2014 Year End Report

Precisely two years ago this evening at a candlelight service in Endicott, two wise
men in the East (Don Manning and Jack Westermann) gathered to recommend
to a third wise man in the West (Robert Garner) that an IBM 1403-N1 printer would
be a strategic addition to the IBM 1440 system being refurbished at the Center for
Technology & Innovation in Binghamton, NY. At the time, expectations for the
printer’s successful operation ranged from “boat anchor” to “probably possible”
given the known SMS-SLT interface issue and the unknown condition of the 50
year old machine. While we’re not yet ready for an Allelujah Chorus (stay tuned
for May 2015), the team is delighted to report that today the probability of high
speed printing by the IBM 1403-N1 approaches 95%. The major systems of the
vintage printer are, for the most part, operable. Early this month, a prototype
microprocessor-based Printer Controller to detect and exchange pulses with the
1403-N1printer passed both hardware and software proof of concept tests.

The 2015 home stretch for the IBM 1403-N1 printer revitalization includes scaling up
the Printer Controller hardware (Triple Cities Maker Space) and software (Watson
School of Engineering senior project), completing printer refurbishment (IBM
veterans), and integrating vintage hardware with modern electronics (all).

This progress is the result of extensive efforts by IBM veterans on the IBM1440
system team of Charlie Davis, Gary DeBlieck, Bill Green, Don McCarty, Fred
Petras, Jack Westermann and on the IBM 1403-N1 printer team of Bob Arnold, Art
Law, Bob Lusch, Don Manning, Tom Schappe, in collaboration with Triple Cities
Makers Space members Eric Adler, Erik Leonard, Stephen Musok, Jim Ulrich, and
others, working with BInghamton University Watson School of Engineering Senior
Capstone teams, supported by IEEE - Binghamton Section, Peter Haviland (2013-
4), Nick Hekman (2014-5), Mohammad Imran (2013-4), Ryan Kulesza (2013-4),
Jack Maynard (faculty advisor), Yuchao Wang (2013-4), John Wiseman (2014-5),
and Alena Yampolskaya (2014-5), and Advisors - Computer History Museum 1401
team, Don Crandall, IBM Germany team, Jud McCarthy, and Don Seraphim.

Generous supporters include David Adour, BSC Group, Buzz Bellefleur family,
David Clapp, Will Donzelli, Endicott Precision, Robert Garner, Chuck Goodwin, Bill
Green, Huron Real Estate, IBM Almaden/Geodis, IBM Archives, IBM Matching
Grants, Scott Jaffe, K. Joshi, Dan Koolish, Tommy Lam, Matco Electric, Frank Paul
family, C. T. Reeser family, Don Rex, Bob Rosenbloom, Don Seraphim, Soho family
of Belgium, Mary Thomas, Emily Wade, Jack Westermann, and Roger Westgate.