My System/3 model 10

How did I get my first IBM System/3 ?

End 1981 my nephew was visiting my family with his new girlfriend. In our (small) family we have the tradition to introduce your
friend or girlfriend when the relation becomes serious. During this visit my nephew mentioned my computer interest and
his girlfriend brought to my attention that the company where she works for has an old IBM system for sale.

She would send me the details. It was a IBM System/3 model 10.  I had no idea what a S/3 was, but I was very interested in
the two 5 Mbyte drives attached to it.  In 1981 10 Mbytes was alot of storage !

I called the guy who was responsible for selling of this old system and asked him if I could buy only the drives ?
The answer was: “Everything or nothing”. So I bought everything.
I rented a Ford Transit van with extended wheel base but without a hydraulic lift(!) and with a friend I drove 70 miles to pick
the system.

Arrived, I saw for the first time what I had bought. It was much bigger and much heavier then I ever had anticipated.
The company had a hydraulic lift truck which we used it to load the printer, disk drives into the van.
Then my friend and I started to realize how the hell do we get it all out the van again back home ?
Everything was on the edge what two persons can lift except the CPU which was much too heavy.
We decided to put the CPU on its back (Front panel facing upwards) and the bottom side facing the back doors of the van.
The idea was to move/turn the CPU out of the van straight on its wheels.

After loading the CPU, we where unable to close the van doors, the wheels where sticking out a few inches.
So we had to remove the wheels from the CPU bottom to close the van doors. Once back at home the offload of the van
everything went exactly as planned.

I started to study this machine and I realized that scrapping this machine for the disk drives would be a real (computer) sin.
During the early 80's I was very lucky in finding spare parts, additional features and docs for this system. A lot of companies
had obsolete S/3 which where replaced by IBM S/32, 34, 36 or 38's.
In several cases I was able to removed systems free of charge. At the end of the 80's this golden S/3 collectors period was over.
Everything was gone, but my IBM System/3 collection was by then nearly complete.

Here is a 33 seconds movie of this System/3 printing the last few assembler listing lines.

CPU pic