Is this group only about older computers?

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meff

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Jan 11, 2022, 11:18:16 PMJan 11
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Hey,

Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
older than I am.

Dan Espen

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Jan 11, 2022, 11:59:19 PMJan 11
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Any computer related stuff can be "folklore" it doesn't have to be as
olde as some of us.

--
Dan Espen

meff

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Jan 12, 2022, 12:53:55 AMJan 12
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On 2022-01-12, Dan Espen <dan1...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Any computer related stuff can be "folklore" it doesn't have to be as
> olde as some of us.

Awesome thanks!

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 12, 2022, 1:00:02 AMJan 12
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 04:18:14 -0000 (UTC)
meff <em...@example.com> wrote:

> Hey,
>
> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not

It's about the folklore rather than the computers, the people and
the times - at least it was originally ... and most of the best folklore
comes from the early times.

> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
> older than I am.

We are mostly the auld farts of computing mostly from the days
before the PC - many of us worked with mainframes, some worked on them,
I'm a little younger than that and simply trained on them before starting my
career amid the rise of the microprocessor. I'm just old enough to have
used a card saw.

Originally this group was mostly mainframe nostalgia but I think
we've all swapped our best stories a long time ago (go on someone prove me
wrong with some fresh anecdotes) and sadly we've lost some of the folks with
really early days stories.

Oh yes - there's an occasional tendency to sidetrack into US
politics and a long tradition of wide ranging topic drift.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/

A.T. Murray

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Jan 12, 2022, 1:43:43 AMJan 12
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The BRAINIAC version of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geniac was my first computer, during the time of Maynard G. Krebs and the late Dobie Gillis.

Mentifex
--
http://ai.neocities.org/RoboMind.html

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 12, 2022, 5:00:03 AMJan 12
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On Tue, 11 Jan 2022 22:43:42 -0800 (PST)
"A.T. Murray" <menti...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The BRAINIAC version of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geniac was my
> first computer, during the time of Maynard G. Krebs and the late Dobie
> Gillis.

My first programmable machine wasn't a computer - it was one of
these:

https://uk.fabtintoys.com/computacar/

It was bought to shut me up because I was bored stiff and irritating
at my one and only visit to Newmarket races.

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Jan 12, 2022, 5:10:04 AMJan 12
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 09:34:13 +0000
Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:

> On Tue, 11 Jan 2022 22:43:42 -0800 (PST)
> "A.T. Murray" <menti...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The BRAINIAC version of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geniac was my
> > first computer, during the time of Maynard G. Krebs and the late Dobie
> > Gillis.
>
> My first programmable machine wasn't a computer - it was one of
> these:
>
> https://uk.fabtintoys.com/computacar/
>
> It was bought to shut me up because I was bored stiff and irritating
> at my one and only visit to Newmarket races.
>
Wow! That beats my Sinclair programmable calculator! (max 24 instructions!)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Scientific
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.

Jeremy Brubaker

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Jan 12, 2022, 1:00:40 PMJan 12
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I'm definitely not that old but here are some /newer/ anecdotes from my
youth:

1. Sometime probably around 1988 a classmate of mine told me that her
family's computer could talk to other computers using something called
Prodigy (what good that did was not really specified). My only
experience with computers at the time was playing DOS games on a
friend's PC so of course I told her she was clearly lying because how on
earth could a computer talk to another computer?

Imagine my surprise later when, not only did I learn that, yes,
computers could talk to each other, but that Prodigy was a thing!

2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
100 Gb of space?

And now I look at my computer and see 4x drives ranging from 500 Gb to 1
Tb and I have probably 10+ thumb drives and SD cards that are 100+ Gb in
my desk. How times have changed.

--
() www.asciiribbon.org | Jeremy Brubaker
/\ - against html mail | јЬruЬаkе@оrіоnаrtѕ.іо / neonrex on IRC

Complete Transient Lockout

Dan Espen

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Jan 12, 2022, 1:37:06 PMJan 12
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Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> writes:

> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>> older than I am.
>
> I'm definitely not that old but here are some /newer/ anecdotes from my
> youth:
>
> 1. Sometime probably around 1988 a classmate of mine told me that her
> family's computer could talk to other computers using something called
> Prodigy (what good that did was not really specified). My only
> experience with computers at the time was playing DOS games on a
> friend's PC so of course I told her she was clearly lying because how on
> earth could a computer talk to another computer?
>
> Imagine my surprise later when, not only did I learn that, yes,
> computers could talk to each other, but that Prodigy was a thing!

Back in 1963 I'm taking a course in computer programming.
At that time college degrees were not required but the teacher
let on that we had PHD in the class. One day the PHD was gone
so the teacher told us a story about him. Seems he approached the
teacher and said "I don't understand how the computer can read these
cards with all these holes in them".

> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
> next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
> they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
> was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
> 100 Gb of space?
>
> And now I look at my computer and see 4x drives ranging from 500 Gb to 1
> Tb and I have probably 10+ thumb drives and SD cards that are 100+ Gb in
> my desk. How times have changed.

First disk I encountered was the IBM 1311 attached to an IBM 1440.
1 million 6 bit characters per disk.

--
Dan Espen

meff

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Jan 12, 2022, 2:17:25 PMJan 12
to
On 2022-01-12, Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
> next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
> they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
> was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
> 100 Gb of space?

Yeah our family computer for years was a Pentium 100 with 1 GB of
storage space and 8 MB of RAM (with a cute sticker that said
"Upgradable to 2!" (yes with the exclamation point).) My family didn't
have much money so we stuck to that machine for a long time. It became
"mine" when the family upgraded, and I used it for years more by
installing Linux on it (eventually a Debian over 52 floppies lol) and
attaching dumpster-acquired parts onto it.

I had a CD for a game called "The Journeyman Pro: TURBO" (a Myst-like
game) and it had a readme file on the CD which said "you could copy
the CD and play the game much faster on your drive, but who just has
700 MB lying around??"

Michael Trew

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Jan 12, 2022, 4:01:11 PMJan 12
to
No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
allows. The oldest "computer system" that I have personal experience
with is an IBM System/23, from well before my time. I still have it in
the cellar; it came from my father's former radio station employer.

Otherwise, I've tinkered back to Apple 2/C and a Texas Instruments
TI-99/4a PC. I've had lots of early 90's+ MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/95/98
machines that family friends gave me as a child (when they upgraded) to
tinker with. I still have a couple dozen of these old PC's and laptops
in storage, and their prices are actually coming back around as a
collector item. Time to sell them off soon, I think.

meff

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Jan 12, 2022, 4:04:56 PMJan 12
to
On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
> allows.

Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! 😅

D.J.

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Jan 12, 2022, 5:09:16 PMJan 12
to
My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 with later on the 16Kb ram
pack. Then an Amiga A1000 with a meg or so of ram. Then an A500 with a
meg or so of ram. Later an Amiga A3000 with two hard drives, my first
ones at home ever, one a 52 meg SCSI and the other a 105 mewg SCSI
drive. Probably not much more ram.

These days I have a Windoze 10 computer with 8 gigs of ram, a 1 gig
video card and a 1 terabyte internal hard drive.

My smallest, around here somewhere, thumb drive is 256 megs. Next one
is a 512 meg. The rest are 1 and multiple gigabyte thumb drives.

The first computers we had in the student lab at university were Tandy
1000s, XT compatibles. The secretary/admin assistants had Tandly Model
IVs running Scripsit, and the upper echolon of those folks had IBM
Selectric typewriters with extra fonts.

Student services had vacuum dumb termnals hooked up to the main frame
on main campus.
--
Jim

Charlie Gibbs

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Jan 12, 2022, 5:46:57 PMJan 12
to
On 2022-01-12, Dan Espen <dan1...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> writes:
>
>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>>
>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>> older than I am.
>>
>> I'm definitely not that old but here are some /newer/ anecdotes from my
>> youth:

<snip>

> Back in 1963 I'm taking a course in computer programming.
> At that time college degrees were not required but the teacher
> let on that we had PHD in the class. One day the PHD was gone
> so the teacher told us a story about him. Seems he approached the
> teacher and said "I don't understand how the computer can read these
> cards with all these holes in them".

You know, it's one thing about intellectuals,
they prove you can be absolutely brilliant
and have no idea what's going on.
-- Woody Allen

When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.

>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
>> next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
>> they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
>> was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
>> 100 Gb of space?
>>
>> And now I look at my computer and see 4x drives ranging from 500 Gb to 1
>> Tb and I have probably 10+ thumb drives and SD cards that are 100+ Gb in
>> my desk. How times have changed.
>
> First disk I encountered was the IBM 1311 attached to an IBM 1440.
> 1 million 6 bit characters per disk.

The first disks we attached in the shop above were Univac clones
of the IBM 2311 - 7 megabytes per pack. We soon upgraded to
2314 clones (25MB/pack).

My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
kludged onto my Amiga.

--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.

Mike Spencer

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Jan 12, 2022, 6:00:18 PMJan 12
to

Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> writes:

> Originally this group was mostly mainframe nostalgia but I think
> we've all swapped our best stories a long time ago (go on someone
> prove me wrong with some fresh anecdotes) and sadly we've lost some
> of the folks with really early days stories.

Maybe someone can answer definitively a question that's been lurking
in my head much as I've been lurking on this group for 30 years. I
wrote my first, very trivial, program using punch cards in '64 but
didn't really encounter another computer until I got my own Osborne I
in '87 when it was already obsolete. So I'm an old geezer but one
with a fragmentary recollection from 1953.

In 1953, Bob McCreech [RIP], my 7th grade social studies, took the
class for a whirlwind tour of Boston. One of the stops was to see The
Computer [note definite article] at Harvard. IIRC, it was in one of
the brick buildings facing on the Yard. Largish room with racks all
around the sides, filled (again, IIRC) with vacuum tubes, all behind a
gefingerpoken-resistant glass wall. In the "office" there was a paper
tape device and the operator (tour droid? :-) "entered" (??) all our
names somehow and then (allegedly) had the computer punch the names
out on tape. I kept the tape for years but no longer have it.

Does anyone know which particular Digital Wonder of the Modern World
this would have been?


--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada

Scott Lurndal

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Jan 12, 2022, 6:18:25 PMJan 12
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D.J. <chuckt...@gmail.com> writes:
>On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:01:11 -0500, Michael Trew
><michae...@att.net> wrote:
>>On 1/11/2022 23:18, meff wrote:
>>> Hey,
>>>
>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>> older than I am.
>>
>>No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>allows. The oldest "computer system" that I have personal experience
>>with is an IBM System/23, from well before my time. I still have it in
>>the cellar; it came from my father's former radio station employer.
>>
>>Otherwise, I've tinkered back to Apple 2/C and a Texas Instruments
>>TI-99/4a PC. I've had lots of early 90's+ MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/95/98
>>machines that family friends gave me as a child (when they upgraded) to
>>tinker with. I still have a couple dozen of these old PC's and laptops
>>in storage, and their prices are actually coming back around as a
>>collector item. Time to sell them off soon, I think.
>
>My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 with later on the 16Kb ram

The first computer I used was a Burroughs B5500 in the
early seventies, followed by a PDP-8, then an HP-3000,
PDP-11/34, Various VAXen, Burroughs B4955, 68k and 88k
unix systems, MPP systems from Unisys & SGI, etc.

Scott Lurndal

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Jan 12, 2022, 6:19:33 PMJan 12
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Bob Eager

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Jan 12, 2022, 7:53:43 PMJan 12
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MIne was an Elliott 4130 (unusual). Then Honeywell 516 (where I hacked
the CPU hardware), then PDP-10, PDP-11, ICL 2900, VAX, PDP-8, ...



--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org

Mike Spencer

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Jan 13, 2022, 12:31:08 AMJan 13
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sc...@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:

> Mike Spencer <m...@bogus.nodomain.nowhere> writes:
>>
>> In 1953, Bob McCreech [RIP], my 7th grade social studies, took the
>> class for a whirlwind tour of Boston. One of the stops was to see The
>> Computer [note definite article] at Harvard. IIRC, it was in one of
>> the brick buildings facing on the Yard. Largish room with racks all
>> around the sides, filled (again, IIRC) with vacuum tubes, all behind a
>> gefingerpoken-resistant glass wall. In the "office" there was a paper
>> tape device and the operator (tour droid? :-) "entered" (??) all our
>> names somehow and then (allegedly) had the computer punch the names
>> out on tape. I kept the tape for years but no longer have it.
>>
>> Does anyone know which particular Digital Wonder of the Modern World
>> this would have been?
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Mark_IV

TYVM. Not much there in the way of detail. A little more here:

http://www.ii.uib.no/~wagner/OtherTopicsdir/EarlyDaysOld.htm

from Eric G. Wagner (who, for all I know, may be lurking on this group. :-)

There seems to have been a Harvard Mark IV aircraft of the same era
that gets more Gwgle space than the Aiken computer.

Ant

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Jan 13, 2022, 1:23:27 AMJan 13
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Prodigy. Do you still remember your ID? Mine was TGSV85B since I was a
teen(ager) back then before I discovered BBSes and then Internet on PCs!
http://zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/about/toys.html for my detailed history! ;)
--
Slammy new week as expected. Lots of spams again! 2022 isn't any better and different so far. :(
Note: A fixed width font (Courier, Monospace, etc.) is required to see this signature correctly.
/\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://aqfl.net & http://antfarm.home.dhs.org.
/ /\ /\ \ Please nuke ANT if replying by e-mail.
| |o o| |
\ _ /
( )

Ant

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Jan 13, 2022, 1:24:29 AMJan 13
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> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????

I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)

Ant

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Jan 13, 2022, 1:36:56 AMJan 13
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Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
My colony and I are old. ;)

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 13, 2022, 3:00:02 AMJan 13
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:24:23 -0600
a...@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:

> meff <em...@example.com> wrote:
> > On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
> > > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
> > > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as
> > > time allows.
>
> > Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>
> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)

At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)
but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
a few years time.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 13, 2022, 3:00:03 AMJan 13
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:00:38 -0000 (UTC)
Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:

> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive.

The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of RAM
and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at 38MB
each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched under DOS
and then took over in protected mode).

The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
(yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader and a
1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).

In between I used the first TRS-80s in the UK, worked on the
Newbrain and Torch then a bunch of CP/M and MP/M systems before settling in
the unix world which still pays me good money.

I just ordered a new (second hand) workstation with 32GB of RAM and
512GB of SSD that will almost certainly never be more than about 10% used.
I have terabyte drives and several gigabytes of RAM lying around unused
after being replaced by bigger components.

I am trying and failing to imagine how a statement like that last
sentence would have been received in say 1990 when I was busy designing a
300 gigabyte distributed system to run the biggest database Informix had
been used for to date. Thirty years on and you could run that database and
application on a cellphone with the data on a postage stamp sized micro-sd
card instead of three hundred full height 5 1/4" hard disks spread over
sixty SCSI busses.

The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as it
ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of the
day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down in
clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug output
because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it should
do.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 13, 2022, 3:00:04 AMJan 13
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:36:50 -0600
a...@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:

> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.

Oh how I wanted a 9900 when they came out - I never did manage to
lay my hands on one though.

meff

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Jan 13, 2022, 3:32:44 AMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:
> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as it
> ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of the
> day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down in
> clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug output
> because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it should
> do.

I'm curious, did you think this would change in the past?

Ant

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Jan 13, 2022, 4:26:59 AMJan 13
to
Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:36:50 -0600
> a...@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:

> > Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.

> Oh how I wanted a 9900 when they came out - I never did manage to
> lay my hands on one though.

Well, you could probably get one now, used. ;)

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Jan 13, 2022, 5:03:27 AMJan 13
to
It would all be automated by one System; some arrogant types called theirs "The Last One".

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 13, 2022, 6:00:02 AMJan 13
to
On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 08:32:42 -0000 (UTC)
meff <em...@example.com> wrote:

In some ways it did with the transition from mainframe batch
processing and banking derived "waterfall" development processes like
Yourdon, SSADM et al to client/server continuous processing and iterative
development processes. They were two very different cultures with very
different ways of doing things and I think that more than anything
technical separated the two worlds. Both still exist but the once universal
original approach is now a tiny (but vital) part of the computing world.

Many developers were unable (or unwilling) to make the transition,
around 1990 the project i was on hit the phase of needing many hands for
grunt work - but we were developing in C/SQL/unix in an COBOL/ICL house and
so I got to watch about thirty people start out enthusiastic and keen to
get to grips with the new world ... and then their brains slowly frazzled
with concept overload over the next three months or so and they got
stressed, haunted looks. The ones who made it through were *really* good
the rest went into management or back to their old roles.

I was lucky enough to be just on the right side of the change and
there hasn't (yet) been another one like it since - although ML will
probably bring one if i read the tea leaves correctly.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Jan 13, 2022, 6:30:13 AMJan 13
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 10:03:25 +0000
"Kerr-Mudd, John" <ad...@127.0.0.1> wrote:

> It would all be automated by one System; some arrogant types called
> theirs "The Last One".

That outfit gave me a great belly laugh when I first spotted their
advert for:

The Last One
Mark II

John Levine

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Jan 13, 2022, 10:11:13 AMJan 13
to
According to Mike Spencer <m...@bogus.nodomain.nowhere>:
>>> the brick buildings facing on the Yard. Largish room with racks all
>>> around the sides, filled (again, IIRC) with vacuum tubes, all behind a
>>> gefingerpoken-resistant glass wall. In the "office" there was a paper
>>> tape device and the operator (tour droid? :-) "entered" (??) all our
>>> names somehow and then (allegedly) had the computer punch the names
>>> out on tape. I kept the tape for years but no longer have it.
>>>
>>> Does anyone know which particular Digital Wonder of the Modern World
>>> this would have been?
>>
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Mark_IV
>
>TYVM. Not much there in the way of detail. A little more here: ...

Not surprising, since the Harvard machines were a dead end. The real
action was two subway stops away at MIT where the Whirlwind was
already working and became the model for the SAGE computer, and in
Princeton where the IAS machine was the model for the IBM 701.



--
Regards,
John Levine, jo...@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly

Scott Lurndal

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Jan 13, 2022, 10:27:51 AMJan 13
to
John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> writes:
>According to Mike Spencer <m...@bogus.nodomain.nowhere>:
>>>> the brick buildings facing on the Yard. Largish room with racks all
>>>> around the sides, filled (again, IIRC) with vacuum tubes, all behind a
>>>> gefingerpoken-resistant glass wall. In the "office" there was a paper
>>>> tape device and the operator (tour droid? :-) "entered" (??) all our
>>>> names somehow and then (allegedly) had the computer punch the names
>>>> out on tape. I kept the tape for years but no longer have it.
>>>>
>>>> Does anyone know which particular Digital Wonder of the Modern World
>>>> this would have been?
>>>
>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Mark_IV
>>
>>TYVM. Not much there in the way of detail. A little more here: ...
>
>Not surprising, since the Harvard machines were a dead end.

Although they were the origin of the concept of the "Harvard Architecture"
which is still used today in DSPs et alia.

Scott Lurndal

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Jan 13, 2022, 10:29:06 AMJan 13
to
a...@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>meff <em...@example.com> wrote:
>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>> > allows.
>
>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>
>I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)

Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.

Jeremy Brubaker

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 10:40:14 AMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Ant wrote:
> Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>> > Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>> > too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>> > older than I am.
>
>> 1. Sometime probably around 1988 a classmate of mine told me that her
>> family's computer could talk to other computers using something
called >> Prodigy (what good that did was not really specified). My only
>> experience with computers at the time was playing DOS games on a >>
friend's PC so of course I told her she was clearly lying because how on
>> earth could a computer talk to another computer?
>
>> Imagine my surprise later when, not only did I learn that, yes,
>> computers could talk to each other, but that Prodigy was a thing!
>
> Prodigy. Do you still remember your ID? Mine was TGSV85B since I was a

I never used Prodigy. We didn't even have a computer until the late
'90s. My first internet connection was using those free CDs you used to
get from AOL. We had internet for at least a year or so before we ever
paid for it. And tied up the phone line for hours at a time to boot.

--
() www.asciiribbon.org | Jeremy Brubaker
/\ - against html mail | јЬruЬаkе@оrіоnаrtѕ.іо / neonrex on IRC

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

John Levine

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 11:51:23 AMJan 13
to
It appears that Scott Lurndal <sl...@pacbell.net> said:
>>Not surprising, since the Harvard machines were a dead end.
>
>Although they were the origin of the concept of the "Harvard Architecture"
>which is still used today in DSPs et alia.

Harvard Architecture just means that code and data are in separate memories.

One of the key insights in Von Neumann's "First Draft" in 1945 was that if
you put code and data in the same memory, programs could modify themselves.
In an era before indirect addressing and index registers, that meant you
could modify the addresses in load and store instructions to step through
an array rather than having some kind of data sequence kludge.

It turned out that address modification was by far the most useful instruction
modification, so when index registers arrived in the early 1950s, the amount
of instruction patching decreased a lot. But storing code and data in the
same memory remains the key to things we take for granted like using a
chunk of memory for code in one program and data in the next.

DSPs are unusual in that they usually only run one program and have
different instruction and data word sizes and have indirect addressing or
index registers so using separate memories can make sense. But I doubt
Aiken anticipated all that.

D.J.

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 1:08:55 PMJan 13
to
I'm over 70 years, getting on towards 80.
--
Jim

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 1:50:32 PMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:24:23 -0600
> a...@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:
>
>> meff <em...@example.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as
>>>> time allows.
>>>
>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>
>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>
> At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
> oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)

At a PPOE my job title of "programmer-analyst" was truncated to
15 characters to fit the fixed-length field in the employee master
file, so I became a PROGRAMMER-ANAL. I always considered that an
appropriate description of the required qualities. :-)

> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
> a few years time.

I'm working for a small outfit that doesn't have all the bureaucracy
messing things up, and at 71 they're still quite happy to keep me around
maintaining the infrastructure while the youngsters work on the eye candy.

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 1:50:34 PMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:00:38 -0000 (UTC)
> Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>
>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive.
>
> The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of RAM
> and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at 38MB
> each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched under DOS
> and then took over in protected mode).

My first personal computer was an IMSAI, built from parts left over
from a project that a friend was working on. It started off with 8K of
memory (two RAM-4A boards), and a CUTS interface to a pair of open-reel
tape decks I had lying around (as opposed to the more standard cassette
decks, which I didn't have). Eventually I scraped together the money
to buy a pair of 8-inch single-sided floppy disks and a Disk Jockey 2D
controller board. I replaced the memory with a 64K static RAM board
(populated to 16K to save money). Every Friday on my way home from
work I'd stop at the local Heathkit store and spend $16 on a 2016 chip,
adding another 2K to the board until I built it up to 62K (the remamining
2K was reserved for the boot ROM and a bit of working RAM on the floppy
controller board).

Its first terminal was a Uniscope 100 that I rescued from the scrap heap
at work; it had an asynchronous interface rather than the more standard
synchronous one, which made it easier for a friend to cobble together
a driver (he had a similar setup). Eventually I found a Heath 19
terminal, which enabled me to go from 2400 bps to 19200. (Univac
async interfaces would only go to 2400 bps - it's a low-speed protocol,
doncha know).

> The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
> (yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader
> and a 1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).

My favourite "coffee thrown round the room" experience was when the
operator left his cup on the lid of the model 604 card punch, which
was a large, noisy beast that could grind out 200 cards per minute
all day long. The lid was a large expanse of sheet metal which
vibrated quite nicely when the punch was running. On the day in
question I was on the other side of the machine room when the punch
started up - too far away to do anything but watch as the cup walked
across the vibrating lid and over the edge.

The very first machine I got my hands on was the Univac 1004 where my
uncle worked when I was 15. This was a hopped-up electronic version
of the IBM 407; in addition to a big plugboard it had 961 6-bit bytes
of core. My uncle took me into the office for a few days and I got
to play with it in between production runs. It used 90-column cards
(same size as the 80-column cards everybody knows and loves, but with
round holes arranged in a 12x45 grid, grouped in two tiers). Not too
long afterwards I got to play with a "real" computer, a Univac 9300
(Univac's answer to the IBM 360/20). This one had no disk or tapes,
just 16K of memory and a printer, punch, and three card readers (which
saved the time needed to collate and separate decks). A few years later
I got my first job at this same shop.

<snip>

> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as it
> ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of the
> day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down in
> clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug output
> because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it should
> do.

And we still have ignorant managers asking for the moon, and we
still have to patiently and diplomatically explain to them why
their ideas won't work - then figure out how to give them what
they need, as opposed to what they want.

Michael Trew

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 1:54:27 PMJan 13
to
On 1/13/2022 1:24, Ant wrote:
> meff<em...@example.com> wrote:
>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew<michae...@att.net> wrote:
>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>> allows.
>
>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>
> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)

I'm 26 years old, to be specific.

Michael Trew

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 1:59:47 PMJan 13
to
On 1/13/2022 10:40, Jeremy Brubaker wrote:
> On 2022-01-13, Ant wrote:
>> Jeremy Brubaker<jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>> older than I am.
>>
>>> 1. Sometime probably around 1988 a classmate of mine told me that her
>>> family's computer could talk to other computers using something
> called>> Prodigy (what good that did was not really specified). My only
>>> experience with computers at the time was playing DOS games on a>>
> friend's PC so of course I told her she was clearly lying because how on
>>> earth could a computer talk to another computer?
>>
>>> Imagine my surprise later when, not only did I learn that, yes,
>>> computers could talk to each other, but that Prodigy was a thing!
>>
>> Prodigy. Do you still remember your ID? Mine was TGSV85B since I was a
>
> I never used Prodigy. We didn't even have a computer until the late
> '90s. My first internet connection was using those free CDs you used to
> get from AOL. We had internet for at least a year or so before we ever
> paid for it. And tied up the phone line for hours at a time to boot.

LOL I remember scrounging free internet from AOL CD's years ago. I
found one in a desk drawer not too long ago. As a child, I even recall
people bringing them into the church, because we made whirili-gigs out
of them in vacation bible school, heh

Dan Espen

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 2:11:02 PMJan 13
to
I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.


--
Dan Espen

Freddy1X

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 4:15:10 PMJan 13
to
Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:

( cuts )
> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as
> it ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of
> the day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down
> in clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug
> output because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it
> should do.
>

My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)

--
See disclaimers on product box.

/|>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>\|
/| I may be demented \|
/| but I'm not crazy! \|
/|<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<\|
* SPAyM trap: there is no X in my address *

Rich Alderson

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 4:45:05 PMJan 13
to
I'm 70 now, and officially retired, but since Living Computers: Museum+Labs
closed in 2020 I've been doing contract work updating programming tools for a
well known architecture developed by DEC in 1964, first moving them into the
1980s (native OS vs. system call emulation), then into the 21st Century (large
memory model).

--
Rich Alderson ne...@alderson.users.panix.com
Audendum est, et veritas investiganda; quam etiamsi non assequamur,
omnino tamen proprius, quam nunc sumus, ad eam perveniemus.
--Galen

Vir Campestris

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:01:50 PMJan 13
to
On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
> kludged onto my Amiga.

ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)

The PSU in the computer for it has gone pop though, I must fix it...

WHen I do it'll power up with the RTC set to the date and time of my
eldest son's birth. The battery has long died. TBH I won't be surprised
if it struggles with 20xx years!

Andy

Vir Campestris

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:05:50 PMJan 13
to
On 13/01/2022 07:37, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
> At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
> oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)
> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
> a few years time.

I'm the same age as you, and I just put my notice in today to retire in
a few months.

But just because I won't be _paid_ to write code any more doesn't mean I
won't do any. I just won't have deadlines.

Andy

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:30:09 PMJan 13
to
On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:14:12 -0500
Freddy1X <fred...@indyX.netX> wrote:

> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)

I've never had my hands on a computer that ran *only* my code, the
closest would probably be prototype Torches forty years ago that had code
from just three of us.

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:39 PMJan 13
to
meff <em...@example.com> wrote:
> Hey,
>
> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
> older than I am.
>

I think at one point the ROT was ten years.

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:40 PMJan 13
to
Charlie Gibbs <cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
> On 2022-01-12, Dan Espen <dan1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> writes:
>>
>>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>>>
>>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>> older than I am.
>>>
>>> I'm definitely not that old but here are some /newer/ anecdotes from my
>>> youth:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Back in 1963 I'm taking a course in computer programming.
>> At that time college degrees were not required but the teacher
>> let on that we had PHD in the class. One day the PHD was gone
>> so the teacher told us a story about him. Seems he approached the
>> teacher and said "I don't understand how the computer can read these
>> cards with all these holes in them".
>
> You know, it's one thing about intellectuals,
> they prove you can be absolutely brilliant
> and have no idea what's going on.
> -- Woody Allen
>
> When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
> disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
> and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.

A previous employer wanted programs kept on cards. We had this whizzbang
TSO thing with a wonderful editor, about as powerful as DOS EDLIN, and a
speedy 10cps TTY. At one point I had to make a bunch of changes, so I read
the program in, made global changes, and punched out a new deck.

>
>>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
>>> next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
>>> they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
>>> was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
>>> 100 Gb of space?
>>>
>>> And now I look at my computer and see 4x drives ranging from 500 Gb to 1
>>> Tb and I have probably 10+ thumb drives and SD cards that are 100+ Gb in
>>> my desk. How times have changed.
>>
>> First disk I encountered was the IBM 1311 attached to an IBM 1440.
>> 1 million 6 bit characters per disk.
>
> The first disks we attached in the shop above were Univac clones
> of the IBM 2311 - 7 megabytes per pack. We soon upgraded to
> 2314 clones (25MB/pack).
>
> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
> kludged onto my Amiga.
>



--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:41 PMJan 13
to
Ant <a...@zimage.comANT> wrote:
> Bob Eager <news...@eager.cx> wrote:
>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 23:18:22 +0000, Scott Lurndal wrote:
>
>>> D.J. <chuckt...@gmail.com> writes:
>>>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:01:11 -0500, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On 1/11/2022 23:18, meff wrote:
>>>>>> Hey,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>>>> older than I am.
>>>>>
>>>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>>> allows. The oldest "computer system" that I have personal experience
>>>>> with is an IBM System/23, from well before my time. I still have it in
>>>>> the cellar; it came from my father's former radio station employer.
>>>>>
>>>>> Otherwise, I've tinkered back to Apple 2/C and a Texas Instruments
>>>>> TI-99/4a PC. I've had lots of early 90's+ MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/95/98
>>>>> machines that family friends gave me as a child (when they upgraded) to
>>>>> tinker with. I still have a couple dozen of these old PC's and laptops
>>>>> in storage, and their prices are actually coming back around as a
>>>>> collector item. Time to sell them off soon, I think.
>>>>
>>>> My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 with later on the 16Kb ram
>>>
>>> The first computer I used was a Burroughs B5500 in the early seventies,
>>> followed by a PDP-8, then an HP-3000,
>>> PDP-11/34, Various VAXen, Burroughs B4955, 68k and 88k unix systems, MPP
>>> systems from Unisys & SGI, etc.
>
>> MIne was an Elliott 4130 (unusual). Then Honeywell 516 (where I hacked
>> the CPU hardware), then PDP-10, PDP-11, ICL 2900, VAX, PDP-8, ...
>
> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
> http://zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/about/toys.html for my detailed history!
> My colony and I are old. ;)

I bought one of those for games. My daughter started programming on it,
which led to a career later. Since I had access to an IBM mainframe from
home I wasn’t desperate to get a home computer. Later I bought a PC clone
with 640K and one 5-1/4” floppy, later upgraded to two.

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:41 PMJan 13
to
Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:00:38 -0000 (UTC)
> Jeremy Brubaker <jbruba...@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>
>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive.
>
> The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of RAM
> and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at 38MB
> each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched under DOS
> and then took over in protected mode).
>
> The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
> (yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader and a
> 1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).

Wow, that’s a BIG 1130. Did you have 32K memory also?

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:42 PMJan 13
to
I’m only 75, so it’s definitely not me. I just missed the 1401 era, and got
into the biz just as everyone was upgrading to new 360s.

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:43 PMJan 13
to
People around here still hang chaIns of CDs or DVDs to keep the birds away.

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:44 PMJan 13
to
Freddy1X <fred...@indyX.netX> wrote:
> Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>
> ( cuts )
>> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
>> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as
>> it ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of
>> the day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down
>> in clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug
>> output because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it
>> should do.
>>
>
> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)
>

Mine too, that’s why it sometimes takes me so long to debug a program. I
need a DWIM computer.

--
Pete

Peter Flass

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:44:45 PMJan 13
to
:-)

>
> Andy
>



--
Pete

D.J.

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:45:03 PMJan 13
to
On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 18:50:30 GMT, Charlie Gibbs
<cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>And we still have ignorant managers asking for the moon, and we
>still have to patiently and diplomatically explain to them why
>their ideas won't work - then figure out how to give them what
>they need, as opposed to what they want.

This reminds of a lovely experience of a manager who asked for
something he had apparently seen on television. He wanted it installed
on his computer. I politely pointed out if it wasn't on the Authorized
Software List, he couldn't have it. And it sounded to me it violated
the Laws of Physics.

He said it was okay, he was a Manager.

My impression was he thought the laws of physics were in a law book
somewhere, and snce he was a Manager, I could skip the fine details
and install it for him.

I told him nope. He Demanded to KNow Just where My Boss was Located.

I pointed to his door. I got a phone call, I pointed to my boss, there
is nothing like that on the autrhorized list, and I had never heard ot
it. My boss checked with the other IT guy, who told him the same
thing.

The Manager stomped over to the Big Bosses office, and told him the
same story apparently. The other IT guy and I heard our boss' phone
ring.

The Manager then stomped over to the elevator and left. The Big Boss
came over and talked to us, I showed him where I had searched on the
authorized list.

The Next Day; The Manager left for something like Improved Job
Oppurtunities. My boss called our corporate office, and they said they
never heard of it either.

I mentioned I thought it shounded like some computer graphics I had
seen on tv, where they pretend they have hardware but its only a
hologram or an animation.
--
Jim

D.J.

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 5:46:42 PMJan 13
to
On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:11:00 -0500, Dan Espen <dan1...@gmail.com>
wrote:
I know I'm older than BAH.
--
Jim

Scott Lurndal

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 6:20:14 PMJan 13
to
guessing, but seems about right (results from a google search on her name):

Barbara A Huizenga
Holland, MI

05.10.50 is the birth date of Barbara. Barbara has reached
71 years of age. Holland, MI 49423-6630
is where Barbara lives.

Mike Spencer

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 7:08:33 PMJan 13
to

Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> writes:

> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:14:12 -0500
> Freddy1X <fred...@indyX.netX> wrote:
>
>> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)
>
> I've never had my hands on a computer that ran *only* my code

Oddly enough, I believe I have.

My "larval stage" came late in life (45+ y.o.) with already obsolete
hardware (Osborne I in '87-'90) but I was keen.

I accumulated several Osbornes and wanted more RAM so I connected a
2nd O1 via a serial cable. (The Osborne manual provided lots of
detail about how to talk to the serial port.) I put together a little
program that, once started, would zero out all 64K of RAM (except
itself, of course) including the 4K of display, listen to the
serial port and store or retrieve blocks of size-tagged data over the
wire. Filled the video display with garbage, of course, and worked
like a charm but so egregiously slowly as to be of no practical use
whatever. But no code but mine was running on the ancillary O1.

(Parenthetically, I might add that getting XLisp to compile and run on
the Osborne was yet another success of no redeeming practical value
whatever.)

Oh, and since several people have revealed their ages: Have I a
shot at Senior Geezerhood? I'll be 80 the end of February.


--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada

Dan Espen

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 8:14:56 PMJan 13
to
Too bad you missed the 1401. A really neat machine with no OS or vendor
code to get in the way.

I got a couple of years in with real 1401s, then off and on did 1401 under
emulation for 5 or 10 years after that.

--
Dan Espen

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 8:24:45 PMJan 13
to
I don't know whether Gene Heskett is here, but he's a regular
on the Debian mailing list and he's well into his 80s.

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 8:24:45 PMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Vir Campestris <vir.cam...@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
>
>> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
>> kludged onto my Amiga.
>
> ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)

Whatever. It look me long enough to dredge up that term.
I do remember that it was hooked to a Western Digital 1003
controller, though. A local hardware guru came up with a
small circuit board called the Wedge, which plugged into
the Amiga's expansion bus and provided an ISA slot.
One day when I was bored I plugged a serial card into
the slot instead and actually got it to transfer some data.

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Jan 13, 2022, 8:24:48 PMJan 13
to
On 2022-01-13, Peter Flass <peter...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Charlie Gibbs <cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>
>> When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
>> disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
>> and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.
>
> A previous employer wanted programs kept on cards. We had this whizzbang
> TSO thing with a wonderful editor, about as powerful as DOS EDLIN, and a
> speedy 10cps TTY. At one point I had to make a bunch of changes, so I read
> the program in, made global changes, and punched out a new deck.

Did you run it through an interpreter afterwards? :-)

At my next job we still stored all programs on cards, although we
had disk drives and system utilities that were intended to maintain
source code on disk. As far as I knew, no other such shop used
this facility, which I thought was a shame. But then we got a new
department head who came from a large IBM shop. One day he was
sitting in his office musing, "I wish we could keep programs on disk."
"But you can!" I exclaimed joyfully, seeing my chance. "Do it," he said.
And the rest is history.

Charles Richmond

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Jan 13, 2022, 11:04:21 PMJan 13