System/360 Turns 40

By Deane Barker on April 7, 2004

IBM Celebrates 40 Years of Mainframe Technology: Chris once programmed one of these to play Doom. Seriously.

Today, IBM marks the 40th anniversary of the System/360, the mainframe that sparked a revolution in computing and business. The System/360 was considered by many to be the most sophisticated computer of its time and is responsible for introducing many important technologies that are still in use today, such as transaction processing, micro-circuitry, and databases.

If you’re interested in the origin of databases as we know them today, look up Ted Codd. He wrote a paper in 1970 that started the whole thing. IBM let it go to waste, but Larry Ellison used to it to build the Oracle database platform, and he seems to have done okay for himself.