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IBM Stories from John Van Gardner

from John Van Gardner, now (February 2006) residing at Smyrna, Georgia.

John joined IBM in 1955 after service in the Navy with Terrier missiles, web site. He started out fixing the IBM 704, an early IBM vacuum tube scientific computer.

Updates:

1 After I Got Out Of The Navy - .doc 29 KBytes HTML 5 KBytes
2 FUN? At Ford - .doc 29 KBytes
3 Working For IBM or I'm Just As Ashamed of It As You Are - .doc 291 KBytes
4 Into The Briar Patch - .doc 29 KBytes
5 Arrival Of The Monitor - .doc 29 KBytes
6 Loops, Halts and Incorrect Answers or Separating the Men from the Boys. - .doc 29 KBytes
7 Smyrna Yes – Huntsville No
8 Working on the "Lectern" circuit.
9 Testing Tubes 24 At A Time
10 Fortran And The Genesis Of Project Intercept.
11 Expediters, Mr. Ramac & 066/068 Transceivers
12 700 Series Goes To Basic 768 KiloBytes
  • June 14, 1957 - Suggestion Award (1) M25776 $75.00 improving the circuits on the 704 to prevent failure to write correct tape mark in binary coded decimal ode and providing a diagnostic test for this circuit.
  • July 12, 1957 Suggestion Award (2) M18336 $25.00 Improve wiring of relay 74 in the 711 card reader used on the 704.
  • September 16, 1957 Suggestion Award (3) B02063 $25.00 including a test for a "Q" bit in the accumulator after an uncerflow in the 704 - Floating Point Diagnostic Program 4M03.
13 Encounter With Two Movie Stars - .doc 99 KBytes
14 Other Opportunities At Lockheed.
15 3rd Shift
  • December 16, 1957 Suggestion Award (4) M39659 $30.00 for correcting the timing of the Tape Indicate Single Shot on the 727 Mod III Tape Drive.
16 When I Eat Well I Work Well!
17 Music To My Ears
18 Numeric Controlled Milling Machines
  • September 30, 1958 Suggestion Award (5) X12970 $25.00 A diagnostic that will show up poor recovery time of the Write Load Point Delay Single Shot in the 753 Tape Control Unit.
19 Watching The Monkeys Fly
20 Chuck Henderson Gets The 00202 Bug
21 Project Yo-Yo
22 A Battlefield Commission
23 Chinese Binary
24 The First 1401 Class (Fall 1960)
25 A Pox On Me.
26 729 Error Recovery
27 Armageddon...IBM Installs Usage Meters
  • May 1, 1961 Suggestion Award (6) X72710 $25.00 Issue CEM informing the field that Engineering Change 247685 is available upon request.
28 Capt. Eddie’s Friend
29 A Flying Tail In Trouble
30 Trouble in Tampa
31 A Whole Tape Of Zeros
  • September 29, 1961 Suggestion Award (7) X75120 $100.00 Initial award for my part in Fortran Diagnostic 9FTR.
32 IBSYS
33 The one week school that lasted for six. HTML (Event was between Oct 1960 and May 1962)
34 Your Child Is Ugly - also problems with ALDs - schematics
  • October 31, 1962 Suggestion Award (8) D03556 $50.00 for my Process Overlap Address Sync service aid.
  • November 29, 1962. Spent the fall in Poughkeepsie going to school on the 7094.
35 The 729 Window Tester
36 7090 Adventures, toward restoration of a 7090, 704, 709x Graduation Pictures: 1955, 1961, 1962
7090 To 7094 Conversion
37 The Pony Express To Roscoe
38 FREEZING In Florida
  • 1963 Installed 800 bpi tape feature on 7094.
  • February 3, 1964. Suggestion Award (9) D23606 for publishing Service Aid 253 notifying the field of a condition the 729 relay drives which can result in excessive read errors in the End Of File area.
  • The 1401 PM Program
  • February 3, 1964 Suggestion Award X75120 Received additional $375.00 for work on Fortran Diagnostic Program 9FTR.
  • June 1964. First IBM Means Service Award. (1)
39 RACF or "DURA Go Home"
40 I Didn’t Know That!
41 A Flash of Yellow
42 Get The Hun Out
43 Going Home – Or Else.
43.5 1401 Print Buffer Surgery
44 Installing My First 360
45 Installing The Second At Huntsville & The Third at Lockheed
46 The Last Trip For Almost A Year
47 16 Master Checks At One Time
48 7094 II
  • 1966. I worked many 88-98 hour weeks this year due to engineering problems on System 360. Most of it unscheduled call outs.
  • August 23, 1967 I gave a lecture to the Lockheed Data Processing Division on the general subject Read Only Storage, Microprogramming and Emulation.
49 RAX Upgrade
50 "RAX is now in control", or maybe not.
51 "Wallace in 68"
52 Programmer or Chiropractor?
53 MADAR
54 MADAR Timeouts
55 MADAR Onboard Recorder
56 360/50 Graphics Facility
  • March 18. The newly installed IBM 360/50 Graphics facility and the newly created Computer Aided Structural Design Program had been united into a useful production tool. On this day, Project Engineering organizations began analysis of C-5A structures.
  • June 30. Was the first flight of the C-5A
  • August Excellence In Service Award (Outstanding Contribution) at the New York Hilton. 1969 June IBM Means Service Award (2) Conference in Denver, Colorado.
57 Six Weeks In Kingston, NY. Or Where Did I go Wrong?
58 Working on the Spectra
59 The 2321 Data Cell & Joe Rufin
60 Pattillo And The RAT Trap
61 Jan 1972 System 370 Model 155.
62 A Check for $2,000,000.08 ?
63 What’s a Snake Killer award?
1972
September 14-16 Assist trip to Miami. 2050 12059.
September 25-30 Assist trip to Miami. Burdines 7100 NW 32nd Ave.
64 Black Box Is Verboten In Raleigh.
1972
October 23-25 Trip to Raleigh.
October 31 – November 15 School in Chicago. 2nd shift (3705?)
December IBM Means Service Award. (3)
1973
February 6 – 26 School in Washington, DC. (158?)
65 The Sarubbi Cyclops Special
1973
March 28 – 31 Awards Conference Fontainebleau Hotel Miami, FL.
April 19. Branch Managers Award $75.00
Fixed 7302 memory array, on 7094 at Georgia State University, and saved IBM $20,000.00
October 1-5 School in Chicago, IL.
October 16 – 19 Assist trip to Columbia, SC
November 26 – 30 School in Los Angeles, CA. 3803/3420 6250 bpi feature.
66 The Funnies
1974
March 20, Branch Managers Award $75.00 FNB 158 arrived two days late. Tom
Peele and I installed it in less than one shift and met the schedule.
September IBM Means Service Award. (4)
1975
- Winter school in Kingston, NY on 3800 Laser Printer.
March 9-12. FE Awards conference – San Francisco, Ca.
July IBM Suggestion Award (10) July 9 Branch Managers Award $134.69 net
67 Sick At CDC
... ...
nn RETIREMENT, html - Retired 31 July 1992 - 11 weeks short of 37 years with IBM.

N+1 - 700SeriesTapeControlUnits

There were many interesting stories during these years [1976-1992]. Maybe some day I can add some of them to this.

Van Gardner