* Posts by TurtleBeach

2 posts • joined 1 Nov 2017

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks


Yet another batch (job) of memories

How time flies when you are having fun. In the early 70's I paid my way through the University of Virginia engineering school baby-sitting from midnight to 8:00A a 360/50 (8-10 tape drives, 8-10 drum discs, line printer, card reader) - used to reduce radio telescope data from the "Big Ear" in Greenbank West Virginia. Every day someone from Greenbank would meet someone from Charlottesville midway (the top of a mountain) and exchange tapes. The new tapes returned to Charlottesville, and I ran them overnight. Rinse and repeat 5 days a week, catch up on weekends. I learned to sleep with all the noise, but would get awakened when something finished and the console started typing away (I hated the short jobs).

My last year, I had to write a thesis, but had no typewriter. Begin an engineer, and more interested in solving a problem rather than concentrating on the thesis, I wrote, in PL/I using the console as my input device, what is now called a word processor, so I could finish the thesis (An Analysis of the Judiciary as an Information Processing System) and print it legibly. According to my faculty advisor, I almost was not granted my nuclear engineering degree because I printed it on the line printer, which did not have lower case.

While all this was going on, I was constantly harassed (in a collegial way) for writing software instead of my thesis, by a radio astronomer named Chuck Moore, who led by example and developed the Forth language (written in Fortran and run on the 360/50), since he was not satisfied with the telescope control system he had to work with. I'm not sure he ever processed any telescope date.

Those were the days...

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs


Re: Perl.... Arrggh

Ah yes... a toast to APL, and Forth...

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