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'[OT] Turnround time (was: PICs and USB)'
2004\09\15@074058 by Howard Winter

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Ake,

On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 08:32:24 +0200, Ake Hedman wrote:

> For
> each iteration I first had to upload the code through a serial link to
> the machine where the EPROM programmer was located which took some
> minutes. Then I had to walk through the office to the server room and
> put in an EPROM, wait several minutes while the EPROM got programmed.
> Walk back. Put in the EPROM on the board. Test, notice the stupid little
> error I did, code, assemble (also tool a while) and do the same thing
> all over again again.

Huh!  Kids of today...

I remember when I started programming in COBOL on an IBM mainframe (which was located 8 miles away) you had to
write your program on coding sheets, take them to the punch-room to be punched onto cards and verified, then
put a job-deck around them to do a compile-and-link, put them in a tray to be taken to the mainframe (by car),
run, and returned with the output-listing.  If you were lucky you got it back the same day.

And then you'd notice the stupid little error in your code, write the correction and repeat!  :-)  Leaving the
full-stop off the end of "IDENTIFICATION DIVISION" would result in an error listing that was about an inch
thick, even if the program listing was only a couple of pages long...

"Desk checking" was a Good Thing!

Ah, those were the days...  Kids of today don't know how lucky they are...   :-)))

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\15@082300 by D. Jay Newman

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> I remember when I started programming in COBOL on an IBM mainframe (which was located 8 miles away) you had to

Yes, and we had to walk 10 miles in the snow to get there.
Uphill both ways.  :)

> "Desk checking" was a Good Thing!

Yes, I remember those days. You'd get your printout back and debug the
entire thing and retry.

Now, I just compile the sucker and fix the first few errors and try
again... Just to get my spelling mistakes out of the way.

The worst thing I ever did was to write and assembler for my homebrew
6502 system and have to hand assemble and then type it in by hand in
hex.

This is one of the reasons I'm a big fan of high-level languages now.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
spam_OUTjayTakeThisOuTspamsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\15@082631 by Alan B. Pearce

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>"Desk checking" was a Good Thing!
>
>Ah, those were the days...  Kids of today don't
>know how lucky they are...   :-)))

and then there was the loop where instead of using a mainframe, you had
access to something that ran the assembler, but your storage and input
medium was an ASR33 teletype with paper tape reader/punch. Ah the joys of
hearing this thing clanking away as it read the tape, (2 passes minimum
please, manual change of tape between passes) and then the result was
punched into a tape - if it assembled correctly. Then you read the output
tape into the development system to load the code, only to find it crashed
and burned because you had a label in the wrong place :))


and then of course, to create the source tape you used a line editor, and
typed in many lines of source, asked it to save, at which point you got many
lines of error message because you hadn't gone into edit mode :)) Quick, on
with the punch to catch as much of the output as possible.

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2004\09\15@103623 by John Ferrell

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You left out dropping the card deck....

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard Winter" <.....HDRWKILLspamspam@spam@H2Org.demon.co.uk>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 7:40 AM
Subject: [OT] Turnround time (was: PICs and USB)


{Quote hidden}

was located 8 miles away) you had to
> write your program on coding sheets, take them to the punch-room to be
punched onto cards and verified, then
> put a job-deck around them to do a compile-and-link, put them in a tray to
be taken to the mainframe (by car),
> run, and returned with the output-listing.  If you were lucky you got it
back the same day.
>
> And then you'd notice the stupid little error in your code, write the
correction and repeat!  :-)  Leaving the
> full-stop off the end of "IDENTIFICATION DIVISION" would result in an
error listing that was about an inch
> thick, even if the program listing was only a couple of pages long...
>
> "Desk checking" was a Good Thing!
>
> Ah, those were the days...  Kids of today don't know how lucky they are...
:-)))
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\15@122926 by Howard Winter

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John,

On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:36:33 -0400, John Ferrell wrote:

> You left out dropping the card deck....

I never did that as a programmer - but previously as an
operator I was carrying a pile of other peoples'
interleaved card decks / listings past the DP manager's
office, when a large deck squeezed itself out of the
middle, hit the floor and spread cards out over a large
area.  The DPM laughed his head off (luckily) as I
scrambled to gather them all up, before going on to
confess to the programmer that I'd shuffled his deck!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\15@123421 by Howard Winter

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Alan,

On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 13:28:16 +0100, Alan B. Pearce
wrote:

> and then there was the loop where instead of using a
mainframe, you had access to something that ran the
assembler, but your storage and input medium was an
ASR33 teletype with paper tape reader/punch.

Ah, never used one professionally but ASR33s were what I
used during my Computer Science A Level - we kept our
programs on paper tape and put them in a tray for a
lab.tech to transmit (at 110baud of course) to the Town
Hall mainframe.  My pride and joy was a program I wrote
in FORTRAN to play noughts-and-crosses  :-)  We're
talking early 70's here, by the way...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\15@132411 by Ake Hedman

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Howard Winter wrote:


> in FORTRAN to play noughts-and-crosses  :-)  We're
> talking early 70's here, by the way...


Nice to feel younger than someone for once... Not usual today... ;-)

I saw my first micro 1979. Don't remember what it was but probably an 8080. Later I built something with an 6800 and was hooked. The wounder full thing is that its still as fun nowadays as it was then. I really love embedded programming (oh well... most of the time).  And its a lot of new interesting stuff ahead still... mmmm

/Ake


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eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se
Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
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2004\09\15@134411 by Harold Hallikainen

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Didn't some systems reserve the last few columns on the card for a
sequence number so you could get the cards back in order after they were
"shuffled?" Back when I took Fortran (1970), there was a keypunch room
where you often had to go in at 3am to get a machine. We'd leave our deck
of cards in the inbox. There was a big clock that showed you what the
current turnaround time was (typically 8-12 hours). We'd find our printout
(mostly error messages) and deck of cards in one of 30 or so outboxes.
During this time, a local company started a typing service that would
keypunch cards for students.

When I took COBOL a few years later, we again used keypunches. This time
we took our deck of cards over to the machine, dropped them in the reader,
and pushed start. Results (error messages) back in seconds! The instructor
in that class was fun. We'd take him our programs asking for help. He'd
say "Gee, sure glad it's YOUR problem!"

Then, a few years later, got my first teaching job. It was assembly
language programming on the PDP-8. Use toggle switches to key a loader
into core (real core!). Read in another loader from paper tape. Read in
the editor from paper tape. Edit your code on a Teletype 33. Punch your
source code to tape. Read in the assembler from paper tape. Run the
assembler, passing it your source code (paper tape) twice. Punch the
object code to paper tape. Load the object code. Debug using front panel
toggle switches and lights.

Things have changed...

Harold





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2004\09\15@140112 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>When I took COBOL a few years later, we again used keypunches. This time
>we took our deck of cards over to the machine, dropped them in the reader,
>and pushed start. Results (error messages) back in seconds! The instructor
>in that class was fun. We'd take him our programs asking for help. He'd
>say "Gee, sure glad it's YOUR problem!"

I did a little time with cards way back when.
Mostly I worked on the decwriter. A very nice terminal, though these days unbearably clunky.  I found one up in the math department that apparently hadn't been used in months (the paper in the machine had a very old date still printed on it) so I used that one a lot, rather than the lab where we had to book time, and it was always crowded.

I worked with an ASR33, punching paper tape for a bank for a while, what a PITA that was.. Chugga-Chugga-chugga for hours.. :-P

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2004\09\15@140924 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>Nice to feel younger than someone for once... Not usual today... ;-)
>
>I saw my first micro 1979. Don't remember what it was but probably an 8080. Later I built something with an 6800 and was hooked. The wounder full thing is that its still as fun nowadays as it was then. I really love embedded programming (oh well... most of the time).  And its a lot of new interesting stuff ahead still... mmmm

I saw 8080s and 8008s, and even some 4004s, but the first one I ever wrote code on, was a 6502 in an OSI-C1P. A nice little machine, 8k of SRAM, video output, tape (which sort of worked sometimes..)  I hand-built a 32k ram board for it, 64 1kx1 Sram chips!

Not many years later, I was designing credit card terminals with 4 2kx8 chips, and I had them pinned for multiple 32kx8 chips. In those days, our development machines were S-100s, running 6 MHz Z-80's, and 64k of ram. 1M of ram was a total fantasy.

Everyone told me that was nuts to put so much sram capability in the terminals, the would never use it.. A while later, they maxed it out, then they came out with the 512k expansion board for the same model. :)



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2004\09\15@150136 by Howard Winter
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Harold,

On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:44:07 -0700 (PDT), Harold
Hallikainen wrote:

> Didn't some systems reserve the last few columns on
the card for a
> sequence number so you could get the cards back in
order after they were
> "shuffled?"

Yes, the first 72 columns were for the program code, the
last 8 were for the card sequence number.  But it was
optional, and a lot of people didn't bother with it.  
Those who did, usually incremented the count by 10s so
you could add stuff inbetween existing cards without
needing to re-number (ie re-punch the whole deck!).

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\15@160848 by Carlos A. Marcano V.

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Howard wrote:

>Yes, the first 72 columns were for the program code, the
>last 8 were for the card sequence number.  But it was
>optional, and a lot of people didn't bother with it.  
>Those who did, usually incremented the count by 10s so
>you could add stuff inbetween existing cards without
>needing to re-number (ie re-punch the whole deck!).

Well, I am not too old but we used to do that (increment by 10s)
when programming with GWBASIC (yes I know, it is a "new"
one compared other stuff). I ussually even incremented by
100s just in case I needed "extra beef" in the code :)

Regards,

*Carlos Marcano*
-Guri, Venezuela-

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2004\09\15@200925 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 15, 2004, at 5:20 AM, D. Jay Newman wrote:
>
> Yes, and we had to walk 10 miles in the snow to get there.
> Uphill both ways.  :)
>

http://www.smacdonald.com/songs/boy.html, a lovely sing-a-long by
Frank Hayes:

When I was a boy our Nintendo
Was carved from an old Apple tree
And we used garden hose to connect it
To our steam-powered color tv.

But it still beat that ancient Atari
'Cuz I almost went blind, don'tcha know,
Playing Breakout and Pong on a video game
Hooked up to the radio.

And we walked twenty miles to the schoolhouse
Barefoot, uphill both ways,
Through blizzards in summer and winter
Back in the good old days.
Back when Fortran was not even Three-tran
And the PC was only a toy
And we did our computing by gaslight
When I was a boy.

When I was a boy all our networks
Were for hauling in fish from the sea--
Our bawd rate was eight bits an hour (and she was worth it!),
And our IP address was just 3.

And you kids who complain that the World Wide Web
Is too slow oughtta cut out your bitchin',
'Cuz when I was a boy every packet
Was delivered by carrier pigeon

And we walked twenty miles to the schoolhouse
Barefoot, uphill both ways,
Through blizzards in summer and winter
Back in the good old days.
Back when Fortran was not even Two-tran
And the mainframe was only a toy
And we did our computing by torchlight
When I was a boy.

When I was a boy our IS shop
Built relational tables from wood,
And we wrappered our data in oilcloth
To preserve it the best that we could.

And we carried our bits in a bucket,
And our mainframe weighed 900 tons,
And we programmed in ones and in zeros
And sometimes we ran out of ones.

And we walked twenty miles to the schoolhouse
Barefoot, uphill both ways,
Through blizzards in summer and winter
Back in the good old days.
Back when Fortran was not even One-tran
And the abacus? Only a toy!
And we did our computing in primordial darkness
When I was a boy.

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2004\09\15@210659 by Lee Jones

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>> Didn't some systems reserve the last few columns on the
>> card for a sequence number so you could get the cards back
>> in order after they were "shuffled?"

> Yes, the first 72 columns were for the program code, the
> last 8 were for the card sequence number.  But it was
> optional, and a lot of people didn't bother with it.  
> Those who did, usually incremented the count by 10s so
> you could add stuff inbetween existing cards without
> needing to re-number (ie re-punch the whole deck!).

For several years in the mid-1980's, I did contract COBOL and
assembler (technically, HP's SPL3000) on an HP3000 minicomputer
running the MPE/3000 operating system.  HP3000 and MPE were
aimed at the IBM mid-range market (System/34 [ +/- 2 ]).

System did not have a card reader option.  Peripheral hardware
just was not supported on any HP3000 model or under MPE.  

Yet the COBOL compiler strictly used 80 column card images on
disk and _enforced_ the card column rules.  Any characters
punched in the last 8 positions were quietly ignored.

This was a real pain when you typed one or two characters too
many and your variable was truncated or required punctuation
was discarded.  The resulting error could take a while to find
since when you looked at the "card" in the editor, the characters
were obviously present.  The editor did not highlight columns.  A
case where the tool sets a trap for the unwary.  I "solved" this
problem by drawing a vertical line on the CRT screen at column 72.

<Rant On>
Why HP did this always alluded me.  If you dropped the disk
drive on the floor, the likelyhood that your "card deck" was
shuffled but still readable was pretty remote.  A reflection
of doing thing a certain way "because we've always done it
that way".
<Rant Off>

I was also working on DEC systems at this time.  Their COBOL
compiler was very programmer friendly in comparison (105 chars
per line, mostly free format, and no sequence number foolishness).
I still prefer their operating systems.  Galling that HP now owns
what is left of DEC. <sigh>

                                               Lee Jones

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2004\09\15@221951 by Russell McMahon

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>> Yes, and we had to walk 10 miles in the snow to get there.
>> Uphill both ways.  :)


> http://www.smacdonald.com/songs/boy.html, a lovely sing-a-long by
> Frank Hayes:
>
> When I was a boy our Nintendo
> Was carved from an old Apple tree ...

A lot of that is far closer to reality within the lifetimes of quite a few
list members (with a little hyperbole) than most younger members may
realise.
(We usually have no snow where I live but the rough surfaces of our chip
sealed roads play havoc with bare feet).

Even I, by no means the oldest member can add to the recent litany thusly:

One computer available at the university.
It was "THE" computer centre computer.
It was an IBM BCD minicomputer.
Had a Fortran compiler which took 2 passes to compile as there was not
enough memory available to fit the whole compiler in the machine at once.
Data entry by punch card as described elsewhere. At least we got to do card
punching ourselves, - who wants to spend operator time on students. You had
to book card punch time in 30 minute slots though :-)

At my first place of work after graduation (in Hamilton NZ) we had access to
one computer. It was located 450 miles away in Wellington. We had no card
punch - used paper coding sheets. These were couriered across town to
another company that did card punching. cards were read in there and
accepted by remote computer. Printout was couriered back, usually next day,
with cards. One error and it was another day gone.

First microprocessors were the first microprocessors. Never used 4004, 8008
but a friend did his masters thesis with the 8008. Then came SC/MP & F8.
Both "interesting" architectures. I built a SC/MP system with binary switch
input for data AND address, hardware single step of CPU to load data in,
binary lamp output. The fully mechanical Creed 7B, 48? baud Baudot
teleprinters (upper case only) were the cheapest and most available hard
copy. ASR110 was rare and expensive. The super fast 110 baud output was the
envy of all. Later the 8080, 6800, 8085, Z80, ...

I still have an Osborne 1 ! :-)

First floppy disk was on an MC6800 homebuilt system. Single sided 5.25"
Shugart at 160 kB capacity (not 180 kB!). Cost $NZ600 or so AFAIR. As a
floppy now costs about $NZ20 here and in real terms money has gone up
several times that makes it about $US1000 equivalent for a floppy. Sounds
too high. Maybe it was "only" $400 at the time.

I imported 3 PCs from Hong Kong (infamous Golden Building). Two were
standard PCs with 4.77 MHz clock. I got the fast turbo version with 6 MHz
clock and a full house 640 kB of RAM. Two floppy drives were marvellous for
development. Far faster than only a single floppy system that many used.
Amazing what you can do with 2 x 360 kB floppies and 640 kB RAM.

When I bought my 1st XT I went for the BIG hard disk - all 20 MB of it. By
then 10 MHz clock may have been fairly standard?

A young programmer thought the 8" floppy diskette I showed him was a joke.
He had never seen a slide rule and had no idea how to use one. Nowadays I
suspect many would have no idea what a slide rule was / is. (Its a
calculator that works by having the operator place varying lengths of
logarithmically calibrated wood (or similar) bars next to each other - a
mechanically driven logarithms table :-) )(Typically good for 3 to 4
significant figures).

etc

We have had similar "way back when" sessions previously. Hopefully they are
both interesting and useful to some who have never experienced this level of
"performance".

       RM



















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2004\09\16@023656 by Ake Hedman

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William Chops Westfield wrote:

> On Sep 15, 2004, at 5:20 AM, D. Jay Newman wrote:
>
>>
>> Yes, and we had to walk 10 miles in the snow to get there.
>> Uphill both ways.  :)
>>
>
The oldies on the list should maby do a recording of this together... What a hit!  ;-)


/Ake

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eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se
Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
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2004\09\16@043719 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 13:54:43 +1200, Russell McMahon
wrote:

> A young programmer thought the 8" floppy diskette I
showed him was a joke.

Hey, I've got a pair of 8" floppy drives - single-sided,
single density, I think the capacity is 100kB.  Made by
DRI, who I think were bought-out by Shugart.  Almost
unused, any offer considered!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\16@044426 by Alan B. Pearce

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> Well, I am not too old but we used to do that
>(increment by 10s) when programming with GWBASIC

A lot of basic interpreters used to increment by 10 when using autoincrement
as you wrote your code, for exactly the reasons which have been given. IIRC
you can do this in GWBASIC as well, I think there is a command where you can
set the increment.

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