More Groaning (Jun 10 2009)


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Message 907397 - Posted: 13 Jun 2009, 22:51:14 UTC - in response to Message 906690.


Not to mention the fun of dropping the stack of punch card as you prepare to load your latest program.

I worked at a place where we got quite nifty at using a card punch which didn't have a keyboard - instead you had to remember the hole combinations. Colleagues checked each other's cards. We found we could fix mistakes by placing a piece of chad in the hole and rubbing it in with a pencil. This was fine until the card reader on the mainframe was changed and decided to knock out all the loose pieces of chad.


Ya know they made little pieces of opaque tape that you could put over the holes in error...

Which were possibly stripped off going through the reader, killing a day of work while you waited for the FE.
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Message 908674 - Posted: 18 Jun 2009, 8:09:41 UTC - in response to Message 906292.

This of course is the origin of the 72-character line length, on a machine fed by 80-column punched cards. The last eight columns are reserved for an index number. The IBM 029 card punches we used could even be programmed to insert an automatically-incremented number in the index columns.

Some cards had the field identified on the printed face, e.g.
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/bell1.gif
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/fortran.gif
(borrowed from this computing history site - http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/history.html )

You programmed the punch with another card, wrapped round a little drum - it's behind the little window in the middle of the picture here

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taouu/html/ch02s01.html

If you drop the deck, curse quietly, collect them all and drop them into a card sorter (e.g. an IBM 082) programmed to sort by the last eight columns.

http://www.technikum29.de/en/devices/punchcard-sorter.shtm

On the way you pass the poor guy who dropped his unindexed data stack last night and is still trying to rebuild it :-)

I sometimes miss punched cards. The card stock was high-quality, it had to be to stand up to the high-speed card readers, and they were useful for all manner of cardboard-technology projects, as well as shopping lists :-)
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Message 908681 - Posted: 18 Jun 2009, 9:34:35 UTC - in response to Message 907397.
Last modified: 18 Jun 2009, 9:37:32 UTC


Not to mention the fun of dropping the stack of punch card as you prepare to load your latest program.

I worked at a place where we got quite nifty at using a card punch which didn't have a keyboard - instead you had to remember the hole combinations. Colleagues checked each other's cards. We found we could fix mistakes by placing a piece of chad in the hole and rubbing it in with a pencil. This was fine until the card reader on the mainframe was changed and decided to knock out all the loose pieces of chad.


Ya know they made little pieces of opaque tape that you could put over the holes in error...

Which were possibly stripped off going through the reader, killing a day of work while you waited for the FE.


Been there, done that. It was less likely to happen after they switched to optical card readers instead of wire brushes, but it still happened.

[edit]When we started using key to diskette (the 8" ones), it was a VAST improvement.[/edit]

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Message 910336 - Posted: 23 Jun 2009, 3:15:07 UTC - in response to Message 908674.

This of course is the origin of the 72-character line length, on a machine fed by 80-column punched cards. The last eight columns are reserved for an index number. The IBM 029 card punches we used could even be programmed to insert an automatically-incremented number in the index columns.

Some cards had the field identified on the printed face, e.g.
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/bell1.gif
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/fortran.gif
(borrowed from this computing history site - http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/history.html )

You programmed the punch with another card, wrapped round a little drum - it's behind the little window in the middle of the picture here

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taouu/html/ch02s01.html

If you drop the deck, curse quietly, collect them all and drop them into a card sorter (e.g. an IBM 082) programmed to sort by the last eight columns.

http://www.technikum29.de/en/devices/punchcard-sorter.shtm

On the way you pass the poor guy who dropped his unindexed data stack last night and is still trying to rebuild it :-)

I sometimes miss punched cards. The card stock was high-quality, it had to be to stand up to the high-speed card readers, and they were useful for all manner of cardboard-technology projects, as well as shopping lists :-)

I met a card reader that would occasionally bend the first card into a U shape with the points down. All subsequent cards in the deck would hit the U and bounce onto the floor (all over the room).

Anyone else remember drum printers? Anyone else remember what happened when you printed a line of underscores followed by a page feed?
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Message 910350 - Posted: 23 Jun 2009, 4:44:48 UTC - in response to Message 910336.

This of course is the origin of the 72-character line length, on a machine fed by 80-column punched cards. The last eight columns are reserved for an index number. The IBM 029 card punches we used could even be programmed to insert an automatically-incremented number in the index columns.

Some cards had the field identified on the printed face, e.g.
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/bell1.gif
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/collection/fortran.gif
(borrowed from this computing history site - http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/cards/history.html )

You programmed the punch with another card, wrapped round a little drum - it's behind the little window in the middle of the picture here

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taouu/html/ch02s01.html

If you drop the deck, curse quietly, collect them all and drop them into a card sorter (e.g. an IBM 082) programmed to sort by the last eight columns.

http://www.technikum29.de/en/devices/punchcard-sorter.shtm

On the way you pass the poor guy who dropped his unindexed data stack last night and is still trying to rebuild it :-)

I sometimes miss punched cards. The card stock was high-quality, it had to be to stand up to the high-speed card readers, and they were useful for all manner of cardboard-technology projects, as well as shopping lists :-)

I met a card reader that would occasionally bend the first card into a U shape with the points down. All subsequent cards in the deck would hit the U and bounce onto the floor (all over the room).

Anyone else remember drum printers? Anyone else remember what happened when you printed a line of underscores followed by a page feed?

Oh that was fun. But not quite as good as the blue streak that usually followed.

What I remember from that era was how good the feel of the 029 keyboard was. Better than anything else I've ever used.

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Message 910364 - Posted: 23 Jun 2009, 6:15:46 UTC

I do recall one PDP system we had that suddenly started to re-boot itself when no-one was around. After much headscratching, this was tracked down to the latest batch of fan-fold paper on the line-printer being wood-free and building up an excessive static charge; eventually it would throw a spark to the nearest earthed metal and...

F.
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Message 910384 - Posted: 23 Jun 2009, 9:45:46 UTC - in response to Message 910336.

Anyone else remember drum printers?


Yes, the IBM FE had a print job that would make it sing (forgot the song though).

Anyone else remember what happened when you printed a line of underscores followed by a page feed?


No, but I suspect it would cut the page in half and then do a paper dump.

The main problem I found with drum printers is that the print line came out wavy when doing a high-speed printout.

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Message 910386 - Posted: 23 Jun 2009, 9:48:44 UTC - in response to Message 910364.

I do recall one PDP system we had that suddenly started to re-boot itself when no-one was around. After much headscratching, this was tracked down to the latest batch of fan-fold paper on the line-printer being wood-free and building up an excessive static charge; eventually it would throw a spark to the nearest earthed metal and...

F.


And then there was the janitor who kept unplugging the modem so he could use the outlet for the floor buffer...

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Message 910656 - Posted: 24 Jun 2009, 4:33:43 UTC - in response to Message 910384.

The main problem I found with drum printers is that the print line came out wavy when doing a high-speed printout.

Ease up on the forms brake.....
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Message 910910 - Posted: 24 Jun 2009, 22:54:48 UTC - in response to Message 910386.

I do recall one PDP system we had that suddenly started to re-boot itself when no-one was around. After much headscratching, this was tracked down to the latest batch of fan-fold paper on the line-printer being wood-free and building up an excessive static charge; eventually it would throw a spark to the nearest earthed metal and...

F.


And then there was the janitor who kept unplugging the modem so he could use the outlet for the floor buffer...

I was around when one vax unplugged itself by melting the line cord.

I have seen the results of a program that would move the disk heads on one of the washing machine sized disk packs at the resonant frequency of the cabinet. Walked across the floor to the limit of the line cord.
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Message 911033 - Posted: 25 Jun 2009, 1:51:48 UTC - in response to Message 910910.

I do recall one PDP system we had that suddenly started to re-boot itself when no-one was around. After much headscratching, this was tracked down to the latest batch of fan-fold paper on the line-printer being wood-free and building up an excessive static charge; eventually it would throw a spark to the nearest earthed metal and...

F.


And then there was the janitor who kept unplugging the modem so he could use the outlet for the floor buffer...

I was around when one vax unplugged itself by melting the line cord.

I have seen the results of a program that would move the disk heads on one of the washing machine sized disk packs at the resonant frequency of the cabinet. Walked across the floor to the limit of the line cord.


Sounds like an RP06. Ah, those were the days...

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Message 911223 - Posted: 25 Jun 2009, 13:52:44 UTC

I was operator for a Honeywell 6000, which used a drum printer - it was real interesting, because one of the instructors (this was a college machine...) would always assign the class to do a picture (in FORTRAN, using FORMAT statements). Some members of the class would always discover how to do overprinting, and you'd get a distinctive WHAP, WHAP as a line of M's followed by a line of W's was printed (for the darkest tone...)

The H 6k had replaced an IBM 360, and that was also interesting - the same overprinting sounded like ZIP, ZIP... This was with an IBM 1403 chain printer.
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Message 911398 - Posted: 25 Jun 2009, 21:24:43 UTC
Last modified: 25 Jun 2009, 21:42:42 UTC

I wonder if today's DPers ever had to worry about writing self-relocating code for a system (such as the old IBM 360 series) and had a program size limitation of 16K using one base register. You could construct OVERLAYS, and the boss alweays frowned on self modifying code techiques? COBOL was a dirty word to the PURIST and you had to be proficient in "STAR" messages from autocoder. And would they know the difference between a word and a wordmark? And what was a phantom 11 punch used for (except to mickey mouse your electric bill which came to you in punch card format}? Operators could call in the FE and almost tell them what part to bring with them. And how about the disaster plan chaos when you had to unload 8 2314 disk drives and get them outside in 5 minutes?
What fun it was to sneak over to the OTHER SYSTEM and slip a carriage control tape on the 1410 that had no channel 12 punch on it!
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Message 911443 - Posted: 25 Jun 2009, 22:50:55 UTC - in response to Message 911398.

I wonder if today's DPers ever had to worry about writing self-relocating code for a system (such as the old IBM 360 series) and had a program size limitation of 16K using one base register. You could construct OVERLAYS, and the boss alweays frowned on self modifying code techiques? COBOL was a dirty word to the PURIST and you had to be proficient in "STAR" messages from autocoder. And would they know the difference between a word and a wordmark? And what was a phantom 11 punch used for (except to mickey mouse your electric bill which came to you in punch card format}? Operators could call in the FE and almost tell them what part to bring with them. And how about the disaster plan chaos when you had to unload 8 2314 disk drives and get them outside in 5 minutes?
What fun it was to sneak over to the OTHER SYSTEM and slip a carriage control tape on the 1410 that had no channel 12 punch on it!

Try writing a graphics program in 640K. The basic problem is that the graphics themselves take vast amounts of RAM. So, yes, even with 640K there were some very good reasons for overlays. The code also had some self modifying code (that was a royal PAIN to debug. I did not write that bit). We also had home grown Virtual Memory as this was before Windows had a VM system...
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Message 911452 - Posted: 25 Jun 2009, 23:20:04 UTC - in response to Message 911398.

[snip]
What fun it was to sneak over to the OTHER SYSTEM and slip a carriage control tape on the 1410 that had no channel 12 punch on it!


you could do that on a 1403, too - and wind up with a boxful of paper (and not neatly fan-folded, either!) in the back of the printer in about 4 minutes...
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Message 911464 - Posted: 26 Jun 2009, 0:08:48 UTC - in response to Message 911443.

I wonder if today's DPers ever had to worry about writing self-relocating code for a system (such as the old IBM 360 series) and had a program size limitation of 16K using one base register. You could construct OVERLAYS, and the boss alweays frowned on self modifying code techiques? COBOL was a dirty word to the PURIST and you had to be proficient in "STAR" messages from autocoder. And would they know the difference between a word and a wordmark? And what was a phantom 11 punch used for (except to mickey mouse your electric bill which came to you in punch card format}? Operators could call in the FE and almost tell them what part to bring with them. And how about the disaster plan chaos when you had to unload 8 2314 disk drives and get them outside in 5 minutes?
What fun it was to sneak over to the OTHER SYSTEM and slip a carriage control tape on the 1410 that had no channel 12 punch on it!

Try writing a graphics program in 640K. The basic problem is that the graphics themselves take vast amounts of RAM. So, yes, even with 640K there were some very good reasons for overlays. The code also had some self modifying code (that was a royal PAIN to debug. I did not write that bit). We also had home grown Virtual Memory as this was before Windows had a VM system...


Was that for the 8086/88 or was that just for DOS? If the latter, did you ever consider using Expanded or Extended memory? Or DOS4GW?
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Message 911780 - Posted: 26 Jun 2009, 18:03:34 UTC - in response to Message 911398.

I wonder if today's DPers ever had to worry about writing self-relocating code for a system (such as the old IBM 360 series) and had a program size limitation of 16K using one base register. You could construct OVERLAYS, and the boss alweays frowned on self modifying code techiques? COBOL was a dirty word to the PURIST and you had to be proficient in "STAR" messages from autocoder. And would they know the difference between a word and a wordmark? And what was a phantom 11 punch used for (except to mickey mouse your electric bill which came to you in punch card format}? Operators could call in the FE and almost tell them what part to bring with them. And how about the disaster plan chaos when you had to unload 8 2314 disk drives and get them outside in 5 minutes?
What fun it was to sneak over to the OTHER SYSTEM and slip a carriage control tape on the 1410 that had no channel 12 punch on it!

I remember being quite shocked in 1970 to find that IBM DOS programs could only run in one place in core - you had to tell the compiler (or was it the link editor) whether it was to run in f1, f2, or background. I had been using a machine which could run up to 15 programs at once, you didn't need to bother about where in core the program was.

Back in the 1960s English Electric LEO computers featured "time-sharing", as it was then known, which even allowed programs to be loaded in non-contiguous parts of core.

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Message 913032 - Posted: 1 Jul 2009, 21:26:45 UTC - in response to Message 906005.
Last modified: 1 Jul 2009, 21:31:07 UTC

Thanks for the update.

As to O/S everyone touts what they run.


...except if they run M$ Windoze! ;-P

I don't quite see how to get rid of the file clerk completely so I suspect there will always be an O/S. Might be remote, but it will be there.

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Message 913047 - Posted: 1 Jul 2009, 21:59:20 UTC - in response to Message 906005.

Thanks for the update.

As to O/S everyone touts what they run.

I don't quite see how to get rid of the file clerk completely so I suspect there will always be an O/S. Might be remote, but it will be there.

You are not going to get rid of the OS, and at least part of it HAS to be local (enough to get to the LAN to load the remote OS).

Why would you want to slow down your computer to the speed of the LAN or internet connection for OS functions?
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Message 918326 - Posted: 16 Jul 2009, 1:52:22 UTC - in response to Message 905974.

I HAVE HAD ABOUT 30 COMPLETE UNITS I'VE TRIED TO UPLOAD FOR FOUR DAYS, BUT IT WON'T DO IT!! WILL SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT TO DO; I'VE RELOADED THE SOFTWARE, REBOOTED THE COMPUTER, HAVE RUN ADVANCED SETTINGS (DO NETWORK COMMUNICATION) BUT TO NO AVAIL.. THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE POSTED, PLEASE HELP ME, SOMEONE!!! I HAVE THREE MACS, AND DARWIN OPERATING SYSTEMS...
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