IBM 360 Model 20 Rescue and Restoration

This is the main site for the restoration.

Following summary is via Slashdot:

In late April of 2019 Slashdot reader Adam Bradley and engineer Chris Blackburn were “sitting in a pub on a Monday night when Chris happened across a somewhat unusual eBay listing…”

They eventually submitted the winning bid for an IBM 360 Model 20 mainframe – €3,710 (about $4,141 USD) – and proceeded to pick it up from an abandoned building “in the backstreets of Nuremberg, Germany.” (Where they tackled several issues with a tiny door that hadn’t been opened since the 1970s.) By day Adam is a railway software engineer, but he’s also been involved in computer history for over a decade at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley, England.

Along with engineer Peter Vaughan, the three are now blogging “the saga that unfurled…and how we eventually tackled the problems we discovered.” But after much beer, whisky, and Weiner Schnitzel, Adam assures us the story ends with a victory:

The machine will shortly be headed to the UK for a full restoration to working order. We’re planning to blog the entire process and hope some of you might be interested in reading more about it.*


What an adventure! Here’s one of their photos, of the slightly distressed front panel:


An update on the project by The Register. Apparently, Brexit is making it hard for them to find a transport company to ship it back to the UK. They now hope to do it soon, now that Brexit has been delayed.

The hope is to get everything back to Britain before the ever-shifting Brexit deadline because of worries about what the import requirements on ancient computing kit might in the event of a no-deal departure.

Oh no - our first post that needs a trigger warning!

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Whoops! I hope I don’t get a “Trigger Warning” badge for doing that! :smiley:

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Yay! They made it, according to the latest blog post! :smile:

Well, where to start! The last few weeks have consisted primarily of anticipation, excitement, and towards the end, utter exhaustion. But finally, FINALLY, the IBM is home!

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Has a vision of the the item lost in the middle of no- where, and camping stuff hidding under the all the console lights. Good score in finding it and getting home.

I-case anyones interested the project seems to have stalled and the folks behind it are looking to move the systems on to someone/thing who can do more with them - hopefully restore, operate, etc.

Their latest blog post has the details:


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