Curmudgeoning (was Re: [CentOS] Problems with writing Dual Layer DVD)

Thu Aug 28 18:14:38 UTC 2008
Bill Campbell <centos at>

On Thu, Aug 28, 2008, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>On Wed, August 27, 2008 14:19, William L. Maltby wrote:
>> On Wed, 2008-08-27 at 20:13 +0200, Chris Geldenhuis wrote:
>>>  From reading your many and interesting posts to this list I realize
>>> that we must be contemporaries (possibly I started programming before
>>> you - circa 1963 on a ICL1500 aka RCA 301 in assembler or directly
>>> punching machine code into punch cards).
>> Yep. I had my 1st professional job in 1969. I was in the "modern" age,
>> S360 stuff was the equipment then. The punch cards were still there,
>> made on 026 and 029 card punches and read by MFCMs to load programs into
>> IBM's DOS.
>> I guess we're both old enough to fill in for JP when the resident
>> curmudgeon is not on-list.  ;-)
>You can list me as a backup curmudgeon as well :-).
>Started being paid to write software in 1969, for an IBM 1401.  026 and
>029 card punches for me, too; I preferred the keyboard touch on the 026 by
>quite a lot.  14" five platter removable pack disk drives that
>stored...around 1.5MB if I'm remembering right (can't seem to find the
>info online quickly, either; might be as high as 2MB).

I started in 1966 on a Bendix G-20, graduating to the Burroughs
B-5500 thence to the Burroughs Medium Systems, B-2500->B-4800.

Burroughs MCP (Master Control Program) ran circles around IBM's
OS-3xx, and didn't require an army of support people to debug JCL
and keep the thing running (sorta like the industry that exists
to clean up after the Microsoft Virus, Windows, today).

We had an IBM 1130 for about a year, with a 1MB disk pack, about
the size of a pizza box, and 8K words of magnetic core memory.

>I don't think I still remember much about how to make drum cards, though. 
>I *do* have some cards from back then out near my computer at home; found
>them cleaning out some stuff, and could quite bear to just dump them, so
>they're kicking around.

Making the multi-program drum cards was a bit nasty with
multi-punching so I wrote an assembly program for the IBM 1130
that would read two program-1 cards, shift the second's codes
appropriately, then punch multi-program cards.  I had another
assembly program that would detect blank cards, selecting them to
the alternate hopper making it easy to recover the blanks that
people left lying around the key punches (there was a period
during the 1970s when punch cards got very expensive and in
rather short supply).

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