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Old 5th August 2008
DrJ DrJ is offline
ISO Quartermaster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gold Country, CA
Posts: 507

Originally Posted by roddierod View Post
They always bring back memories of looking through Byte(when it was thick as a phone book)...
Yeah, Byte was great. So was the newspaper form of Infoworld (it has changed format and target audience many, many times) and Dr. Dobbs Journal.

In many ways the move from cards to terminals was a big a deal as the move from terminals to PCs. I hinted at how dreadful card punches were; I can go on but man they were klunky.

They had other odd downsides. The main computing facility at Berkeley was open 24 hours a day (computer people have always kept odd schedules). I was there once in the middle of the night, looking over an input deck, when in wandered a homeless person. Berkeley has a real problem with the homeless; most have pretty severe mental or substance abuse problems (or both). They came to know that you could always warm up in the computer center for about an hour until security chased them away.

In any event, this fellow wandered over to my table, and started ranting some far-out screed about aliens. I decided the better part of valor was simply to leave and call security, who showed up pretty promptly. Upon returning to my table, I found my input deck, as well as the contents of my card box (which held maybe 1000 cards) was scattered all over the floor.

I had the foresight to use a different color on the card tops for this set of programs (they came in a veritable rainbow so that you could distinguish one batch from another); the rubber bands around others were not disturbed. Still, this meant going through the cards one by one, pulling the program out from others, and then resorting them. Some cards had line numbers (it was FORTRAN), but others did not. So the whole deck had to be reconstructed from the flow sheet, and yes, I made a few errors in the sorting.

At least you got good turn-around times when you submitted the jobs to the job desk at those times.
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