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Computing in the 1960s


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raymac46

Well to be honest I got started about 10 years later on a System/360. They had hard disks by then that stored about 5 MB. I still had to keypunch my programs on IBM cards. Write out a flow chart, figure out the FORTRAN program, punch it up. Then get in line, put your job through, examine the output. Debug. Rinse and repeat.

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4 hours ago, raymac46 said:

What is scary is that I remember actually doing some of this.

Me too.

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1 hour ago, raymac46 said:

Well to be honest I got started about 10 years later on a System/360. They had hard disks by then that stored about 5 MB. I still had to keypunch my programs on IBM cards. Write out a flow chart, figure out the FORTRAN program, punch it up. Then get in line, put your job through, examine the output. Debug. Rinse and repeat.

Yup.  I can relate except I used COBOL.

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sunrat

In the 60s I learned how to write BOOBS and SHELLOIL on a calculator. 🤣 Didn't do any other computing stuff for over 30 years after that.

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abarbarian
2 hours ago, sunrat said:

In the 60s I learned how to write BOOBS and SHELLOIL on a calculator. 🤣 Didn't do any other computing stuff for over 30 years after that.

 

Yup I did too. Calculators were the latest thing back then for ordinary folk. Our maths teacher showed us one at the end of a lesson where we were working out how to use abacus's. 😎

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sunrat
18 minutes ago, abarbarian said:

 

Yup I did too. Calculators were the latest thing back then for ordinary folk. Our maths teacher showed us one at the end of a lesson where we were working out how to use abacus's. 😎

 

No abacus, but we did use slide rules at school. 🤓

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abarbarian
39 minutes ago, sunrat said:

 

No abacus, but we did use slide rules at school. 🤓

 

We never got around to slide rules. They did use them at the posh grammar schools as they were destained to be employed as engineers etc. Whereas us dummy secondary modern school kids were destined to be factory workers or labourers so why  bother teaching us stuff we would never use.

Guess that is why the grammar schools got swimming pools as the kids would be going on holidays abroad and swimming in tropical seas. Whereas us poor working class dummies would be paddling in the sea  at Blackpool.

 

tumblr_n0c4um1iZk1r2sw03o1_400.jpg

 

Funnily enough both types of school were funded by government with funds mainly provided by working class downtroden folk.

Rant over.

Normal service is resumed.

Wanders of to sharpen pitchfork.

🧐

Edited by abarbarian
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sunrat

I went to a posh grammar school. I wasn't great at maths. Became a sound engineer. Which is not like a university-type engineer, more like a rock dog. Nick Cave was in a year behind me. Quite a few from my school went into music and artistic stuff. My music teacher was renowned actor Norman Kaye (Man Of Flowers, great film - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085893/).

Parents were working class though, worked their butts off to put us through school. No swimming pools!

 

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raymac46

I did the whole log tables & slide rule thing. Getting to program in FORTRAN was a step up from there. Near the end of my university days the Chem department got a big Olivetti calculator for  least squares analysis. You put the programs in with magnetic card strips - like a big credit card.

Later on I worked with time sharing on TTY, various programmable calculators, BASIC on microcomputers, APL, DOS, Windows, spreadsheets, Linux. 50+ years. I learned a lot - and most of it doesn't apply anymore. :w00tx100:

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V.T. Eric Layton

HAHAHA! Funny stuff above.

 

I first used pencil and paper to make calculations. That was a step up from the abacus. I remember playing around with my older brother's Post slide rule back then. He taught me how to use it. My very first handheld electronic calculator was a Unisonic that my mother bought for me (after MUCH pleading and nagging) from Kmart in about 1975. It looked just like this one:

 

0e08de6edaec038e37270c2f247aabb4--circa-

 

That's right just four functions... that darn thing cost my mom $60. That was a serious bit of money back in those days. I didn't get another calculator till about 1979... a Texas Instruments TI-30. By that time, calculators were MUCH more functional and cheaper. I only paid about $30 for the TI. Nowadays, my smartphone does way more than the computers that were in the lunar module in 1969. Progress.

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raymac46

I found it interesting that in 1959 Time-Life had about 40 million records on its subscription list. That was 20,000 boxes of punch cards. If transferred to tape it was 200 reels or so. Total capacity a bit over 3 GB so it would fit easily on an old thumbdrive today.

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V.T. Eric Layton
4 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

That was 20,000 boxes of punch cards.

 

A lot of trees gave there all for that pile of cards.

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raymac46
8 minutes ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

 

A lot of trees gave there all for that pile of cards.

Apparently that would be a pile of boxes 7 miles high.

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Bookmem

The first program I ever wrote was on a TI-59 programmable calculator.  My wife had a quick printing shop in the 70s and she charged people a nickel a copy to use her IBM copy machine.  I programmed the TI to calculate the charge plus sales tax and print out receipts rather than use an invoice. 

ti59x.jpg

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ebrke
On 11/16/2021 at 6:19 PM, V.T. Eric Layton said:

You're OLD! ;)

I started out inputting (on punch cards) and debugging my boss's Fortran programs on an IBM 1130. Now THAT'S old.

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raymac46

My punch card experience was limited to university days. In the 1970s I learned BASIC and did most of my programming on a time share TTY.

By 1982 I had my own 8 bit microcomputer. But when my granddaughter recently asked me if I knew what nested loops were I told her  "yes."

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securitybreach

I was a bit of a late comer but my first was a Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack running Deskmate. We did have some Apple IIs at school of which I played Oregon Trail and such on.

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