DIY

Old tech guys are slowly fading away


I love visiting computer history sites and watching computer history shows.  Why?  When I visit these sites I gain a perspective on a part of my life that I did not have at the time I was passing through it.  For example, when I first started programming in Applesoft on an Apple II computer, I thought it would be a great business language.  Ha!

I know I am going to be dating myself when I bring this up, but humor an old tech guy for a few minutes <turn on old guy shaky voice>.  I remember when we used to sell software on cassette tapes.  We put it in baggies and hung it on a peg board on the wall, right next to the the Commodore PET and the Apple II.

People would bring in the TRS-80 computers (we called them trash-80) and ask us to repair them because the local Radio Shack didn't service their own stuff </turn off old guy shaky voice>.  What year would you say this was?  If you guessed 1978 you would be right.  I'll bet that's before some of you were born.

When I got out of college I went to work as a programmer for some "old school" programming shops.  I wrote in RPG II on an IBM System 3 and in COBOL on a Sperry Univac 90/30.  That machine was a dinosaur even then.  The hot new technology was writing in BASIC and Datashare on a DataPoint ARC network.

I used to love to visit COMDEX in those early years of the microcomputer.  I was amazed to see all the technology that was coming out.  With thousands of other geeks we ogled over the new Micromodem II for the Apple, which sold for about $300. Since I worked for an early computer store I got it for a lot less.  My whole world changed.

I can't tell you how many hours I wasted "surfing the net" back in the late 70's and early 80's.  No, the Web did not yet exist and most people had not heard of the Internet.  We dialed up places like CompuServe and "The Source" or would just connect to TymeNet or TelEnet to see whose network we could log on to.  Was that hacking?  Maybe.

Rather than bore you with my old tech guy memories, perhaps a short list of some of my favorite computer history sites might be helpful if you are interested in learning more about the history of the personal computer.  But be careful, if you have any work to get done today, this trip down memory lane will seriously sidetrack you.

Top Ten Computer History Websites

1. The Computer History Museum- The online home of the museum on Shoreline drive in Mountain View.  Go to the Exhibits section. You can spend hours viewing the collection of marketing brochures.  I especially love their time lines.  They even have a great YouTube channel.  Careful - I warned you this could be detracting from real work.

2. Apple Computers -Because a big part of my early career involved Apple II computers, I like to include Steven Weyhrich's site on Apple II History.  You can find other sites like Apple-History.com, but it hasn't changed much lately.  The Apple Museum is a better site and the Wikipedia article is great.  Where is the "official" Apple history site?

3. Old-Computers.com - One of my favorites.  There are nearly a thousand computers in their museum.  Use the index on the left-hand sidebar.  The articles in the history section are great, the forums are active and something unique that I haven't seen anywhere else - a major list of collectors from all over.  Great if you have an old computer to buy or sell.

4. Computer Science Lab- John Kopplin put together a four part pictorial of computer history through the early 80's.  Some of the photos are rare which I have not seen elsewhere.  The accompanying descriptions could be taken from a college lecture on the history of computers.  The lecture ends as the PC was getting started but is well worth a visit.

5. Computer Chronicles - Who can forget this great TV series from Stewart Cheifet?  It aired from 1981 to 2002.  Well, you may have never heard of it.  You can watch many of the episodes online at the Internet archive. I highly recommend the episode Apple II forever, one of my favorites.  More on the history of the show is on stquantum.

6. Old Computer Museum - Although you can find this site from the Old Computers club (#3 above), it is worth mentioning as one of the best organized and presented.  This collection of Boris Serebrennikov is outstanding.  If you have an old Lisa or even an Amiga (still a popular retro machine) he is interested in hearing from you.

7. The Computer Collector - This is a fairly complete list, useful to those who have old machines to buy, sell or trade.  It is also an enormously wealthy site for computer history buffs.  Many of those who buy and sell computers have great historical information about the computers they worked on.  Lots of great personal history stories can be found here.

8. IBM PC Official History - It still amazes me how many people believe that the IBM PC was the first microcomputer.  We used to laugh at those who thought our industry was "legitimized" when IBM finally made their entry in 1981, easily five years after Altair, IMSAI, Cromemco, Apple, Commodore, Radio Shack, Atari, Altos and Vector Graphic.

9. Personal Computer in TV commercials - The download squad has put together a collection of TV commercials for personal computers, some of them going back to the early 1980's.  What a hoot!  The early William Shatner piece has been removed but the original 1984 superbowl ad introducing the Macintosh is there as well as many others.  Enjoy!

10. Old Computers.net- This list could go on and on - and it does if you Google it - but this one needs to be included in my top ten list of sites to visit.  An extremely popular site, it is billed as the "Obsolete Technology Website" it includes great links not found on any of the above sites including the Intel museum.  Thank you Steven Stengel.

I know I've missed your favorites.  Add them in the comments.  Also, be sure to check out the resources for "Dinosaur Sightings" on Tech Republic.

57 comments
alex.a
alex.a

I wrote a budget/checkbook program in BASIC on my first computer, a Commodore 64, that I still use to this day (albeit on a laptop running WinXP). It can do things that neither Quicken nor any other new-fangled personal finance application can do.

arcturus331
arcturus331

Old guy? You're just a kid. I worked on the Burroughs B5500 mainframe in 1970. Have you ever heard if RTL, DTL, or even CTL logic? How about no test routines or diagnostics? Fingerboneing machine language into a mainframe to troubleshoot its logic? There was no such thing as a PC or a chip when I started. I took 31 tech classes, was IBM X-series certified and am now working on certifications in Linux and Project Management. The education never ends, even for a dinosaur.

four-eyes_z
four-eyes_z

uhhh.... darn 64K memory! what was i going to say? :D

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...like on the Xerox CP/M machine I used to use. It was the 1st computer I used with 1-megabyte 8-inch floppies, a unbelievable amount of storage at the time. The drives made this loud "clunk-clunk-clunk" every time the heads moved. On many drives of the period, it was not uncommon for the drive to lift the head off the disk before moving to another track; supposedly to reduce head/disk wear. NEC had a CP/M machine that had a color screen, but no graphic capability. Very pretty. I eventually did most of my CP/M work on an Apple ][e with a blindingly fast 6-MHz Z-80 card. It was kinda the best of both worlds as the entertainment and graphics oriented software could run on the Apple side, and I could run business apps on the CP/M side of a single computer. I worked at a computer store in the day of "baggie wrapped" software on casettes hung on the pegboards. I had considered a degree in computer science, but the school I started at was still using punch-cards and mostly teaching COBOL (already starting to fade in the early '80s), so I studied accounting and economics instead; a wise decision that was to benefit me far more. People with accounting backgrounds who could program were far more valueble than people which CS degrees who know little else. I remember resisting the 1st IBM-PCs; the first configurations were little more capable than the Apples and CP/M machines of the time. I had Apples and was using mostly CP/M (writing dBase II applications). Apple's biggest mistake was not coming up with a successor to "Apple DOS" soon enough. The Apple ][ operating system simply was unable to be adapted to larger disks. To use a hard disk with Apple DOS you had to partition it out in 160k blocks, of course meaning that no single file could be larger than 160k. This pretty much made the Apple useless for database work. By the mid-'80s Apple came out with "ProDOS" which addressed this problem. But by then, it was too late and Apple was focusing its future on the MacIntosh. Remember that "PC-DOS" was not the primary first OS; you had a choice of buying USCD-P System or CP/M-86. I don't think anybody outside of academia used USCD-P, and even then not for very long. CP/M-86 lasted a few years, mainly because there were so many relatively mature 8-bit CP/M business applications that could quickly be ported over. A big part of our business for several years was having several machines connected via RS-232 or model, and converting people's legacy data between the half-dozen or so formats of the time. PC-DOS eventually won out. When the first hard disks showed up, PC-DOS 1.1 was not up to the job. There was no hierarchical directory (or folder) structure yet, so all of your files for everything (OS, programs, and data) were in one giant directory with several hundred files; your word processing, database, and accounting data all living together in a single directory! This of course meant that you could not have more than 1 file with the same name. This made managing data and backups very difficult. Fortunately, programs were much smaller back then. Before Lotus 1-2-3, there was a system called "Context MBA" (I still have a copy around somewhere) It was far more advanced and integrated than Lotus was. I vividly remember the 1st demo I saw of it and was amazed at its capability. It was also expensive and slow. It was developed on a P-System minicomputer and emulated on the PC. This made it excruciatingly slow. Lotus, on the other hand, was written on the PC and was comparatively crisp and fast, even running off of floppies. It won hands-down, and was responsible for selling millions of IBMs, just as "Visicalc" had sold millions of Apple ][s a few years earlier. DOS 2 solved the hard disk organization problem with the "tree" structure, and shortly thereafter the more capable and stable DOS 3.1 arrived and became the standard for several years. By this time, it was clear that the PC had won the battle for the business platform for the foreseeable future. Then came the "clones", and the rise of Microsoft.

ronaldwwoods
ronaldwwoods

Does anyone remember the Wang. It was a short-lived networked system - could have been great but it was kept proprietary and died out.

ronbovino
ronbovino

Hmmm - and I thought running a C64 with Dual drives with my dial-up 300 Baud running a BBS and having my SX64 as my personal computer was cutting edge. The Net makes it too easy for us ol' guys today!

chuck.tomasi
chuck.tomasi

From one "old guy" to another, Tim - I love the Computer History Museum. We're releasing a series of audio programs on Technorama (chuckchat.com/technorama) in March and April. We also did a short video on YouTube.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

I refuse to feel old regardless of the fact that I started working on computers when just a wee lad and the ENIAC was all there was. Way too much water under the bridge and too late to build a dam. I've never forgotten the fond memories of loading programs by way of toggle switches, eight track cartridges and removable 5 MB platters. Just today a fire destroyed the IBM plant where the flying head for hard drives was developed and it should have been classified as a historical site. Again, many things have gone down in flames. I have gladly forgotten the stacks of punch cards and paper loops because of the endless hours spent creating them and learning to read them by hand. Those days are gone and best left forgotten lest they continue to remind the older generations of how old they really are. With a PC in front of me I can be anything and anyone I choose, what could be better? It's been a long trip but so much more farther to go.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I didn't even consider Micro Computers as viable when they first came out. IBM's Big Iron was the way to go and it just worked unlike the Micros that where round. Even the IBM Micros where total junk compared to what we where using back then. No home market or use at that time though. Could be because of the [b]Tight Fisted[/b] way that the Micro Side of the business was run everything including the air that was required to breathe was charged for and [b]Good Will[/b] wasn't considered as important. I remember one of the lowly PC Techs grabbing me because he didn't want to deal with a customer who shot his PC [i]twice[/i] and was demanding that it be replaced Under Guarantee because it didn't work. He apparently thought that he was doing it a favor by [b]Putting It Down[/b] or it could be that the PC side had made so many changes to it that he just wanted it replaced not repaired again. Coming from the Main Frame side where we just did things to keep the customer happy I agreed to change it with a new one provided that he took the lessons that I offered him. I actually thought it a better idea to keep this guy happy rather than run the risk of him coming in and shooting the SH1T out of the place and staff. :D Unfortunately the Head of the PC side didn't think so and made a very loud noise that I had adversely affected his Profits and Budget [i]Accountants Shees[/i] :( When I suggested that he face the same guy and demand that he pay for the bits and pieces that I had given him and the lessons he declined for some unexplained reason. But he wanted the Main Frame side to pay for what I had done and it didn't matter that he wasn't in the place at the time to actually face this guy down. I personally thought that he had seen him coming and run away to hide. :^0 It didn't matter that he sold over 200 PC's as a direct result of my actions within a week and couldn't supply the order immediately he demanded that he get paid for me giving away a few K worth of parts and Service. He didn't get anywhere after I explained my position to Senior Management in ways that they understood. Like the death of one staff member was far more than what was [i]Given Away[/i] not to mention the Damage that would be done to anyone else in the place at the time and not having any of the PC's [b]So Called[/b] Techs to work there for a long protracted time because of one upset customer. :D Besides he wasn't getting any of my staff to work there while his where off being treated. B-) Anyway I don't know much about anything at all I've been trying to go into semi retirement for years and failed. :_| Even this place was setup with the idea of only working a few hours per week and then having time to play with my Play Toys and that only lasted 12 hours before I had 10 Techs working for me with a list of customers a mile long and I was back to working 24/7 again. :( No that I feel really Old and past it I'm getting in the [b]Walking Frame[/b] and hobbling away. :D Col

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

but I do remember aligning vacuum capstans and tape loops for tape drives taller than myself, and setting up disk drive read write heads on drives larger than a clothes washer. Now I do feel old..

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Tim, I would like to think we are like wine, just keep getting better with age. I think I may pre-date you, I started my IT career using punched cards, Fortran, and IBM big iron. I still have nightmares about Twinax.

tim
tim

Besides adding your favorite computer history sites that I may have missed, I would like to know how many old fossils like me are still out there. If you have personally worked on some of those old computers - pre 1980 - then raise your hand here and write about it. I would like to hear from you. Thanks.

tim
tim

OK, I've got to ask. Google didn't know. What is fingerboning? Wikipedia had the RTL, DTL & CTL covered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_family No, I don't think I had ever heard of them. If I had, it was back in my college days and those things are long forgotten. Good for you on the Linux / Project Management education. Keep it going.

alex.a
alex.a

Those were the days -- the old proprietary word processing systems. All gone, all gone.

mschiller
mschiller

I started with the Wang 2200 and loved their Basic-2 language on the VP and the MVP. They were real work horses.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That if it had of taken off would have lead the Computer Industry for years to come. It was just so much better than anything else available at the time well Technically at least. Pity that it didn't support the more Common Programing of the day and didn't have any support to speak of. Perfect example of how not to promote something. Produce an excellent unit and then don't let it support any existing technology or have any support to repair it when it breaks. Wang on the other hand was around for years and had a very dedicated following. Col

tim
tim

...a web site devoted to collective historical storytelling. It captures and presents sets of related stories that describe interesting events from multiple perspectives, allowing groups of people to recount their shared history in the form of interlinked anecdotes. Thanks for the link.

patrick
patrick

Yes i agree after playing around with a vic-20 and trs-80's for a few years the c64 came out with all of its wonderful colors and music!!!! I must admit I still have a c64 in my closet i got off of ebay a few years back. I took my family to the new mexico museum of natural history and science. It was a great experience to show my kids how 'computing' was in my time and be able to show them the 'old' computers of the past. It's horrible that this equipment isn't all being stored in some shape, way or form, because one day it will be just as important to children to see what 'we' started with computer wise as it is to see where automobiles started out with the model-t's and whatnot. http://www.startupgallery.org/ Great to see if your in the area. Patrick

tim
tim

...but I am constantly surprised when someone points me to good stuff like this. I do a lot of surfing on tech sites and thought I had found most of the good stuff. That's a bad assumption considering that anybody can write a blog or do a podcast. Well, that's not true, not everybody knows how to podcast. Well done, Chuck. Thanks for the heads up. I liked FIT, too. I just had to click on that little triangle up in the upper right corner just to see what it was. Be sure to visit Radio Yesterday, too!

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

You still remember, you're only old when you forget.

Tig2
Tig2

Me too! And even had a use for punch cards that had outlived their usefulness- we made wreaths from them. Tim, dear- some of the old "guys" are women who prefer to be thought of as "aging gracefully" if there is a mention of the years that have gone by. Oh- and am I the only one who remembers Series/1? Please say it isn't true! :D

tim
tim

Hi Michael, COBOL, FORTRAN, System/360, Assembler - all standard classes in College. I vividly remember dropping a deck of 80-column punched cards on the way to the lab. Luckily, I had marked them on the side and was able to put them back in order. I only got to work on mainframes for a few years before moving into the microcomputer world. Twinax on the System/3 could indeed be difficult but then so was Token Ring and early Ethernet on 10Base5 and 10Base2. Just don't use any of that stuff any more. I like your fine wine analogy. Thanks for the comment.

CG IT
CG IT

Lots of Basic programming. ADA was a rage within the Goverment in the mid 80s. Anyone remember boeingcalc? [spreadsheet not language]. Got into Novell and NT network administration and didn't really write programs much after that.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I started university in 1980, and in my second year I worked with an old Honeywell 66 mainframe. On my summer job that year (1982)I worked with a PDP 6, old enough to qualify. So I'm younger than you....not a dinosaur yet. James

rodfernandez
rodfernandez

I came along just after the PDP11 stage and worked on Mini's as my first job. I also headed up the Atari Club and sold my guitar for $500 to buy a 5MB Hard drive for it. I was a hub in the BBS chain with a Auto Answer 110BAUD modem! Those were the days! Now I am sitting at 25 years in the business and just had my 25th anniversary with my wife(yes I think I am the only still married old computer guy). Retirement is on my mind and I have expectations of getting out in 5 years and becoming the guy who rakes the beach in Mexico! It was a GREAT job 20 years ago...it is a great living now. Watching the young ones at work reminds me so much of when I was their age and no OLD ONE could tell me anything...after all what they knew was all about old stuff!

Oreamnos_americanus
Oreamnos_americanus

When I started in computers in 1974 we had an IBM 370/168 and a 360/165 that ran OS/MFT then OS/MVT, then JES2. Ah, the days of a sort that took 2 hours to run on 9 tape drives and the removable hard drive packs like the 3330 (200 Mb) with the powered doors and the stack of platters that weighed 60 lb. You could open the side of a cabinet on the 360 and actually see the bits flip in the core memory. I started just after they removed the 2321 'noodle picker' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_IBM_disk_storage#IBM_3330 Down the hall we had some unit record equipment and two very obsolete pre mainframe computers still in production. An IBM 7070 and a 1401 with less memory than my digital watch (with LEDs). The 1401 ended up in the Provincial museum if I ever want to go look at it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_1401 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_7070

linux for me
linux for me

The first computer I owned, was a home brew 8008 Intel processor with 256 memory locations. This system was updated twice, with an 8080 then a Z-80 processor. I had to dispose of it. as the Army didn't want to ship it around to those places I was stationed at. I later was one of the first owners of an Apple II. I later got a Z-80 card with CP/M, and a 80 column card, so I could use WordStar on it. Over the years, as people I knew bought PC's and grew frustrated/tired with them, I usually ended up with them. Atari 400 & 800, TI 44, PC Jr, TRS-80 and Color Computer, Comodore 64, Coleco Adam, etc... Those days were a lot of fun!

gdavidson
gdavidson

I was around back then. I remember hooking the Apple II up to TV's and they had a whopping 16k of memory, casette drives, etc. Yes, I remember 8 inch floppies too. But most of all I remember going to Apple II, DEC PDP and even Compaq & HP training later on and being one of the few women in the room. I often had men come in the computer store & refuse to talk to the secretary as they wanted a real salesman!! Fortunately I soon changed their minds and many are still clients to this day.

LNewby
LNewby

Ever walk into a room full of old codgers carrying on about the "good old days"? I think that's what's happening here - what a great thread! Yes, I worked on some old computers. I was an IBM Customer Engineer in 1965. I could never understand that title - did we manipulate the customers or the machines? Yep, probably both. Most everything was punched cards, with some paper tape and other exotic media. I programmed in machine code (later called microcode) if I programmed at all. Mostly I kept the card readers, punches, printers, tape drives, disk drives and Central Processing Units running. That was when businesses put their computer rooms behind plate glass windows to show them off, and loaded the operating system from punched cards, and later from tape (TOS.) The console was often a Selectric typewriter, and programmers wrote programs to play music on the chain-drive printers. The first CPU I got trained on was a System/360 Model 30, which came with 8K of magnetic core storage, with a maximum of 64K. My first "hard drive" was the 2311, which was the size of a washing machine with a capacity of 7.25 MB. I remember being if awe of the older CEs who worked on the IBM 650, which used vacuum tubes instead of transistors. A common diagnostic technique was to turn off the room lights and look for the burned-out tube. But then the PC came along and the whole world changed. It has been a fun ride, and still is! We just need to keep adapting!

greatgazzoo
greatgazzoo

I started with the Data General S250 & MV8000. Have a museum of my own still. Vic20, C64, Apple II, AppleIIe, Apple IIc, Apple Lisa, Original Mac, Mac Plus, Mac SE, Mac II, Powerbook 170, TI99/4, TI99/4A, Sinclair 1000, Original IBM, with dual floppy drives (ss 180k), Tandy TRS80 and Atari series. Then I went with IBM and compatibles, running the full gamut to todays systems. Now I run a Solaris, AIX, Linux (Redhat and Ubuntu), Windows (most flavours) and occasionally get to play with the Atari STe.

tim
tim

Robert Cringely had a few episodes of NerdTV that featured some of the early heavyweights in the development of the PC: Bob Kahn - Inventor of TCP/IP, Dan Bricklin - Inventor of the Spreadsheet, Andy Hertzfeld - The first Macintosh programmer, and many others. http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/shows/

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I'm still here, so call me an archaeopteryx. The way I see it there are two possible choices, evolve or go extinct. There's still so much to learn.

RFink
RFink

Those were the days. I started working on t hose two machines. The PDP 11 had a four digit hex display and booted off of punch cards. When the computer was down it displayed "DEAD" and when it wanted cards it displayed "FEED". That programmer had a sense of humor.

tim
tim

I didn't follow my own advice and just spent a half hour in the Startup Gallery. Good stuff about MITS Altair and Microsoft. Had read lots of before in other places but this one's got pictures - lots of good ones. Good thing I didn't have anything urgent to do this afternoon. Thanks for the link, Patrick.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

I grew up in MPLS and really enjoyed some trips to the north side where Honeywell had a surplus store. It was where they took in all the older computer hardware and striped it down to each and every component and nut and screw. A real tech shoppers paradise for any part imaginable. Unlike the old Control Data company that would destroy every part before sending it to scrap. I was in tears watching them destroy large 2000 watt variacs and transformers before sending it out the door as total trash.

tim
tim

Somebody in the shop made a wreath, painted them a gaudy gold color and stuck it on the wall behind the Univac where it gathered dust. I'll bet the one I saw had been there at the City of Hope from just after they got the Univac, ten years before I joined them as a programmer in 1980. I contemplated the title of the post long and carefully. I thought perhaps it should be entitled, "Where have all the old computers gone?" But that just didn't seem worth clicking on. Based on the response so far I think this one is working. The exclusion was intentional. Women in Technology don't fade away. They become more sought after for their wisdom and experience. Old tech guys fade away because we suffer from CRS - can't remember stuff.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

COBOL - check. Fortran - nope, took Pascal and C instead. BAL - check. PL/I - check. DL/I (IMS DB) - check.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I remember when I where a wee whippersnapper; My dad kept a program's worth of punch cards stacked on one of the shelves at his work. They where on the shelf off to the side in one of the print rooms under his care. It was years before I was old enough to comprehend how they would have worked back in the day. Even now with far more knowledge of systems, imagining feeding those into a reader one at a time is almost like legend. If you screwed up the order you'd be starting over because the whole thing would be loaded into ram; no save points on some storage disk inside the mini.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I so totally forgot about marking the card stack on the side, fond memories. Great post to be sure.

tim
tim

Our backgrounds are similar. My old degree in programming was almost worthless after a few years, but understanding how programmers think helped tremendously in rolling out several projects over the years. I still get to do a little light programming in Crystal Reports. I remember Boeingcalc, Visicalc and Quattro Pro. But then I also remember CP/M, MP/M, and the Oasis operating systems. Now there is a rarity. How about MicroPlan, an early Microsoft spreadsheet, T/Maker II, ExecuPlan, Spellbinder or Memorite word processors? All dinosaurs.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

I didn't mention much about the unique role of the BBS in my post. That thought brought back memories of Fidonet and other message boards like ExecPC. The concept is still around today - forums are still tremendously popular. Thanks for the memories. I too have observed that strange phenomnon of the junior staff knowing it all. I just use their energy on assignments that will teach them a few things while actually getting something done while I work on other projects. I'm sure I was never like that ;) Oh, and my wife and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary last year. Congrats to you!

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I remember that place well. I am not sure of they are a chain or not, but we have stores here called Axeman's that are similar and have all sort of surplus. My son and I can spend an afternoon in one store trying to figure out what half of the stuff is. I always, always promise myself to walk out without anything, but that never happens.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Never used one, though I interviewed at a place that bought a truckload of them about 5 years after IBM dropped the line. The company got them cheap and were trying to figure-out what to do with them. Seems that they got most of their hardware that way, didn't strike me as a good way to run an IT department. By the way, the language that you're thinking of was EDL, Event Driven Language. :)

Tig2
Tig2

The Series/1 was an IBM "minicomputer" that dates to the seventies. They required 8" floppy disks and a bizarre language that I don't recall off hand as the coffee still hasn't kicked in sufficiently. I actually know a company that still has them in production.

dawgit
dawgit

The funeral Business. :^0 Ha, let's see them top that. -d

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Millions this week and retire next week I just love to watch them as they prance around showing off trying to impress others with their big bills. :D I suppose they are in other industries but I'm yet to meet those people. Why is it that Computer Business seem to think that =they can release something anything and expect that whatever it was to make them Million Airs Overnight and Billion Airs within a Month Tops? :^0 Col

dawgit
dawgit

oh yes, I know that feeling,... yea, I got off the spaceship from another planet. (and I think I've just landed on the wrong one at that.) I'd say, "Welcome to the club", but I think you're also a Charter Member. :^0 -d

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Somewhere in a discussion I made mention of Vesa Video Cards. Well nothing wrong there except for the answer that I got from a 17 year old kid. Apparently I not only couldn't Speil but I was confusing them all because Vista was a M$ OS that was in Development. It wasn't a Video Card type under any definition of the term. PC only ever had 2 Slot Types on the M'Board for Daughter Cards these where ISA and PCI never had anything else and never developed anything else and never would. At the time PCI Express was only in very limited availability so I guess that didn't count as a M'Board Socket for a Daughter Card. :D Not a real problem there as this kid had never know anything different but I was amassed at how others supported him in his Ignorance. So I must have been wrong and Never Ever used any of these things. I can not help but wonder what would have happened if I had of made mention of the non IDE HDD's. :D Col

flounder_pdx
flounder_pdx

"The exclusion was intentional. Women in Technology don't fade away. They become more sought after for their wisdom and experience. Old tech guys fade away because we suffer from CRS - can't remember stuff." That's one of the best recoveries I've ever seen! Pointed my 15 year old to the Vintage Computer section of eBay one day. He was amazed...even more so when I told him I have worked on many of those machines.....

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Interestingly I still have a stack of unpunched 80 column cards and a few decks of old programs. Can't seem to part with them. :(

Kostaghus
Kostaghus

Pascal was standard for engineers in my days. So it was compulsory. And my first programs were with punchcards, on an old IBM 1040 system which was the mainframe at my university. Alternately, when it malfunctioned you'd have to repunch the cards for another type of Fortran dialect on a French made computer which was the backup. What a mess... That was back in 1984. In 1987 we've got the first IBM compatibles, a no-name 8088 processor with BASIC interpreters and 2 x 8 inch disks. I translated from Fortran into BASIC a series of mechanical analysis subroutines and made my first honest programing money with that.

CG IT
CG IT

no more ....forever forgetting that compiling and oops damnit it's 645k

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

remember, age and treachery always trumps youth and skill ;)

Editor's Picks