On 8/20/06, John W. Kennedy <jwkenne / attglobal.net> wrote:
> M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
> > I once had a boss who claimed to have worked on an IBM 1620. I think he
> > was trying to impress us as being a "real programmer just like us." The
> > lab where I worked on a 1620 got rid of it in 1964 ... I'm guessing he
> > was in junior high school then. :)
>
> The 1620 was still a state-of-the-art product in 1964, and was IBM's
> only desk-sized machine of the era. If your lab dumped one, it was not
> for obsolescence; its niche successor, the 1130, was still in the future
> -- and the 1130 was not compatible at all with the 1620, so upgrades
> were slow and cautious. (Many 1620s were instead eventually upgraded to
> S/360-30 mainframes, which offered a 1620-compatibility option.)

Actually, the 1620 was the first computer I programmed, and that was
in 1970-71, my first year in college.  Back then there were a few
computers or time-sharing terminals in some high schools, but in high
school, I was more interested in electronic music and synthesizers
than in computers.

The University had a couple of IBM/360 machines by then, but the 1620
was owned by the Engineering school and all freshman engineers had to
take a semester course (C.E. 101 or something like that) which was
half a semester of drafting/engineering graphics with T-squares,
triangles, and french-curves, and half a semester of Fortran II
programming on the 1620.  There was also an old Analog computer in the
room next to the 1620.

I've got fond memories of the 1620, some buddies and I even came up
with a new language called SCRUBOL (Scientifically Compatible
Relatively Unusual Basic Operating Language) and wrote a compiler for
it.  It had a disk drive, and a calcomp plotter which was on the paper
tape I/O port. You plotted by using the punch paper tape statement in
Fortran, Some other guys took the fast paper tape reader which had
been replaced by the calcomp plotter and interfaced it to a PDP-8.
They had to figure out how to slow it down to get the PDP-8 to read it
reliably.

But then I guess I'm not a real programmer.
-- 
Rick DeNatale

My blog on Ruby
http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/

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