Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 10 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|The practice of drawing felt marker diagonal lines in various colours along the top of your computer card decks was done for what reason?||A Mainframe Computing Miscellany
To allow for visual sorting if you dropped them. The judicious use of diagonal lines down the top of a deck of cards allowed for the rapid (relatively speaking) manual sorting of a dropped deck of cards back into sequence. In addition, on the IBM-80 cards, columns 71 thru 80 were reserved for sequence numbers which could allow that invaluable piece of equipment, the card-sorter, to restore order to your dropped deck.
|WATFOR (Waterloo Fortran), first delivered in 1965 by Waterloo University, Ontario, Canada, for the IBM 7040 was a watershed in programming language development. Who was the original development team?||A Mainframe Computing Miscellany
Gus German, Jim Mitchell, Richard Shirley, Robert Zamke. Other than William Gates and Steve Jobs who were both too young at the time (both only 10). The WATFOR/WATFIV evolution is one of many great examples of the influence and success of academic initiatives in the computing industry as a whole.
octal. The Honeywell 800 was an octal (base-8) machine which existed in various forms from late 50s through early 70s. In 1965 Honeywell introduced Easycoder which generated COBOL-60 code from templates greatly accelerating development timelines and reducing number of programmer errors.
A teletype terminal that could be attached to a mainframe. The TWX-33 ("twix thirty-three") was a Teletype 33 terminal that used paper rolls and a teletype keyboard (with round keys) and could be attached to mainframe computers for remote work in the 1960s. The "33" was the lightning fast maximum printing speed of 33 characters per second using a small cylindrical print head which moved up and down and smacked against an ink-impregnated ribbon between it and the paper --- this process caused the whole unit to shake as it printed. It included an audible bell which could be programmatically rung on IBM RAX time-share systems!
Suction like cups for attaching a phone handset to computer equipment. Acoustic couplers accepted the handset of the old-style cradle phone (round speaker and mouthpiece style) into a pair of rubber "sockets" and the modem transmitted through the handset. The first of these operated at a blazing 110 bps (BITS not bytes) per second which meant transmitting 1100 bytes (less than 300 ASCII characters) would take between one and two minutes.