IBM 650 Manuals

IBM 650 Manuals

This is a project to make available the IBM 650 manual of operation and the SOAP (Symbolic Optimizing Assembly Programming) manual. There are two versions of the manual of operation, first a set of three bulletins that superceded earlier single manuals, then a black and white only scan of one of the earlier manuals in my collection (from my father). The current scan of the SOAP manual was made available by another collector. Later was added the FOR TRANSIT manual, a very early Fortran translator for the IBM 650, from my collection.

Here are the manuals in PDF, as scanned in black and white.

IBM 650 bulletins

These are scanned at 300dpi and converted, mostly, to black and white. Photos are in gray scale at 100dpi. These files are more up-to-date (whatever that means for a half-century old computer) and cleaner than the manual of operation below.

These and the FOR TRANSIT manual came with the IBM 650 which was originally at the Research Computer Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle.

IBM 650 manual of operation

This is a black and white only scan at 300dpi. The original manual consists of a single set of double wide double sided sheets, each containing 4 pages total. I took the staples out at the fold and scanned the four pages on each sheet in order. Because the pages are slightly shorter than the scan and because alternate pages were originally scanned upside-down for better alignment in the scanner, in the PDF file alternate pages are aligned to opposite ends vertically.

Eventually I will update this scan with one at least as good as the bulletins above.

IBM 650 SOAP Manual

A fellow on the net sent me this. Page 74 is missing. I now have a SOAP manual in my collection and will rescan it some day.


This manual was scanned at 300dpi and converted to black and white. It is organized so that if you print it 2-sided it should turn out like the original manual. It was scanned in a different scanner than the 650 manual above but again without complete processing so it also has a few artifacts. Most noticable is the page alignment (but much of this is actually true to the manual) and some skew, especially near the end. The gray areas on the front and back cover are actually green, I will correct this when I discover a PDF processor that actually works with images containing a small number of colors.

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