On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 02:01 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> 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).
> Les H
Remember the rewind and stretch tape in the (then new) Univac VI c Servo
tape drives! 2400 ft of tape rendered useless at 1200 BPI!!! Then the
Univac 1050 was a transitional machine with mostly transistors but still
some tubes. Loading a program required you (the programmer) to define
which Exec was going to be used (there were 3 - Console, Canadian and
the third escapes me --- obviously the last was hardly used....
The card reader jams were common and so was the old drum/chain printers
--- jamming paper during a printout was common.
The console was a TTY with the ability to use paper tape --- Control-G
to ring the bell and Escape escape escape to terminate.... and reading
paper tape was a pain since it also had the ability to jam and heaven
The disk drives required weekly PM (preventative maintenance), which if
not done could cause you to loose all your data if the drive was writing
at less than optimal speed and was re-calibrated! Ah those cat's eyes on
the oscilloscope were wonderful to see. when doing PM which let you know
the drive was spinning at the correct speed!!!.
We programmed mostly in Assembly language since memory was at a premium
(12k), imagine our surprise when we received the first 3rd generation
computer with the outstanding amount of 32k!!!!
The fun we had with those machines and now we're using Linux and
# 458454 http://counter.li.org
fedora-list mailing list
To unsubscribe: https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-list