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IBM History

The RAPC 705

The big news in the museum during August 2014 was the arrival of the IBM 705 Data Processing System Console from the Adjutant General's Corps Museum.  Along with the console came an IBM 727 Magnetic Tape Unit, an IBM 024 Card Punch, an IBM 056 Verifier and an IBM 3350 Direct  Access Storage device - or disk.  The latter was attached to the Royal Army Pay Corps' (RAPC) System/370 Model 158.

Squeezing throughThe major challenge, as always with these larger items is getting them through the doors of Hursley House.  In 1721, the Architect failed to predict the advent of the computer and so the house wasn't really designed for them.  Even the second architect who remodelled the House in 1905 was no better with precognition skills and so designed doorways inadequate for large twentieth century computer peripherals. 

In order to get the 3350 into the House, we had to strip off the one remaining door and all the cover hinges to get it though the doors and strip out the two Head Disk Assemblies (HDAs) in order to reduce weight.  Having got the unit though the Emergency Exit of the House, we reassembled the lot. If you know of a spare set of covers or even just a left front door, we would be happy to give them / it a new home

We have been able to dedicate a small room to the RAPC equipment, which is now fully open. The 705 was used by the Army to process pay, but was also used in processing the 1961 UK Census - the first time that a computer was used for this purpose.

The 3350 arrives Contemplating the challenge The heavy bits need to come out Out they come A lighter 3350 Removing door brackets - every inch helps Finally indoors Reassembly All done