IBM 650   IBM 1410

The IBM 650 at the University of Kentucky, circa 1960, and the IBM 1410, circa 1963.

The University of Kentucky Computing Center was established in September 1958 with three full-time staff and an IBM 650. The first director was John Hamblen, followed in 1962 by Silvio Navarro. The IBM 650 was replaced by an IBM 1401 in 1962, upgraded to an IBM 1410 later that year, and augmented by an IBM 7040 installed in 1964. This was replaced in 1967 with an IBM System/360 model 50 which included 256 kilobytes of core memory and six disk drives with a total of 40 megabytes of storage. Martin Solomon became director in 1967. The model 50 was upgraded to a model 65 in 1969 and memory and disk space added.

IBM 360-50

The IBM 360 model 50 at the University of Kentucky, circa 1967

The computing resources were greatly expanded in 1975 when an IBM System/370 model 165 was installed. This machine was about four times faster than the 360-65 and had more than twice the memory and more and faster disks. The 370-165 ran VM/370 with most work being done in batch under OS/MVT running in a virtual machine. Virtually all work was still submitted on punched cards, but various terminals were coming into use, including 2741 typewriter terminals and the first 3270 display terminals.

During the 1980s the IBM system was upgraded several times and Prime systems were added for student use. Microcomputers and networking began to play an important role.

The 1990s saw further upgrades to the IBM system and increased support for Macintosh, Windows, and Unix workstations. The large Convex Metasystem and Exemplar were added along with the first large tape robot system, the Metrum RSS-600. The last Prime system was retired in 1995.

POP mail was introduced as the campus standard, requiring a POP server system.

The rapid growth of the use of the World-Wide Web required the addition of servers for that purpose, including specialized web indexing services.

This page was last updated on 2010-04-07. Please direct questions and comments regarding this page to