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Author Topic: NCR 315  (Read 91549 times)
Somebody
Newbie
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Posts: 7


« on: May 15, 2006, 12:06:20 am »

Hello,

Has anyone worked with a 315? If so, I'd like to discuss various aspects of it. I never worked with a 315 myself, but as a teenager I worked at a place that had 2 of them. Seeing them in action is what made me decide to become a programmer. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to work with one, my experience is with IBM mainframes. I thought the 315 had the coolest looking console. The 315 has always been special to me because, had I never seen one, I may never have decided to enter the data processing field. Note I used the correct term for our profession, not the insipid "information technology" term  ...   ; ^ )         
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Aleksandrs Guba
Administrator
Jr. Member
*****
Posts: 80


« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 09:21:04 pm »

Hello, Somebody!

This forum just launched and therefore its popularity is far from the popularity of the site www.thecorememory.com, so please be patient...
You may enjoy 315 related photos present at the site. If you want, I may suggest where to find more.
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Somebody
Newbie
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Posts: 7


« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 08:07:17 pm »

Hello, Somebody!

This forum just launched and therefore its popularity is far from the popularity of the site www.thecorememory.com, so please be patient...
You may enjoy 315 related photos present at the site. If you want, I may suggest where to find more.



Hi. Thanks for the reply.  I have enjoyed thecorememory's photos. It is a great site! Please feel free to suggest other sites where 315 photos can be found. I would really like to find detailed close-ups of the console lights and keyboard. Also, the 315 tape handlers I saw had reels in a side-by-side horizontal configuration, like CDC and IBM tape drives, yet all the 315 tape handler photos show the reels stacked vertically, which I assume were older units derived from the 304 series.
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Aleksandrs Guba
Administrator
Jr. Member
*****
Posts: 80


« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2006, 07:52:27 am »

Hi. Please try the following link: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ncr/ncr-315/ and let me know your opinion.
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andyjl
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Posts: 2


« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 06:29:15 am »

Hi Somebody:
I worked at NCR's central  London office (St. Alphage House) as a computer operator on an NCR 315. I also taught myself to program on the machine, both in NEAT (National's Electronic Autocoding Technique) and COBOL. Once I knew how to program I transferred to NCR's computer education group in Baker Street (close to the mythical 22A Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes "lived.") I then went to work for NCR's Programming Information Systems (an unfortunate acryonym, PIS) where I we wrote drivers for the NCR operating system for the NCR Elliott 4100 series.

Sorry it took so long to respond to your May but I only discovered the site while searching for something related to the NCR 315.

What specifically did you need to know? (And I'll see if I can remember it).

Regards
Andy Johnson-Laird
Forensic Software Analyst
Portland, Oregon, USA.
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LeeLabs
Newbie
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Posts: 4


« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2006, 11:29:07 am »

Hi Somebody,

I worked on the NCR 315 for a number of years, as an operator and programmer.  I still remember some details of the peripherals like NOF, CRAP (CRAM) etc.  If you need any information let me know.

Lee Labs
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PGA
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Posts: 1


« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 04:59:32 pm »

I was a customer engineer with NCR from 1963 through 1978. I was the "on site" CE at American Greetings in Cleveland, OH. They had (2) 315s with CRAM units. They were replaced with Century 200s in the late 60s which I also supported. Grin
« Last Edit: September 23, 2006, 12:13:40 pm by Aleksandrs Guba » Logged
Somebody
Newbie
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Posts: 7


« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2006, 04:51:49 am »

Hi. Please try the following link: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ncr/ncr-315/ and let me know your opinion.


Thanks for the link. Very useful information!
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Somebody
Newbie
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Posts: 7


« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2006, 05:16:12 am »

I was a customer engineer with NCR from 1963 through 1978. I was the "on site" CE at American Greetings in Cleveland, OH. They had (2) 315s with CRAM units. They were replaced with Century 200s in the late 60s which I also supported.   Grin

Wow, small world! I worked at the May Company in downtown Cleveland, and I frequently made trips to the 7th floor computer room to get reports. If memory serves, they had two 315s. I also remember they had an optical reader for cash register tapes, a paper tape reader, two printers, and I forget how many tape handlers. They had 2 different tape handler models, some with the reels stacked vertically and others with the reels configured horizontally. No CRAM. I thought those 315s looked really cool, especially the console. Did you ever do any CE duty at the May Co.? The 315s really got me interested in computers, and I still have a few 315 manuals that the EDP manager gave me.

How would you rate the reliability of the 315 and it's peripherals compared to other 60's mainframes?     

 

   
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n8eyh with OCD-WM42 of Hilse
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Posts: 60


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2006, 03:03:22 pm »

Hi, all of the core project member,
Good morning and good evening from Japan.
I am looking for the person who knows the architecture of NCR 315 CPU.

I was a software engineer of NCR 615 and 605 several decade ago.
Recently, I noticed differences of the computer architecture between NCR 615 and INTEL 80X86.
Especially, the index register of NCR 615 was located in the core memory, though there is all registers in SRAM based arrays of INTEL CPU. I heard that the architecture of the INTEL CPU was based on the IBM 360 machine.
I am wondering whether the architecture of NCR 615 is original or IBM 1401 compatibilty.
Because we, the NCR Century's software engineer, designed the software with data-move-reduced algorism, in order to
execute the command procedure rapidly with reducing the data fetch operation.
I would like to know the difference of architecture between 615 and 315 CPU in order to confirm the NCR traditional CPU architecture.
Because Mr. Donald E. Eckdahl, who had been one of fathers of NCR computer, has documented that his original  computer, Northrop Maddida, had been evaluated by Dr. John von Neumann in March, 1950.
The Maddida machine was the first product of CRC Corp., that was acquired as the electronics division  by NCR in 1952.

Who knows the architecture of NCR 315?
I am waiting for your advise.

Best regards,
Katsuhiko
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Katsuhiko Hirai
Fan of the Century architecture under 63 index registers.
NEXUS
Newbie
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Posts: 19


« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2006, 06:20:19 pm »

Hi Katsuhiko,

I have not worked with the 315 Systems – my NCR years started with the Century Series – so unfortunately I cannot contemplate on your question; however, looking at the unique Century 350 pictures you posted to the site today, I take the chance to ask something different that possibly you may remember:

I think, but I am not sure at all,   that the 615-3xx Systems, the largest of the Century Series,  were sold only to Sumitomo Bank in Japan and that their operating software was built to custom in Japan by the Bank people possibly with the assistance of NCR Japan or vice versa.
Is that right? Was B1/B2/B3 Operating system still employed?
Any memories on that?

Best Regards.
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n8eyh with OCD-WM42 of Hilse
Jr. Member
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Posts: 60


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2006, 11:47:13 am »

Hi, NEXUS and members,

I am appreciated of your reply and question!
I also started my career as a freshman of the software engineer at the software support division of NCR Japan in April, 1969. Nexus, we would be able to share our knowledge related NCR Century systems.
Because I studyed the programming technique of the NEAT/3 and Level 2 language initially, even though my just one year older freshman started to learn how to make a program from the educational version of NCR 315 NEAT language.

Then I would like to inspect the difference of CPU architecture between 315 and 615 asap, in order to confirm the correctness of generality of the data-move-reduced algorism on NCR 615.

Well, let me answer matters that you indicated in your reply, as follows:

1) The marketability of NCR 615-3XX in Japan and features of them;
    Finally, NCR Japan installed them to more than ten banking users and retailing users of Japan, I remember.
   They have been featured by the TOX operating real-time transaction processing kernel which we the young people had
   developed under Mr. Ikuo Akiyama who invented the TOX.

2) The designing and programming of NCR 615-3XX computer systems;
   The TOX kernel was a micro kernel structure supported by system tasks and provided the task management,
   the interrupt management, the memory management and the intertask communication management with handling the queue.
   The system tasks configured and provided the services of the external communication drives, the external storage drives,
   the mulfunction monitor drive and the error recovery drive.
   NCR young people developed the kernel and the system tasks.
   Almost users developed the application tasks and the batch programs.
   Earlier of 1980s, NCR would provide the software package of the transaction-center procedure engine for user application
   program modules, though I left NCR in 1983 at the end of NCR 5000 BAS system planning.

3) The smart-ability of the TOX kernel;
   As I mentioned before, Mr. Ikuo Akiyama who invented the arrayed queue theory to reduce the processing overhead of
   tasks and designed the protect mode B1/B2/B3 combinational operation with handling BAR/LAR registers of CPU.
   In order to eliminate the meaningless overhead of task management, Mr. Hiromichi Ishikawa invented and implemented
   the passive task theory for the TOX operating system in January, 1975.
   Recently, I noticed that the ACM Ada group started to argue the efficiency of the passive Ada task, initiated by
   A.N. Habermann's article of CMU-CS-80-103 in 1980.
   I think that Mr. Hiromichi Ishikawa advanced the theory almost five years earlier.
   By the way, as you know well, the object-oriented software design is now familier since 1980s. However, I can not confirm
   the OO operating system yet, even though the TOX kernel had supported the run-time object-orientation in 1975.
   Because the arrayed queue method can support the abstract data types, the passive task interface which is protected by
   five BAR/LAR register sets can support the inheritance, and the SEND-ACT system_calls which transfer the event signal
   can support the polymorphism, even though we did not advertise the usefulness of the information hiding.

That's the story of the TOX project for NCR 615-3XX through my memory related to the powerful formation of our youth
for the curiosity.

Now, I am trying to transfer these technologies and ideas of the software engineering to young people of the next generation,
until the final day of my life.

Who knows the architecture of NCR 315?
I am waiting for advise.

Sincerely yours,
Katsuhiko
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 01:38:23 pm by Aleksandrs Guba » Logged

Katsuhiko Hirai
Fan of the Century architecture under 63 index registers.
NEXUS
Newbie
*
Posts: 19


« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2006, 01:52:03 pm »

Hello Katsuhiko,

Your detailed memoir of the NCR Century 3xx systems software development in Japan answers my question, and is a very valuable contribution to this forum.

I wish success in your research regarding the NCR 315 architecture. 

Best Regards.
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Grondak
Newbie
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Posts: 4


« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2006, 07:33:58 pm »

I worked for NCR from 1969 to 1979 and spent most of that time operating and programming 315s.  I started as an operator and taught myself NEAT programming, and even developed some improvements to the CRAMEX operating system.  I still have a credit-card-sized NEAT coding instructions list, and a couple of NCR programming templates.  For many years I had a 315 7-track tape drive in my garage until my wife asked me politely but firmly to get rid of it!  I also used to have a full set of 315 manuals, but I foolishly loaned them to somebody and never saw them again.  Oh well.

Yes, the cosole of the 315 was impressive -- it always reminded me of Star Trek.  I wrote several assemby programs punched onto single boot cards that would do tricks with the lights by loading certain values into the registers.  I could spell people's names; display symbols; make the lights chase in circles; etc.

I used to love making bogus CSUPRBOOT cards that unsuspecting junior operators would try to use to start the system.  Mine would display disaster messages like PM#35s or print silly stuff like, "Don't touch my keyboard -- your fingers are cold!"  A favorite trick was using printer interrupt as a way of branching to a hidden routine in memory.  So long as the printer was online, any attempt at rebooting would continually branch to that routine.  The only solution was to take the printer offline, then reboot.

Ah, the memories!



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Grondak
Newbie
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Posts: 4


« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2006, 07:37:03 pm »

Since we're talking about the 315, does anyone remember the ONEPAS COBOL compiler?  It was developed primarily by Jinx Higley (whatever became of her?) and superceded the two-pass COBOL complier that generated NEAT source code which then needed to be compiled into object code.  The problem was it was too little, too late.  By the time ONEPAS was really usable, most people had migrated to Century systems.
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