Breaking News
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog

How it was: Testing honking big computers

Clive Maxfield
10/17/2011 10:22 PM EDT

 4 comments   post a comment
NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
Max The Magnificent   10/21/2011 3:44:00 PM
NO RATINGS
I hadn't heard that one before -- now I wish I could go back in time and try it on our ICL 29xx prototype

vapats
User Rank
Rookie
re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
vapats   10/21/2011 3:41:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Another story from the 70s: we were running am IBM 1130, and discovered that we could monitor the activity with a cheap AM radio receiver. It was like the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise; bleep, boop, whistle, click... all these weird little quasi-musical sounds provided an eyeballs-free way to know what the machine was doing. A sustained whine usually indicated that some student programmer had written an "idiot-loop"; i.e. "goto this goto FORTRAN statement". :-)

lgadz61
User Rank
Rookie
re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
lgadz61   10/18/2011 6:56:18 PM
NO RATINGS
I remember doing the same thing on an IBM 1620 back in the early 70s but can't remember how we did it. Will have to ask a friend who still has a 1620 running. We also made "music" with an IBM 1403 chain printer. None of the "music" was very good quality but was fun to do. After a few years on 2nd gen machines I got to move up to the big iron - IBM 360/30 as an assembler language programmer (what else?). "OS" loaded from a card deck. 16K memory, 2 tape drives, card reader and a printer. Most fun I had in over 30 years of programming.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
Max The Magnificent   10/17/2011 10:32:38 PM
NO RATINGS
If you remember "stuff" like this, please share it with the rest of us...

Top Comments of the Week
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.
Flash Poll