• Hanneman (unregistered)

    We did administrative programming in FORTRAN a clinical hospital laboratory in the 1980's on HP 3000. Mind you, FORTRAN 4 (66) with no else clause on the if statement..

  • Jaloopa (unregistered)

    but a set of subroutines offered by IBM contained routines for dealing with currency values and formatting

    My free at the point of use privilege is showing. Reading that I was confused about what currency formatting had to do with a hospital

  • Hanneman (unregistered)

    "It used FORTRAN, which was pretty inappropriate for business use, ... "

  • Brian Boorman (google) in reply to Jaloopa
    Reading that I was confused about what currency formatting had to do with a hospital

    Even if they didn't bill, do you think maybe they pay the doctors/nurses/staff using currency?

  • Prime Mover (unregistered) in reply to Hanneman

    Yeah, this.

    All you kids of today sneering and sneeping at the fact that FORTRAN is "inappropriate" for business use (sez who?) sound like those stupid children who ask silly questions like "Why didn't Romeo just text Juliet rather than have to pass messages back and forward via her nurse?"

    Now gerroff me lawn.

  • DQ (unregistered)

    There's your WTF: written by IBM employees, so generally one would assume it was safe to use.

  • Sole Purpose Of Visit (unregistered) in reply to Hanneman

    Well, Fortran IV had both a logical "if" (which was a perfectly serviceable filter) and an arithmetic "if" (which facilitated branching on .LT., .EQ., and .GT.).

    Considering that GOTO was not, at the time, considered harmful, I'd have to say that I never had any problems with the concepts.

    Ref: http__www.math-cs.gordon.edu_courses_cs323_FORTRAN_fortran.html

  • Bruce W (unregistered)

    I just bought a 3D printer and started learning how to use it. I feel like back in days of one bent pin destroys everything...

  • muskrat (unregistered)

    Ah, the 1130, that brings back memories. The college I went to as a freshman had one of those. Part of the day it was used for administrative purposes, and the rest was used for instruction. We got to run it ourselves, it was so simple. Anyway, it only had Fortran II, which only had arithmetic ifs. As the saying goes, for the rest of my career as a programmer, I could write Fortran in any language.

  • sizer99 (google) in reply to DQ

    It's hard to imagine now, but IBM used to be amazing - the best machines and the best people (and boy did they charge for it). As always, there were exceptions, but you could usually count on IBM's modules. At least more than the ones written by your own self-taught guys who didn't even know what a computer was 10 years ago. The wheels were wobbly in the 80s and came off in the 90s. Though their mainline mainframes are still pretty impressive if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Fernando (unregistered)

    So happy to see a Jane Bailey story.

    I was an operator on a computer with one of those printers. I thought the punch line would be that the paper tape was missing the hole for that channel. Those paper tapes didn't last long; we used mylar tapes.

  • (nodebb) in reply to sizer99

    Indeed, the two most powerful computers in the world today (at Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore) are both IBMs.

  • ... (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover

    Given the age "Business appropriate" = COBOL

  • (nodebb) in reply to Prime Mover

    As I understand at a time Fortran was one of the most modern languages to be around. I theory it has also improved enough to keep pace; In practice it carries along design choices, that I’ve seen to encourage hard-to-read code, where finding out what the contents of a variable are supposed to mean often involves a hi t across the code base :(

  • (nodebb)

    Heh heh. This old guy, when working for DEC, once needed to test something on some synchronous serial data link interface. I had to order one of those, then persuade the local field service guy to install it.

    Didn't work.

    Replaced the driver. Didn't work.

    Read the code for the driver on the VMS source code microfiche pack. Found a couple of subtle bugs. Fixed them. Didn't work.

    Got somebody with an oscilloscope to look at the signal coming out of the device. Voltage very low.

    Asked the field service rep to swap the board. Didn't work.

    The field service rep put the board on an extender and stuck his voltmeter probe into various test points. "Hey, this is only three volts where it should be twelve!"

    Ordered a replacement power supply for the VAX (those things are heavy).

    Installed it. Worked.

    Turned out the +12V output on the power supply was only used by exotic telecommunications interfaces. It never worked.

    I REALLY like USB.

  • Worf (unregistered) in reply to OllieJones

    The PC power supply still supplies -12V for serial ports. Even though they've not actually been included on most PCs for at least a decade now. It's also not been required as a power rail for at least 2 decades now - everyone uses charge-pump level shifters to go from TTL to RS-232 voltage signalling since at least the 90s.

    Granted, the PC use of 12V now is much more than it was even 20 years ago - the processor draws so much power that it uses a direct 12V supply. Mostly to keep currents low - if your processor is drawing 200W, that's nearly 20A on the 12V lines. (This is more of an extreme, typical processors take 70-120W, or about 6-10A). The motherboard is responsible for dropping that down to the 1.2V or so the processor actually uses, which results in amazing currents (1.2V would be 100A of current. That level of current would require wiring the thickness similar to the power cables entering your house - but since it only has to travel an inch on the motherboard, it's far easier to handle)

  • jgh (unregistered)

    The way power-hungry PCs are going we're going to be going back to three-phase power inputs.

    In my day you had to remember to turn the external disk drive off when you powered down, else the residual current on the data lines kept the computer's memory active.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    oh, this made me think of the "hardware virus" story.

  • Future (unregistered) in reply to ...

    Do you know any more business appropriate language?

  • Future (unregistered) in reply to ...

    routines for dealing with currency values

    So it’s still better than modern-day JS?

  • (nodebb)

    Real violation of Chekhov's Gun with the explanation of the paper tape.

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