Slowdown on replica project until the real 1130 is restored

After discovering an 1130 system available for purchase in Kansas, I brought it back and am in the process of restoring it to operation. The retrieval and restoration effort is being documented in another blog - 1130 rescue mission

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UPDATE Oct 25: The 1131 is working, as is its keyboard and console printer (typewriter). The keypunch is working.  The card reader and printer are partly restored, already partly operational.
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When I restore each of the units, I can move it out to the large new shed outside that will be the permanent data center where the system will run. It will need to position the machines closer together than normally would be done, thus the doors and swing out gates of electronics can't be fully opened until I push boxes around on their rollers to get into whatever needs service. In normal operation, however, there will be enough room to move around and operate the system.

The 1130 system in the shed is compromised of:
  • an expanded storage version of the main unit (1131) - 7' 6" wide by 2' 6" deep
  • a 1442 card reader/punch
  • an 1132 line printer
  • an additional disk drive (CHI 1105)
  • an 029 keypunch machine
Once the system itself is up and working, I hope to interface some of the peripherals that will also be used with the 1130 replica:

  • paper tape reader (appears to be IBM 1134)
  • paper tape punch (appears as an IBM 1055)
  • plotter (appears as an IBM 1627)
  • RK-05 drives as additional disk drives (appear to be 2310)
  • HP line printer (appears to be faster and less compute intensive 1403)
  • Documation card reader (appears to be less compute intensive 2501)
  • tape drive (will be custom device)

I will document the inspection and restoration of the real 1130 on this blog, as well as resuming my replica activities after the system is out in its 'data center' shed. The replica will be more reliable, use far less power, and be more portable to bring to events such as the November 30 parties (11/30 in US formatted dates) that have been hosted by Brian Knittel and Norm Aleks in past years.

Surprise opportunity to pick up an IBM 1130 system - time for a road trip

In the middle of Kansas sits a room filled with twin 1130 systems, two 1132 printers, a 1442 reader/punch, plus keypunches, card sorters and other gear. On top of that, it comes with a ton of software on disk and punched card, what appears to be more than 200 boxes of unpunched card stock, paper, manuals and other goodies.

The owner used one of the systems to support his business, bought a second one when it was sold off by a local school to use as a backup, and kept them covered and protected from the day he switched them off until today. Due to a variety of circumstances, he needed to get these out of the storeroom before the end of this month. He contacted well known owners of a running 1130 system to see if they wanted to buy it; they in turn brought this to the attention of the 1130 enthusiasts on a google forum where I saw it.

I was able to react rapidly, collaborating with others on the list to allocate homes to the gear and, long story short, I will be in Kansas in less than a week, loading six tons of machinery, supplies and documentaiton onto a truck to drive back across the US to the west coast. Some of the equipment, like an 1132, sorter, collator and keypunch verifier, will go to a list member who lives near me, I will have an 1130 with 1442 and 1132, its HW documentation and plenty of supplies. Another set of 1130 collectors will have any manuals they don't currently own. The unpunched cards will mainly go to museums on the west coast as well a few esoteric machines. A van and trailer will depart Kansas in the opposite direction, bringing an 1131, Printronix printer and lots of computer room cabinetry to his collection on the east coast. With luck we can clean out the room in that one weekend, fitting it all on the 24' truck, the van and trailer. If not, we will have gotten close to all of it.

All the software that comes back will be uploaded to bitsavers and available for use on both physical and emulated 1130 systems everywhere. I hope to have the manuals which aren't currently shared online digitized and shared as well, although they are things I won't maintain control over after my return.

This will provide a very nice side by side testing capability for the fidelity of my 1130 replica - checking cycle by cycle as well as for identical timing and behavior. It may slow down my work on the faux peripherals - but some like the plotter can be interfaced to the real 1130 now as well as my replica. Same with the paper tape reader and punch units.

I get to spend part of the weekend assembling sheds to make room in my garage, with a larger shed coming in two weeks which will house my 1130 data center. Fortunately these sheds tuck away on the side of the house that is not visible to the street, neighbors and barely from inside the house.

I expect to document the operation from when I leave until the systems are in place and ready for restoration/bring up