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Evolution of Microcomputers: Personal Histories

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elizabethsimon
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Re: Punch Cards
elizabethsimon   3/3/2017 11:16:19 AM
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@ max

And I'd guess that you remember using Karnaugh Maps and Boolean Algebra to get to the minimum possible gate count.

I was never involved in ASIC design so I missed that part of the fun. I did spend a lot of time trying to fit logic designs into the leftover gates in a package so that we wouldn't have to add another part. I was wishing I could use one of the new-fangled programmable logic devices but they used too much power for our design.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Punch Cards
Max The Magnificent   3/3/2017 10:02:49 AM
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@raslaje: ...What I really learned is to appreciate what we have today...

Oh so true -- I predate EDA as we know it -- my first ASIC designs were in pencil and paper at the gate/register level -- timing analysis involved you adding all the gate and track delays by hand -- functional verification involved your peers looking at your schematics and saying ""looks good" -- you could tell circuit board designers by the fact that they never wore wool sweaters (because they didn't want any fibers falling on the laminate and causing shorts in the finished board)... I could go on for hours LOL

David Ashton
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Re: Programs in magazines
David Ashton   3/3/2017 2:52:49 AM
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@Traneus...  "Paperbytes".... These were linear barcodes...."

That in turn reminds me of the old Video Recorders which had bar code readers in the remote controls.  TV magazines printed barcodes under program details.  To record a program you scanned its barcode and then pointed the remote at your VCR and pressed a button and that programmed the VCR to record that program.  You had to program the channels in your VCR to match those of the magazine as I remember.  Pretty clever.  Anyone else remember those?

raslaje
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Punch Cards
raslaje   3/2/2017 7:18:51 PM
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@Elizabeth

"...and wait some undetermined time (usually hours". That was pretty efficient compared to my school. We actually had someone who punched the cards for us, which only served to delay the operation until the next class (yes, the next class). We had one mainframe computer, which we didn't get to operate ($$$$$), so again more logistics problems.

 What I really learned is to appreciate what we have today. I'm a retired EE and I learned to design PCBs from You tube using Eagle software, program the MSP430 in 'C', and poke around different websites like MIT OpenCourseWare where you get to see an archieved class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWZDVWdtjMY or my current interest, complex numbers given by this professor from a different school https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi7yHjesblV0sSfZzWdSUXGO683n_nJdQ Life is good.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: punch cards!
Max The Magnificent   3/2/2017 4:56:02 PM
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@Elizabeth: We had a slightly different system. First you stand in line waiting...

And you tell the young people of today, and they don't believe you... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

elizabethsimon
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Re: punch cards!
elizabethsimon   3/2/2017 4:37:44 PM
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@Max

"Come back next Tuesday"

We had a slightly different system. First you stand in line waiting for a keypunch machine to free up. Once you had punched your cards, you stood in line at one of the card readers where you'd put your stack in the reader which would quickly scan the cards and return them to you. Then you got to stand around next to the cubbyholes where tie printouts were put when you program finally got to run and wait some undetermined time (usually hours) for your printout to appear when you would find that you had forgotten to remove one of your mis-punched cards from the deck...

Then you got to stand in line waiting for a keypunch machine to free up to correct any errors.

I did pretty well at getting the code to work but never caught the knack of remembering to remove the mis-punched cards from the deck so it always took at least two runs to get results.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: punch cards!
Max The Magnificent   3/2/2017 3:53:39 PM
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@fpgaeng: ...on the last day of class we would go to the roof of the dorms and throw all our cards over the edge...

You wild impetuous fools! LOL

fpgaeng
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Re: punch cards!
fpgaeng   3/2/2017 3:30:24 PM
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on the last day of class we would go to the roof of the dorms and throw all our cards over the edge. That was a great feeling, but the RA's didn't like it much.

David Ashton
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Re: punch cards!
David Ashton   3/2/2017 3:28:33 PM
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come back later to get the printout...

and if you'd left an endless loop in your program you'd get a 3-inch thick printout and a flea in your ear from the operator who'd terminated it....

David Ashton
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Re: Vocabulary
David Ashton   3/2/2017 3:23:39 PM
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@Traneus...I remember on Win 3.11 having a program which ran a cartoon movie of a dancing girl.  You could open a number of these - I remember opening 8 of them once and all of them slowed right down, but were still working.  Surely that was mutli-tasking?

I think before NT a problem with one window would crash everything, NT and later used partitioning which was supposed to prevent this?

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