Since the announcement of the IBM System/3 in 1969, IBM has been incorporating leading-edge technology in products referred to as small general-purpose systems. With the many models of the System/3, System/32, System/34, and System/38, IBM has introduced many technological advances addressing the needs of diverse customers, from the novice, first-time user to the experienced user in the distributed data processing account. By identifying the goals, objectives, design themes, major salient features, and development constraints, this paper reviews and highlights the technical evolution of these products in terms of their systems layout, processor architecture, machine structure, and programming support.
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