RE: Back to the Dark Ages.

Subject: RE: Back to the Dark Ages.
From: "Haas, Guy" <ghaas -at- selectica -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 13:10:52 -0700

In my first professional programming job out of college, I was doing
conversion of Fortran IV programs from the IBM 7044 / 7094 systems to the
spiffy, new IBM S/360. The programs were on 80-column punch cards.

We would get a printout of the deck, decide what lines needed to be changed,
hand code them on coding forms, and submit them to be keypunched and
verified. When they were done, we would collect them and then edit the
deck, replacing the old cards with new ones as necessary.

If we were writing a subroutine from scratch, we would just code it all on
the forms and the keypunch department would key it all in and verify it.

One of the women in the keypunch department knew a lot about Fortran, and
occasionally corrected coding errors on the fly. Unfortunately, when one of
us was doing anything unusual with the Fortran (such as when I was working
on a pretty-printer program called TIDY written IN Fortran -- Fortran was
not very hip to character manipulation) we would have to leave notes with
the coding sheets to advise the helpful corrector that it really was coded
as we meant it to be.

--Guy K. Haas ghaas -at- selectica or gkhaas -at- usa -dot- net
Software Exegete in the Valley of the Shadow of Silicon

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