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Send e-mail to Ed Thelen. Please include the URL under discussion. Thank you ***

General Electric Computer Department
Pictures of the 225, 425, 435, DN-30 systems

at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Stan Heinz sent pictures and comments of his bank installation of General Electric Computer Department computing and peripheral equipment. Stan was working for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Canada.

I was with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Canada. We ran IBM and GE (later Honeywell ) equipment across Canada. Montreal and Vancouver were using GE equipment. We had GE 225 with a 900 LPM printer, 6 200 Bit per inch-75 inch per second tape drives.

This was back in 1963-1965. Regarding the cheque sorters we only had with the GE 225. Later when we went to the GE 415 we still had 2 sorters but different models and then added a third. The tape drives and printers were faster as well the printers being 1100 LPM models. Over the years we upgraded further, ending up with 3 GE 435's running DPS (Disk Programming System) and 3 sorters.

By then we were running in-house On-Line Banking Systems with 2 GE Datanet 30 (GE 225) communications processors for the GE 435's and Olivetti Banking Terminals. For a short period We also had a Bull (GE 115). We ended our usage of GE equipment in 1976 when we started to convert our systems to IBM 370.

I started in the Bank in branches for 1 year and then transferred to the Data Centre in Vancouver in 1964. I ended my tenure as Manager Computer Facilities when I resigned in June 1987.

I've had a quick look and am amazed at the info provided. You brought back some vivid memories when I read some of your stuff on the GE 225.

  1. our GE 225 system actually was an 8 k word memory system (24 K Bytes)

  2. I really remember the terrible desk mounted card reader and how it used to chew up our program cards decks, we always had two spare decks for each program and a ton of backup bootstrap loaders (I believe it was 3 cards).

  3. I thought the printer was ok for the time but remember taping the start of one box of preprinted forms to the end of the other. I still have one segment of the GE print drum made into a desk paper weight.

  4. yeh, the Ampex tape drives were useless, our longest batch job was about 4 hours long and it was always agony waiting to see if the job would complete without an error.
One of the things I remember is that some times if we got a tape parity error, we would display the record on the console lights and then toggle in a command to reposition the tape and then write a valid record. Then we would write a note to the bank branch to check the specific account, validate and correct the information manually. This sometimes could prevent a complete rerun of the batch job. Those were fun days!!

Indeed! Now everything is INTEL 80486 architecture, with AMD kicking them in the ribs occasionally. Compilier writer, computer archeticts, hardware maintenance folks are all unemployed, or working on games. (Some folks do remote software updates on farms of servers.) EDN does not have the annual summation of current and proposed architectures. Boooring :-((

You may notice that some of the consoles or CPU's are labeled as GE-415 or GE-425's.

This is because the systems were upgraded over the years. When we went to the On-Line system they had the finial upgrade from 425 to 435. The upgrade consisting of minor re-wiring job on the CPU's to remove wait states which were the only difference between the models.

Re the Pictures:

  1. GE Datanet 30 Communications controller panel, basically modified GE-225
    (I, Ed Thelen, can quible. Although the same designers and circuit set, it had 18 bit words and no memory parity. )
    dedicated to handling and switching communications and communicating with the GE-435 On-line System.




  2. GE-225 console with Ampex tape drives in background. Notice the extension brackets on the card reader on the left side of the console.

  3. GE-225 console, 900 LPM printer and printer controller shown in left background.

  4. Dual Channel Tape Controllers, Peripheral Switches and operators consoles. Tape drives were 7 Track, 800 BPI, 75 inch per second. Could read/write 2 tapes simultaneously with the dual channel tape controllers




  5. Datanet 30's, tape drives, and dual channel tape controllers, operator consoles, card readers, disk drives. Disk Drives used 2314 type Disk Packs.

  6. Same view as 02 except different time.





  7. Card punch, 2 printers Hard Disk Drives.




  8. Document Handler / Sorter

By the way Ed, I think the cycle time on a 435 was 2.7 micro-seconds but I'm not really sure about that. Later.....................Stan

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