College Student Installs IBM Mainframe in Parents’ Basement

Connor Krukosky

Connor Krukosky

Like many geeks, I love retro computers. But have you heard the one about the 19-year-old college student who purchased and installed an IBM mainframe in his parent’s basement?

The story involves Connor Krukosky, the so-called Millennial Mainframer. During an online auction last year, Krukosky purchased an IBM z890 mainframe (built around 2005). Then, he installed it in his parents’ basement.

Unlike so many IT pros these days, Krukosky embraced the classic CapEx payment model rather than an OpEx financing model for his IT infrastructure. Indeed, he paid about $237 for the mainframe and has since made some upgrades/fixes, bringing his total cost to $350. Not bad, considering the machine’s original price tag was likely closer to $350,000, according to

Mainframe Case Study

Connor-Krukosky-ibm-mainframeBut what exactly does a 19-year-old college student do with a mainframe? The answers may surface in June, when Krukosky speaks at Marist College’s Enterprise Computing Community conference. He’s expect to describe the buying, transportation and installation process. Including a few tips on how to wire a mainframe to your home’s existing electrical service. (Nifty.)

No doubt, the event hosts will be leaning in during the session. Marist College and IBM have a longtime partnership that stretches back to 1988, at which time the college installed a $10 million IBM mainframe. (Hmmm… Did Krukosky net the better deal?)

Surely, IBM wants millennials to embrace mainframes. But Krukowsky’s biggest cheering section likely involves Compuware, which is striving to empower millennials and DevOps teams with modern, open mainframe tools. In fact, Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley insists millennials will save the world — using mainframes, of course.

Perhaps they’ll do it from the safety of Krukosky’s basement…

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    Too bad Colleges / Universities do not get on board teaching Mainframes.. and what they can really do.

    Joe Panettieri:

    Shameless plug for my alma mater: Marist puts kids in front of modern mainframe technologies… Article link is a bit dated but related studies at the college continue.

    Gabriel Goldberg:

    IBM’s Academic Initiative has been working with colleges/universities and businesses/organizations for many years, developing and teaching classes relevant to using modern mainframes to meet current needs.

    Chris O'Malley:

    Hi Joe,

    Great article! This is an amazing story, amongst an increasing number of amazing stories, on millennials becoming the new stewards of the mainframe platform. The post-modern mainframe is becoming mainstream through innovation that connects the platform to the world of DevOps and full-stack developers. We recently published a blog that was an interview with a Compuware millennial recruiter by a Compuware millennial content marketer about our Compuware millennial engineers. How cool is that for a dedicated, 40 year old mainframe software company. That old Compuware CEO better watch out :-).

    Connor, we’d love you to join us, but get through college first!

    Best regards,


    Joe Panettieri:

    Gabriel: Thanks for the link.

    Chris: Great to be back in touch. Thanks for the mainframe/millennial briefings roughly a year ago. They certainly help to shape some of this blog entry.

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