IBM Mainframe Console Restoration

We’re big fans of Ken Shirriff, as evidenced elsewhere on our blog, and we like to think he’s maybe a fan of us too, as evidenced by another Teensy-based project in the form of his IBM System/360 Model 50 mainframe marginal check console.

This tactile panel reads knobs and drives a meter over I2C, which in turn connect to Ken’s IBM 360/50 Simulator via the host Teensy 4.1.

As Ken reminds us, The IBM System/360 Model 50 was a powerful mainframe computer in 1964 that could be rented at a modern-day equivalent cost of $150,000 a month, weighed 3 tons, and used 7600 watts, yet has less than a millionth of the processing power of a modern smartphone.