RE: Imperatives in procedures?

Subject: RE: Imperatives in procedures?
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 17:27:13 -0800

I agree with this assessment.

I never worked in documentation in those "good ol' days", but I sure
*used* it, including the IBM 360 green card. It was, as Peter notes, the
wrong size for a shirt pocket. Very useful, though.

The cards acted like online help. If I had a major question, I'd go to
the manual. The card was to refresh my memory for detailed syntax. Even
today, O'Reilly publishes quick reference guides for things like VI and

One of the reasons that the IBM 360 (Green) and IBM 370 (Mustard Yellow)
cards were so popular is that they were small and cheap. They also
condensed the material from several different manuals. If you *really*
wanted to be a geek, you carried around the small blue or brown IBM
System Manual, which had a whole bunch of stuff in nearly unreadable

This little gem led many legendary sysadmins of the old school into the
habit of carrying mini-manuals by stuffing them *inside their pants* in
the back. Now *that's* an interesting idea...


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Peter Neilson
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 4:57 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Information on a card must be terse. Both companies relied on research
that the late Alexis Belash did for Teradyne in 1968, measuring the
pockets of men's shirts at the Brooks Brothers'
store in Boston. He found that most other "pocket" cards (the IBM 360
"green" card in particular) were too big to fit in a pocket. It was
always a major challange to keep the cards from becoming mini reference


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