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The IBM System/360 was a family of mainframe computers designed and developed by IBM. It had a major impact on technology and on the computing field, and it set IBM on the road to dominate the computing field for the next 20 years, up to the arrival of personal computers in the 1980s. The user could start with a low specification member of the family and upgrade over time to a more powerful member of the family. It was the start of an era of computer compatibility, and it set IBM on the road to dominate the computing field. It was a massive $5 billion gamble by IBM, and it moved the company from its existing product lines to the unknown world of the System/360.
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The number ‘360’ (the number of degrees in a circle) was chosen to represent the ability of each computer to handle all types of applications.
Thomas Watson Jr. later stated, ‘The System/360 was the biggest, riskiest decision that I ever made, and I agonised about it for weeks, but deep down I believed that there was nothing that IBM couldn’t do’.
Fred Brooks wrote an influential paper The Mythical Man Month based on his experience as project manager for the System/360 project.
go back to reference Boyer C (2004) The 360 revolution. IBM Boyer C (2004) The 360 revolution. IBM
go back to reference Fred B (1975) The mythical man month. Addison Wesley, Reading Fred B (1975) The mythical man month. Addison Wesley, Reading
go back to reference O’Regan G (2013) Giants of computing. Springer, London O’Regan G (2013) Giants of computing. Springer, London
go back to reference O’Regan G (2015) Pillars of computing. Springer, Cham O’Regan G (2015) Pillars of computing. Springer, Cham
go back to reference Pugh EW (2009) Building IBM: shaping an industry and its technology. MIT Press, Cambridge Pugh EW (2009) Building IBM: shaping an industry and its technology. MIT Press, Cambridge
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