In pictures: The (mostly) cool history of the IBM mainframe

IBM's iconic mainframe turns 50: In its history the IBM mainframe has been hailed and vilified. It has been born, reborn (many times) and pronounced dead. And yet the Big Iron remains a key computing resource for many large companies and will do so for many years. Here we take a look at the mainframe’s long history, from its use with the US space program to its prominence inside large business datacentres. Take a look.

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It wasn’t a mainframe but it certainly had the DNA. On April 29, 1952 IBM demoed the Defense Calculator which ultimately became the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machines. According to IBM it was the first large-scale electronic computer manufactured in quantity and first commercially available scientific computer. Its programs were stored in an internal, addressable, electronic memory and was instrumental in IBM's transition from punched-card machines to electronic computers.

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In pictures: The (mostly) cool history of the IBM mainframe

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