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the good old days of mainframe computers
09-21-2021, 04:40 PM (This post was last modified: 09-21-2021 04:43 PM by Don Shepherd.)
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the good old days of mainframe computers
This is from the book "A Few Good Men from Univac". I think many of us old-timers can identify with this.

The typical customer for a large computer was and still is a large scientific or engineering firm, a government laboratory, or a university. The large computer system would be installed in a climate-controlled computer room with a raised false floor to accommodate the interconnecting cables. The computer center was isolated from the remainder of the building and staffed by a variety of computer specialists. It was often surrounded by glass panels, thus being visible but tantalizingly inaccessible to the average engineer or scientist. The only way that a typical user could get a job run was to physically carry a deck of punched cards or reel of magnetic tape to a counter at the computer center. There an attendant would take the job together with such information as name, account number, interplant mail station, and phone number. Depending on the computer center workload that day and the user's priority and/or political influence within the organization, the job would be inserted into the card reader attached to the computer and either run immediately or stored temporarily in a queue of jobs on magnetic drums or disks. Nearly all the computer centers of the 1960's were run "closed shop"; that is, only the computer operator staff was allowed to enter jobs into the computer and retrieve the results, most usually a stack of printouts from the high-speed printer. The user's results would eventually be printed and returned by interplant mail or by a special courier service run by the computer center, but the elapsed time between submitting a job and receiving the results could often be two or three days. Users complained bitterly about this system with comments such as "What is the use of running my job on a computer that can solve the problem in thirty seconds if it takes me three days to get my results? I can run the job on a desk calculator in three days!"

Those were the days, my friend ....
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the good old days of mainframe computers - Don Shepherd - 09-21-2021 04:40 PM

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