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IBM History

Hardware Detail

Item Reference:
Machine Type:
Serial Number:
None (devt mc)
  ASCII Display Terminal, developed in Fujisawa.
  ASCII Display Terminal, developed in Fujisawa. The first of a series of terminals with the generic code name "Gemstone". The 3101 was "Topaz", with a switchable RS232 / RS422 interface. Others were the 3104 R-Loop (Sapphire) and 3178 Co-ax (3278 replacement) (Diamond), all mono, and 3179 Co-ax colour (Pearl-D alphameric, Pearl-G graphics).

This was the first IBM repair centre product. Instead of a CE going on site, the customer sent the failing unit, nicknamed WSE or Work Station Element, to the country repair centre.

This was also the last IBM terminal with Keyboard "E". New EU regulations required a much thinner keyboard - IBMs answer was Keyboard "F", fitted to later shipments of 3101.

The monitor was a Black Box - designed and built by Matsushita (National Panasonic). Although the developers designated the monitor as throw-away, Customer Engineering was able to buy analogue cards, without an IBM specification, directly from Matsushita, at CE's own risk. The colour monitor for the 3179 was a White Box - designed and developed in Hursley, built in Japan by Matsushita.

Further reading: Wikipedia 3101
Date of Origin:
Peter Short


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On Display - HLG19 Commissioned By: Museum Until: