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View Diary: I need computer help! Apple or PC? (139 comments)

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  •  When I first touched a computer, it was (8+ / 0-)

    An IBM 360, with a perforated tape reader for my programming. Only older students could use the machine language punch cards.  When IBM gave up on computers, I gave up on windoze.

    Go Mac, young man, go Mac.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:14:23 PM PST

    •  LOL. When I First Recorded To A Media (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, BlackSheep1

      it was a cassette tape.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:16:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Punch cards. (4+ / 0-)

      My first experience of computing was typing punch cards, that were then run on the college mainframe.  Then the school purchased an RML380Z z80 based machine running BASIC or machine code, if you were brave and could hand compile the assembly language.

      From there, a Sinclair ZX81, Commodore 64 with disk drive, Tatung Einstein C/PM pc, several Atari STs  and PCs from XT  up to the home built Quad core AMD desktop with dual screens.

      Alongside these an Apple Newton, a couple of PDAs from Dell, an Ipad 1, a Motorola Xoom and now a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

      I'll have to save up for the Google Glass.  HMD...

      In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

      by Tailgunner30uk on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:33:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to have to run jet engine emulation program (6+ / 0-)

        when I worked in advanced design for an aerospace company -- we would simulate the various drag levels of inlet designs and then see what the performance of the engine would be relative to some theoretical flight missions.  The programs took three to four boxes of punch cards.  One time the technician dropped the box, thought he got them back into order, didn't tell us, and it took 3 weeks to debug the program to figure out what had happened, one card at a time.  After that, I learned the old timers trick of drawing a pretty picture on the top of the deck so that it was immediately apparent when a card got out of it's appointed slot!

        The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

        by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:05:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amdahl 470V/6 here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Ishmaelbychoice

      It was 100% compatible with System/360 but this particular installation ran MTS instead.

      I connected to it via a teletype that used a roll of thermal paper. You would pick up the phone handset, (rotary) dial the access number, then plug the handset itself into rubber suction cups on the back of the thing.

      Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

      by eataTREE on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:39:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep I Remember That; Actually I Dabbled a Little (3+ / 0-)

      on a timeshare workstation of some kind tied to a computer out in the midwest, doing some very primitive BASIC programs.

      That used the punch tape, then when I got to university there was the 360 and we all used the cards.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:42:19 PM PST

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    •  Luxury! (5+ / 0-)

      (And you try to tell that to the young people today, they won't believe you).

      When programming classes first started at my high school, I enrolled in both of them in the same year: one FORTRAN, one COBOL.

      For the COBOL course, which was brand new in the year 19 (mumble, mumble), each student got a box of pre-punched cards. A whole 2000-card "kit" for each person. They were pre-punched with things like:

      PARAGRAPH1.
      PARAGRAPH2.
      ...
      ADD 1 TO COUNTER1.
      ADD 1 TO COUNTER2.
      ...
      IF COUNTER1 > ITEM1 GOTO PARAGRAPH1.
      IF COUNTER1 > ITEM2 GOTO PARAGRAPH2.
      ...
      On and on, a whole freakin' box of generic statements. You "wrote" a program by selecting the cards, putting them in the right order, and sending them off to a Control Data service bureau overnight, on the random chance that a syntax error wouldn't abort the entire damn thing. I think it was called SCUP (School Computer Use Program). What a horrid piece of shit.

      Fortunately I was simultaneously taking the FORTRAN course, also brand new, for which we had a brand spanking new IBM 029 keypunch machine. At least you had the freedom to make your own mistakes before trusting your precious cards to the overnight gods.

      I soon abandoned the pre-punched nonsense and started writing my own COBOL from scratch, keypunching them myself.

      That was what we had, and we liked it.

      Everybody had to start somewhere.

      The number to call is BR-549.

      by lotac on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:05:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hated Hollerith cards... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotac, Calamity Jean, 207wickedgood

        ...there were never enough free keypunch machines in IIT's Data Center when I was there.

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:08:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It actually got worse (5+ / 0-)

          A few short years after those initial courses in high school, at my first paying job, we also used punched cards. But, we didn't actually get to use the keypunch machines ourselves. Instead, we had to hand-print on coding sheets, which then went into the keypunch room (behind locked doors) where the "girls" spent their days punching cards from our coding sheets and other hard-copy documents.

          There was no such thing as a PC back then. There were teletype terminals, and eventually big dumb glass screen terminals, but they were so expensive and with dedicated functionality, they were also kept in a "terminal room" as a scarce resource.

          They don't make them like they used to.

          That's actually a good thing.

          The number to call is BR-549.

          by lotac on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:15:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ain't that the truth. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotac, radical simplicity

            As I write on my iPad3 with a funky cool plastic fantastic Logitech blue teethed keyboard.

            Still. . . .

            I now use the ipad for work, and as much for play. Rewriting novel #4 on it, and use it to sketch and create art.  When I tire of that, Ye almighty anvil and forge beckon. Red hot steel is a great way to relieve the stresses.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:25:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We had to do our own keypunching... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotac, Calamity Jean

            ...and occaisionally someone would steal the chads from the collector bins. These made great skulking material (I'm a former fratboy). Near the end of my senior year the school bought a PR1ME minicomputer, and installed DECTerminals, but I didn't take any courses that required access to the PR1ME. Most of what I learned in college WRT programming was useless after I graduated.

            Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

            by JeffW on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:26:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  IIT? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, JeffW

          As in Illinois Tech on south state Street?

          During my second time there, in the mid 70s, as a veteran I looked old enough to slip in and use the keypunch machines reserved for graduate students. The others were touch and often no go.

          •  Yep! (0+ / 0-)

            Entered 1973, graduated (finally!) in 1978, with a BS in civil engineering. You sound an awful lot like one of my fraternity brothers (triangle), but that's as far as I'll go in public on that. Feel free to kosmail me, though.

            Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

            by JeffW on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:12:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Uh oh. ... I did punch cards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      for Fortran.

      I learnt command line for VMS.

      I learnt GUI for Mac with Eudora (gag a maggot off a gutwagon).

      I think AMD chips rock, I lust after G-Force graphics capability, and I swear by Kubuntu / Firefox / Libre Office.

      I think maybe I'm old. I figured out this morning I've had a driver's license for ... come my birthday ... 40 years, now.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:36:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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