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Olden Days Computer Stories


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VOC Member
In 1969, I was working as a draftsman for a company that made highway bridge railings. They were testing a Wang computer system with multiple terminals for us to use in calculating rail lengths on curves and slopes from the road centerline distance. It was rejected due to not being enough of an advantage over the Comptometers we were using. Our rail lengths had to be accurate to 1/16th of an inch.

(I didn't want to hijack the renewal thread any more.)


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my first brush with computers was in 1966
I went to Trafford park (all now gone) where GEC/English Electric had a large industrial site I was researching Brisch coding (a Germanic system of codes for all purchased material ) the guy said they ordered a drum of white rope with the system dropped a digit and seven lorries loaded with angle iron came to the goods in next week.
Some things never change


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I was at Imperial College in 1965, we learnt FORTRAN and our programme was written out on a series of cards, and transferred to punched paper tape for processing !! When I expressed an interest in computer programming, my tutor advised against it, he said "You'll be bored out of your skull within 6 months"............
Around 1980 I was given the task by my company to automate some test lab equipment using the latest thing from America - a CROMENCO Single Card Computer...............

Peter Stokes

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VOC Member
I worked in an office in 1970 where we had a Burroughs TC500 computer terminal. This thing, a wonder of the age I suppose, had a very noisy and permanently running disc drive. Periodically a man would come and give it an oil change. Yes, really! There were oil drips on the floor, very familiar. After a while it was superseded by the TC310, which had an on/off switch. Bliss.

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