Re: Punch cards

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> On 2008-04-04, Robert Rabinoff <[email protected]> wrote:
> > When I first learned to program in 1964 we used an IBM 1620, fondly known
> > as CADET (Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try). 
> Heh. My one-and-only formal computer class was learning FORTRAN, which 
> we ran on an IBM 1620. The computer had more important things to do than 
> run student programs, so we would write them out in spiral bound 
> notebooks in class and as homework, then come to the computer center 
> after hours when the keypunches weren't being used for more important 
> work, punch the cards and put them in the job queue to be run over night 
> (we weren't allowed to touch the sacred computer). The next day we'd 
> come back for the job printout (on wide greenbar paper, of course), 
> peruse the errors in our programs, punch new cards, drop them in the 
> queue and repeat until it worked. 

his got me to thinking.

For me  the year was  1962, the computer  was an IBM 709,  serial number
NASA-1,  at  Washington State  University.   My  first  and only  formal
programming class was a FORTRAN lab  that met at 0800 on Saturday.  This
was the  semester I turned  20 and could  legally drink beer  in Moscow,
Idaho, 8 miles from campus.  So I attended The first and last class, and
took the midterm.  All of  the program exercises ran correctly the first
time I submitted  them, although I did make several  mistakes at the key

I got a D -- something about attendance.

I  can remember sitting  in the  machine room,  lit my  the glow  of the
vacuum  tubes, at the  709 console  entering small  programs on  the M-Q
(multiplier-quotient) register keys and  then watching the lights on the
console blink.  I think the cycloids machine was about 1.8 milliseconds.
Quick, no?

I went  on to spend most of  the years following until  my retirement in
2004 in software, I think rather successfully.

It is good top remember the early days.  No os, booting the machine from
a bootstrap loader on a  single binary card to get the "FORMON" loaded
from tape at 800 BPI.

Oh, the other stories we old crotches could tell.


> -- 
> John ([email protected])
> -- 
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