PDA

View Full Version : 1972 Singer Model 70 Mainframe, Ever hear of it?



ThisPostContainsComputers
February 17th, 2016, 12:35 PM
Hello,

A few days ago I got emailed by this guys saying that he had a "1972 Singer Model 70 Mainframe" that I could come pick up. The only problem is that I have no idea what this even is, I looked on google and found barley anything besides this advertisement thing from a old magazine. Does anyone know what this is?

Thanks

krebizfan
February 17th, 2016, 12:56 PM
Are you sure about Model 70? The famed Singer Business Machines version was listed as the Model 10. Easy to mistake with the poor font choices common in the 70s. Whichever model it is, SBM made very few systems. The Model 10 numbered 900 world wide.
If you can, take a look at it. It is something that deserves the rare label and probably should be saved if possible.

Links to information about the 10: http://members.iinet.net.au/~daveb/S10/Sys-10.html and http://www.computerconservationsociety.org/resurrection/res47.htm#g

Chuck(G)
February 17th, 2016, 01:11 PM
Singer Business Machines was a division of the sewing-machine company that produced small business computers during the 60s and early 70s. In 1972, their flagship was the "System Ten"; the "Model 70" was a workstation that, I believe, attached to the "System 10". If you study the architecture of the S10, it's pretty obvious why it was so-called--and why it needed workstations. ICL bought out SBM in the mod 70s and rebadged most of the SBM designs as their own.

It could, as observed, also be a specific model of the System 10. Note the description here.

Doug G
February 18th, 2016, 09:47 PM
I serviced Beehive terminals on the OCLC library network in the later 70's, went to a training session at their home in Ohio, and saw the Singer mainframe that they ran on. Don't remember the model though.

Chuck(G)
February 19th, 2016, 10:51 AM
It might be worth mentioning that after Singer purchased Friden (in 1965), they offered a line of small peripherals. I can recall two--a small card reader (tabletop size) and a printing terminal that employed a vertical typewheel that spun against a felt inker and advanced on a leadscrew. Basically, the typewheel would hit the paper (there was no ribbon) and advance with each character. A carriage return would result in releasing a large spring that had been tensioned by the carriage movement. One notable thing was that before a printing session started, a form-feed was executed to feed out the page that had been spattered with ink from the typewheel.

The thing was brutal in its simplicity.

ThisPostContainsComputers
February 19th, 2016, 11:32 AM
Hello,

The person who emailed me says that he has the computer, 1 monochrome display, 1 line printer, and 1 disk drive. Is there a way to program the thing without any software as I do not know if I am getting any software to use? I also think I will be picking it up sometime next week.

Thanks

krebizfan
February 19th, 2016, 12:51 PM
If the system is actually from 1972, it might have some form of disk pack. Would be great luck if you get packs for that system and even better if those packs have information stored there. Packs tended to have proprietary formats so it will be a challenge finding a matching pack and getting the system started.

You have noticed how scarce information is on the Singer Business Machines. Find out what you will get and make decisions based on that.

I would try http://sw.ccs.bcs.org/iclarch/arch36.html which is a British organization saving what is left of ICL and since ICL bought SBM is about the only source for documentation and possible assistance. Maybe contact them to see if any help can be proffered.

Chuck(G)
February 19th, 2016, 10:13 PM
Singer gear is rare enough that I'd at least get some photos for ID. There is some stuff on bitsavers, but maybe not enough to get the system operational.

On the other hand, it's likely that this is a smallish system, so at worst, you'll need 240V single-phase to power it. You might get lucky and it'll be a 120V system.

But without ID-ing it, you don't know what you're being offered.

ThisPostContainsComputers
March 3rd, 2016, 08:27 AM
Hello,

Well, The Person finally got back to me because he just dug it out of his basement and it turns out that the machine was gutted and the terminal, hard drive, and printer was missing.

That's a shame...

Chuck(G)
March 3rd, 2016, 10:42 AM
Ah, too bad, that. Better luck next time!