Brief Break in Posting

This post was a place holder while Dee’s computer had it’s keyboard replaced and she took a much needed break from typing. It turned into a comment stream joking about computers, TWW, and the history of some of us older folks and computers. We will leave it up. GBTC

Original Post

Posts are being Delayed

Posts are being delayed a bit as are awaiting some computer repairs.

No snide comments on Dee typing too much and wearing out her keyboard will be permitted.

Note that this post may be deleted as soon as keystrokes are returned to normal. Ditto any comments left here.


Brief Break in Posting — 77 Comments

  1. Nick Bulbeck,

    She IS using a Mac. For well over 10 years. She is the only one I work with who wears off at least one key cap per year. Sometimes multiple. And I’ve seen a few 1000 Macs over the years. Not even programmers wear key caps out that fast.

    And when I say wear off I mean through the plastic down into the mechanical bits below.

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  2. Sarah: You mean you have only one?

    If you’re talking Dee’s computer, sort of. We would have made other arrangements if we had known it would be this long. But Dee has plenty of electronic bits but she is used to “her” computer.

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  3. Muff Potter: Anything UNIX based has gotta’ be better than…

    Well, quite.

    I did a brief spell on Ubuntu; didn’t like it at first, in part because it was part of a job in a very toxic, bullying culture. But I have to admit that Linux itself did grow on me while I was there.

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  4. Nick Bulbeck,

    I realise this has nothing to do with anything relevant. But hey. I’m openly autistic, so it’s OK. To be positive and constructive, I worked on Windows in my last job (from which I resigned a week ago – too much micromanagement from one specific source). In almost a year I only had one catastrophic operating system crash. And they’ve certainly improved Word a great deal since a decade ago.

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  5. OK, real programmers don’t each quiche notes.

    First computer IBM 1130 – Assembly/machine, Fortran, APL (bit of a range here)
    could listen to the stepper motor in the disk drive and tell if a compile was failing.

    Interdata 16 and 32 bit machines – Assembly and Fortran. Wrote some drivers and business software.

    Various things on IBM mainframes in the middle 70s.

    Wang 2200 Business Basic (lots of Cobal and Assembly like language attributes)

    Modified the microcode for an 8008 telecomm controller that didn’t do what we wanted. (Had to write a dissembler first.) We also did some microcode changes to the 2200. [eyeroll]

    Some various misc things for a long time now.

    Now just do some bash to deal with systems management.

    I’m a big-endian guy. Little-endian drives me nuts.

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  6. Mr. Jesperson,

    Too many restrictions for “real programmers” back when it might have become more of a standard.

    Cus real programmers must have the ability to access array/string elements past the defined size of the object. Bounds checking is for sissy’s.

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  7. OldJohnJ: I qualify on an 18 bit DEC PDP-9 in the the early 70s. As for the religious wars I’ve been using the UNIX shell for at least 45 years, now on a LINUX distribution.

    I cut my teeth on a DEC PDP-11 running a FORTRAN based application, and from there went to IBM system-370 using the old TSO terminals running the same FORTRAN based application (this was back during the southern cal. aerospace heyday).

    After that I became a CATIA (computer aided three dimensional interactive application) user. Back in those days CATIA ran on IBM’s own version of stand alone UNIX based work stations. A basic working knowledge of the UNIX system command-line was essential, you know, the vi editor, piping commands, et cetera.

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  8. GuyBehindtheCurtain: So when I am using a Mac running Windows 10 connecting to a Linux server in another state am I a heretic?

    Possibly. But more likely, you are a liberal compromiser who denies the pure milk of DOS. What we need in times like this is a DOS resurgence, with slick websites with thousands of articles, and re-education centers that can train youth in New-DOS so that they can sneakily undermine support for other operating systems. Someone has to warn others about the slippery slope of UNIX. It could lead to all sort of social chaos, such as Agile and all of its associated witchcraft.

    Or not…

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  9. Dee-Happy New Year from California! I trust you are getting some rest since you are not able to tilt at the windmills of evangelical madness for a little while. Your work is greatly appreciated, and I know you are having a positive affect on the Kingdom.

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  10. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Bah… you are all wimps…. you have lived REAL programing unless you used Key punch cards that had bad printing/ typing heads.. … you could not tell what “line of code” your card “coded” until you got your line printer “printout” which was run in “batches” and could seconds to our to get…. and of course, there was &$# error in it!

    Happy new year!

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  11. Jeffrey Chalmers: REAL programing unless you used Key punch cards

    Real programmers knew how to do inserts and deletions on 029 keypunches. The ones where you mashed real hard on the old or new card as needed to insert or delete. The 129 was nice but it took real skill to do edits on an 029.

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  12. Estelle,

    Not surprised it’s sold out – everyone likes to see a flurry of wickets in a Test, and the best prospect of that happening is when England are batting!

    I tend to follow the text commentary on the BBC; they’re really good at dry cricketing humour.

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    “The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
    the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
    the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”

    (Numbers 6:24-26)

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  14. GuyBehindtheCurtain: Real programmers knew how to do inserts and deletions on 029 keypunches.

    I can’t resist: When you ran batch on a mighty IBM 709 implemented with vacuum tubes, the most visually impressive computer I ever used, as I did in the 1962 fall semester of my senior year at UofF you had plenty of time to dupe and change punch cards. In spite of its size and visual impressiveness the multi million dollar 709 had less memory and was slower than the current business card sized $10 Arduino UNO. The console did have a switch register for entry of instructions.

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  15. My first computer usage was in college. We wrote programs in basic and then went to the computer center to punch cards that were fed into the computer. The best time for quick results was to go to the computer center at 2 am when fewer people were using it.

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  16. We had a card reader up in a big room full of tables and keypunches. You fed your deck in and waited for the printout across the room. At times the print wait could be 1/2 to a full hour. Some of us learned a trick. JCL errors dumped to printer immediately. So if you wanted a fresh printout of your code you would first feed the deck in as desired them loop it back in with a forced JCL error. Stink eyes would result when others noticed as you fed in 4000 cards.

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  17. Dee: Precious (the name of my computer) is back.

    I haven’t named any of my computers (obviously, I’ve named all of The Bears, including Tweety Bird and Edgar who are honorary Bears). But if I did, I’d call it Kevin.

    As long as you don’t start going around saying stuff like, where issss it, Preciousss? They STOLE it from ussss… in a voice that causes people to leave the building, you’ll be find.

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  18. Muff Potter,

    Farther along the tangent line, but no so far that we can’t get close to a root of our original function:

    Up until version 4, CATIA had its own UNIX based GUI. It was simple, elegant, and straight forward to work with. And then the powers that be got the bright idea of re-platforming it to the Microsoft OS. What came out the other end was a byzantine quagmire of useless glitz, needless duplication, and a rat’s maze of bloated complexity.
    End of rant.

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  19. Hmm…fun reading.

    Back many years ago, my senior year of high school, I was in the first computer class they offered: “Computer Math” taught us BASIC programming. We used TRS80s with thermal printers and a Hewlett Packard card reader.

    Later, in college, when I spent a couple years studying business and software engineering (still a very long time ago), I learned COBAL and Pascal. I still have both compilers.

    My first computer was an IBM clone – 30MB hard drive, 640KB RAM, 12 megahertz speed, CGA monitor, dual 5 1/4″ floppy drives, and a 9 pin dot matrix printer. It cost $1,600 and was close to the best generally available to the public at the time. I still have my second one: a Packard Bell 486, though I haven’t fired it up in a long time…

    As to programming, life diverted my path and now I am so far behind the curve it would nearly be like startaning over..

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