My parents learned FORTRAN programming on an IBM 360 using punch cards. The 360 was the state - of - the - art at the time, a machine with processing power that could handle new levels of complexity. Punch cards lacked user friendliness, but for the first time IBM had a computer that could be approached by students and run for more than specialized tasks. It was a leap above its competitors, and sales went far beyond anything IBM had initially expected. By 1970, the 360's success was threatening IBM, which had to move forward to meet the competition but maintain compatibility with the 360. The 370 was the child of these needs.

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