On 10/20/10 23:07, Gary Kline wrote:
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 09:10:28PM +0100, Arthur Chance wrote:
On 10/20/10 20:46, Bob Hall wrote:
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:07:55PM -0500, Tim Daneliuk wrote:
On 10/20/2010 11:55 AM, Gary Kline wrote:
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:47:38AM -0700, per...@pluto.rain.com wrote:
Matthias Apitz<g...@unixarea.de>   wrote:
El d?a Tuesday, October 19, 2010 a las 07:29:46PM -0700, Gary Kline escribi?:
        PS:  I really _was_ current on hardware stuff.  Back in the VAX
        780 days :-)
I booted my first UNIX V7 tape on a PDP-11 around 1982, I think.

Gotcha beat :)  UNIX V6, PDP-11/34, RK05 disk cartridge, 1975.
The whole runtime fit on one RK05.  The sources took a second one.

        I remember the 11/34 fondly.  The whole EE department at Cory
        Hall was running one one; then when I interned at Livermore my
        job of porting the "Portable F77 Compiler" was done with vi and
        the source code that Stu Feldman wrote.  I love[d] those bloody
        old computers, :-)  Dunno why.   Maybe because they really
        *were* about computing.  Not streaming [[whatever]] or having
        php running.  (Blah^9^9^9)


Heck, when I started out, they didn't even have zeros and ones yet.
We had to settle for "o"s and "l"s ...

When I started out, we didn't have read/write heads for the hard disks.
We had to copy the data from the screen to the disk by hand using
magnetized sewing needles. In order to read the damn things we had to
pass a compass over the disk and see where the needle deflected.

Enough Monty Python Yorkshiremen claims, already. :-)

Getting back to reality, although I never did it (fortunately), a
friend of mine who was about a decade older than me (I'm mid/late
50s) had the experience of programming microcode on a machine by
inserting brass slugs for 0s and ferrite slugs for 1s on a pin
board. Anyone got any idea what that was? He was (UK) military so
maybe it wasn't a generally known box.

        This microcode programming sounds just vagely familiar; seems like
        mid/late-80's or early-90's. Am i right?  --Most uses for
        supercomputers are mil/spooks/<<>>; that's the only reason the
        idea might have floated past me.

No, this was circa 1970. I met him in 1975 and and it was past history for him then. He was Royal Air Force, if that gives a clue, and certainly wasn't a super - he talked about it as if it were a fairly dumb mini.

"Although the wombat is real and the dragon is not, few know what a
wombat looks like, but everyone knows what a dragon looks like."

        -- Avram Davidson, _Adventures in Unhistory_
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