[LMB] OT: Antique Geekitude

Timothy Neumann timothybil at comcast.net
Sat, 1 Nov 2003 01:12:45 -0500


> >Who ever used a mechanical statistical machine?
> Oh, yeah, we had a roomful of them in my department.  Humongous noisy
> monsters, but they sure beat paper and pencil.  They made punched cards
> and Fortran seem like a real step up.
>
> --Paula Matuszek
Had a Pastor friend a few years older than self that used to tell stories
about working on original "drum memory" where data was loaded inline with
code {all in binary).  Actually wrote a program to solve linear equations
doing that!  No core memory, just registers.  Seems there was usually a
problem with the bearings as the machines got older - if drum (40-50 lb)
started making noise everyone left asap and powered system off from fuse
box.  I guess discretion better part of valor, etc.

If and when had head crash just replace head and emory cloth drum surface to
smooth out rough edges of groove and away we go!

Tim N.