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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413002 is a reply to message #412993] Thu, 13 January 2022 14:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Espen is currently offline  Dan Espen
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scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:

> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> allows.
>>
>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>
>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>
> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.

I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.


--
Dan Espen
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413005 is a reply to message #412982] Thu, 13 January 2022 16:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Freddy1X is currently offline  Freddy1X
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:

( cuts )
> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as
> it ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of
> the day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down
> in clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug
> output because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it
> should do.
>

My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)

--
See disclaimers on product box.

/|>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>\|
/| I may be demented \|
/| but I'm not crazy! \|
/|<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<\|
* SPAyM trap: there is no X in my address *
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413007 is a reply to message #412981] Thu, 13 January 2022 16:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rich Alderson is currently offline  Rich Alderson
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot <steveo@eircom.net> writes:

> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:24:23 -0600
> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:

>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:

>>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as
>>>> time allows.

>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????

>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)

> At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
> oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)
> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
> a few years time.

I'm 70 now, and officially retired, but since Living Computers: Museum+Labs
closed in 2020 I've been doing contract work updating programming tools for a
well known architecture developed by DEC in 1964, first moving them into the
1980s (native OS vs. system call emulation), then into the 21st Century (large
memory model).

--
Rich Alderson news@alderson.users.panix.com
Audendum est, et veritas investiganda; quam etiamsi non assequamur,
omnino tamen proprius, quam nunc sumus, ad eam perveniemus.
--Galen
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413008 is a reply to message #412968] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: Vir Campestris

On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
> kludged onto my Amiga.

ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)

The PSU in the computer for it has gone pop though, I must fix it...

WHen I do it'll power up with the RTC set to the date and time of my
eldest son's birth. The battery has long died. TBH I won't be surprised
if it struggles with 20xx years!

Andy
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413009 is a reply to message #412981] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: Vir Campestris

On 13/01/2022 07:37, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
> At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
> oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)
> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
> a few years time.

I'm the same age as you, and I just put my notice in today to retire in
a few months.

But just because I won't be _paid_ to write code any more doesn't mean I
won't do any. I just won't have deadlines.

Andy
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413011 is a reply to message #413005] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ahem A Rivet's Shot is currently offline  Ahem A Rivet's Shot
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:14:12 -0500
Freddy1X <freddy1X@indyX.netX> wrote:

> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)

I've never had my hands on a computer that ran *only* my code, the
closest would probably be prototype Torches forty years ago that had code
from just three of us.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413012 is a reply to message #412946] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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meff <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hey,
>
> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
> older than I am.
>

I think at one point the ROT was ten years.

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413013 is a reply to message #412968] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
> On 2022-01-12, Dan Espen <dan1espen@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Jeremy Brubaker <jbrubake.362@orionarts.invalid> writes:
>>
>>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>>>
>>>> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>> older than I am.
>>>
>>> I'm definitely not that old but here are some /newer/ anecdotes from my
>>> youth:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Back in 1963 I'm taking a course in computer programming.
>> At that time college degrees were not required but the teacher
>> let on that we had PHD in the class. One day the PHD was gone
>> so the teacher told us a story about him. Seems he approached the
>> teacher and said "I don't understand how the computer can read these
>> cards with all these holes in them".
>
> You know, it's one thing about intellectuals,
> they prove you can be absolutely brilliant
> and have no idea what's going on.
> -- Woody Allen
>
> When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
> disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
> and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.

A previous employer wanted programs kept on cards. We had this whizzbang
TSO thing with a wonderful editor, about as powerful as DOS EDLIN, and a
speedy 10cps TTY. At one point I had to make a bunch of changes, so I read
the program in, made global changes, and punched out a new deck.

>
>>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive. The
>>> next year in college my roomate came in talking about how someone said
>>> they had a 100 Gb hard drive. My roomate's opinion was that such a thing
>>> was ridiculous and impossible. And besides, what would anyone do with
>>> 100 Gb of space?
>>>
>>> And now I look at my computer and see 4x drives ranging from 500 Gb to 1
>>> Tb and I have probably 10+ thumb drives and SD cards that are 100+ Gb in
>>> my desk. How times have changed.
>>
>> First disk I encountered was the IBM 1311 attached to an IBM 1440.
>> 1 million 6 bit characters per disk.
>
> The first disks we attached in the shop above were Univac clones
> of the IBM 2311 - 7 megabytes per pack. We soon upgraded to
> 2314 clones (25MB/pack).
>
> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
> kludged onto my Amiga.
>



--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413014 is a reply to message #412979] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Ant <ant@zimage.comANT> wrote:
> Bob Eager <news0009@eager.cx> wrote:
>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 23:18:22 +0000, Scott Lurndal wrote:
>
>>> D.J. <chucktheouch@gmail.com> writes:
>>>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:01:11 -0500, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > On 1/11/2022 23:18, meff wrote:
>>>> >> Hey,
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>> >> too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>> >> older than I am.
>>>> >
>>>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > allows. The oldest "computer system" that I have personal experience
>>>> > with is an IBM System/23, from well before my time. I still have it in
>>>> > the cellar; it came from my father's former radio station employer.
>>>> >
>>>> > Otherwise, I've tinkered back to Apple 2/C and a Texas Instruments
>>>> > TI-99/4a PC. I've had lots of early 90's+ MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/95/98
>>>> > machines that family friends gave me as a child (when they upgraded) to
>>>> > tinker with. I still have a couple dozen of these old PC's and laptops
>>>> > in storage, and their prices are actually coming back around as a
>>>> > collector item. Time to sell them off soon, I think.
>>>>
>>>> My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 with later on the 16Kb ram
>>>
>>> The first computer I used was a Burroughs B5500 in the early seventies,
>>> followed by a PDP-8, then an HP-3000,
>>> PDP-11/34, Various VAXen, Burroughs B4955, 68k and 88k unix systems, MPP
>>> systems from Unisys & SGI, etc.
>
>> MIne was an Elliott 4130 (unusual). Then Honeywell 516 (where I hacked
>> the CPU hardware), then PDP-10, PDP-11, ICL 2900, VAX, PDP-8, ...
>
> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
> http://zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/about/toys.html for my detailed history!
> My colony and I are old. ;)

I bought one of those for games. My daughter started programming on it,
which led to a career later. Since I had access to an IBM mainframe from
home I wasn’t desperate to get a home computer. Later I bought a PC clone
with 640K and one 5-1/4” floppy, later upgraded to two.

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413015 is a reply to message #412982] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot <steveo@eircom.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:00:38 -0000 (UTC)
> Jeremy Brubaker <jbrubake.362@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>
>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive.
>
> The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of RAM
> and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at 38MB
> each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched under DOS
> and then took over in protected mode).
>
> The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
> (yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader and a
> 1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).

Wow, that’s a BIG 1130. Did you have 32K memory also?

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413016 is a reply to message #412993] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Scott Lurndal <scott@slp53.sl.home> wrote:
> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> allows.
>>
>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>
>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>
> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>
>

I’m only 75, so it’s definitely not me. I just missed the 1401 era, and got
into the biz just as everyone was upgrading to new 360s.

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413017 is a reply to message #413001] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
> On 1/13/2022 10:40, Jeremy Brubaker wrote:
>> On 2022-01-13, Ant wrote:
>>> Jeremy Brubaker<jbrubake.362@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>>>> On 2022-01-12, meff wrote:
>>>> > Is this group only about older computers? And how old is old? I'm not
>>>> > too young myself but a lot of the machines I see in recent posts are
>>>> > older than I am.
>>>
>>>> 1. Sometime probably around 1988 a classmate of mine told me that her
>>>> family's computer could talk to other computers using something
>> called>> Prodigy (what good that did was not really specified). My only
>>>> experience with computers at the time was playing DOS games on a>>
>> friend's PC so of course I told her she was clearly lying because how on
>>>> earth could a computer talk to another computer?
>>>
>>>> Imagine my surprise later when, not only did I learn that, yes,
>>>> computers could talk to each other, but that Prodigy was a thing!
>>>
>>> Prodigy. Do you still remember your ID? Mine was TGSV85B since I was a
>>
>> I never used Prodigy. We didn't even have a computer until the late
>> '90s. My first internet connection was using those free CDs you used to
>> get from AOL. We had internet for at least a year or so before we ever
>> paid for it. And tied up the phone line for hours at a time to boot.
>
> LOL I remember scrounging free internet from AOL CD's years ago. I
> found one in a desk drawer not too long ago. As a child, I even recall
> people bringing them into the church, because we made whirili-gigs out
> of them in vacation bible school, heh
>

People around here still hang chaIns of CDs or DVDs to keep the birds away.

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413018 is a reply to message #413005] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Freddy1X <freddy1X@indyX.netX> wrote:
> Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>
> ( cuts )
>> The amazing thing to me is that despite that incredible pace of
>> change in scale much of the business of programming is still the same as
>> it ever was - we have better tools and bigger problems but at the end of
>> the day you still have to understand the problem, write the solution down
>> in clear and correct code and then spend a long time staring at debug
>> output because the clear and correct code isn't doing what you thought it
>> should do.
>>
>
> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)
>

Mine too, that’s why it sometimes takes me so long to debug a program. I
need a DWIM computer.

--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413019 is a reply to message #413009] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Flass is currently offline  Peter Flass
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Vir Campestris <vir.campestris@invalid.invalid> wrote:
> On 13/01/2022 07:37, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>> At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
>> oldest still working as a developer (current version of analyst/programmer)
>> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will be in
>> a few years time.
>
> I'm the same age as you, and I just put my notice in today to retire in
> a few months.
>
> But just because I won't be _paid_ to write code any more doesn't mean I
> won't do any. I just won't have deadlines.

:-)

>
> Andy
>



--
Pete
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413020 is a reply to message #412998] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
D.J. is currently offline  D.J.
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 18:50:30 GMT, Charlie Gibbs
<cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
> And we still have ignorant managers asking for the moon, and we
> still have to patiently and diplomatically explain to them why
> their ideas won't work - then figure out how to give them what
> they need, as opposed to what they want.

This reminds of a lovely experience of a manager who asked for
something he had apparently seen on television. He wanted it installed
on his computer. I politely pointed out if it wasn't on the Authorized
Software List, he couldn't have it. And it sounded to me it violated
the Laws of Physics.

He said it was okay, he was a Manager.

My impression was he thought the laws of physics were in a law book
somewhere, and snce he was a Manager, I could skip the fine details
and install it for him.

I told him nope. He Demanded to KNow Just where My Boss was Located.

I pointed to his door. I got a phone call, I pointed to my boss, there
is nothing like that on the autrhorized list, and I had never heard ot
it. My boss checked with the other IT guy, who told him the same
thing.

The Manager stomped over to the Big Bosses office, and told him the
same story apparently. The other IT guy and I heard our boss' phone
ring.

The Manager then stomped over to the elevator and left. The Big Boss
came over and talked to us, I showed him where I had searched on the
authorized list.

The Next Day; The Manager left for something like Improved Job
Oppurtunities. My boss called our corporate office, and they said they
never heard of it either.

I mentioned I thought it shounded like some computer graphics I had
seen on tv, where they pretend they have hardware but its only a
hologram or an animation.
--
Jim
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413021 is a reply to message #413002] Thu, 13 January 2022 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
D.J. is currently offline  D.J.
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:11:00 -0500, Dan Espen <dan1espen@gmail.com>
wrote:
> scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:
>
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > allows.
>>>
>>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>
>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>
>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>
> I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
> older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.

I know I'm older than BAH.
--
Jim
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413022 is a reply to message #413021] Thu, 13 January 2022 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
scott is currently offline  scott
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D.J. <chucktheouch@gmail.com> writes:
> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:11:00 -0500, Dan Espen <dan1espen@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:
>>
>>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> > On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> > > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > > allows.
>>>>
>>>> > Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>>
>>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>>
>>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>>
>> I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
>> older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.
>
> I know I'm older than BAH.

guessing, but seems about right (results from a google search on her name):

Barbara A Huizenga
Holland, MI

05.10.50 is the birth date of Barbara. Barbara has reached
71 years of age. Holland, MI 49423-6630
is where Barbara lives.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413023 is a reply to message #413011] Thu, 13 January 2022 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mike Spencer is currently offline  Mike Spencer
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot <steveo@eircom.net> writes:

> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:14:12 -0500
> Freddy1X <freddy1X@indyX.netX> wrote:
>
>> My computer does EXACTLY what my programs tell it to do! ;-)
>
> I've never had my hands on a computer that ran *only* my code

Oddly enough, I believe I have.

My "larval stage" came late in life (45+ y.o.) with already obsolete
hardware (Osborne I in '87-'90) but I was keen.

I accumulated several Osbornes and wanted more RAM so I connected a
2nd O1 via a serial cable. (The Osborne manual provided lots of
detail about how to talk to the serial port.) I put together a little
program that, once started, would zero out all 64K of RAM (except
itself, of course) including the 4K of display, listen to the
serial port and store or retrieve blocks of size-tagged data over the
wire. Filled the video display with garbage, of course, and worked
like a charm but so egregiously slowly as to be of no practical use
whatever. But no code but mine was running on the ancillary O1.

(Parenthetically, I might add that getting XLisp to compile and run on
the Osborne was yet another success of no redeeming practical value
whatever.)

Oh, and since several people have revealed their ages: Have I a
shot at Senior Geezerhood? I'll be 80 the end of February.


--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413025 is a reply to message #413016] Thu, 13 January 2022 20:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Espen is currently offline  Dan Espen
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Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> writes:

> Scott Lurndal <scott@slp53.sl.home> wrote:
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > allows.
>>>
>>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>
>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>
>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>
> I’m only 75, so it’s definitely not me. I just missed the 1401 era, and got
> into the biz just as everyone was upgrading to new 360s.

Too bad you missed the 1401. A really neat machine with no OS or vendor
code to get in the way.

I got a couple of years in with real 1401s, then off and on did 1401 under
emulation for 5 or 10 years after that.

--
Dan Espen
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413026 is a reply to message #413002] Thu, 13 January 2022 20:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Gibbs is currently offline  Charlie Gibbs
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On 2022-01-13, Dan Espen <dan1espen@gmail.com> wrote:

> scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:
>
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>
>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > allows.
>>>>
>>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>
>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>
>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>
> I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
> older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.

I don't know whether Gene Heskett is here, but he's a regular
on the Debian mailing list and he's well into his 80s.

--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413027 is a reply to message #413008] Thu, 13 January 2022 20:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Gibbs is currently offline  Charlie Gibbs
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Registered: January 2012
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Senior Member
On 2022-01-13, Vir Campestris <vir.campestris@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
>
>> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
>> kludged onto my Amiga.
>
> ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)

Whatever. It look me long enough to dredge up that term.
I do remember that it was hooked to a Western Digital 1003
controller, though. A local hardware guru came up with a
small circuit board called the Wedge, which plugged into
the Amiga's expansion bus and provided an ISA slot.
One day when I was bored I plugged a serial card into
the slot instead and actually got it to transfer some data.

--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413028 is a reply to message #413013] Thu, 13 January 2022 20:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Gibbs is currently offline  Charlie Gibbs
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Registered: January 2012
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On 2022-01-13, Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>
>> When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
>> disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
>> and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.
>
> A previous employer wanted programs kept on cards. We had this whizzbang
> TSO thing with a wonderful editor, about as powerful as DOS EDLIN, and a
> speedy 10cps TTY. At one point I had to make a bunch of changes, so I read
> the program in, made global changes, and punched out a new deck.

Did you run it through an interpreter afterwards? :-)

At my next job we still stored all programs on cards, although we
had disk drives and system utilities that were intended to maintain
source code on disk. As far as I knew, no other such shop used
this facility, which I thought was a shame. But then we got a new
department head who came from a large IBM shop. One day he was
sitting in his office musing, "I wish we could keep programs on disk."
"But you can!" I exclaimed joyfully, seeing my chance. "Do it," he said.
And the rest is history.

--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413031 is a reply to message #413027] Thu, 13 January 2022 23:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charles Richmond is currently offline  Charles Richmond
Messages: 2674
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
On 1/13/2022 7:24 PM, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
> On 2022-01-13, Vir Campestris <vir.campestris@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>> On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
>>
>>> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
>>> kludged onto my Amiga.
>>
>> ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)
>
> Whatever. It look me long enough to dredge up that term.
> I do remember that it was hooked to a Western Digital 1003
> controller, though. A local hardware guru came up with a
> small circuit board called the Wedge, which plugged into
> the Amiga's expansion bus and provided an ISA slot.
> One day when I was bored I plugged a serial card into
> the slot instead and actually got it to transfer some data.
>

The ST-412 was like the ST-506, but the ST-412 was 10 meg...

--

Charles Richmond

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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413032 is a reply to message #413009] Thu, 13 January 2022 23:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charles Richmond is currently offline  Charles Richmond
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Registered: December 2011
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On 1/13/2022 4:05 PM, Vir Campestris wrote:
> On 13/01/2022 07:37, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>>     At 63 I'm a long way from being either, I might not even be the
>> oldest still working as a developer (current version of
>> analyst/programmer)
>> but I negotiated my mandatory retirement age to 70 so I probably will
>> be in
>> a few years time.
>
> I'm the same age as you, and I just put my notice in today to retire in
> a few months.
>
> But just because I won't be _paid_ to write code any more doesn't mean I
> won't do any. I just won't have deadlines.
>
>

"I love deadlines. I love the whoooshing sound they make as they go
by!!!" ;-)


--

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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413033 is a reply to message #413002] Thu, 13 January 2022 23:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charles Richmond is currently offline  Charles Richmond
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Registered: December 2011
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On 1/13/2022 1:11 PM, Dan Espen wrote:
> scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:
>
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:

[snip...] [snip...] [snip...]
>>>
>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>
>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>
> I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
> older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.
>

"There are three basic indications of old age. First is loss of
memory... and I can *not* recall the other two." ;-)


--

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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413034 is a reply to message #412983] Thu, 13 January 2022 23:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charles Richmond is currently offline  Charles Richmond
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On 1/13/2022 1:40 AM, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:36:50 -0600
> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:
>
>> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
>
> Oh how I wanted a 9900 when they came out - I never did manage to
> lay my hands on one though.
>

I have used a TI-99/4A. The problem with the machine is the video chip
ran very ***hot***!!! TI's solution was to attach the heat sink to the
metal of the top of the computer... so you could burn yourself just
touching it.

--

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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413035 is a reply to message #413009] Fri, 14 January 2022 01:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ahem A Rivet's Shot is currently offline  Ahem A Rivet's Shot
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 22:05:48 +0000
Vir Campestris <vir.campestris@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> But just because I won't be _paid_ to write code any more doesn't mean I
> won't do any. I just won't have deadlines.

Ah yes, but with the deadlines come the big toys and I'm having
too much fun with them - besides there's an IPO to ride out :)

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413036 is a reply to message #413015] Fri, 14 January 2022 01:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ahem A Rivet's Shot is currently offline  Ahem A Rivet's Shot
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:44:39 -0700
Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Ahem A Rivet's Shot <steveo@eircom.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:00:38 -0000 (UTC)
>> Jeremy Brubaker <jbrubake.362@orionarts.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>> 2. My first computer, bought circa 1998, had a 2.5 Gb hard drive.
>>
>> The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of
>> RAM and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at
>> 38MB each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched
>> under DOS and then took over in protected mode).
>>
>> The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
>> (yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader
>> and a 1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).
>
> Wow, that’s a BIG 1130. Did you have 32K memory also?

It had 4K words so yes 32K bytes - there was also a paper tape
reader/punch that I'm pretty sure wasn't IBM but I forget what it was. The
biggest single box was the channel box for the printer.

It belonged to the local technical college who had got it second
hand from somewhere that had upgraded - this was 1974/5 so it was getting
a bit long in the tooth.

It was available for use by all the schools (and kids) in the
county but very few knew or cared. There was a walk in hour every day when
you could just drop a deck of cards into the hopper and wait for the
printout - the operator would kill anything that took more than five
minutes and an evening booking system to have it all to yourself for an
hour at a time - usually the operator bunked off when someone had it
booked, that was great!

One thing about the 1403 that not many people realise - that lid is
*heavy* (which is why the N1 is motorised). One day, just as *my* job was
printing, there was a loud BANG from the printer which seemed completely
unaffected by it, the paper continued to stream through it, the print was
perfect nothing seemed to be wrong - until I tried to flip the lid up for a
closer look. The lid that usually lifted at a light touch didn't move! It
took a concerted effort to lift the thing - the bang had been the torsion
rod that made the lid so easy to lift snapping.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413037 is a reply to message #413033] Fri, 14 January 2022 02:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: ant

Charles Richmond <codescott@aquaporin4.com> wrote:
> On 1/13/2022 1:11 PM, Dan Espen wrote:
>> scott@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) writes:
>>
>>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:

> [snip...] [snip...] [snip...]
>>>>
>>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>>
>>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>>
>> I don't know about Lynn, but I'm only 76. We have another frequent poster
>> older than me, but I am old, the name escapes me at the moment.

> "There are three basic indications of old age. First is loss of
> memory... and I can *not* recall the other two." ;-)

Ha, I'm decades younger than you guys and I forget too easily. :(
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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413038 is a reply to message #413034] Fri, 14 January 2022 02:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: ant

Charles Richmond <codescott@aquaporin4.com> wrote:
> On 1/13/2022 1:40 AM, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:36:50 -0600
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) wrote:
>>
>>> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
>>
>> Oh how I wanted a 9900 when they came out - I never did manage to
>> lay my hands on one though.
>>

> I have used a TI-99/4A. The problem with the machine is the video chip
> ran very ***hot***!!! TI's solution was to attach the heat sink to the
> metal of the top of the computer... so you could burn yourself just
> touching it.

Did those burn out a lot back then? Mine ran well for my colony and
neighbors (gave them it after we got an Apple //c).
--
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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413039 is a reply to message #413016] Fri, 14 January 2022 04:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Harry Vaderchi is currently offline  Harry Vaderchi
Messages: 622
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Senior Member
On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:44:40 -0700
Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Scott Lurndal <scott@slp53.sl.home> wrote:
>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> > No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> > 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> > allows.
>>>
>>>> Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>
>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>
>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>>
>>
>
> I’m only 75, so it’s definitely not me. I just missed the 1401 era, and got
> into the biz just as everyone was upgrading to new 360s.
>
Chap I first worked with used to reminisce about Autocoder.
The 360 system stuff used to sound great but I didn't quite grasp all those TIOTs and JFCBs

I never really got the hang of RPG. or Forth (there's still an active NG For That).

(I stuck to application coding in COBOL, until PCs came along)

--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413041 is a reply to message #413039] Fri, 14 January 2022 07:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Espen is currently offline  Dan Espen
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"Kerr-Mudd, John" <admin@127.0.0.1> writes:

> On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:44:40 -0700
> Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> Scott Lurndal <scott@slp53.sl.home> wrote:
>>> ant@zimage.comANT (Ant) writes:
>>>> meff <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> > On 2022-01-12, Michael Trew <michael.trew@att.net> wrote:
>>>> >> No, not necessarily. I'd bet that I'm the youngest here (in my mid
>>>> >> 20's). I primarily lurk, and enjoy reading many of the posts, as time
>>>> >> allows.
>>>>
>>>> > Wow you are actually a few years younger than I am! ????
>>>>
>>>> I wonder who is the oldest and youngest in this newsgroup. ;)
>>>
>>> Dan Espen and Lynn Wheeler probably compete for the title Eldest.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> I’m only 75, so it’s definitely not me. I just missed the 1401 era, and got
>> into the biz just as everyone was upgrading to new 360s.
>>
> Chap I first worked with used to reminisce about Autocoder.
> The 360 system stuff used to sound great but I didn't quite grasp all those TIOTs and JFCBs
>
> I never really got the hang of RPG. or Forth (there's still an active NG For That).
>
> (I stuck to application coding in COBOL, until PCs came along)

When S/360 was announced I was working at a 1440 shop with a 12K system.
We started to get feelers from IBM to move to S/360.
I read POPs and concluded that 64K minimum would be needed.
The IBM salesman wasn't happy, brought it back to his own technical
people and had to admit the truth.

I was thinking autocoder to asm. If I had known how much memory COBOL
needed I would have gone with 128K.


--
Dan Espen
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413044 is a reply to message #413036] Fri, 14 January 2022 13:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Levine is currently offline  John Levine
Messages: 1343
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
According to Ahem A Rivet's Shot <steveo@eircom.net>:
>>> The first computer I owned was an 80286 based box with 4MB of
>>> RAM and two 20MB MFM drives that I got an RLL controller for and ran at
>>> 38MB each. It ran DR-DOS, XENIX-286 and Smalltalk V (which launched
>>> under DOS and then took over in protected mode).
>>>
>>> The first computer I used was an 1BM-1130 with 4K words of core
>>> (yes real beads on wires core), three 1.5MB disks, a 1442 card reader
>>> and a 1403 printer (not the N1 so no coffee thrown round the room).
>>
>> Wow, that’s a BIG 1130. Did you have 32K memory also?
>
> It had 4K words so yes 32K bytes -

The 1130 was a 16 bit machine so 4K was 8K bytes.

> there was also a paper tape
> reader/punch that I'm pretty sure wasn't IBM but I forget what it was. The
> biggest single box was the channel box for the printer.

IBM resold some other people's peripherals, like the 1627 which was a Calcomp drum
plotter. The 1134 paper tape reader doesn't look like an IBM produect but I don't
know who made it.

In theory you could run an 1130 from paper tape rather than cards but I
never heard of anyone trying it.

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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413045 is a reply to message #412946] Fri, 14 January 2022 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Gibbs is currently offline  Charlie Gibbs
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On 2022-01-14, Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>
>> On 2022-01-13, Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>>> When I started my first job in 1970, the shop was pure cards. No
>>>> disks, no tapes, and a whopping 16K of memory. We added disks later -
>>>> and the boss never trusted them because you couldn't see the holes.
>>>
>>> A previous employer wanted programs kept on cards. We had this whizzbang
>>> TSO thing with a wonderful editor, about as powerful as DOS EDLIN, and a
>>> speedy 10cps TTY. At one point I had to make a bunch of changes, so I read
>>> the program in, made global changes, and punched out a new deck.
>>
>> Did you run it through an interpreter afterwards? :-)
>
> Yup. Interpreted it on a keypunch. Thinking back I can’t recall exactly how
> it was done. When I worked on an 1130 we had cow-orkers who interpreted
> our decks on a 360/20 with an MFCM.

Some models of the IBM 029 keypunch had an extra read head at the punch
station; they could interpret cards. The IBM 129 could do it too.
The Univac 1710 keypunch did it much faster and nicely (and noisily).

At university we had an IBM 557 interpreter. It could only fit
60 characters across the top of the card; if you really wanted you
could do a second pass and print the remaining 20 characters below.
Since the characters didn't line up with the columns, it wasn't a
lot of fun to read if you were trying to correct a column, although
you could get cards with column numbers 1-60 printed across the top.
The 557 had a plugboard where you could select which column printed
where, but most people just left it at the default setting.

--
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\ / <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413046 is a reply to message #412946] Fri, 14 January 2022 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Gibbs is currently offline  Charlie Gibbs
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On 2022-01-14, Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:

> John Levine <johnl@taugh.com> wrote:
>
>> In theory you could run an 1130 from paper tape rather than cards but I
>> never heard of anyone trying it.
>>
>
> From comments I’ve seen, I think paper tape was more popular in Rightpondia
> than in the US, for some reason. It was also obviously better for
> typesetting applications. I never saw it either.

In general it wasn't very common, but when I was working in a service
bureau a lot of our customers did accounting on adding machines with
a paper tape punch attached. I became the local paper tape guru,
figuring out how to handle the various formats that came in.
We had a third-party paper tape reader, made by Regnecentralen,
that was kludged onto the Univac 9300's multiplexer channel. It
had a servo-driven capstan and a 256-byte core buffer which it
tried to keep half full, and it would run at up to 2000 frames
per second to do so. It wasn't often we were able to accept data
at that speed - but I just had to write a program that did so, so I
could watch the tape fly through the machine at 200 inches per second.

--
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\ / <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413047 is a reply to message #413046] Fri, 14 January 2022 16:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Levine is currently offline  John Levine
Messages: 1343
Registered: December 2011
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Senior Member
According to Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid>:
> that was kludged onto the Univac 9300's multiplexer channel. It
> had a servo-driven capstan and a 256-byte core buffer which it
> tried to keep half full, and it would run at up to 2000 frames
> per second to do so. It wasn't often we were able to accept data
> at that speed - but I just had to write a program that did so, so I
> could watch the tape fly through the machine at 200 inches per second.

The fastest paper tape reader I ever used only ran at 300 fps, attached
to a PDP-10, but I've seen the rebuilt Colossus at Bletchley Park
whose tape reader runs at 5000 cps reading an endless loop. It's
pretty impressive, even 75 years later.

--
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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413048 is a reply to message #413046] Fri, 14 January 2022 16:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ahem A Rivet's Shot is currently offline  Ahem A Rivet's Shot
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2022 21:16:03 GMT
Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:

> and it would run at up to 2000 frames
> per second to do so. It wasn't often we were able to accept data
> at that speed - but I just had to write a program that did so, so I
> could watch the tape fly through the machine at 200 inches per second.

Wow! that's very fast paper tape. Keep fingers well clear, that
speed would bring paper cuts to a whole new level of oops.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/
Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413049 is a reply to message #413008] Fri, 14 January 2022 17:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Theo Markettos is currently offline  Theo Markettos
Messages: 10
Registered: April 2013
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Junior Member
Vir Campestris <vir.campestris@invalid.invalid> wrote:
> On 12/01/2022 22:46, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
>> My first hard disk on a home computer was a 10MB ST506 drive
>> kludged onto my Amiga.
>
> ST506 was only 5MB. (I've got one, and it worked last time I tried it.)

ST506 was a drive, but it also became the name of the interface.

It was only an interface to the raw drive control signals (like a big floppy
really) so you could format it with either MFM (like a floppy) or RLL
(fancy!). There were slight differences between the ST506 and ST412 drives,
and the ST412HP was RLL.

> WHen I do it'll power up with the RTC set to the date and time of my
> eldest son's birth. The battery has long died. TBH I won't be surprised
> if it struggles with 20xx years!

I should crack open my HP GPIB hard drive and see what's inside - suspect a
big ST506 disc...

Theo
TI 99/4A -- Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413050 is a reply to message #413014] Fri, 14 January 2022 17:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: ant

Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:
....
>> Texas Instrument 99/4A was my first owned PC. Actually, my colony's.
>> http://zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/about/toys.html for my detailed history!
>> My colony and I are old. ;)

> I bought one of those for games. My daughter started programming on it,
> which led to a career later. Since I had access to an IBM mainframe from
> home I wasn???t desperate to get a home computer. Later I bought a PC clone
> with 640K and one 5-1/4??? floppy, later upgraded to two.

Funny. I was scared to use this very first computer until I discovered
it could do games like Munch Man, A-maze-ing, TI Invaders, Cars Wars,
Tombstone City, etc. It was a-maze-ing to me over my rad Atari 2600! ;)
I remember my parents wanted me to learn how to use a computer like
typing. Even my queen used its BASIC and tape drive to do simple
codings.
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Re: Is this group only about older computers? [message #413051 is a reply to message #413046] Fri, 14 January 2022 17:54 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Dan Espen is currently offline  Dan Espen
Messages: 3783
Registered: January 2012
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Senior Member
Charlie Gibbs <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid> writes:

> On 2022-01-14, Peter Flass <peter_flass@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> John Levine <johnl@taugh.com> wrote:
>>
>>> In theory you could run an 1130 from paper tape rather than cards but I
>>> never heard of anyone trying it.
>>>
>>
>> From comments I’ve seen, I think paper tape was more popular in Rightpondia
>> than in the US, for some reason. It was also obviously better for
>> typesetting applications. I never saw it either.
>
> In general it wasn't very common, but when I was working in a service
> bureau a lot of our customers did accounting on adding machines with
> a paper tape punch attached. I became the local paper tape guru,
> figuring out how to handle the various formats that came in.
> We had a third-party paper tape reader, made by Regnecentralen,
> that was kludged onto the Univac 9300's multiplexer channel. It
> had a servo-driven capstan and a 256-byte core buffer which it
> tried to keep half full, and it would run at up to 2000 frames
> per second to do so. It wasn't often we were able to accept data
> at that speed - but I just had to write a program that did so, so I
> could watch the tape fly through the machine at 200 inches per second.

IBM sold a keypunch machine that could be driven from paper tape.
One place I worked we got adding machine paper tapes from our branch
offices, fed the paper tape into the keypunch and punched cards then
fed the cards into the 1442 on the 1440.

--
Dan Espen
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