People and History of the Mainframe Trivia

This month at Planet Mainframe, we’re looking at the people and history of the mainframe. If you’re not a mainframer, that may not sound particularly titillating—but it’s a story of innovation, evolution, and resilience. 

Originating in the mid-20th century, mainframes represented the pinnacle of computing power, capable of handling complex calculations and large-scale data processing tasks. These beasts handled all the heavy-duty computing tasks, and they soon became synonymous with reliability, scalability, and performance. 

Over the years, mainframes have undergone significant advancements in architecture, programming languages, and operating systems, leading to their widespread use in various industries. Despite facing off against smaller, nimbler competitors, mainframes have continued to innovate and adapt, proving that they’re here to stay. 

Take our Planet Mainframe quiz and see how well you know your mainframe history!

1. When was the term “mainframe” first used to describe large computers?


2. What was the name of IBM’s groundbreaking family of mainframe computers introduced in 1964?


3. Who is often referred to as the “father of the System/360”?


4. What was the primary motivation behind the development of the IBM System/360 architecture?


5. In what decade did mainframes face competition from minicomputers and later, personal computers?


6. Which company introduced the VAX series of mainframe-like computers in the 1970s?


7. Which mainframe architecture introduced support for Linux and Java in the early 2000s?


8. Who is known as the “father of supercomputing” and contributed to mainframe architecture?


9. What role did mainframes play in the early development of the Internet?


10. What is the current trend regarding the use of mainframe computers in modern computing environments?


Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *