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WE Magazine November-December 1981

Started by segaloco, November 18, 2023, 05:38:51 PM

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Picked this up on eBay and finally got around to scanning it:

This is the November-December 1981 issue of WE magazine, the Western Electric employee magazine.  This issue's cover story regards the first 5ESS installation in Seneca, Illinois, July 1st, 1981.  There are additionally articles regarding Nassau Metals, ISSMs, as well as some various employee submissions from various parts of the company.

Of interest to me was the 5ESS article.  5ESS is largely responsible for my interest in telephony, in turn I began studying the 5ESS due to its basis on the Western Electric 3B20D computer which runs a specialized UNIX environment in a supervisor called DMERT.  Its companion standalone computer, the 3B20S, is the main Western Electric computer that I'm frequently trying to dredge up more information on, so it's kinda nice to be able to find and preserve something that sits at the intersections of all that.

I've got another document I'll be posting in a few weeks once I scan it concerning the "Attached Processor Interface", a module for interfacing 1A processors with 3B processors, mostly oriented towards getting 3Bs integrated with 4ESS and 1A ESS offices.  In some ways it represents an evolutionary step right before the 5ESS, as that is a 3B-native switch with the 4ESS being a 1A-native switch with 3Bs retrofitted in later through the Attached Processor Interface.

I believe this leaves just one 1981 issue of WE to be discovered.  Hopefully it turns up soon, 1979-1983 is the Goldilocks zone for 3B20 information out of Western Electric and the Bell System.


Love the cover photo! She wan't about to let that hardhat mess up her hairdo. (probably at the art director's instruction)

Kellogg Kitt

Thanks for scanning and posting that.  I enjoyed the 5ESS article.

I looked on Google Maps and found that CO.  If you look closely, you can see that the brick is slightly different over the opening that was left in the wall to load the equipment (mentioned on first page of the article).,-88.6100564,3a,48.9y,283.57h,89.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOfQRFDFLKYeTIxF9i8wKxQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en&entry=ttu