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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 6th April 2015
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Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

I know we have a few "experienced" IT people on here so I thought this programme on BBC Radio 4 might be of interest - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05qqhqp

It's about historic milestones in the history of computer languages, I caught today's about FORTRAN over the washing up. It was interesting and I intend to make a regular date for the rest of the week.

John
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Old 6th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Ah! FORTRAN

My first language. All done on 80 column cards.
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Old 6th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

I am waiting for PL1, MFT and JCL
again all on punch cards along with the occasional "floor sort"
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Old 6th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Back in my further education days (mid 80s, when it was still fashionable), my class referred to ourselves as the Lords of Cobol. Anyone get the pun?

I'm glad the punch cards were before my time. I wouldn't have had the patience for those. I've always loved the paper design exersise, beforehand, but I like the code bashing to be fluid.
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Old 6th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Many thanks for the link - took me back to the late 1960's. I had no computing experience but was trying to do some analysis of masses of data on punched tape. Out tame statistician told me "You should learn Fortran" so I did. Problem solved on an ICL 1903.
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Old 7th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Quote:
Originally Posted by Internaut View Post
Back in my further education days (mid 80s, when it was still fashionable), my class referred to ourselves as the Lords of Cobol. Anyone get the pun?
I've just started watching the reimagination (as they call it) of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.

My first computer language, as I believe I've admitted previously on this forum, was ICL PLAN in 1973. I think I can still remember most of it - although I often can't remember why I've entered a room these days...
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

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Originally Posted by DerekW View Post
I am waiting for PL1, MFT and JCL
again all on punch cards along with the occasional "floor sort"
Somebody once told me that there was a TV spy thriller series where the hero was trying to decipher a document in a very difficult code. The prop they used was a page of IBM JCL - so no wonder he couldn't make head or tail of it!

I used to be heavily involved with PL/I. A minority pursuit but I was always rather fond of it.

John
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Old 6th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Did you get to use PL/S a merger of PL/1 and Assembler code. I was involved in a project that used it - I was a very bad programmer, so I left programming to the experts.
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Not really. Either naked assembler (when I had to) or full-on PL/I. I was tech support so spent a lot more time untangling other peoples' programs than writing my own.

John
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

We were 'taught' Fortran as well. I seem to recollect the lecturer throwing us some lecture notes and we told us to write a programme. 3 or 4 days later you'd get a Z fold print out plus a bunch of punch card. I'd quickly skip to the last line to check the CPU run time.
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Old 7th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

We used to have to go to a little hatch window in the computer building and leave a stack of punched cards. Then a few days later we'd go back only to receive the cards back and a message that it didn't run! The feedback from that particular loop was never repeatable. That put me off computer programming for life. My son who is now a games programmer couldn't believe we used to use cards and tape.
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Old 7th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Haven't time to listen as still travelling. I was taught Fortran and COBOL in the late 60s at Erith Tech. Before getting out of the biz in 73 I was regularly using the latter and PLAN (ICL assembler). Somehow life was less complicated back then (I'm continuing to wear the rose-tinted spectacles), the worst tragedy was having to splice paper tape. Tried to learn Visual C++ and Java a few years back but got bored.
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

"We" in the broader sense are still using COBOL in work. The plan was train me up on it when I first started working here a few years ago, but have been allocated to another project.

I would have been by far the youngest COBOL developer in the department at 38.
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

I still have a 1" 8-hole paper tape splice/edit tool.

Working for the MOD, I was very fortunate to be in at the very start of many things in computing. I recall very clearly the visit by the Director General and his entourage to what was at the time the UKs first DEC PDP Multi-User installation that I had set up and was managing...

It had its own AC room, was the size of a 3 draw filing cabinet. 16Meg of 16bit(dual 8-bit) memory, twin 10Meg Hard Drives and twin 8" 256k floppies. A VT100 VDU, a VT125 Graphics Terminal and an A3 line printer.

Heady stuff.

We demonstrated a wire frame model of a component rotating in 3-axes.

I can still hear one of the Directors saying it was all very clever, but unlikely to be of any real use...

I also remember importing into the UK the first 1MB 16bit Memory card (S100 form) it cost 3000

Don't you just love progress...
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Old 7th April 2015
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Re: Interesting series on Radio 4 this week

Ah, the memories!

Original punch tape use for me was on the Linotype Electron for a news paper company (in Sydney) & getting my hand splashed with hot metal while working as an apprentice during a tradesmen's strike. I missed out on the 'gravy' that night (being sent home with a bandaged sore hand). They had a bank of 8 to 12 of these (I think, but memories do fade) where they had a few operators keeping these going from tape punched by operators in their sound proof glassed in room.

In later years I serviced the Philips P354 Visible Records Computer (& P350) that used the punch card system for programming & I remember carrying a stack of cards in my tool kit for testing the units after servicing, (using P350 Basic & Peripheral Assembler). The newer systems went to Mini Cassette Tape for programming. Wow, what progress!
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