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Forgotten Voice

Name:
Graham Meech
Department:
DP Department
Location:
Hursley
When:
1971 / 72
Date Joined:
2nd February 1970
Date Left:
5th July 2005
7094 Failures on Long Design Programmes

Sometime around 1971/1972 I was operating the 7094 in the old A Block. This was a vacuum-tube driven monster http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/mainframe/mainframe_PP7094.html which was used in conjunction with the 7090 to design the circuit boards for one of the 'new' 360 Series machines being developed in Hursley.

The 7094 was having some issues with failures while running some of the longer design programs (some of these used to run for 5 or 6 hours). The local CE's tried to fix it but clearly having no experience wth the scientific beast they called the UK experts. After some days they also had to admit defeat, so the big gun from the US was called over. A week or so trying his damndest to get the better of the 7094, he had to resort to primitive diagnostics. He was observed with a handful of punch cards, running them along racks and racks of tubes trying to re-create the failure. I am not sure that he fixed it, I think we just muddled along accepting that we had to put up with this random failure.