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Old 04-03-2008, 05:56 PM
"Tom Horsley"
 
Default Punch Cards.

> We were the lucky ones in the second year. We had a TI terminal that
> had a cassette tape in it. No more punch cards or paper tape for us.

The Ocean Engineering department at FAU had a Data General Nova with
an ASR-33 TTY and paper tape reader, and I got to upgrade it with a
friend one weekend, installing the cassette device driver.

Unfortunately getting the cassette driver installed required reading
the whole kernel in via the paper tape reader - a roll about 3 inches
in diameter, and the slightest problem reading meant you had to start
from scratch again - what fun that was, being human strain relief
devices to keep all tension off the paper tape for the hours and hours
it took to finally get it to read the whole thing :-).

At least it had magnetic core memory, so once you got something in there, it
would stay there.

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Old 04-03-2008, 08:46 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default Punch Cards.

Robin Laing wrote:


It was nice to see the TTY there. I remember having a Star Trek program
on paper tape. Let it roll down the outside of the residence building
at school. It was over 10 stories long.


That sounds about as bad as the multi-player space war game a friend
and I wrote to run an on HP2000 access system. 10 terminals,, each
running their own copy of the program, and exchanging data through a
shared file. Written in BASIC, of course. (ITTSTK)


Mikkel
--

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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Old 04-03-2008, 10:06 PM
Tim
 
Default Punch Cards.

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 10:25 -0600, Robin Laing wrote:
> It was nice to see the TTY there. I remember having a Star Trek
> program on paper tape. Let it roll down the outside of the residence
> building at school. It was over 10 stories long.
>
> We were the lucky ones in the second year. We had a TI terminal that
> had a cassette tape in it. No more punch cards or paper tape for
> us.

I would have thought paper tape to be more reliable than plastic tape.
No stretching, no striction, reversable and relocatable for a re-read,
repairable by your engineers when someone breaks it, duplicatable
through various direct methods without degradation of data.

--
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important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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Old 04-03-2008, 10:44 PM
Nicholas Robinson
 
Default Punch Cards.

On Thursday 03 April 2008 23:06:44 Tim wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 10:25 -0600, Robin Laing wrote:
> > It was nice to see the TTY there. I remember having a Star Trek
> > program on paper tape. Let it roll down the outside of the residence
> > building at school. It was over 10 stories long.
> >
> > We were the lucky ones in the second year. We had a TI terminal that
> > had a cassette tape in it. No more punch cards or paper tape for
> > us.
>
> I would have thought paper tape to be more reliable than plastic tape.
> No stretching, no striction, reversable and relocatable for a re-read,
> repairable by your engineers when someone breaks it, duplicatable
> through various direct methods without degradation of data.
>
Yes, we had a very, very short-lived trial with cassettes for exactly the
reasons you mention. We went on to these new-fangled floppy discs with a huge
capacity of just over 100k bytes. We carried on using paper tapes for a
while, just to be sure. We were real men though and had to repair our own
tapes. It was tough in those days.

The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and then
loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a mistake
hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the paper
tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you were
in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or so
cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was rated
at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it still
took a long time to load a big programme.

Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the lives
of the when-we's.

Nick

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Old 04-03-2008, 11:01 PM
Gene Heskett
 
Default Punch Cards.

On Thursday 03 April 2008, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
>On Thursday 03 April 2008 23:06:44 Tim wrote:
>> On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 10:25 -0600, Robin Laing wrote:
>> > It was nice to see the TTY there. I remember having a Star Trek
>> > program on paper tape. Let it roll down the outside of the residence
>> > building at school. It was over 10 stories long.
>> >
>> > We were the lucky ones in the second year. We had a TI terminal that
>> > had a cassette tape in it. No more punch cards or paper tape for
>> > us.
>>
>> I would have thought paper tape to be more reliable than plastic tape.
>> No stretching, no striction, reversable and relocatable for a re-read,
>> repairable by your engineers when someone breaks it, duplicatable
>> through various direct methods without degradation of data.
>
>Yes, we had a very, very short-lived trial with cassettes for exactly the
>reasons you mention. We went on to these new-fangled floppy discs with a
> huge capacity of just over 100k bytes. We carried on using paper tapes for
> a while, just to be sure. We were real men though and had to repair our own
> tapes. It was tough in those days.
>
>The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and then
>loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a mistake
>hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the paper
>tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you were
>in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
>interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
>jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or so
>cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was rated
>at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it still
>took a long time to load a big programme.
>
>Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the
> lives of the when-we's.
>
>Nick

Yup, and they think that they have 'come a long way, baby'

Some aren't even backed out of the driveway yet, and some are fading with too
many years in the sun (or whatever is the means of degradation when one don't
really want to admit one is becoming an old fart)


--
Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is
the best one.
-- Jack Hurley

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Old 04-03-2008, 11:24 PM
Tim
 
Default Punch Cards.

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 23:44 +0100, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
> The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and then
> loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a mistake
> hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the paper
> tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you were
> in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
> interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
> jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or so
> cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was rated
> at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it still
> took a long time to load a big programme.
>
> Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the lives
> of the when-we's.

Who've never had the displeasure of trying to load programs from audio
cassette tape on a personal computer from the 1980s... On a friend's
C64, it was almost guaranteed that anything that took longer than two
minutes to load would foul up and require multiple attempts. Even
without screw-ups, it was awfully slow.

Now, with these kids and their Windows box, they still get to experience
something like that (even if applications are quick to start), with
prolonged boot-ups, and all those reboots... :-p

--
(This computer runs FC7, my others run FC4, FC5 & FC6, in case that's
important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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Old 04-03-2008, 11:30 PM
"Alan"
 
Default Punch Cards.

> On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 23:44 +0100, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
>> The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and
>> then
>> loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a
>> mistake
>> hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the
>> paper
>> tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you
>> were
>> in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
>> interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
>> jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or
>> so
>> cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was
>> rated
>> at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it
>> still
>> took a long time to load a big programme.
>>
>> Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the
>> lives
>> of the when-we's.
>
> Who've never had the displeasure of trying to load programs from audio
> cassette tape on a personal computer from the 1980s... On a friend's
> C64, it was almost guaranteed that anything that took longer than two
> minutes to load would foul up and require multiple attempts. Even
> without screw-ups, it was awfully slow.

Especially when you forgot to clean the heads. The same problem would
occur on some older floppy drives and tape drives. (Ever see what RPG
programs would do on an IBM 360 if the tape heads were dirty? It would
make things up. And with RPG it was hard to tell the difference.) I
found that vodka worked in an emergency for cleaning drive and/or tape
heads.

> Now, with these kids and their Windows box, they still get to experience
> something like that (even if applications are quick to start), with
> prolonged boot-ups, and all those reboots... :-p

"You have moved your mouse. To make change permanent please reboot."

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Old 04-03-2008, 11:49 PM
max
 
Default Punch Cards.

Tim wrote:

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 23:44 +0100, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and then
loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a mistake
hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the paper
tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you were
in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or so
cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was rated
at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it still
took a long time to load a big programme.


Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the lives
of the when-we's.


Who've never had the displeasure of trying to load programs from audio
cassette tape on a personal computer from the 1980s... On a friend's
C64, it was almost guaranteed that anything that took longer than two
minutes to load would foul up and require multiple attempts. Even
without screw-ups, it was awfully slow.

Now, with these kids and their Windows box, they still get to experience
something like that (even if applications are quick to start), with
prolonged boot-ups, and all those reboots... :-p


Load"*" ,8,1

I mainly used it for games.

Raid Over Moscow
Racing Destruction Set
Zaxxon
Mission Impossible
Bard's Tale
Zork

I had hundreds of games. I wish EA would bring back Racing Destruction Set.

Max

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Old 04-04-2008, 01:46 AM
Les
 
Default Punch Cards.

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 23:44 +0100, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
> On Thursday 03 April 2008 23:06:44 Tim wrote:
> > On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 10:25 -0600, Robin Laing wrote:
> > > It was nice to see the TTY there. I remember having a Star Trek
> > > program on paper tape. Let it roll down the outside of the residence
> > > building at school. It was over 10 stories long.
> > >
> > > We were the lucky ones in the second year. We had a TI terminal that
> > > had a cassette tape in it. No more punch cards or paper tape for
> > > us.
> >
> > I would have thought paper tape to be more reliable than plastic tape.
> > No stretching, no striction, reversable and relocatable for a re-read,
> > repairable by your engineers when someone breaks it, duplicatable
> > through various direct methods without degradation of data.
> >
> Yes, we had a very, very short-lived trial with cassettes for exactly the
> reasons you mention. We went on to these new-fangled floppy discs with a huge
> capacity of just over 100k bytes. We carried on using paper tapes for a
> while, just to be sure. We were real men though and had to repair our own
> tapes. It was tough in those days.
>
> The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and then
> loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a mistake
> hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the paper
> tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you were
> in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
> interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
> jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or so
> cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was rated
> at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it still
> took a long time to load a big programme.
>
> Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the lives
> of the when-we's.
>
> Nick
>
Ah, yes... I used to dread the infamous tape break. We even had the
little template thingy that you could put the two ends into to help get
the magic tape on the right way. But I was invariably too clumsy and
ended up with one of those dreaded wrinkles that would slide the tape
sideways at the most inopportune time (like after 3/4 of a long program
had been read in.) So I would usually patch the the tape, then dupe it
so I had a "real working copy" because the duplicator would deal with
the wrinkle much better (but more slowly if possible).

Regards,
Les H

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Old 04-04-2008, 05:53 AM
Tim
 
Default Punch Cards.

Tim:
>> Now, with these kids and their Windows box, they still get to experience
>> something like that (even if applications are quick to start), with
>> prolonged boot-ups, and all those reboots... :-p

Alan:
> "You have moved your mouse. To make change permanent please reboot."

It's almost that bad... ;-) PS/2 mice would annoy me, if the computer
started without noticing the mouse, you had to reboot to attach it.
Didn't have to with the same hardware on Linux, though.

I have a laptop that came with Vista, so I kept it, but usually ignore
it, running Linux from another partition. Occasionally I'll boot it,
it'll start, whinge that anti-virus is out of date, download an update,
and whinge that I must reboot. I haven't even started to use the
computer for my own purposes, yet, and I'm already having to reboot!
I'm not sure whether if I keep on going, and not reboot, whether the
anti-virus is running, but with old definitions, or isn't running.
Well, I can see it's "running," I just don't know if it's "working," and
I'm not going to test it.

Everything's a bloody reboot...

--
(This computer runs FC7, my others run FC4, FC5 & FC6, in case that's
important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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