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How it was: Testing honking big computers

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

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Max The Magnificent
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re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
Max The Magnificent   10/21/2011 3:44:00 PM
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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
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re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
vapats   10/21/2011 3:41:06 PM
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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
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re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
lgadz61   10/18/2011 6:56:18 PM
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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
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re: How it was: Testing honking big computers
Max The Magnificent   10/17/2011 10:32:38 PM
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If you remember "stuff" like this, please share it with the rest of us...

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