Reply to post: Ah, the memories

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Pirate Dave

Ah, the memories

Back in '99, when I got the current gig, our accounting and Student Info System was a conglomeration of DOS executables written in COBOL. At that time, I think we had maybe 2 laser printers on campus, neither of which was usable by that steaming pile of COBOL. But what WAS usable was a mid-range dot-matrix that was shared by several departments and had three paper input paths - two tractor feed and one friction feed, if memory serves. One tractor feed had wide green-bar, one had a pre-printed form (may have been carbonless copy), and the friction had plain 8.5x11 white fanfold. So as the Business Office and Regstrar did their printing during the day, we'd get pop-up notices from the Novell print queue to go change the "active" paper in the printer. Seems that part couldn't be automated for some reason, so we'd have to go park the paper that was in the path, then change over to whatever the path was that it wanted. I seem to recall there was a certain sequence that had to be followed when changing the paper path or kittens would die. There may or may not have been chickens involved. No goats though.

If I'm sounding vague about this (I don't even remember the printer manufacturer, much less the model), it's because we only did it for the first 3 months after I was hired, then we switched to a different system that could print to locally attached printers at each PC. All I really remember is that printer was a complete bitch to work with, and when it ran out of paper, there was much cussing to be heard when getting the new box started. And the boss at the time was a skinflint who didn't want ANY of those precious blank sheets of paper wasted. I will admit, without the faintest hint of nostalgia, that I don't miss those days in the least.

(and for the record, I like COBOL, just not that system)

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