The following is the text of an IBM Data Processing Division press release headlined “IBM Announces Disk Storage For System/7” and distributed on July 14, 1971.
A major expansion of the data storage capacity of the IBM System/7 as well as a custom-designed console were announced today by International Business Machines Corporation.
System/7, introduced last fall, is a rugged and highly reliable computer that can measure, test, analyze and control industrial and laboratory events as they are happening. The sensor-based system, which rents for as little as $352 a month, is IBM’s lowest-cost computer.
A new disk module, which can store a user’s programs and data, significantly enhances the storage capacity and flexibility of System/7, extending the range of applications it can perform. For example, a user of a stand-alone System/7 can compare test results against information stored on the disk. When System/7 operates with a “host” computer, such as an IBM System/370 or System/360, the disk can be used to store large volumes of data for transmission to the larger computer.
The disk storage module is housed within the System/7 and contains either one fixed disk, or a fixed disk and a removable disk cartridge on a single drive. Storage capacity is either 1.23 million or 2.46 million 16-bit words. Average access time is either 126 or 269 milliseconds. Data transfer rate is 99,500 words a second.
The custom console, available on special order, permits users to display the status of a process, convey instructions to the computer or make inquiries. It consists of a control unit and several input/output devices, which may include a user-provided television monitor (black and white or color) and any of the following:
IBM also announced that the newest element of its 2790 data communication system, the 2798 guidance display, can now be used in 2790 configurations attached to System/7. The display unit provides interactive communication between operators at work stations in a manufacturing plant or maintenance shop and the computer.
In addition, IBM announced that several System/7s may now share the same 5028 operator station, thereby reducing the cost of multisystem installations. Previously, a 5028 was required with each System/7.
Prices and Delivery
Monthly rental prices for the IBM 5022 disk storage module range from $300 to $455, depending on speed and capacity. Purchase prices range from $13,245 to $16,225. First customer shipments of System/7 with disk storage module will be scheduled for May 1972.
First customer shipments of System/7 itself begin this September, two months ahead of the schedule previously announced.