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Subject: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 4:01 pm


We all use computers these days.  It is hard to imagine a world without them.  I'm using one now and can't remember any amount of time passing when I didn't use one.  I began learning how to program computers when I was 17 years old, just before the 1970's.  I went to a computer programming school to learn what I could about them before they were ever popular.  I believe because I chose this field is the reason that I have never in my life been unemployed. (Knock Wood)

I'm dedicating this thread to "the good old days", to impart my experience as I grew along with the industry.  Most people have no idea when and how computers developed.  I'm revisiting the days of the mainframe when IBM was king and before IBM said, "Let that Gates guy have the small computer, how could it possibly hurt us"?  One of the first mainframes I have ever worked on was an IBM 360 model 85.  At the time it was state of the art and cost millions of dollars.  Today an old Zenith 286 computer runs rings around this beast.  The mainframe took up about 3,000 square feet of space and it took about eight people to run it.  The console operator had a PA system to communicate with the crew because of the size of the room and the noise this beast made.

Back in those days the machines were leased and not bought.  IBM or whatever company usually had one of their own engineers on site during what we called the principle period of maintenance which was usually 8:00AM to 5:00PM.  After that depending on the lease it could cost money to get the engineer out to work on a problem outside this period. 

Typically back then computers were run 24/7 and shift work was extremely common.  I can remember working on shift and the computer malfunctioning and not being able to call in hardware help because of the money that it would cost.  The shift operator was expected to keep the machine running until relieved and was really not allowed to mess with the hardware.  It was kind of like a catch 22.  I learned on many a grave shift how to get around hardware problems until the day shift arrived so that the engineer could address the problem and not get myself in a bind with management. 

I hope you all find this thread interesting.  I have a bunch of stuff already put together on this subject.  I have some gee whiz facts and some questions to answer.  Hope you find this enjoyable and enlightening.



Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 4:06 pm


How we've changed.  The picture below is what a typical Digital Equipment Corporation KI 10 mainframe looked like.  The blue units in the upper right side of the photo are memory units.  Each one was capable of storing 512K of memory.  They were the size of phone booths and a real nightmare for maintenance crews to work on when they malfunctioned.  Now you can put gigabytes of memory on a piece of silicon and put it in your pocket.  The smaller the hardware the bigger they become.  The photo is only showing about 1/3 of the full size of the mainframe.


http://www.megabaud.fi/~setala/pics/ki10a.gif

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: gibbo on 08/13/10 at 5:14 pm

Very interesting. I saw some similar mainframes in the late 70's when working in the bank (data processing center). Big machines...very noisy.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 6:10 pm


Very interesting. I saw some similar mainframes in the late 70's when working in the bank (data processing center). Big machines...very noisy.



Gibbo, I operated one of these for about 6 1/2 years.  It used almost the same operating system as Microsoft's DOS.  The OS was called TOPPS 10


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 6:14 pm


Does anyone know what these are?  The picture makes them look like they are interlinked but they are just one lying on top of another.


http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:iiGYWhKu3qvffM:http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Andy/XmasTrees/WriteProtectRings.jpg



Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: ADH13 on 08/13/10 at 6:54 pm


Wow, that is early...

The first computer I ever used was probably around 1981 at my school, it was a TRS-80 (Radio Shack brand).  They only had about 10 of them so we had to get in groups and share computers.

Then I finally got a computer at home in about 1985.  It was an Atari 800, I think.  I didnt have a monitor, I would hook it up to the TV.  I think that same year, I got a 300 baud acoustic modem and started calling local BBS's (messageboards).  As BBS's progressed into multi-line with real-time interaction, I got involved in MUD (multi user dungeon) games, and started developing a bit in C+.

I don't know what happened after that, but I never followed computer stuff much after that, and it's frustrating that people who didn't even know what a modem was in 1991, now know a million times more than I do. ::)

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 7:20 pm


Odyssey - The more I learn about them the more I realize just how much I dont know about them.  No one knows it all and the technology changes faster than a hypochondriac changes symptoms.


The picture above is of three magnetic tape write protect rings. I have several of these relics at work.  Maybe one out of 25 IT people know what they are. 

If the ring was in the magnetic tape it could be written on. If it were out it was write protected.  A pin on the inside hub of the tape drive was depressed when the ring was in thus making it possible to write to the tape. 





Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 7:24 pm


What is this a picture of?

A. Card sorter
B. Card interpeter
C. Card counter
D. Card verifier


http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Punch_card_machine.JPG

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Frank on 08/13/10 at 7:26 pm

My first computer was in the year 1979 I think. The language on it was APL. Files were stored on cassettes. The monitor wasn't really a monitor, just a one line screen. This is going back a long time.
Maybe a year or two later, a buddy got a commodore 64 Wow.! That was so amazing back then.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Frank on 08/13/10 at 7:29 pm



What is this a picture of?

A. Card sorter
B. Card interpeter
C. Card counter
D. Card verifier


http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Punch_card_machine.JPG
This brings me back. My 1st year of university, we used to have to put our data on cards similar to your photo. If the cards were in the wrong orderr, just 1 of them, the program woudl be wrong.
I think this might be an actual card machine sorter.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 8:04 pm


This brings me back. My 1st year of university, we used to have to put our data on cards similar to your photo. If the cards were in the wrong orderr, just 1 of them, the program woudl be wrong.
I think this might be an actual card machine sorter.



;) Right you are Frank.  I've used them back just a bit more than a few years ago.  It is indeed a card sorter.  8)



Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/13/10 at 9:22 pm


COBOL is a very old computer programming language that was used as early as the 1960's.  It was the first computer language that actually used English in it's source code.  COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language.  As programming languages go it is extremely verbose.  During the Y2K "crisis" most of the code that needed to be rewritten was COBOL.  Most of the changes done was in areas that contained dates.  Dates in COBOL programs used only the last two digits of the year.  So 1972 was expressed simply as 72.  The popular myth was that programmers were lazy and didn't bother to use a four digit date.

The reality of using two digit dates was driven by cost.  During the 60's and 70's disk space and memory was very expensive.  A typical COBOL program may have thousands of dates.  By using only two digits instead of four a vast amount of savings was realized.  By the year 2000 there were still a lot of COBOL applications in use.  So to avoid massive computer errors all the code that dealt with the dates had to be changed or calculations that used a date would produce erroneous results.  For example a phone bill for a toll call could be computed as being as long or longer than 100 years if the dates were not changed to four digits.  Could you imagine the price tag on that call?

COBOL was developed by a female US Navy Admiral.  She became known as "The Mother of COBOL". 


Who is known as the Mother of COBOL?

A. Hedda Hopper
B, Alice Cooper
C. June Nelson
D. Grace Hopper

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: gibbo on 08/14/10 at 2:16 am



What is this a picture of?

A. Card sorter
B. Card interpeter
C. Card counter
D. Card verifier


http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Punch_card_machine.JPG



I'll guess...card verifier?  I remember filling in computer code cards when at school. They would send them off to one of the local Universities for reading. Oh...how it's changed!

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 4:14 am


Wow, that is early...

The first computer I ever used was probably around 1981 at my school, it was a TRS-80 (Radio Shack brand).  They only had about 10 of them so we had to get in groups and share computers.

Then I finally got a computer at home in about 1985.  It was an Atari 800, I think.  I didnt have a monitor, I would hook it up to the TV.  I think that same year, I got a 300 baud acoustic modem and started calling local BBS's (messageboards).  As BBS's progressed into multi-line with real-time interaction, I got involved in MUD (multi user dungeon) games, and started developing a bit in C+.

I don't know what happened after that, but I never followed computer stuff much after that, and it's frustrating that people who didn't even know what a modem was in 1991, now know a million times more than I do. ::)



I remember that TRS 80 when it came out or how it was "affectionately" known as the "trash 80".  I knew it was just a matter of time before someone made a small computer.  My friend had one and I toyed with it.  It seemed so limited as compared to what I could do on the old mainframes.  But it blazed the trail and like you after that I had a whole slew of small computers.  I got the Color TI when it first came out.  It actually played games!  Wow.  I programmed a hangman game on it and ran it out of memory, all 16K because I had to store the hangman words within the program.

Then sometime later after owning something else that I can't quite remember, I got my hands on a  Tandy/Radio Shack CoCo.  This had more power than the trash 80.  My son was having problems in school with spelling.  I wrote a program for him to study his spelling words.  I'd plug in the words for the week in and then the program would display each word for 10 seconds.  It would then blank the screen and solicit input for that word.  It made a happy sound and a feel good message whenever he got it correct.  It made a sour sound and a helpful try again if he got it wrong.  He liked playing on the computer so well that he practiced everyday.  He never had problems with spelling again.

Yeah after the trash 80 I always had some kind of small computer but I always thought the mainframes were the real deal until Microsoft came out with its DOS OS and we started getting them at work.  I knew right then and there that the mainframes were on their way out. I was a one man shop where I worked.  I was the IT guy and management basically left me alone.  All they wanted from me was results on their computers and databases.  What made the transition so easy was the fact that I had worked on DEC 10 mainframes that had almost the exact OS as the new PCs had and that was DOS.  I had a very tiny learning curve and I impressed the bosses with my learning speed and agility in getting these new systems up and running in record time.  (whatever the record was back in the mid 80s)  I was thankful for that ease in transition. 

Yeah I grew up with the industry and am still growing along with it but these days you have to specialize in something since no one person can be an expert at all the disciplines that we have today.  My current speciality is related to comms. 





Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 4:25 am


Gibbo, look about three posts back and you'll see that Frank identified this as a card sorter.  He wrote his answer into the original picture and it is hard to see making it easy to miss. I will touch lightly on verifiers later on in this thread.  Thanks for your input to this thread.  Verifier was a good guess.  Why not try to identify who "The Mother of COBOL" was?  It is a multiple guess question a few posts above this one. 


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/14/10 at 6:55 am



Does anyone know what these are?  The picture makes them look like they are interlinked but they are just one lying on top of another.


http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:iiGYWhKu3qvffM:http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Andy/XmasTrees/WriteProtectRings.jpg






For a second,I thought they looked like the olympic symbol.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/14/10 at 6:57 am

I remember Apple Computers back in the early 80's,Boy things have changed over the 30 years.  :o

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/14/10 at 10:28 am

I used to use IBM cards when I was in communications. Messages would come in at 500 cards each (that was the max). If we had to send them out, we had to create a header & ending card for each message. You had a whole bunch of these 500 card messages in a box and carrying them across the room, when all of a sudden...OOPS!!! You are playing 500 card pick up. You never know what order the cards are in so you HAVE to go back to the originating station to request a retransmit and you ALWAYS, ALWAYS say due to "equipment malfunction."  :D ;D ;D ;D


BTW: I posted this not to long ago on another thread. This is my dinosaur that I used for my undergraduate degree.

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww64/CatwomanofV/006.jpg


Not a computer per say as much as just a word processor. And yes, I still have it. It is the only thing that I have that can read my old files.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 10:55 am


I used to use IBM cards when I was in communications. Messages would come in at 500 cards each (that was the max). If we had to send them out, we had to create a header & ending card for each message. You had a whole bunch of these 500 card messages in a box and carrying them across the room, when all of a sudden...OOPS!!! You are playing 500 card pick up. You never know what order the cards are in so you HAVE to go back to the originating station to request a retransmit and you ALWAYS, ALWAYS say due to "equipment malfunction."  :D ;D ;D ;D


BTW: I posted this not to long ago on another thread. This is my dinosaur that I used for my undergraduate degree.

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww64/CatwomanofV/006.jpg


Not a computer per say as much as just a word processor. And yes, I still have it. It is the only thing that I have that can read my old files.



Cat



I used to use IBM cards when I was in communications. Messages would come in at 500 cards each (that was the max). If we had to send them out, we had to create a header & ending card for each message. You had a whole bunch of these 500 card messages in a box and carrying them across the room, when all of a sudden...OOPS!!! You are playing 500 card pick up. You never know what order the cards are in so you HAVE to go back to the originating station to request a retransmit and you ALWAYS, ALWAYS say due to "equipment malfunction."  :D ;D ;D ;D


BTW: I posted this not to long ago on another thread. This is my dinosaur that I used for my undergraduate degree.

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww64/CatwomanofV/006.jpg


Not a computer per say as much as just a word processor. And yes, I still have it. It is the only thing that I have that can read my old files.



Cat



Can you say 291 or was it 491 or 3C0?  ::) 

And I don't doubt it that the Smithsonian piece ppictured here is the only thing around that can read your files.  ;)  I guess if you really really needed to read the stuff on a more state of the art processor you could probably download some free translation software.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 11:29 am




This is a picture of a good old fashioned punch card.

http://codinghorror.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a85dcdae970b0120a86e2e26970b-pi





Pictured here is an IBM 029 Key Punch machine.  It was used to punch 80 column cards for input to electronic processors and messsage handling machines.


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:HNTzpSiLyqIMWM:http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/029b.jpg
The punch card was invented by Herman Holirith

IBM developed a model 059 punch card verifier.  It looked very much like the model 029 pictured here.  In the old days of card input, they needed a way to ensure that the data entered was as accurate as possible.  Analysts, programmers and clerks would write data onto 80 column documentation forms and submit them to a key punch operator to punch the data onto cards.  A different person would then take the punched deck and put it into a punch card verifier and use the same documentation forms and "re-punch" the data.  The 059 verifier would shoot a beam of light and if the beam did not register with the sensor at the other end then either the verifier punched the wrong character or the punch operator punched the wrong character.  Either way it made an annoying sound and the verifier would then inspect the card to see what the error could be.  If the punch operator made a typo then the verifier would punch a new card thus insuring accuracy.


Just for fun...

Herman Hollerith invented the punch card.  The first use of the card was used when and for what?

A. 1932 Presidential election
B. 1958 Launching of the first Jupiter rocket
c. 1900 Census tabulation
D. 1938 By the IRS for tax returns that year
E. 1956 Chase Manhattan Bank for bank account numbers matched to customers
F. 1950 New York Department of Motor vehicle registrations
G. 2000 US presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush - The hanging chad.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/14/10 at 11:51 am



Can you say 291 or was it 491 or 3C0?   ::) 

And I don't doubt it that the Smithsonian piece ppictured here is the only thing around that can read your files.   ;)  I guess if you really really needed to read the stuff on a more state of the art processor you could probably download some free translation software.






291. To this day, that number always catches my eye. I think I was a 491 for just a short period of time before I became a 751.  :D ;D ;D ;D  (I'm sure everyone else is probably thinking, "What the hell are they talking about?  ;) :D ;D ;D )






This is a picture of a good old fashioned punch card.

http://codinghorror.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a85dcdae970b0120a86e2e26970b-pi





Pictured here is an IBM 029 Key Punch machine.  It was used to punch 80 column cards for input to electronic processors and messsage handling machines.


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:HNTzpSiLyqIMWM:http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/029b.jpg


That was the machine I used to work on. I still have a card lying around here somewhere that says, "Hello Shumck" on it.  :D ;D ;D


The punch card was invented by Herman Holirith

IBM developed a model 059 punch card verifier.  It looked very much like the model 029 pictured here.  In the old days of card input, they needed a way to ensure that the data entered was as accurate as possible.  Analysts, programmers and clerks would write data onto 80 column documentation forms and submit them to a key punch operator to punch the data onto cards.  A different person would then take the punched deck and put it into a punch card verifier and use the same documentation forms and "re-punch" the data.  The 059 verifier would shoot a beam of light and if the beam did not register with the sensor at the other end then either the verifier punched the wrong character or the punch operator punched the wrong character.  Either way it made an annoying sound and the verifier would then inspect the card to see what the error could be.  If the punch operator made a typo then the verifier would punch a new card thus insuring accuracy.


Just for fun...

Herman Hollerith invented the punch card.  The first use of the card was used when and for what?

A. 1932 Presidential election
B. 1958 Launching of the first Jupiter rocket
c. 1900 Census tabulation
D. 1938 By the IRS for tax returns that year
E. 1956 Chase Manhattan Bank for bank account numbers matched to customers
F. 1950 New York Department of Motor vehicle registrations
G. 2000 US presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush - The hanging chad.





My guess is the 1900 Census.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 12:53 pm



291. To this day, that number always catches my eye. I think I was a 491 for just a short period of time before I became a 751.  :D ;D ;D ;D  (I'm sure everyone else is probably thinking, "What the hell are they talking about?  ;) :D ;D ;D )



That was the machine I used to work on. I still have a card lying around here somewhere that says, "Hello Shumck" on it.  :D ;D ;D


My guess is the 1900 Census.



Cat



291 and 511 merged in the 80's to make 491.  I lost track after that.  To confuse things more for everyone reading this, 491 was first 685 and then 511.  ??? ??? ???

And yes the punch card is reported to have been used for the very first time in the 1900 census.  ;) You've answered that like you already knew that answer.  :)  Great solve!  8)  Given your background, I'm not surprised.  It is one of those gee whiz things they give you when starting a new block of study in school. 

I was a "bypass specialist", but the school I did attend imparted that info about the 1900 census to me many many moons ago. I still have a few punch cards around just to mess with people at work asking them what this is.  I do the same with the mag tape write protect rings.  So few know what these things are. 

"Hello Smuck"?  LOL!  :D ;D :D ;D

Hello smuck translates on the card to an 12-8 punch for the "H" a 12-5 punch for the "E", an 11-3 for the two letters "L", an 11-6 for the letter "O".  Smuck translates to a 0-2 for the "S", an 11-4 for the "M", a 0-4 for the "U", a 12-3 for the "C" and an 11-2 for the "K".

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/14/10 at 1:32 pm



291 and 511 merged in the 80's to make 491.  I lost track after that.  To confuse things more for everyone reading this, 491 was first 685 and then 511.  ??? ??? ???

And yes the punch card is reported to have been used for the very first time in the 1900 census.   ;) You've answered that like you already knew that answer.   :)  Great solve!  8)  Given your background, I'm not surprised.  It is one of those gee whiz things they give you when starting a new block of study in school. 

I was a "bypass specialist", but the school I did attend imparted that info about the 1900 census to me many many moons ago. I still have a few punch cards around just to mess with people at work asking them what this is.  I do the same with the mag tape write protect rings.  So few know what these things are. 

"Hello Smuck"?  LOL!   :D ;D :D ;D

Hello smuck translates on the card to an 12-8 punch for the "H" a 12-5 punch for the "E", an 11-3 for the two letters "L", an 11-6 for the letter "O".  Smuck translates to a 0-2 for the "S", an 11-4 for the "M", a 0-4 for the "U", a 12-3 for the "C" and an 11-2 for the "K".





I seem to recall somewhere in the dark ages hearing about those data cards being used at the turn of the century (of the 20th Century that is).


The "Hello Shmuck" (However it is spelled) was a "gift" from one of our DUSTE (or whatever the acronym is-we just called it DUSTY and that it was  :D ;D ;D ) maintenance guys.




Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/14/10 at 1:34 pm




This is a picture of a good old fashioned punch card.

http://codinghorror.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a85dcdae970b0120a86e2e26970b-pi





Pictured here is an IBM 029 Key Punch machine.  It was used to punch 80 column cards for input to electronic processors and messsage handling machines.


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:HNTzpSiLyqIMWM:http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/029b.jpg
The punch card was invented by Herman Holirith

IBM developed a model 059 punch card verifier.  It looked very much like the model 029 pictured here.  In the old days of card input, they needed a way to ensure that the data entered was as accurate as possible.  Analysts, programmers and clerks would write data onto 80 column documentation forms and submit them to a key punch operator to punch the data onto cards.  A different person would then take the punched deck and put it into a punch card verifier and use the same documentation forms and "re-punch" the data.  The 059 verifier would shoot a beam of light and if the beam did not register with the sensor at the other end then either the verifier punched the wrong character or the punch operator punched the wrong character.  Either way it made an annoying sound and the verifier would then inspect the card to see what the error could be.  If the punch operator made a typo then the verifier would punch a new card thus insuring accuracy.


Just for fun...

Herman Hollerith invented the punch card.  The first use of the card was used when and for what?

A. 1932 Presidential election
B. 1958 Launching of the first Jupiter rocket
c. 1900 Census tabulation
D. 1938 By the IRS for tax returns that year
E. 1956 Chase Manhattan Bank for bank account numbers matched to customers
F. 1950 New York Department of Motor vehicle registrations
G. 2000 US presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush - The hanging chad.




Wow,those were the good old days when you stood by a time clock and punched out.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/14/10 at 1:37 pm

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/punch-time-clock.jpg

Here is an old fashioned time clock.^

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 2:07 pm


http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/punch-time-clock.jpg

Here is an old fashioned time clock.^



Howard - Does anyone punch the clock anymore?  I did once in my life doing part time work in a restaurant while being a starving student.  8-P  I both loved and hated that period of my life.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/14/10 at 2:10 pm



Howard - Does anyone punch the clock anymore?  I did once in my life doing part time work in a restaurant while being a starving student.  8-P  I both loved and hated that period of my life.   ;)





Nobody punches clocks anymore but I remember when you used to wait by the time clock untill 430 or 5 and punch out and put your card to the side until the morning to punch in again.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 2:25 pm


The code that the first punch card used was called EBCDIC or the IMB standard..  (Extended Binary Coded Interchange Code)
Each card had 80 columns and these columns were divided into two groups.  One was called the "zone" and the other was called the "numeric".  The numbers that appear on the cards were from top to bottom 0 through 9.  There was room for two more rows above the "0".  Even though they were not numbered they were known as the 11 and 12 zones.  The "0" played a dual role.  It was both a zone and a numeric.  Using the zone and the numeric together a binary number could be produced.  For instance a card that had a 12 zone punched and the number 1 punched in the numeric related to a 12-1.  Using the zone which is 12 equated to binary 1100 and the numeric which equated in binary to 0001 made a binary number of 1100 0001.  So a 12 - 1 punched equated to an "A". 

So all 26 letters of the alphabet were represented with a zone and a numeric.  12 - 1 through 12 - 9 equated to "A" through "I".  11 - 1 through 11 - 9 equated to "J" through "R". Zone 0 - 2 through 0 - 9 equated to "S" through "Z".  A "0" punched in a column with no other punched characters is just that a zero.  (Binary 0000 0000).  Columns that had more than two columns punched related to special characters.

Given this the EBCDIC number 0000 0101 is equal to what letter of the alphabet?  0000 is the zone punch and 0101 is the numeric punch.

1. X
2. B
3. V
4. K



Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: gibbo on 08/14/10 at 4:55 pm



Gibbo, look about three posts back and you'll see that Frank identified this as a card sorter.  He wrote his answer into the original picture and it is hard to see making it easy to miss. I will touch lightly on verifiers later on in this thread.  Thanks for your input to this thread.  Verifier was a good guess.  Why not try to identify who "The Mother of COBOL" was?  It is a multiple guess question a few posts above this one. 





I'll say Grace Hopper. I don't know that for sure ...but I know it wasn't Hedda Hopper ;D  I only know of one famous Alice Cooper (not him either)...and June Nelson worked in television if I'm not mistaken... :-\\

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 5:33 pm


I'll say Grace Hopper. I don't know that for sure ...but I know it wasn't Hedda Hopper ;D  I only know of one famous Alice Cooper (not him either)...and June Nelson worked in television if I'm not mistaken... :-\\



Gibbo - Brilliant bit of deductive reasoning picking Grace Hopper which BTW is the correct answer.  ;) June Nelson did indeed appear on TV but as two people.  It is a name made up of June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) and Harriet Nelson from (Ozzie and Harriet).  8)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 5:58 pm



The code that the first punch card used was called EBCDIC or the IMB standard..  (Extended Binary Coded Interchange Code)
Each card had 80 columns and these columns were divided into two groups.  One was called the "zone" and the other was called the "numeric".  The numbers that appear on the cards were from top to bottom 0 through 9.  There was room for two more rows above the "0".  Even though they were not numbered they were known as the 11 and 12 zones.  The "0" played a dual role.  It was both a zone and a numeric.  Using the zone and the numeric together a binary number could be produced.  For instance a card that had a 12 zone punched and the number 1 punched in the numeric related to a 12-1.  Using the zone which is 12 equated to binary 1100 and the numeric which equated in binary to 0001 made a binary number of 1100 0001.  So a 12 - 1 punched equated to an "A".  

So all 26 letters of the alphabet were represented with a zone and a numeric.  12 - 1 through 12 - 9 equated to "A" through "I".  11 - 1 through 11 - 9 equated to "J" through "R". Zone 0 - 2 through 0 - 9 equated to "S" through "Z".  A "0" punched in a column with no other punched characters is just that a zero.  (Binary 0000 0000).  Columns that had more than two columns punched related to special characters.

Given this the EBCDIC number 0000 0101 is equal to what letter of the alphabet?  0000 is the zone punch and 0101 is the numeric punch.

1. X
2. B
3. V
4. K






Anyone wish to take a stab at this one before I move on?





Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/14/10 at 6:06 pm



Anyone wish to ake a stab at this one before I move on?









Bobo might.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 6:12 pm



Bobo might.



Cat



Time we have.  I'll wait...  ::)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Frank on 08/14/10 at 7:49 pm



Bobo might.



Cat

I am not bobo, but I'll take a shot. Given that it's zone 0, its a letter from S to Z. If S is 0000, then X is 0101

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/14/10 at 11:15 pm


Sorry, that would be incorrect.  :(  There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  The first 9 are in the 12 zone, the next 9 are in the 11 zone and then that leaves 8 letters for the zero zone.  Above I declared that S-Z used zero zone 2 through 9.  So an "S" is zone 0 numeric 2.  Count up from there.  Good try though and it sort of was a trick question.  "X" would be 0000 0111.  Do you wish to try it again?  ;)

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Frank on 08/15/10 at 12:11 am



Sorry, that would be incorrect.   :(  There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  The first 9 are in the 12 zone, the next 9 are in the 11 zone and then that leaves 8 letters for the zero zone.  Above I declared that S-Z used zero zone 2 through 9.  So an "S" is zone 0 numeric 2.  Count up from there.  Good try though and it sort of was a trick question.  "X" would be 0000 0111.  Do you wish to try it again?  ;)



V

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 8:06 am


V



I believe you have learned the concept.  ;)  Excellent.  "V" for Victory!  +1 Karma for the correct answer and learning the concept.  8)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 8:09 am


What is the definition of a computer in the most simplest of terms?

A. A machine that is able to perform complex calculations very quickly.
B. A machine that has the ability to record data and use it for later retrieval.
C. A machine that takes the results of calculations and re-inputs them in order to get another result.
D. A machine used to access the internet.

All choices are possible answers but it needs to be the most simple definition presented.  This question leads to the next posting so please answer it.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Frank on 08/15/10 at 10:11 am



What is the definition of a computer in the most simplest of terms?

A. A machine that is able to perform complex calculations very quickly.
B. A machine that has the ability to record data and use it for later retrieval.
C. A machine that takes the results of calculations and re-inputs them in order to get another result.
D. A machine used to access the internet.

All choices are possible answers but it needs to be the most simple definition presented.  This question leads to the next posting so please answer it.

I would guess "A". Certainly the answer is not "D"


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/15/10 at 10:42 am

To err is human but to really fowl things up takes a computer.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 11:10 am






  :( Sorry Frank - A is not the correct answer.  Calculators and other machines can do this.  In its simplest form it would be answer "C". I'm leading up to a machine that was built and used way over 100 years ago and this was the definition.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 11:12 am


To err is human but to really fowl things up takes a computer.



Cat



Cat - this is due to the fact that they do exactly what they are told to do and not what we want them to do.  >:(

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 11:37 am


Who is given credit for developing the first true computer based on the fact that it is a machine that takes the results of calculations that it has performed and then re-inputs them in order to get another result? 


A. Charles Babbage
B, Herman Holirith
C. Thomas Edison
D. Nikola Tesla



Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/15/10 at 2:32 pm



Who is given credit for developing the first true computer based on the fact that it is a machine that takes the results of calculations that it has performed and then re-inputs them in order to get another result? 


A. Charles Babbage
B, Herman Holirith
C. Thomas Edison
D. Nikola Tesla




My answer is Charles Babbage

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: karen on 08/15/10 at 2:43 pm


My answer is Charles Babbage


I expected you to know this one!

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: karen on 08/15/10 at 2:46 pm


Nobody punches clocks anymore but I remember when you used to wait by the time clock untill 430 or 5 and punch out and put your card to the side until the morning to punch in again.


I'm trying to remember where I saw a time clock recently.  Of course it may not still be in use, perhaps they just never took the thing down.  :-\\

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/15/10 at 3:10 pm


My answer is Charles Babbage



  ;) Oh yes, the correct answer is indeed Charles Babbage.  8)  BTW his machine was around before the 1870's.  +1 Karma for getting that one right.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/15/10 at 3:15 pm



 ;) Oh yes, the correct answer is indeed Charles Babbage.   8)  BTW his machine was around before the 1870's.  +1 Karma for getting that one right.  ;)



btw, this is Mr Charles Babbage.

http://www.inthe00s.com/avatars_custom/avatar_365.png

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/15/10 at 6:58 pm


I'm trying to remember where I saw a time clock recently.  Of course it may not still be in use, perhaps they just never took the thing down.   :-\\


Was it in good use?

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/16/10 at 3:59 am


Babbage's invention was called:

A. Calculating Machine
B. Analog Computer
C. Analytical Engine
D. Calculator

I don't expect a lot of people to know this.  Just humor me and chose a letter for an answer.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: gibbo on 08/16/10 at 6:07 am

No idea...I'll guess A or C...okay...C (Analytical Engine)

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/16/10 at 6:18 am


No idea...I'll guess A or C...okay...C (Analytical Engine)



And right you are.  ;)  Babbage named his machine "Analytical Engine".  I guess a lot of people followed his lead by naming things like search engines and such.  +1 Karma for your answer.  8)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: gibbo on 08/16/10 at 6:22 am



And right you are.  ;)  Babbage named his machine "Analytical Engine".  I guess a lot of people followed his lead by naming things like search engines and such.  +1 Karma for your answer.   8)





Cheers for that. I expected Philip Eno to snap up that question. Being a Charles Babbage fan and all...

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/16/10 at 6:30 am


Cheers for that. I expected Philip Eno to snap up that question. Being a Charles Babbage fan and all...



You beat him to the draw.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/16/10 at 6:33 am


The analytical engine, an important step in the history of computers, was the design of a mechanical general-purpose computer by English mathematician Charles Babbage. In its logical design the machine was essentially modern, anticipating the first completed general-purpose computers by about 100 years. It was first described in 1837. Babbage continued to refine the design until his death in 1871. Because of the complexity of the machine, the lack of project management science, the expense of its construction, and the difficulty of assessing its value by Parliament relative to other projects being lobbied for, the engine was never built.

Some have said that the technological limitations of the time were a further obstacle to the construction of the machine, but this has been refuted by the "partial" construction of one of Babbage's machines by his son Henry, and now by the construction of one of his simpler designs by the British Science Museum. Indications are today that the machine could have been built successfully with the technology of the era if funding and political support had been stronger.

So the nay-sayers set the computer age back about 80 years.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ac/AnalyticalMachine_Babbage_London.jpg/220px-AnalyticalMachine_Babbage_London.jpg

Trial model of a part of the Analytical
Engine, built by Babbage, as displayed
at the Science Museum (London)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 4:36 am


Bill Gates once made this (under)statement:

A. DOS at least communicates in an English like syntax.
B. WINDOWS will open the door to modern computing.
C. Small computers are really not toys.
D. 640K ought to be enough memory for anyone.

He may have said them all but one is set apart from the others and it is so true.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: karen on 08/17/10 at 7:54 am

D

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 8:14 am


D




  ;) D is the correct answer.  I remember that we were able to get more memory by loading HIMEM.SYS using the startup file CONFIG.SYS but exactly how we did it, I can't remember.  Too many bytes ago.  What was the great entrepreneur thinking when he said that?  He of all people should have known how the industry would grow.  Maybe he said it to throw off competitors; or not.  ::)  8)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 8:23 am


During sometime around the 1960's CRT's became popular on mainframe computers.  What does CRT stand for?

A. Computer Retrival Tabulator
B. Communication Receptor Terminal
C. Cathode Ray Tube
D. Computer Relational Translator

Here's a picture of the correct answer.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/SGI_Indy_CRT_Keyboard_Mouse.jpg

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: karen on 08/17/10 at 11:06 am

C cathode ray tube

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:00 pm


C cathode ray tube



This is so - they are call Cathode Ray Tubes.  I  wore my eyes out on those things.  8) <- See I'm blinded.  Good answer!  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:05 pm


How did the term "bug" come to be in regard to computers?

A. A technician troubleshooting a computer problem threw his hands in the air and walked out saying I can't handle being bugged like this.

B. A transistor radio that was too close to the mainframe that it was actually jamming frequencies seemed to be related to being bugged.

C. A large dead moth was found to be shorting out two electrical interfaces caused the computer to behave in an anomalous manner.

D. They didn't know what else to call a malfunction so they came up with "bug".

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/17/10 at 12:08 pm



How did the term "bug" come to be in regard to computers?

A. A technician troubleshooting a computer problem threw his hands in the air and walked out saying I can't handle being bugged like this.

B. A transistor radio that was too close to the mainframe that it was actually jamming frequencies seemed to be related to being bugged.

C. A large dead moth was found to be shorting out two electrical interfaces caused the computer to behave in an anomalous manner.

D. They didn't know what else to call a malfunction so they came up with "bug".





C.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:16 pm



C.



Cat


  ;) Score one for Cat - It was indeed a moth that caused the term to be so called.  8) As the story goes it took them a long time to find it and that is why the name probably stuck.  This happened in the late 1950's or early 1960's and I'm not sure but Grace Hopper may have been the one to name it because I believe she worked on that particular computer.  You and Karen both get +1 Karma for playing computer trivia with me.  Thanks.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:22 pm


Magnetic Tape Drives.  Used as both input and output devices.  They read and wrote data,  Most data backups were done on these.


http://forums.techguy.org/attachments/161455d1260809052/magnetic-tape.jpg


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/17/10 at 12:30 pm



Magnetic Tape Drives.  Used as both input and output devices.  They read and wrote data,  Most data backups were done on these.


http://forums.techguy.org/attachments/161455d1260809052/magnetic-tape.jpg






Used to work with these on the DUSTE equipment.



Cat

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:38 pm



Used to work with these on the DUSTE equipment.



Cat


I knew a guy in Japan that did DUSTE maintenance.  That's some old timer stuff fer sure.  I was running a Burroughs 3500 at the time for Mother MAC.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 12:49 pm


Tom Watson was the founder of IBM.  What quote is he most famous for that he made in 1958?

A. The development of the electronic computer will revolutionize the business world.
B. Only large corporations, banks and the government will utilize them.
C. A day will come soon when we will wonder how we ever got along without them.
D. I think there is a world market for about five computers.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/17/10 at 3:10 pm



Magnetic Tape Drives.  Used as both input and output devices.  They read and wrote data,  Most data backups were done on these.


http://forums.techguy.org/attachments/161455d1260809052/magnetic-tape.jpg





Wow,classic stuff.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 3:12 pm


Wow,classic stuff.




Take a shot of that question about two posts up.  It's multiple guess, who knows you may get lucky.  ::)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Howard on 08/17/10 at 3:15 pm



Tom Watson was the founder of IBM.  What quote is he most famous for that he made in 1958?

A. The development of the electronic computer will revolutionize the business world.
B. Only large corporations, banks and the government will utilize them.
C. A day will come soon when we will wonder how we ever got along without them.
D. I think there is a world market for about five computers.





C?

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 3:17 pm


C?



:(  Sorry - The correct answer is not "C", but thanks for giving it a shot.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 4:39 pm



Tom Watson was the founder of IBM.  What quote is he most famous for that he made in 1958?

A. The development of the electronic computer will revolutionize the business world.
B. Only large corporations, banks and the government will utilize them.
C. A day will come soon when we will wonder how we ever got along without them.
D. I think there is a world market for about five computers.





http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/04/crisis/image/thomas_watson_jr.jpg


Founder of IBM Tom Watson said in 1958:
"I think there is a world market for about five computers".  I have more than that many in my house.

Source:

http://hotviews.blogspot.com/2008/02/i-think-there-is-world-market-for-maybe.html

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/17/10 at 6:40 pm


What is pictured below:

A. Mainframe CPU
B. Core memory units
C. RP06 disk drives
D. Degaussers


http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mader/delta/images/rp06farm.gif

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/18/10 at 7:14 pm


Back in the days when mainframes were king most computer rooms had a tool in them that somehow seemed as if it did not belong there.  This "tool" was a Dentist's Mirror.  And by the way the picture above that no one wanted to answer are of RP06 Disk Drives.

Disk units were large and had about five or six metalic platters. The drive units had magnetic heads that rode on a cushion of air about one one-thousand of an inch above all the platters in order to read and write to the disk.  If the drive head made contact with the disk platter it caused a disk crash.  If the crashed disk was moved to another drive it would crash the heads on that unit and if a good pack was put on the bad drive it would destroy the good pack.  So the dentist's mirror was used to examine the underside of the drive.  If the head had a dark smudge on it, this meant that a disk crash had occurred and that the heads needed to be replaced. 

One of the rules of computer troubleshooting is using known good parts. This means swapping out parts or media to determine what the problem might be.  In the case of a disk head crash the rule of known good parts does not apply because it would cause more harm than good.  I had a supervisor who destroyed a second disk drive and two more disk packs by using the known good parts model.  I was working the night shift when she clobbered the drives and packs. 


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/19/10 at 4:36 am


What was halon used for in computer rooms?

A. Keeping the environment in the computer room dirt and dust free.
B. Control dampness in the air inside a computer room.
C. Remove all oxygen in order to extinguish a fire inside a computer room.
D. Used as coolent in air handlers inside a computer room.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Henk on 08/19/10 at 5:40 am

This is such a cool thread. I've been reading it with great interest (though I haven't much to contribute). :)




What was halon used for in computer rooms?

A. Keeping the environment in the computer room dirt and dust free.
B. Control dampness in the air inside a computer room.
C. Remove all oxygen in order to extinguish a fire inside a computer room.
D. Used as coolent in air handlers inside a computer room.



I believe halon and radon are (were) used as coolents for fridges, so I'm guessing D. is the right answer. :-\\

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/19/10 at 6:26 am


This is such a cool thread. I've been reading it with great interest (though I haven't much to contribute). :)


I believe halon and radon are (were) used as coolents for fridges, so I'm guessing D. is the right answer. :-\\


:(  Sorry - Halon is not a coolant.  It is a flame retardant.  If a fire broke out in the computer room, halon would discharge from the ceiling with such force that it could knock over computer monitors.  Halon eliminated all oxygen from the room.  Personnel inside had a very small window of time to get out of there or asphyxiate.  The cost to undue what the halon did went into the tens of thousands of dollars. Personnel were not to go back into that room until it was properly cleared.  Correct answer is C.  You get Karma for playing guess the answer.  Thanks.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/19/10 at 6:28 am


What was freon used for in computer rooms?

A. Cleaning magnetic tape unit's vacuum slots and heads.
B. Used as coolent in air handlers inside a computer room.
C. Removing of static from line printers.
D. Removing static from cathode ray tube screens.


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: Henk on 08/19/10 at 3:33 pm



:(  Sorry - Halon is not a coolant.  It is a flame retardant.  If a fire broke out in the computer room, halon would discharge from the ceiling with such force that it could knock over computer monitors.  Halon eliminated all oxygen from the room.  Personnel inside had a very small window of time to get out of there or asphyxiate.  The cost to undue what the halon did went into the tens of thousands of dollars. Personnel were not to go back into that room until it was properly cleared.  Correct answer is C.  You get Karma for playing guess the answer.  Thanks.



Thanks for the karma.
I feel a bit silly about the coolant answer though.  :-[ Now that you mention it, I remember halon being used in fire extuingishers.

Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/19/10 at 4:17 pm


Thanks for the karma.
I feel a bit silly about the coolant answer though.  :-
Would you like to take a stab at the "Freon" question? ???  And hey Henk, don't feel silly, it was kind of a trick question as is the "freon" question.  ;)


Subject: Re: Computers in the good old days

Written By: DoRitos on 08/21/10 at 6:50 am


Upper and lower case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower', because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the 'upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters. The proper term for upper case letters is "majuscule" and for lower case it's "minuscule".  Thus the term "case sensitive" evolved thereafter.


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