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The bios of the 2000s IBM 1401 2000s Restoration Team are here
The bios of the 1950s 1401 design, software, marketing teams are here

November 10, 2009 Reunion
and 50th Anniversary

On-line coverage - from e-mail by Robert Garner, Dec 3, 2009

Our 1401 event was informative, enjoyable and a success. About 440 museum guests thoroughly enjoyed the spirited talks by Chuck, Fran, and Shel.

You can watch the 2-hour video here ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVsX7aHNENo

IBM made this impressive 8-min movie about the 1401:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQcaYvbwLPo
and the UK Register wrote this entertaining/informative aticle: Sputnik, spaghetti and the IBM SPACE machine: The 50th anniversary of the 1401
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/17/ibm_1401_fiftieth_anniversary/

Many pictures are posted here:

  1. Sixteen, high-quality pics taken during the 1401 Tuesday talks by Marcin Wichary (the talented graphic artist who produced the 12-page booklet we handed out):
    http://www.flickriver.com/photos/mwichary/sets/72157622827665742/
  2. About eighty pics taken at the various venues (restoration room, Monday luncheon, and Tuesday talk) by Delta Krauss Mercer:
    http://gallery.me.com/dmercer1#100192
  3. Seventy six pics taken by IBM Almaden's Chandra Mohan:
    http://cli.gs/TzS6y2

We even had EARL BLOOM - swak@prodigy.net - Poet Laureate

The official announcement of the IBM 1401 was made
- on closed-circuit TV
- Monday, October 5th, 1959.

The "50th Anniversary of the IBM 1401" event at

- the Computer History Museum
- Tuesday, November 10th, 2009"

Also see CHM's Official Announcement

A fun, accurate news account
The Event (YouTube is blocked in China)
The 50th Anniversary Handout is available :-))


Robert Garner proposes/authorizes the following:

Subject: "The 50th Anniversary of the IBM 1401" Event at the Computer History Museum, November 10, 2009

Everyone is cordially invited to attend the "50th Anniversary of the IBM 1401" event at the Computer History Museum on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. The event will acknowledge the 1401's remarkable history & influence, recognize the original IBM 1401 team members, highlight the Museum's 1401 volunteer achievements in restoring two 1401s, and have public demonstrations of an operational 1401 system.

The 1401 event lineup on Tuesday includes an evening presentation and Q&A panel session by original 1401 engineering management and marketing folks plus an afternoon luncheon event for the original 1401 team members with a sharing of history, stories, anecdotes, pictures, music, poetry, and movies.

On Monday and Wednesday, 1401 restoration team members will also be at the Museum operating the two restored 1401s. The restoration team has extended an invitation to the original 1401 team members to visit during this time (and it can be an opportunity to tour the Museum's on-site collection.)

The current proposed agenda for the 90-min evening event is:

  • 5 mins ... Welcome ... John Hollar, CEO, CHM
  • 5 mins ... Introduction ... Jon Iwata, Senior VP of IBM Marketing & Communications (includes a 2-min movie)
  • 20 mins ... 1401 Program ... Chuck Branscomb, 1401 program manger
  • 15 mins ... 1401 Architecture ... Francis Underwood, 1401 chief architect
  • 15 mins ... 1401 Planning ... Shel Jacobs
  • 5 mins ... 1401 Restoration ... Robert Garner
  • 15 mins ... Panel session ... all speakers
  • 10 mins ... Q&A ... from audience

Please note that Jim Ingram, 1401 project manager, is planning on attending.


The above looks so formal :-|

Heck, we just gotta have a little fun ;-)) Maybe at the Tuesday luncheon? - Note: date in following messge updated
We may have a poet laureate - Earl Bloom
"Who is planning the program for November 10? Several years ago, I wrote a poem about the 1401 and our development team which I recited at Jud McCarthy's 50th Wedding Anniversary a year ago last July in Boca Raton. I would like to read it at the 1401 Reunion in November. It's nostalgic and humorous!"


OK - When was the last time you ever heard an engineer try to do poetry? - sober?

I don't remember either -

This ought to be either fun or ... - I can hardly wait - We can stand near the door ;-))

Ed Thelen

And this is what EARL BLOOM - swak@prodigy.net - Poet Laureate recited :-))


Other possibilities include:

Listen to
- "IBM 1401: A User's Manual" symphony,
- 1401 radio music
watch:
- the video of the extraction of the CT system from an old basement in Darien, CT,
- old videos of the guys restoring the 1401
...


"ODE TO THE IBM 1401" by Earl Bloom - presented at the 50th anniversary of
the 1401 Announcement - at Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA

JULY 20, 2007

ODE TO THE IBM 1401*

REFRAIN: SHE WAS THE MILLI QUATRO CENTO UNO, THE

BEST DARN COM-PUTER SOUTH OF JUNEAU

WE DEMO’D HER IN LONDON, CANADA, GERMANY AND ROME,
WE DEMO’D HER IN PARIS AND THEN WE TOOK HER HOME.

OH HOW SHE COULD MULTIPLY AND YOU SHOULD HAVE
SEEN HER DIVIDE. SHE WAS THE GREATEST EVER BUT WE
WILL LET YOU DECIDE.

HER PROCESS OVERLAP WAS ABSOLUTELY A DREAM, AND
HER SUMULTANEOUS READ, PRINT AND PUNCH WOULD
LITERALLY MAKE YOU BEAM.

HER CHAIN PRINTER WAS THE MILLI QUATRO CENTO TRE
WHOSE SPEED AND VERSATILITY WOULD DAZZLE YOU EVEN
TO THIS DAY.

PROGRAMMING HER WAS EASY, NOT LIKE THE SOFTWARE OF
TODAY. JUST A FEW CHARACTERS AND A WORD MARK AND
YOU WERE ON YOUR WAY.

REFRAIN:

HER MAX MEMORY WAS ONLY 8k, COMPARED TO 512
MEGABYTES TO DO ANYTHING TODAY.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS DIAGNOSED THE PROBLEM WHEN SHE
WAS ILL. DENNY’S DIAGNOSTICS WERE MUCH BETTER THAN
A PILL

PHYLLIS EVEN WORKED ON HER ALONG WITH THE GUYS AND
YOU COULD TELL THEY ENJOYED THAT BY THE GLEAM IN
THEIR EYES.

JUD, JOHN, BYRON, STAN, TED, MIKE, MARIO, DICK, NICK, BILL
AND EARL ALSO WORKED ON THIS MACHINE WHOSE CHARM WAS
LIKE THAT OF A VERY LOVELY GIRL.

REFRAIN:

THIS GROUP ALSO ENJOYED WATCHING BARB SHARPEN HER
PENCIL AND WIGGLE AND JIGGLE. YOU COULD TELL SHE
KNEW THEY WERE WATCHING BY THE SOUND OF HER GIGGLE.

MEMORIES OF HER (THAT IS THE 1401, NOT BARB) MAKE IT
SEEM THAT WHAT HAPPENED ALMOST 50 YEARS AGO WAS ONLY
A DREAM.

A WEIRD THING HAPPENED THEN THAT VERY FEW OF YOU MAY KNOW.
EARL INADVERTENTLY STOLE JACK CAPRIO’S CAR AND IT
WAS QUITE A SHOW.

AROUND THE WORLD THE DEMO MODEL PERFORMED LIKE A
CHARM, EXCEPT FOR AN INTERMITTENT PROBLEM THAT
CAUSED CONSIDERABLE ALARM. IT SEEMED LIKE PMS WAS
CAUSING THIS QUIRK. BUT NO, IT WAS A LEAKY TRANSISTOR THAT
CAUSED HER TO GO BERSERK.

REFRAIN:

SHE WAS ONE OF THE ALL TIME BEST SELLERS. OF THAT YOU
CAN BE VERY PROUD, ALL OF YOU PARTICIPATING FELLERS.

AT LUNCHTIME IT WAS BRIDGE THAT TURNED US ON. JUD,
JOE, BILL AND BYRON PLAYED AND YES, EVEN JOHN.

SOME OF US WERE IN DEVELOPMENT AND OTHERS IN PE.
SOME WERE IN PUBS, MANUFACTURING, RECORDS,
DIAGNOSTICS, PRODUCT TEST OR CE.

WHEREVER YOU WERE, WHATEVER YOU DID DO, THERE IS STILL NO
COMPUTER THAT COMPARES TO.

REFRAIN:

AND THERE ARE OTHER NAMES TO REMEMBER AS WE THINK ABOUT
THE PAST. SOME OF THEM ARE GONE NOW, BUT OUR FRIENDSHIPS
WILL ALWAYS LAST.

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THAT 1401 TEAM ARE BEYOND
MEASURE BUT THE TEAMWORK AND FRIENDSHIPS NOURISHED
THEN AND THERE ARE AN INCOMPARABLE TREASURE.

REFRAIN:

SHE WAS THE MILLI QUATRO CENTO UNO,
THE BEST DARN COM-PUTER SOUTH OF JUNEAU!

*AND THE ASSOCIATED FRIENDSHIPS AND EXPERIENCES.

 


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