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Way back machine . . . or "way back machines"

(10 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by BobJam
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 1369 times

BobJam
Posts: 1052

This topic is a continuation of this thread: http://www.howtogeek.com/forum.....replies=25 which was titled "command prompt: stupid geek tricks" and started by Dcw329 . . . AND HIJACKED BY US OLD TIMERS (and you're included, Rick!).

So that we old folks can have a thread to reminisce about the times that computers barely beat out stubby pencils, and so that poor Dcw329's thread can get on with anybody that wants to stay on topic there, I've started this thread.

Hey ScottW,

That was a cool pic, but as I said in the hijacked thread, it didn't include the LS-120 diskette . . . though as I said, that was apparently a flash in the pan since they no longer make them (I have, however, seen the LS-120 drive offered as an external USB device . . . but that was a while back too, so maybe even that has been discontinued . . . I guess you could get one on eBAY maybe).

Hey Rick,

So if we go back to ENIAC and BRAINIAC does that mean you'll not have any memories??

Hey jd2066,

Yes, now I remember it was Xerox.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@Bob,

Not that for back. (LOL) (LOL)
Just to IBM model installed at college during punch card era.
I graduated 68 in BM/EE so senior year was punching cards for math problems section of professor's books.
Don't remember model number but a complete huge new building was built to house it; (Climate control and all).
In old EE building, we (even) had an old analog machine where one had to do hands-on swapping of cables and wiring to program the machine. It had a name but can't remember what ?? Readout was in meters and light banks.
There was NO CS/IT in those days. Engineering took care of all issues.
Don't actually remember when CS/IT became an entity unto its' self.
In most manufacturing environments, Engineering Dept. took care of computers until sometime in the 80's/90's.
==============================
The-Geek sometimes ask what might be good to add to the HTG site.
==============================
Maybe (Lounge or Chat Area) would keep threads from being taken over by "small talk". Then as threads got off-topic, moderator could move "chat responses" to off-topic Lounge Area just like you did.
Kindest Regards,
Rick P. ♥ :)

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, In 1968 your college probably installed an IBM /360 model 40 or 50 - and if they had a lot of money it might have been a model 65 or 75. I was part of the operating system development teams for those systems in 1964 to 1966 both in Endicott and Poughkeepsie, NY. Those were nice machines and very slick compared to the ones I had to fight the years before. Assembler was the language of the day.

Posted 6 years ago
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BobJam
Posts: 1052

Hey Rick,

Not wanting to burden Geek with anymore duties, I really think this Off-Topic forum is already sufficient for small talk. I mean, a lounge area or a chat room would duplicate this forum and confuse people about where to put things. Unless the Geek wants to eliminate this forum and substitute the lounge or chat for it. But that would seem to be a circular effort.

In any case, this seems OK for now.

Regarding your graduation time, I myself graduated in 1969. Then went on to do graduate work in physical chemistry. I remember my staff advisor was a professor so into pchem that he could barely tie his own shoes. And when he went to write on the blackboard he would always bang the chalk at his first stroke and break it. And then he would jump because he startled himself. The guy was a wreck. Maybe because he was always drinking coffee, and the caffeine perpetually in his veins made him jumpy all the time.

I have to credit him with convincing me by his behavior that I DID NOT want to end up like that, so at the end of my graduate studies, I decided to go no further.

Punch cards, huh. You know, I just now thought of this. With the "hanging chad" controversy a la Florida in the 2000 election, I don't ever remember any discussion of that issue back then in the pucnh card days. I guess the beam reader got through the opening of a chad and the output was still valid . . . or did it not, and that was the cause of errors??

Do you remember slide rules?? Of course you do. I found one I apparently kept in my junk room. Darned if I could figure out how the thing worked, but back then I knew how to do it efficiently.

Were those big mainframes particularly sensitive to heat (and that was in the era of tubes before transistors, so the heat was much more I guess), or was it dust that those seperate rooms were for . . . or both??

Analog machines?? Synchros and Servos??

I likewise don't remember when CS/IT came about. Probably sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.

Hey whs,

Was the SAP business model even talked about in those days?? I understand that some renegade IBM guys started SAP . . . but of course that was in the 90's.

Did you rub shoulders with Ross Perot back then??

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

BobJam, you are right. SAP is a relatively recent company which was founded by a bunch of former IBM'ers in 1972. But their breakthru really came in the 80's. And Ross Perot I never knew - he had already left IBM in 1962. Plus he was in Sales and I was in Development. Those guys don't mix.
Btw: Mainframes in the late 60's had no tubes - but they still needed AC, some even water cooling.

Posted 6 years ago
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BobJam
Posts: 1052

Hey whs,

So if they didn't have tubes, then they had to have transistors??

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Correct. Only /650, /705, 7070, 7080, 7090 and alike had tubes. But not the /360 or the 1400's.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

Bob, I never had an LS-120 nor did I ever come across a disk to add to my memorabilia. I did, however, mention the "super floppy" and the ZIP disk was there to represent this era. I also had a SyQuest drive back when with 44 MB cartridges. There might even be one lying around in my junk room, but I didn't see it. Also, SyQuest drives and media never really took off either so hardly anyone would recognize it.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@Bob,
Agree concerning Off-Topic area.
You took "Junk Room" to the right place so it's just a matter of self discipline for all of us.
Yep; one could always tell who was majoring in Engineering by the "Slide Rule" hung on their belt (LOL) (LOL).
Very, Very Geek in those days.
@whs,
Just waiting for you to pick up on topic because I know you can go back further than Bob and I (LOL) (LOL).
Don't know but am guessing you are close to being the Senior Geek of the group from your background profile and knowledge of machines prior to mid 60s..
EDIT: Texas A&M did have the top of line 360 model now that you confirmed it. I was "thinking 360" but didn't want to post an unsure model number after all these years. Thanks for the conformation.
It is a real Honor to be able to "Chat" with you all the time.

Kindest Regards,
Rick P. ♥ :)

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, I am glad I can help out with some of the historic aspects of computing. That compensates for my lack of knowledge regarding the modern machinery. After my retirement in 1992, I had chosen not to touch a computer for 15 years. So now I have a lot of catching up to do which is a real challenge at my age (memory wise).

Posted 6 years ago
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