kb at 2bits.com
Mon Oct 11 04:52:20 UTC 2010
On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 3:07 AM, Earl Miles <merlin at logrus.com> wrote:
> On 10/8/2010 10:25 PM, jeff at ayendesigns.com wrote:
> > Whoa! Retirement age??!! I used punch cards, card sorters, wrote device
> > drivers to get the keyboard to talk to the cpu, developed functions to
> > store and retrieve records from files before databases, and wrote my
> > first few dozen apps in mnemonic assembler, used 8" hard-sectored
> > floppies, a converted IBM selectric as line printer, CP/M, PC-DOS,
> > Windows 1, and remember my jaw dropping when they rolled out the first
> > CRT (you can backspace?!)... and I've got at almost 20 years yet until I
> > retire, though I can take up a collection if I need to go sooner!
> 20 years from retirement makes you only a few years older than I am. I
> remember the 8" floppies,
Did you ever see a mainframe that had its firmware on one of those?
And when it booted, perhaps once a week, you got a prompt on the console
to flip the diskette so it would read the other site.
After that it was the operating system.
IBM selectrics, CP/M (though I missed Windows
> 1 since I got my start in the Apple and Commodore sides)...but rarely
> did I ever see punch cards even hanging around serious geeks in the 80s.
Mainframes is where it mainly was in the 80s. At that time, UNIX systems
were available and they used "glass terminals", hence vi (visual editor)
than ed. The original "terminals" were teletypes with paper output.
> Maybe it's background related. Or maybe the 80s were longer than I
> remember them being. But my memory is that by the late 70s, punch cards
> were pretty much on their way out, and by the time PCs came to market in
> the early 80s, nobody was using them except for places with legacy
> systems that couldn't be upgraded -- and that's 40 years ago now.
Saw punched cards in production in 1990 and maybe 1991. Again, older
> I remember visiting a facility that used punch cards in the 80s, but
> even they thought they were antiques at that point.
> Just to check my history, I did a quick google and found some terminals
> with monochrome displays, I assume CRTs, from 1969. That's 40 years ago
> by itself. If you were a working adult in the 60s, that'd make you late
> 50s at best, and late 50s isn't 20 years from retirement age (whether or
> not people retire at retirement age is another story).
No, the timeline is a bit shifted. Cards were used in the 80s, and if
someone was in early to mid 20s then, then they still have 1.5 decades, give
or take, to retire.
> If you were a kid
> in the 60s and happened to be near people who used the stuff, that's
> pretty lucky. I know as a teenager in the 80s I had to work pretty hard
> to get near computers until I managed to wheedle my parents into getting
> me one.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum!
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
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Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. -- Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -- Leonardo da Vinci
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