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Old 04-04-2008, 07:23 AM
"Robert Rabinoff"
 
Default Punch cards

When I first learned
to program in 1964 we used an IBM 1620, fondly known
as CADET (Can't Add,
Doesn't Even Try).* It had 20,000 memory cells, each
of which stored one
decimal digit.* Words were delimited by a flag bit in
the
most significant
digit -- i.e. they were variable length.* Since there were
no
integrated circuits
then, the whole desk-sized machine, complete with blinking
lights, console
switches, and a built-in IBM Executive electric typewriter
for
small amounts of
input and output, was made with individual transistors.*
My
ex could type faster
than that machine, especially with a Selectric, but this
was before the
Selectric too.
*
For larger amounts
of input or output one of course used the read-punch unit.
You typed your
Fortran program on a keypunch, went to the machine, set the
switches, read in a
deck with the Fortran compiler, reset the switches, read in
your program and it
punched out the object code on a deck of cards.* If you

needed any
subroutines (sine, exp, etc.) they were on a separate deck you
read
in and it punched
out the necessary code.* Finally you took your compiled
deck
from the punch side,
reset the*switches, and read it in and got your output
off
the
typewriter.* If you had a lot of output, you punched it to a deck of cards
and
took them over to
the listing machine, put in an appropriate pegboard to get
the
formatting you
wanted, and printed out the deck.
*
The variable word
length was very useful for calculating Fibonacci numbers to
1000's of
digits.* Incidentally, 3/5/08 last month is a Fibonacci date, the
last
one for about 5
years till 5/8/13.* After that it's 8/13/21 and that's it for
this
century.
*
Please do not bend,
fold, staple or mutilate these cards.
*
Bob
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:45 PM
Ed Gurski
 
Default Punch Cards

On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 06:12 -0400, fedora-list-request@redhat.com wrote:

> > The card reader jams were common and so was the old drum/chain printers
> > --- jamming paper during a printout was common.
>
> And did you ever have someone dead loop their program sending form-feeds
> to a printer in another room, the wrong printer, that nobody saw
> churning its way through an entire box of paper? The really big A3
> blue-stripe fan-fold. Even worse when the paper-output spills out of
> the hopper... ;-)
>

Or some pre-printed form's wording is incorrect, and you the programmer
were supposed to notice it after printing 50 boxes of paper!!!!
--
Ed Gurski

Linux User
# 458454 http://counter.li.org

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Old 04-04-2008, 10:18 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Punch Cards

On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 09:45:16 -0400
Ed Gurski <ed@gurski.com> wrote:

> > > The card reader jams were common

I'll say one thing for punched cards though - a deck of cards and a
duplicating punch were the best available text editor for many years :-).

You could do block moves of text - just move a chunk of cards in the deck.

You could insert characters on a line - just dup the card, then hold down
the original real hard so it couldn't move when you get to the insert
column, type your new charaters, then finish the dup.

You could cut & paste by duping cards, then inserting the new ones
in the right place.

I seem to recall they paid some fantastic sum of money for an advanced
system that would let you keep your card decks on disk and edit them
and submit the jobs from the disk copy - no one used it, the editor
was so awful - real cards worked much better.

And from the latest stories on the Census bureau's attempt to
computerize, I see the state of the art hasn't advanced much :-).

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Old 04-05-2008, 12:22 AM
"Knute Johnson"
 
Default Punch cards

>When I first learned to program in 1964 we used an IBM 1620, fondly known
>as CADET (Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try). It had 20,000 memory cells, each
>of which stored one decimal digit. Words were delimited by a flag bit in the
>most significant digit -- i.e. they were variable length. Since there were no
>integrated circuits then, the whole desk-sized machine, complete with blinking
>lights, console switches, and a built-in IBM Executive electric typewriter for
>small amounts of input and output, was made with individual transistors. My
>ex could type faster than that machine, especially with a Selectric, but this
>was before the Selectric too.
>
>For larger amounts of input or output one of course used the read-punch unit.
>You typed your Fortran program on a keypunch, went to the machine, set the
>switches, read in a deck with the Fortran compiler, reset the switches, read in
>your program and it punched out the object code on a deck of cards. If you
>needed any subroutines (sine, exp, etc.) they were on a separate deck you read
>in and it punched out the necessary code. Finally you took your compiled deck
>from the punch side, reset the switches, and read it in and got your output off
>the typewriter. If you had a lot of output, you punched it to a deck of cards and
>took them over to the listing machine, put in an appropriate pegboard to get the
>formatting you wanted, and printed out the deck.
>
>The variable word length was very useful for calculating Fibonacci numbers to
>1000's of digits. Incidentally, 3/5/08 last month is a Fibonacci date, the last
>one for about 5 years till 5/8/13. After that it's 8/13/21 and that's it for this
>century.
>
>Please do not bend, fold, staple or mutilate these cards.
>
>Bob

In the middle seventies I got a job as a computer operator for an
auto parts jobber in San Bernardino. They had a General Automation
1830 which was a clone of the IBM 1130. Ours had 16K of core memory,
two disk drives the size of washing machines and a card reader. We
had four full time keypunch operators and I fed cards into that thing
all day long, about 30,000 per month. We had an IBM sorter in the
back room that I sorted cards on and a decollator that I used to
separate the multi-part paper from the carbons. Those were the days.

--

Knute Johnson
Molon Labe...


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Old 04-05-2008, 12:49 AM
Tim
 
Default Punch Cards

On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 09:45 -0400, Ed Gurski wrote:
> Or some pre-printed form's wording is incorrect, and you the
> programmer were supposed to notice it after printing 50 boxes of
> paper!!!!

You'd often see that sort of thing when someone thought they could do a
better job of working out where the top of the form was, and they'd
count lines in their program, doing all form placement using line feeds.
Instead of not trying to print on all available lines, telling the
printer the real form height, and using a form-feed command to let the
printer find the top.

--
(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 04-05-2008, 01:11 AM
"Steven P. Ulrick"
 
Default Punch Cards

On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 17:22:27 -0700
"Knute Johnson" <knute@frazmtn.com> wrote:

> >When I first learned to program in 1964 we used an IBM 1620, fondly
> >known as CADET (Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try). It had 20,000 memory
> >cells, each of which stored one decimal digit. Words were delimited
> >by a flag bit in the most significant digit -- i.e. they were
> >variable length. Since there were no integrated circuits then, the
> >whole desk-sized machine, complete with blinking lights, console
> >switches, and a built-in IBM Executive electric typewriter for small
> >amounts of input and output, was made with individual transistors.
> >My ex could type faster than that machine, especially with a
> >Selectric, but this was before the Selectric too.

> >Bob
>
> In the middle seventies I got a job as a computer operator for an
> auto parts jobber in San Bernardino. They had a General Automation
> 1830 which was a clone of the IBM 1130. Ours had 16K of core memory,
> two disk drives the size of washing machines and a card reader. We
> had four full time keypunch operators and I fed cards into that thing
> all day long, about 30,000 per month. We had an IBM sorter in the
> back room that I sorted cards on and a decollator that I used to
> separate the multi-part paper from the carbons. Those were the days.

Hello, Everyone
This may be a little off topic for this thread, but here is a link to a
picture of my Dad working on a device called a "Megabit Link
Exerciser."
http://www.afolkey2.net/gallery2/main.php/v/Ulrick1/MomAndDad/Dad/Dad-012a.jpg.html

If I remember correctly, said device is an early, and very slow,
modem.

Steven P. Ulrick

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Old 04-05-2008, 01:25 AM
Michael Eager
 
Default Punch Cards

Tom Horsley wrote:

On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 09:45:16 -0400



I seem to recall they paid some fantastic sum of money for an advanced
system that would let you keep your card decks on disk and edit them
and submit the jobs from the disk copy - no one used it, the editor
was so awful - real cards worked much better.


There were a couple products which did this. I'd used both of the main
products at one time or another. The one I used most was PanValet, if I
recall correctly. It was a reasonable step up from keeping boxes of
cards on the shelf. Which always seemed to have several versions of
the desired program, none of which matched the executable on disk. The
editor was primitive, but adequate.

I worked as Systems Programmer for a well-known Chicago magazine
publisher, maintaining HASP/MVT or JES2/MVS, I don't recall which.
The applications folks had purchased PanValet and were using it. I
suggested to the Systems Manager that we use it as well.

Well, if the Applications Manager liked something, the Systems Manager
was sure to hate it. And vice versa. There was an open position for
Director above both of them and both wanted the position.

So I ended up listening to the perils of depending on disks for our
precious sysgen decks and how card decks were much more dependable.
I guess they were much more valuable than our accounts payable or
subscription files.

--
Michael Eager eager@eagercon.com
1960 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, CA 94306 650-325-8077

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Old 04-05-2008, 01:57 AM
Matthew Saltzman
 
Default Punch Cards

On Sat, 2008-04-05 at 11:19 +1030, Tim wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 09:45 -0400, Ed Gurski wrote:
> > Or some pre-printed form's wording is incorrect, and you the
> > programmer were supposed to notice it after printing 50 boxes of
> > paper!!!!
>
> You'd often see that sort of thing when someone thought they could do a
> better job of working out where the top of the form was, and they'd
> count lines in their program, doing all form placement using line feeds.
> Instead of not trying to print on all available lines, telling the
> printer the real form height, and using a form-feed command to let the
> printer find the top.

Absolutely the worst case for this was when printing checks.

VOID VOID VOID VOID...

>
--
Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs

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Old 04-05-2008, 02:40 AM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Punch Cards

My favorite punch card recollection from the good old days
almost defies belief.

Registering for classes at FAU back in the last century involved
getting your master ID punch card at the admin building, then
schlepping around all over campus to each department where they
had pre-punched cards for all the available slots in all the
classes.

You'd collect all the cards for all the classes you wanted to take,
then bring them back to the admin building where the real magic
would happen:

With the master card in front of the class cards for each student,
the cards would be piled into one of those massive patchboard
programmable duplicators. This would copy the student ID from the
master card and punch it onto the following class cards, except
when it failed to recognize the next master when it would continue
to duplicate the ID on the next student's master.

Fortunately the highly trained operators could detect the sound
of ID numbers being duplicated on top of cards that already
had ID numbers on them and stop the machine so the screwed up
cards could be taken out and new copies punched by had to feed back in
on another try.

Once the ID numbers were on all the cards, you'd take the fantastic
pile of cards accumulated and bring them to the other machine:
The card sorter where, in pass after pass through the night, the
intrepid operators would eventually get the cards sorted by ID.

Finally this offering of cards was fit to be fed to an actual
computer program which would update a new student record tape
from the sorted input cards and the old tape in a classic
one pass update algorithm.

In a major upgrade to the system at one point, they got rid
of the patchboard duplicator, and instead fed the cards to a
computer program which did the duplication of the ID numbers
and punched out a new deck they could then run through the
sorter :-). [How many trees did that kill I wonder].

To the question of why they couldn't do the sort on the computer
as well, the answer was always "don't ask".

I'm aware that this boggles the mind, but I swear this is the
absolute truth (if I was gonna stretch things, I'd have put in
something about having to carry boxes of cards through sniper
fire :-).

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Old 04-06-2008, 11:51 PM
John Thompson
 
Default Punch cards

On 2008-04-04, Robert Rabinoff <rar113@columbia.edu> wrote:

> When I first learned to program in 1964 we used an IBM 1620, fondly known
> as CADET (Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try).

Heh. My one-and-only formal computer class was learning FORTRAN, which
we ran on an IBM 1620. The computer had more important things to do than
run student programs, so we would write them out in spiral bound
notebooks in class and as homework, then come to the computer center
after hours when the keypunches weren't being used for more important
work, punch the cards and put them in the job queue to be run over night
(we weren't allowed to touch the sacred computer). The next day we'd
come back for the job printout (on wide greenbar paper, of course),
peruse the errors in our programs, punch new cards, drop them in the
queue and repeat until it worked.

--

John (john@os2.dhs.org)

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