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The 36 was from Venus, the 38 from Mars

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Born out of two separate development organizations in Rochester, Minn., the System/36 and System/38 were fundamentally different architectures. The System/36 extended the heritage of the System/3 and System/34 with entry systems designed for small businesses. It focused on simplicity, packaged applications and an easy-to-use interface. The System/36 was from Venus. The System/38, however, was a radically new and memory-hungry architecture in times when memory was a very expensive meal. It was a system built for developers, designed to scale and grow. The System/38 was from Mars.

The AS/400 introduced a new, state-of-the-art architecture which built on the strengths of both systems. It incorporated the ease-of-use of the System/36 and the application development productivity and “virtualize everything” concept of the System/38. Critically, it supported applications from both environments without recompilation, fueling a solutions portfolio unmatched in the industry.


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