Aug 132014

I just became the proud new owner of an IBM System/23 Datamaster computer system yesterday. This 8085-based computer is an immediate predecessor to the IBM PC. It has BASIC in ROM, and two 8" floppy disk drives. I don’t have any disks or documentation for it yet, and I would like to get my hands on some of that.

Here are a couple of quick pictures that I took for Big Blue Week over on the RetroBattlstations subreddit.

  8 Responses to “IBM System/23 Datamaster”

  1. Hi Mark,

    I have also an IBM system /23 with some Floppy’s and try to image them the next months.

    For this I have got an YD-180 Floppy driven. Now needed an Floppy Adapter to 34 Pin and an Power supply each from d-bit. Than I try to image the disks with KryoFlux.

    I let you know when I was able to image the disks. Maybe you are interested to get the images then.

    My system: IBM System/23

    P.S.: where are you from?


    • Hi! Thank you for sharing your picture! I would definitely be interested in disk images for my System/23. I could especially use whatever utility disk is necessary to format other blank disks. Good luck with your imaging! I am in Riverside, California, USA, which is close to Los Angeles.

  2. Hi I just picked up this same unit including the printers and the diskettes for programing them. any idea what some thing like this is worth? I can not seam to find one for sale. thanks

    • Cool! I don’t have any idea what they’re worth, because I got mine for free, played with it for a few years, then passed it along to another collector for free. If you’re looking to sell yours, then places where you might find interested collectors would include the Vintage Computers & Mainframes category at eBay, the VCF forum, and the CCtalk mailing list. I suppose there is a slim chance that somebody will see your comment here if they’re specifically looking for System/23 stuff and found this blog post in a Google search.

      I really hope that you or whoever you sell the system to can image the contents of any of the diskettes that are still readable, and see to it that the images are archived for posterity. I’m sure that the folks at the Internet Archive would be very happy to host the images. When I had my System/23, I only ever managed to acquire a few diskettes for it, including a very helpful diagnostic diskette. I imaged the diskettes with ImageDisk on an old PC that I set up for the purpose, and then I made the images available to everybody on GitHub.

      I never had any peripherals such as printers for mine, and the only useful diskette I had for it was the diagnostic diskette, which had software I could use to format other blank diskettes. I played around with the built-in BASIC programming language a bit, but never did anything too interesting with it. It seemed like a weird dialect of BASIC, and I’m just not very familiar with non-PC IBM stuff, which all seems pretty arcane to me.

  3. Hi, i am also the proud owner of a system/23 but the system i got has a rom problem, the power up diagnostics gives an crc error on one of the rom’s could anyone help me with a rom image? It’s the 0B rom i need.

    • Hi Alex,

      which model do you have in detail? I have the /23 Model 5324 picture above, and have depending on the Chip the possibility to dump them.
      Contact via

      Many Greetings

    • Hallo lieber Freund! Möchten Sie eine Foto-IBM-Maschine im Inneren haben? ich zu verkaufen. Ich habe einen Verkäufer für den ersten Kommodore-Rechner 1954 (Toronto) interessiert, diese Werkzeuge zu kaufen? Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Arpi

  4. Avatar

    Some of the manuals are at: in their Computing Archive section.
    Sorry cannot locate optional program disks, or the optional CP/M or MP/M Net disk.
    Motherboard schematics or the I/O port locations and its register information.
    No Printer Service Manuals, No Network hard disk manual.
    Might have spend $$$$ to try to get IBM/Lenov to do a reprint.

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