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Old 06-15-2019, 08:18 PM   #1
enorbet
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The 4th Astronaut or Computer in the 60s


I just read this great article that made me want to learn more about the "Stone Age" of computing. This one took us to the Moon


https://www.fastcompany.com/90362562...=pocket-newtab

PS Thank you, frankbell, for the assistance in correcting the title

Last edited by enorbet; 06-16-2019 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 06-15-2019, 08:53 PM   #2
frankbell
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Here's another story about little-known figures from the "space race."

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/s...924bc5ee7.html

Aside: I think you can change the title by editing the post in the "Go Advanced" mode.

Last edited by frankbell; 06-15-2019 at 08:58 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2019, 11:23 PM   #3
ondoho
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Interesting, esp. the bits about reliability.

Quote:
Your dishwasher has more brain power than the computer that flew the Apollo astronauts to the Moon.
I learned that "A smartphone has more brainpower than ALL the computers that were involved in the Moon landing" - and that was almost 10 years ago. I wonder if that's true.

Crazy times - Astronauts, Moore's Law and ioT...
 
Old 06-16-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
hazel
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The first mainframe that I worked on had 96 kB of core memory and we thought it was the bees' knees.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
The first mainframe that I worked on had 96 kB of core memory and we thought it was the bees' knees.
Did you code in Assembly?
 
Old 06-17-2019, 05:14 AM   #6
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Did you code in Assembly?
I didn't do any coding then! I was terrified of computers. And in those days, there were no hackers. You got your OS from the manufacturer; I think it was leased, not purchased, and they were responsible for updating it. If you needed specialised software such as a library catalogue or loans system, you hired an IT company to write one for you.

I don't know what languages were used. Assembly for certain for the basic OS, and there was Fortran for scientific work and Cobol for things like stock control and payroll. Did C even exist then?
 
Old 06-17-2019, 01:58 PM   #7
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
I didn't do any coding then! I was terrified of computers. And in those days, there were no hackers. You got your OS from the manufacturer; I think it was leased, not purchased, and they were responsible for updating it. If you needed specialised software such as a library catalogue or loans system, you hired an IT company to write one for you.

I don't know what languages were used. Assembly for certain for the basic OS, and there was Fortran for scientific work and Cobol for things like stock control and payroll. Did C even exist then?
Only being able to guess at the date based on such low amounts of RAM made me wonder if even Assembly existed then. I very much doubt C had been invented for possibly decades after.

My Bass player buddy in a band I was in way back in 1967 mentioned that he had accepted an offer from IBM for free classes at the University of Maryland to "learn new languages" based in mathematics of which he was quite the stereotypical character way more than I... dreamers all. He probably mentioned the names of the languages but iirc now IBM offered only Fortran and Cobol in the late 60s. While the raw beginnings of Assembly were created in the late 1940s, both in the US and UK, it didn't really catch on much until the late 70s and early 80s which is why I was curious as to yours.
 
Old 06-18-2019, 05:48 AM   #8
hazel
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I'm talking about the mid 70's. And Assembly certainly did exist then. I remember hearing about it on my information degree course. Also Cobol. They showed us a Cobol program, I remember: it was in four sections and I couldn't make head or tail of it.

You usually had to write your program onto coding sheets and then punch-card operators turned it into a stack of cards to feed into the computer. But the ICL computer at BRE had a console interface called Maximop. The OS was called George 2 and Maximop was actually an application that ran inside it. So those in the know could type small programs directly into the computer.

And we used teletypes -- genuine tty's!
 
  


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