The Computer Bureau

Additional IBM mainframe

In 1973 the replacement for the IBM 1130 arrived in a new custom-built air-conditioned room on the 4th Floor of was then known as the Science Building, later renamed to the Kane Building. This time it was an IBM 370 Model 135. For it’s time it was basically a fairly bread-and-butter configuration — but the one very notable feature was the choice of Operating System.

Just about all of IBM’s commercial customers used something called OS/VS1 or the newer DOS/VS. We opted for a newly-released OS called VM/CMS, which stands for Virtual Machine / Conversational Monitor System. Yes, we went straight for a system geared to supporting interactive terminals (about 20 or so IBM 2741s!). Admittedly, at that time maybe two of the Irish Universities were using DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) computers that also provided interactive capabilities for users; we just happened to be the first to do so using an IBM model.

The original data center.

The IBM provided both Academic and Administrative services, though at that time the only students using it were mainly a bunch from the newly-created Computer Science Department. In 1980-ish it was replaced by an IBM 4341. Some years later we acquired a second 4341 and split usage into Academic applications on one and Administrative on the other. The academic one was retired in the mid-1990s but the admin one remained in use up until about 2003.

In late 1978 — before the arrival of the 4341 — UCC decided that an IBM monopoly on campus wasn’t ideal and ordered one of the newly-announced DEC VAX 11/780 computers. It was the first one ordered by an Irish university, although TCD also ordered one, and theirs was delivered before ours was, they being in the nominal capital, like.

IT Services Department

Seirbhísí TF

Room 3.34, 4th floor, T12 YN60

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