RE: New Poll Question

Subject: RE: New Poll Question
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Simon North" <Simon -dot- North -at- quintiq -dot- com>, "Patricia Blount" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 09:58:33 -0800

Ah yes, this brings back memories.

I used a 360/44 in college; fortunately, the college was small so
wannabe programmers took a test and then were allowed to run it all by
themselves. We also had to type our own cards on keypunch machines. I
got very good at designing drum cards for keypunches, and even bought
one! It has since disappeared.

A run-time error generated a core dump, which was generally useless for
debugging but made excellent draw-on wallpaper.

When I first started work, we wrote programs on Fortran coding sheets
(one character to each box; Simon may be talking about these
green-and-white IBM forms, or he may mean something different) but then
coded them in using shared *interactive terminals!* (IBM 3270s). Wow!
That was *progress*. LOL!

Many years ago I worked for HP. We were getting rid of old hardware, and
people were wondering what to do with an ancient 3-rack HP 3000, one of
the first ever made. They took my suggestion and sold whacks on it with
a sledgehammer, $1 a whack. The printed circuit boards were

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 Simon North
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:54 AM
To: Patricia Blount; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: New Poll Question

paper tape ... ah, happy days. They were great for decorating workspaces
for birthdays.

I started my CS degree in 1976. Though, to be more precise, CS wasn't
yet a true subject so my degree was Mathematics, Statistics and
Computing (I can still remember my professor saying that if he had a few
brains you designed computers, if you were an idiot you designed
operating systems, and if you were a moron you became a programmer. ....
sometimes I wonder if anything has changed since then ... ;-) ).

It was an IBM 360 series mainframe on which my college time-shared.
Each class had a single password
and once your time was up, that was it. I think it took us about a week
to garner all the system passwords, including a lot that we shouldn't
even have known existed, and after that we never ran out of quota. We
did come close to getting blown at one stage when one of discovered how
to crash the system intentionally.
Unfortunately, a lot of the local banking establishments relied on the
system so crashes were major events.


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