Re: old school

Subject: Re: old school
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 09:29:50 +1000

Suzette Leeming wrote:
> Okay - I'll date myself as well. I remember Multiplan, DBase III, Fox Pro
> and Ventura Publishing - the latter from when Xerox owned it.

I actually worked on the docs for dBASE III, that's
how old *I* am!

I've produced docs on the Wang word processor, IBM
Selectric typewriter, IBM Composer (which saved your
input on a tape and you had to put in stop codes when
you wanted to change the font golfball to italic or
Greek/Math), Lexitron, ATM 560 (daisy wheel fonts, only
four available at a time), and a Compugraphic 9600.

Ah, the Compugraphic 9600: it had filmstrips for fonts and
produced film you had to develop in a darkroom. You could
only see 23 characters in its LED display and once you hit
the spacebar, you couldn't go back and correct the text - I
had to typeset an annual report on one of those. Or, we had
a separate tape punch machine that you could use for text
input (24 whole lines of display!) and then run the tape on
the Compugraphic. Of course, then you had lots of little
pink punch-tape dots on your clothing and shoes.

To debug the Compugraphic, I had to run a punched program
tape and call support to tell them at what point the tape
stopped (e.g., "12 inches from the start") and then they'd
tell me which chip to change in the back! I'd keep running
the tape and changing chips on the board until the tape
ran all the way to completion.

Then there was Lex-11 on a Vax, the same mainframe that
engineering used for programming. You could only see
28 lines of text and if you wanted to return to a previous
page, you had to wait for it to scroll back to the top of
the document and all the way back down again.

Ah, those were *not* the days.

-- Janice

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References:
Re: old school: From: ActionA
RE: old school: From: Lauren
Re: old school: From: Suzette Leeming

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