)[edit]

I edited the top section of the page to make it read more, well, neutral. Is this closer to what is desired? (Please revert it if not and leave feedback) I can come back and do the same stuff for the rest of the article later. All I was doing is replacing "glowing" descriptions with less, well, fanboy-ish ones, and reducing comparisons to other things to more objective descriptions.

It's kinda hard to put into words, but if you look at it you can see where I messed with it.

Previous Post[edit]

The following statement is not quite correct (but as I'm not sure of the best way to fix it, I'll through out this comment, rather than edit the article):

"Its displays (at 24x80) were twice the size of its ancestor."

Though 'ancestor' is not clarified, this presumably refers to the S/34. The S/34, however, used the same 24x80 format (though an alternate 'pushme-pullyou' display was available that supported two keyboards and -- with a mirror arrangement -- split the standard size screen into two 12x80 areas for two operators).

Another ancestor, the S/3 supported (when running CCP) 3270 terminals in 24x80 mode, and the only previous, related model with a smaller screen, the System/32, displayed 12x40 -- or was it 8x40?

Ah, the memories!

This page is pretty ratty... Very fanboy-esque... --155.201.35.50 21:22, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Article needs cleanup[edit]

I added an {{npov}} tag as someone (possibly 66.243.231.224) has added a bunch of unformatted text (including POV stuff) to the article. Much of the added text may also be copyright violation(s); I'll look at it later. Bumm13 21:49, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Looks fine now --JeremyStein 14:23, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

WSU on the S/36?[edit]

I worked on the S/3 (Model 15D), S/34, S/36 and AS/400. I only recall WSU being available on the S/34, not on the S/36. I even used it for a while, after we proved that it was quicker to write a front end data entry suite in WSU rather than RPG and SDA :-) Cymruisrael 14:40, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Unless my memory is failing, I'm sure we used WSU on the S/36. It was VERY basic and perhaps we ported it off the S/34, but I'm sure we used it. -- I@ntalk 14:55, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the input, gentlemen. My recollection is that WSU was supported on the 5360/62 because I worked on those models of the S/36. Even though I used the A/36 over a period of five years, I don't remember trying to do anything related to WSU on that model and I am not sure that WSU was supported.

Jessemckay 00:21, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

What about POP/36[edit]

I think I was using something called POP/36 sort of a programmers toolbox where you could do a lot more then with the standard SEU editor that came with SSP.

I am pretty sure that POP/36 replaced the standard editors in many cases. As far as I remember it was a free tool given away by IBM, but later became a product.

Anyone that perhaps knows a bit more?

(unknown user)

Thanks for the info! I am going to write an article about #POPLIB someday... oops! I already did!

Jessemckay 21:46, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

System/36 Version[edit]

I have an old System/36 which I need to migrate to iSeries. On the System/36 how do I determine what version SSP I am running and what products are installed on it? Phwray 15:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Print the system's VTOC by using the CATALOG procedure.

At the top of each page, on the left, will be the following code:


PACK ID - SS1R05M00

(Approximately.)

This tells you that the SSP release is, in this case, Release 5, Modification 0.

Presence of certain library names will indicate installations of what are called utility program products.

  WHAT'S ON THE SYSTEM?
  
  #LIBRARY  SSP.
  
  #SEULIB   Source Entry Utility.
  #DFULIB   Data File Utility.
  #WSULIB   Work Station Utility.
  #SDALIB   Screen Design Aid.
  #RPGLIB   RPG (Report Program Generator) Compiler.
  #COBLIB   COBOL Compiler.
  #FORTLIB  FORTRAN Compiler.
  #BLLIB    BASIC Compiler/Interpreter.
  #BLHPLIB  BASIC Help.
     
  Other libraries, not necessarily IBM-supplied, might include
  the following:
  
  #POPLIB   Programmer/Operator Productivity.
  #TOTLIB   The Office Tools.  (Whoops, that's one of mine.)
  

Jessemckay 21:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


The IBM System/36 FORTRAN and System/36 Assembler software have yet to be found after some years of searching, if anyone can confirm they have preserved copies that would be good to know. Nigwil (talk) 00:02, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Notable System/36 Programmers And Authors[edit]

Moved from article space. How are these people notable? RJFJR (talk) 18:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


In no particular order:


Massoglia is known from IBM MUG, the IBM Michigan Users Group. Monypenny, Beckman, Conte, and Pence are authors from the News 3X/400 and Midrange magazines. Beckman and Kratzer published prominent S/36 books (Desktop Guide to the S/36). Jessemckay (talk) 04:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

They're still red links. RJFJR (talk) 13:10, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Acronym section[edit]

I removed the excessively long section of acronyms. diff RJFJR (talk) 13:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Prominent books by System/36 authors[edit]

The section "Prominent books by System/36 authors" of the article does not list the authors. RJFJR (talk) 15:44, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

The Simple OS[edit]

First let me say the author has done a good, comprehensive article. He has however omitted or under emphasized one of the primary reasons users of the 36 refused to give it up for as long as possible. And that would be

The system/36 operating system was and still remains one of the easiest (imo, The easiest) multi-user operating systems to learn and use. A non-technical person was usually trained in a matter of hours to run the system and respond to system messages. This is no small feat for a multi-user computer. Where the AS/400 or Windows Server require drilling down through layers and layers of commands and options, with the 36, it was all right there on the first screen. Want to look at the print queue? D P and enter. D as in Display and P as in Printer. Easy to teach that concept. This made it easy to deploy the 36 into environments where there were no technical support personnel available.

Ease of operation is why I am still supporting 15 Advanced/36s today. They're in auto parts stores. I have auto parts counter men as my operators. They could never learn to operate an AS/400.

and how come I'm not on the list of 36 hotshots? ;-) write my user-id backwards

Unylla (talk) 02:40, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

VM, um, what?[edit]

Current text says:

The Advanced/36 allowed SSP, the operating system of the System/36, to be contained within AS/400's OS/400 as a "virtual machine" so that it could be upgraded to a full-blown AS/400 for $15k....

Surely this VMing of SSP is a feature of OS/400 - nothing to do with the Advanced/36? And to upgrade an Advanced/36 surely you'd have to buy an AS/400? Not very clear. Snori (talk) 07:35, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

The A/36 *was* an AS/400, just at a reduced price, and without OS/400. IOW, a 9402-236 (the small version of the A/36) was the same physical box as a 9402-200 (similarly the -436 was physically a -400), but license restricted to running SSP, and for a fee, you could "upgrade" it to run OS/400. Rwessel (talk) 07:59, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, hopefully clearer now. Snori (talk) 08:59, 21 June 2016 (UTC)