In 2023, the mainframe is the central technology of the biggest businesses on earth, but they also have a long and storied history. They’ve been around long enough, in fact, to have had a cameo appearance in the show Mad Men (shout out to the IBM/360). But even in 1969, when that episode was set, IBM’s Big Iron division had been in operation for over a decade. By comparison, PCs are still in their infancy.
Today’s trivia takes you back to the very early days of the mainframe—when vacuum tubes, magnetic drums, and tape drives were the AI processors of their day. Take the quiz to test your mainframe history IQ.