Not Fossilized Yet
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!
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