[LMB] OT: Tech marches on

Marc Wilson marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk
Mon Dec 13 16:56:55 GMT 2021

On Sun, 12 Dec 2021 22:17:57 -0600, Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com>

>I wouldn't be surprised if they still are using them. I had a friend who
>specialized in computer systems from the seventies,  eighties and nineties
>for the navy. He went around the world trouble shooting the computer
>systems aboard navy ships.
>I also had a chance to tour a nuclear submarine and was surprised to see
>tubes glowing behind some of the consoles.

They can be very useful.  Back when I worked for TSB, we had some local
code to allow CONS keyins to be read from a card deck.  We had standard
card decks to allow system partitioning in varies configurations, saved
a lot of tedious keying (and opportunities for error).

But occasionally it was useful for other things.

One machine had a faulty console, and the engineers needed to replace a

So, at a time when the system was quiet, an engineer came into the
machine room, typed "DN CONS0".

After taking the console offline, he powered it down, changed the board,
and powered it on again.

The Ops were grinning.  "Now what?"

His face went white.

Eventually, they took pity on him, and punched up a custom card deck,
including "UP CONS0".

>On Sun, Dec 12, 2021, 10:09 PM Jean Lamb <tlambs1138 at charter.net> wrote:
>> I learned how to use punch cards in Air Force procurement in the late 70's;
>> getting a Burroughs 3500 to talk to a Univac *something* was fun, since
>> both
>> the hospital and Base Supply had different computers than we did. We were
>> told we would be on a real microcomputer someday. Our family visited there
>> in 1989 and they were still using punchcards...
>> Ah, the wonderfulness of transaction logs!
>> Jean Lamb
>> tlambs1138 at charter.net
>> https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lamb/e/B00IR0YO20
>> --
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