IBM POWER (software)

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POWER was an IBM operating system enhancement package that provided spooling facilities for the IBM System/360 running DOS/360 or retrofitted with modified DOS/360.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Upgrades, POWER/VS and POWER/VSE were available for and the IBM System/370 running DOS/VS and DOS/VSE respectively. POWER is an acronym for Priority Output Writers, Execution processors and input Readers.[7]: p.1.1 

The product[edit]

POWER was an operating system enhancement available for DOS/360, DOS/VS, and DOS/VSE, and came packaged with some third party DOS-based operating systems. International Business Machines released POWER in 1969 following a public introduction at the IBM Wall Street Data Center.

It 'spooled' (queued) printer and card data, freeing programs from being dependent upon the speed of printers or punched card equipment.

POWER competed with non-IBM products, namely DataCorp's The Spooler and SDI's GRASP. Unlike the other products, POWER required a dedicated partition.

It allowed a single printer (1403/2311), punch (2520, 2540) or reader (2540, 2501) to be shared by two or more processing partitions. Input data was asynchronously loaded and directed to the proper partition by Job class. Output was directed to disk and stored there - then directed to a printer or punch by the writer type, (PRT, PUN), Job Class, Priority and form code. This was provided in PRT and PUN control cards in the input stream. Once the operator put the proper form in the printer/punch and told power to start (G PUN or G PRT on the console) the device would continue until no more output of that type was available. When a new form was encountered it would alert the operator to change forms and wait for the next go command.


The product ran on IBM systems from the S/360 Model 30 through larger machines. Generally the smaller machines that had less than 128K or Core memory (would be called RAM today but were actually magnetic cores strung on wire matrices) did not have the ability to run POWER. POWER/VS ran well on the later S/370 series - usually on the Models 135 and 145 and later on the 4331 and 4341.


The product ran under several DOS-related platforms:


The hardware platforms included:

and clones which included:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Iva Helen (1990). DOS/VSE and VSE/POWER job control language and concepts. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780132186292. OCLC 19740536.
  2. ^ Stotts, Gary A. (1990). DOS/VSE: Introduction to the Operating System. Wellesley, Mass.: QED Information Sciences. pp. 199–. ISBN 9780894353321. OCLC 21764709.
  3. ^ Hudders, Eugene S. (1993). VSE/SP and VSE/ESA: A Guide to Performance Tuning. Boston: QED Pub. Group. p. 165. ISBN 9780894354267. OCLC 301594235.
  4. ^ Eckols, Steve; Milnes, Michele (1989). DOS/VSE JCL. Fresno, Calif.: M. Murach. pp. 181–. ISBN 9780911625509. OCLC 38983728.
  5. ^ Graubart-Cervone, H. Frank (1994). VSE/ESA JCL: Utilities, Power, and VSAM. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780070241282. OCLC 831360751.
  6. ^ Davis, William S. (1992). Operating Systems: A Systematic View (4th ed.). Redwood, Calif.: Addison-Wesley. pp. 252–. ISBN 9780201567014. OCLC 23694140.
  7. ^ IBM Corporation (1974). DOS/VS POWER/VS Installation and Operations (PDF).