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minstrel
10-31-2003, 01:41 AM
Anyone here old enough to remember..

- programming with card punchers/readers?
- Burroughs CANDE language?
- IBM VM/CMS?
- Fortran IV? or WATFOR?
- COBOL?
- ALGOL?
- PASCAL?
- "desktop" computers where the only storage device was a cassette tape?

Sualdam
10-31-2003, 04:17 AM
Yes. Well, except that second one - never heard of that.

And how about:

- teletype terminals (the only way of using the computer)
- Booking time on a terminal
- printing to a remote printer and waiting a week for your copy to be sent
- compiling a program in Fortran (press 'enter' and go away for several hours or overnight)
- compiling again because there was an error and it didn't work first time
- disk crashes - this meant that the disk head had really smashed into one of the platters on the Winchester and cut a deep groove.
- tape backups
- restoring from backup (overnight or several days, sometimes)
- damaged backup tapes
- system reboots (that dimmed the office lights)

minstrel
10-31-2003, 11:52 AM
You forgot:

- dropping your punch cards containing your Fortran program on the floor en route from the car punch to the card reader and watching them scatter all over the floor as you remember that you had not taken the extra few minutes to number the cards and therefore cannot reassemble them in the auto-sorter

"CANDE" was Burroughs "Command and Edit" language, similar to IBM's CMS... it was kind of cool for its time...

redcircle
10-31-2003, 04:19 PM
Buch of old people :)
About as far back as I go is Turbo Pascal

minstrel
10-31-2003, 11:19 PM
Bunch of old people :)
About as far back as I go is Turbo Pascal

Whippersnapper! :-)

Before Turbo Pascal, there was plain Pascal... and Algol... Algol was kind of interesting, actually...

...and we mustn't forget COBOL, as hideous as it was...



Jack was a COBOL programmer in the mid to late 1990s. After years of being taken for granted and treated as a technological dinosaur by all the Client/Server programmers and website developers, he was finally getting some respect. He'd become a private consultant specializing in Year 2000 conversions.

Several years of this relentless, mind-numbing work had taken its toll on Jack. He began having anxiety dreams about the Year 2000. All he could think about was how he could avoid the year 2000 and all that came with it.

Jack decided to contact a company that specialized in cryogenics. He made a deal to have himself frozen until March 15th, 2000. The next thing he would know is he'd wake up in the year 2000; after the New Year celebrations and computer debacles; after the leap day. Nothing else to worry about except getting on with his life.

He was put into his cryogenic receptacle, the technicians set the revive date, he was given injections to slow his heartbeat to a bare minimum, and that was that.

The next thing that Jack saw was an enormous and very modern room filled with excited people. They were all shouting "I can't believe it!" and "It's a miracle" and "He's alive!". There were cameras (unlike any he'd ever seen) and equipment that looked like it came out of a science fiction movie.

Someone who was obviously a spokesperson for the group stepped forward. Jack couldn't contain his enthusiasm. "Is it over?" he asked. "Is the year 2000 already here? Are all the millennial parties and promotions and crises all over and done with?"

The spokesman explained that there had been a problem with the programming of the timer on Jack's cryogenic receptacle, it hadn't been year 2000 compliant. It was actually eight thousand years later, not the year 2000. Technology had advanced to such a degree that everyone had virtual reality interfaces which allowed them to contact anyone else on the planet.

"That sounds terrific," said Jack. "But I'm curious. Why is everybody so interested in me?"

"Well," said the spokesman. "The year 10000 is just around the corner, and it says in your files that you know COBOL".

Sualdam
11-01-2003, 09:45 PM
What about assembly language on 6502-based systems?

Whatever happened to assembly language programmers? :)

minstrel
11-01-2003, 10:16 PM
What about assembly language on 6502-based systems? Whatever happened to assembly language programmers? :)

they discovered C :-)

I dabbled in assembly language for a brief time on an 8086 8 mHz machine (was that the Turbo model? I can't recall)... what a pain that was... the resulting programs were small and fast but they were still a right pain to create...

especially if you were trying to do it using MS debug... yikes!

Sualdam
11-01-2003, 10:22 PM
Back then I was doing it using (for example) Atari systems :)

I can remember when disk drives started to become affordable and the usual crowd of Luddites would write to the magazines DEMANDING that the published software (or cover-cassettes) remain cassette-based.

Things haven't changed much, really, have they? (E.g. 'You MUST design for 640x480, 16 colours, text-only browsers').

:)

<edit: And what about Peek and Poke using BASIC? What fun that caused when new memory addresses became used in upgraded OSs - no backward compatibility then.>

minstrel
11-01-2003, 10:30 PM
I can remember when disk drives started to become affordable and the usual crowd of Luddites would write to the magazines DEMANDING that the published software (or cover-cassettes) remain cassette-based.

The first desktop I ever used was an HP model designed for a lab - the only storage device was a cassette tape - 64 kb (note the "k", not Mb) RAM - we (a government department) purchased that with a printer (heat sensitive paper) for just under $50,000, although that did include a reasonably sophisticated A-D converter as a lab interface.

Believe it or not, we wrote programs in interpreter BASIC that ran some quite complex statistical analyses - it meant swapping bits in and out of RAM to the cassette tape as needed, so we'd have to boot it up in the morning and let it run all day (or sometimes overnight if it wasn't finished).

Sualdam
11-01-2003, 10:34 PM
This whole conversation reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon strip I saw...

At my company we actually bought a Sinclair ZX80!

It was used for years to send recipe messages between two floors of a confectionery manufacturing department.

Sualdam
11-01-2003, 10:36 PM
Just out of interest, can you remember the HP model you used?

We had several HP85s - they were awesome for their time - we used them you gather data at high speed from position sensors on compressing machines.

We used to spend days calculating the linearity of these induction-based sensors so we could interpret the gathered data properly. Great fun.

minstrel
11-01-2003, 10:43 PM
No... I vaguely remember a 4-digit number which started with something like 85 or 95 or 96... but it's possible that was the A-to-D converter rather than the desktop. I am talking about 1977, 1978, 1979? somewhere in there...

Enter redcircle, stage left, armed with senior citizen jokes... :-)

Minstrel forestalls him by saying, "Hold on there, young feller... I was only 13 at the time... I was what you call one of them there... what was it? child protestant? something like that..."

mikmik
11-02-2003, 02:37 PM
..they wouldn't let me drive the boat either!
No kidding. And with you knowing all the lingo, and everything :)

minstrel
11-02-2003, 02:42 PM
I had the fortune of being given a tour of one of our Canadian Navy ships when I lived in Victoria in '89. I think it was some class of communication vessel, being it was small and lightly armed, but what struck me was the 'sophisticated' onboard computer contained in several ~20ft rows of cabinets resembling lockers. Inside were shelves of metal 'plates' about 10 or 12 inches a side that each had approximately 1 (one) transistor solderred to it in the middle! Other than feeling humbled by the advanced technology, I don't remember much. Anyone know what kind, or class, of system that was?

Top-Secret Stealth (Cloaked) Morse code keys? If not, my next guess would be a crystal radios, banked to increase power... :-)

mikmik
11-02-2003, 02:44 PM
To redcircle (having just noticed minstrels comment)
I would like to point out that having cut my teeth on a P75, 32Meg FPM ram, to me YOU are old Hah ha..coughCough..wheeze.water..cough

mikmik
11-02-2003, 02:46 PM
Serial or parallel banking?
I know they used a microwave transmitter and kept trying to get me to stand on the little "X" they had taped on the deck in front of it.

minstrel
11-02-2003, 02:52 PM
Serial or parallel banking?

As I understand it, the Canadian Navy doesn't hold with any of that newfangled theoretical physics stuff... they just duct-tape the dang things together.

(On my first attempt, I spelled "Canadian" incorrectly - hurried back here to correct my error before Sualdam noticed and edited me too!)

:-)

Sualdam
11-02-2003, 02:53 PM
..they wouldn't let me drive the boat either!
No kidding. And with you knowing all the lingo, and everything :)
Ooops.

Mikmik - I edited your post by accident when I meant to quote it!

Sorry about that. :(

minstrel
11-02-2003, 03:06 PM
..they wouldn't let me drive the boat either!
No kidding. And with you knowing all the lingo, and everything :)
Ooops.

Mikmik - I edited your post by accident when I meant to quote it!

Sorry about that. :(

...Or did he? (eerie background music)

How do we know that mikmik and Sualdam aren't the same person? Has anyone ever seen a picture of Sualdam? Maybe it's a case of multiple personalities like Identity or The Three Faces of Eve? Maybe I'm the third face of Eve?

I think we should ask WenWilder - she apparently converses with Jello... she'd know.

Sualdam
11-02-2003, 03:11 PM
Hey, don't start that one in here :)

Me and mikmik the same person...? Now I'll need therapy again ;)

mikmik
11-02-2003, 09:16 PM
A presense who claims to be minstrel wrote:
How do we know that mikmik and Sualdam aren't the same person? Has anyone ever seen a picture of Sualdam? Maybe it's a case of multiple personalities like Identity or The Three Faces of Eve? Maybe I'm the third face of Eve?
We are not at all similar:
-I only took chemistry because I wanted to be a chemist, I never took it and actually became one,

-my interests are hardware and
Dreamweaver, not flash,

-I don't even know where Europe is! Let alone name any countries.

mikmik
11-02-2003, 09:23 PM
And mintsrel couldn't be me because minstrel/wenwilder would make four personalities.
Don't think that I'm fooled into thinking that blonde picture is real, if you look close you can see that it is a 'cartoon' and doesn't prove anything.

minstrel
11-02-2003, 10:40 PM
And minstrel couldn't be me because minstrel/wenwilder would make four personalities. Don't think that I'm fooled into thinking that blonde picture is real, if you look close you can see that it is a 'cartoon' and doesn't prove anything.

Well, I'll admit I have been trying to work on my feminine side, but not my blonde feminine side :-) Besides, an analysis of our handwriting would clearly show that I couldn't possibly be wenwilder, not to mention our spelling styles... (ducking to avoid whatever it was that WW threw at me)...

matauri
11-05-2003, 11:12 AM
LOL...it reeks of geek male testosterone in here :-)

A most enjoyable & informative threads guys :-)


Cindy

speakak
11-23-2003, 04:37 AM
Interesting As I was serfing around looking for a real technition that might understand a problem a problem that I have, after I wasn't welcome on another forum I came accross what appears to be a copy and paste made by the person that first complained about mine. At least I gave the author his do credit. OOPs I got off the subject. Do's anyone rember the D104 system I'm its PAPA
"Its the first inventory program for the DOD"
Thats when we used a 4 digit date.
4001 through 4365 = 1964/Jan/1 through 1964/DEC/31

minstrel
11-23-2003, 11:29 AM
Interesting As I was serfing around looking for a real technition that might understand a problem a problem that I have, after I wasn't welcome on another forum I came accross what appears to be a copy and paste made by the person that first complained about mine. At least I gave the author his do credit. OOPs I got off the subject.
speakak, I'm not sure what cut-and-paste you're referring to here but regarding that "other forum" - if I have the right forum (Linking to the Competition (http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=8642&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25)), since I seem to be the only one posting in both forums I'm assuming that comment is meant for me. If so, (1) please go back and review those posts - I wasn't attacking you, I was defending you, and the other individual did apologize to you subsequently; and (2) it isn't true that you weren't welcome there - you left a post saying it would be your last one in spite of mine saying that I didn't see any reason for anyone to be upset with the original post.


That's when we used a 4 digit date.
4001 through 4365 = 1964/Jan/1 through 1964/DEC/31
So the real beginning of the Y2k hysteria was with the DOD: that Y1.965K party must have been... interesting :-)