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Old 04-02-2004, 06:33 AM   #43
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Guess I must be older than some of you. The 1st computer I worked on used vacume tubes and drum memory built by Burroughs (now Unisys).
Wouldn't fit in a 31 ft A/S.
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:41 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by garry
Guess I must be older than some of you. The 1st computer I worked on used vacume tubes and drum memory built by Burroughs (now Unisys).
Wouldn't fit in a 31 ft A/S.
We are honored and awed to be in the presence of an elder from the time of The Creation (of modern computers, of course)! That is too cool, Garry! Tell us 'youngsters' about 'drum memory'! When I first became bewildered with these d*mn things, they were just switching from tape to the 12" disk drives way back then... your experience obviously predates that. I didn't even know that there was such a thing! Explain, explain, explain!!!! What was that system used for? Back then, banks, the federal government, and universities had the only machines...

Roger
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:25 AM   #45
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I recall reading of that beast....the Jetson's cartoon poked fun at it and coalled thier comptuer a Uniblab in an episode.

Eric
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:08 AM   #46
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When I got out of the Navy in '69 I worked on a Univac 494 with drum and fastrand storage. Univac is now Unisys.
Unisys is still alive and the company I work for uses their systems.
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:46 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed & Debbie
Wonder what happened to Data General & Wang?
Didn't the latter team up with Chung and hit the concert circuit?

Not to tout my vintageness, but my first exposure to 'puters was writing BASIC programs for card fondling main frames that occupied dedicated computer centers (an entire stand alone, air conditioned building for you young'ns). I don't look back too often, and when I do I never get the warm fuzzies, only hot frazzies. Nevertheless, as Bob sometimes sang, thanks for the memories .....
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Old 04-02-2004, 12:37 PM   #48
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The old Wang Hdqtrs is still standing, located just off of I-495, was sold off for pennies on the dollar back abt 10 yrs ago or so. After the old man died, the son took over the business and, it just went belly up shortly after that.The actual selling price was in the 500k price range, if my memories serves me rightly.
Data General, It's been years since I've heard anything at all about them. As far as I know it, they're still around. 53FC
500k was the selling price of the building; not the business. The business itself was restructured to the point of not even being a shadow of its former self. I'm not sure if there is still a corporation called "wang labratories", or not. there was for quite a while...did mostly software stuff, I guess. anyway, their demise is blamed on their attempt to go mano-a-mano with IBM, sticking mostly to the mini-computer business, which was fading, and changing to the PC world that we know now. too little, too late, Wang started making their own pc's, which were really good machines, I'm told, but unique architecture. The standard was already set, though, and IBM's release of their pc patent flooded the market w/ cheap clones, and again, Wang tried to stick to their guns...but lost. I remember seeing Wang-labeled pc clones in the stores before they finally disappeared from view, trying to squeeze a few last dollars out of their name recognition. sad...

that must have been some sort of "sweetheart" deal for the developer that bought that building..still known as the "Wang Tower" to us locals. 500k was a rediculously low price for that enormous complex. someone's palms were greased big time, there.

used to work as a security guard for Wang when I was in college. My folks could wallpaper their house with the Wang stock that they stupidly held on to for so many years...they both worked there for years.

Data General was bought by EMC corporation in 1999. EMC still supports DG's stuff, I guess. EMC is known for their high-capacity storage equipment. disk arrays, etc...
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:06 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Didn't the latter team up with Chung and hit the concert circuit?

Not to tout my vintageness, but my first exposure to 'puters was writing BASIC programs for card fondling main frames that occupied dedicated computer centers (an entire stand alone, air conditioned building for you young'ns). I don't look back too often, and when I do I never get the warm fuzzies, only hot frazzies. Nevertheless, as Bob sometimes sang, thanks for the memories .....
I was an IBM Customer Engineer, hired with a dozen others in 1956 to install and maintain the first big IBM computer in the midwest, an IBM 705, at National Life & Accicent in Nashville. I was loaned to the customer in 1957 to help rewrite their main program ; it was called "Run 1" and ran all night once a week, processing the weekly billings and payments. We programmed in a sorta-high-level language called "Autocoder". The 705 was a decimal machine and we started with 20,000 (decimal) 6-bit storage locations and later upgraded to 40,000 storage. Output was by 2 hydraulic-carriage high-speed wire printers; I was known as the fastest wire replacer in town.

We had just about the entire 8th floor of the NL&A building for the machine, especially air conditioned and with electrostatic filters. I was promoted to the development lab at Poughkeepsie to work on the 705 Mod 3. I visited NL&A later and they had 2 705s crammed into the space.
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Old 04-02-2004, 02:07 PM   #50
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I've still got some 5081's that I use for book markers and note pads. I've even scribbled short programs on them.
I've even still have a spring pusher that I used on mother fletcher's card mulcher that was attached to a 360-25. That was a neat machine, able to emulate just about anything. And the @#$% thing used to keep running even with the tempurature over 95 F. I complained to IBM about that and they laughed.
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Old 04-02-2004, 02:08 PM   #51
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Ibm 705

Is that you in this pic, John?

- Charlie
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:26 PM   #52
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That is Dr. Smith at Alpha Control just before he went to sabotage the Jupiter II!
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:55 PM   #53
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Is that you in this pic, John?

- Charlie
Almost could be, but our 720 tape drives weren't arranged like that.

We cleaned every one of out 720 tape drives once every shift. When I went into the deelopment lab in 1958, I first worked for Jim Weidenhammer (sp?), the guy who invented the vacuum column used in the tape drives of that era.

Whoops! Here comes UPS with my new camera ... a Sony F828.
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:40 PM   #54
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As an honors-English college freshman in 1984, I was recruited to participate in a yearlong experiment. This was when computers' magic was just starting to be felt in the mainstream (to my mind), and a couple of professors got the bright idea that learning to program might make us better writers. So we took a writing test at the beginning of the year, then took symbolic logic, Basic, Cobol and Fortran classes along with our English comp. They tested us at the end and we were a mess! As a group we did way worse. We felt terrible--I've never seen such crestfallen profs. But they were going to give it another shot the next year with a fresh crop of frosh. I've always carried extra guilt because my personal contribution was to get some guy down the hall to write my first Basic program for me so I could watch a university showing of "Alien" (remember the era when, if you missed it at the theater, you were hosed?) And since I didn't do the first exercise, I was lost on the succeeding ones, and since I didn't master the Basic programming concepts, I was way behind the curve on Fortran and Cobol, so you can see that it was a nervewracking year for me. They were lucky I could write my name at the top of the assignment at the end.
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:48 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
That is Dr. Smith at Alpha Control just before he went to sabotage the Jupiter II!
Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!

Roger
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:51 PM   #56
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OK, so which one of you guys set up this one?
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