I think there is a bit more to the story.  My memory is that there were 
several factors involved. 
AS/400 sales were higher than projected, 
memory didn't come on line as fast as expected, and 
certainly no where near memory production to keep pace with needs, and 
like others have said, the Operating System just didn't perform as 
There were some awful penalties in performance if one deleted files then 
created files which was a typical Sys/36 technique 
and Query/400 just didn't know how to find the right logicals so it was 
always building new ones. 

But my understanding is that the skimpy memory was required because there 
just wasn't enough to go around.   It was attempt to balance shipments 
against customer unrest.

Please respond to MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Sent by:        owner-midrange-l@midrange.com
To:     MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com

Subject:        Re: AS/400 trivia questions

Jim Langston wrote:
> You've got to be joking me?  They supplied a machine with not enough 
memory to
> run the OS?

Yepppp. Engineers threw it over the wall, and early ships only had 4mb ,
if you didn't order extra.. There were MANY problems with this, and 
most folks were GIVEN 4mb extra, after a great deal of howling.... IT
would come up, but that's about it.... Remember... most early 400's
were to replace S/36's, so 4 meg was quite a chunk(Who knew ???)....

Just for the record.. 8mb remained the base memory for almost all
up till the first RISC box 9402-400.... Larger boxes came with more but
8mb was the standard for thousands of machines.....

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