Mercury News | 04/07/2004 | A technology-industry dinosaur turns 40 "From the mainframe's initial conception in the early 1960s to the launch of a formal product, the System/360, on April 7, 1964, IBM spent $5 billion on development. It was an unprecedented investment for that era, especially compared with IBM's $3.2 billion in revenues in 1964.
``The System/360 was the Big Bang or the Manhattan Project of the computer world,'' said Dag Spicer, the curator of the Computer History Museum. ``At the time, the world was full of mutually incompatible computers. IBM had about seven different product lines and they couldn't talk to each other.''