Whatever happened to taking a test drive?

It’s the early 1980s, and the corporate department where this pilot fish works decides to replace its aging minicomputers with the hottest thing in departmental IT: the IBM System/38.

“But the budget wouldn’t support a brand new one, so we bought a used system from a Japanese company,” says fish. “Several people in other departments were heard to jokingly wonder if the new system would speak Japanese.

“It was shipped over to us and then sat without power in the computer room for several months while the rest of the project — terminals, twinax cables, modems, software and user training — slowly ground forward.

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