computer history for you older gals and guys

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computer history for you older gals and guys

squaredancer
interesting collection of old machines...

http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs

reg
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Gus Richter
squaredancer wrote:
> interesting collection of old machines...
>
> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs

We bought for the kids a "Pong" game in a box with two knobs which we
connected to our TV (although us parents played it a lot as well) and
then a "Coco" which started it all for me way back when.

--
Gus
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Michael-369
In reply to this post by squaredancer
Michael at Armadilloweb.com pondered over this reply On 12/13/2007 6:43 AM

> interesting collection of old machines...
>
> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>
> reg
My first one was a Commodore 64 keyboard, cassette drive, and plugged
into the RF jack on the TV.  Then I graduated up to a Radio Shack Model
4-P and it is still in storage in the attic.

Michael
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Robert Blair-2
In reply to this post by squaredancer
On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
> interesting collection of old machines...
>
> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>
> reg

Children!

The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
client-server systems and desktop computers.

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Go to Mozdev at <http://www.mozdev.org/> for quick access to
extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and other
Mozilla-related applications.  You can access Mozdev much
more quickly than you can Mozilla Add-Ons.
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

BeeNeR
On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:

> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>
>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>
>> reg
>
> Children!
>
> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>

I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
B8500 and B8700.

--
Ed, W3BNR
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1zhwu/

"Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety."     -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Robert Blair-2
On 12/13/2007 1:19 PM, BeeNeR wrote:

> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>
>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>
>>> reg
>> Children!
>>
>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>
>
> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
> B8500 and B8700.
>

Oooh.  Starting in 1969, I worked System Development Corporation (SDC),
which was bought by Burroughs, which became Unisys.  I left the year
before you retired.  But then I worked for SAIC and TRW before I retired.

Did you feel as I did, that Unisys became an abusive employer?  See my
<http://www.rossde.com/retired.html>.

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Go to Mozdev at <http://www.mozdev.org/> for quick access to
extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and other
Mozilla-related applications.  You can access Mozdev much
more quickly than you can Mozilla Add-Ons.
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

PhillipJones
In reply to this post by Michael-369
Michael wrote:

> Michael at Armadilloweb.com pondered over this reply On 12/13/2007 6:43 AM
>
>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>
>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>
>> reg
> My first one was a Commodore 64 keyboard, cassette drive, and plugged
> into the RF jack on the TV.  Then I graduated up to a Radio Shack Model
> 4-P and it is still in storage in the attic.
>
> Michael
  My first ever I owned was a Radio shack Color Computer and I even
bought the expansion box.

Next was a V-tech version on an Apple IIc.

The my first mac was a SE/30

my next was a 7100/66

Then the next (which I am using now) is a G4-500

I did buy, and Use almost as much as my G4-1.67Mb PowerBook 17".

The odd thing is every Mac I bought was new for about 9 moths and then
the the new model I replaced it with was new for about 9 months.

In other words about 9 month after I bought my PB 17" they came out with
the MacBook 17" (Intel machine).

and about 9 months after I bought my SE/30 Brand new from apple (through
an Apple dealer They came out with the 6100/7100/8100 series. Then when
I bought the 7100/6 in nine months They came out with first the G3 then
the g4 series.  By the time I get around to getting the latest tower
with the latest version of the xenon processor something will come out
10 times stronger.

You just can win. One thing though Windows PC's have it worse there
machines become obsolete about three months after hitting the market.

At least with a Mac you can average about 7 years service out of them.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phillip M. Jones, CET                                http://www.vpea.org
If it's "fixed", don't "break it"!            mailto:[hidden email]
                              http://www.kimbanet.com/~pjones/default.htm
Mac G4-500, OSX.3.9               Mac 17" PowerBook G4-1.67 Gb, OSX.4.10
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

BeeNeR
In reply to this post by Robert Blair-2
On or about 12/13/2007 6:11 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:

> On 12/13/2007 1:19 PM, BeeNeR wrote:
>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>
>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>
>>>> reg
>>> Children!
>>>
>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>
>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>> B8500 and B8700.
>>
>
> Oooh.  Starting in 1969, I worked System Development Corporation (SDC),
> which was bought by Burroughs, which became Unisys.  I left the year
> before you retired.  But then I worked for SAIC and TRW before I retired.
>
> Did you feel as I did, that Unisys became an abusive employer?  See my
> <http://www.rossde.com/retired.html>.
>

Abusive?  Well, yes, there was the Insurance problem and of course the
hours worked without pay.  For a while badges had "E" and "NE" on them.
Exempt and non-exempt.  Exempt didn't get overtime because they were
considered professionals (?).  Never did understand that.  But we did
get $5.60 to spend on dinner if we worked through the evening hours.

Yes, and in addition to SDC Burroughs also absorbed Electrodata back in
the '50s and later on a Canadian firm Paramax.  I worked in Paoli, PA as
a Field Engineer while involved with Air Force Contracts and later as a
Customer Service Rep on the large systems.  Did installations,
refurbishing, updating, software, engineering, and wore a fire hat for a
while in the Technical Support Group.

--
Ed, W3BNR
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1zhwu/

"Don't forget to love yourself."  -Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

PhillipJones
In reply to this post by BeeNeR
BeeNeR wrote:

> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>
>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>
>>> reg
>> Children!
>>
>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>
>
> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
> B8500 and B8700.
>

was That one of those machine that had a a core that looked like a stack
of humongous wax records about 3 foot wide and 5 foot tall?  Like though
you use to see in the old superman tv series (with George Reeves as
Superman).

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phillip M. Jones, CET                                http://www.vpea.org
If it's "fixed", don't "break it"!            mailto:[hidden email]
                              http://www.kimbanet.com/~pjones/default.htm
Mac G4-500, OSX.3.9               Mac 17" PowerBook G4-1.67 Gb, OSX.4.10
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

BeeNeR
On or about 12/13/2007 7:09 PM, Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T penned the
following:

> BeeNeR wrote:
>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>
>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>
>>>> reg
>>> Children!
>>>
>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>
>>
>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>> B8500 and B8700.
>>
>
> was That one of those machine that had a a core that looked like a stack
> of humongous wax records about 3 foot wide and 5 foot tall?  Like though
> you use to see in the old superman tv series (with George Reeves as
> Superman).
>

Pretty big on the early B7500s.  Oops, just noticed on my other msg that
I type B8500/B8700 where I meant B7500 and B7700.  As an ex-Burroughs
employee I should have remembered that the B8500 was pretty much of a
bust.  Designed for U.S.Steel company.  I did work on that one, too, but
not for long.

--
Ed, W3BNR
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1zhwu/

"The lack of money is the root of all evil."    -Mark Twain (1835-1910)
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

JoeS-3
In reply to this post by squaredancer
squaredancer wrote:
> interesting collection of old machines...
>
> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>
> reg
Well, I did have a Timex Sinclair.(Z80 cpu very superior to the intel 8080 but then who could tell if you had to key in
machine code 1 byte at a time or load from cassette tape)
Those first machines were interesting to me from a "Nuts and bolts" standpoint. But it was difficult for me to imagine
that they would ever evolve to the point where personal computers are today. My first job after the Army was with the
BMEWS project, (a gigantic system) then mainframes with the RCA Spectra series. Finally bought my first PC in 1983
a mail-order DOS PC (I think it had an 8086 cpu)

I still dabble with the hardware, and build my own systems, but lately I'm more interested in what you can do with the
hardware, rather than the "nuts and bolts"

Joe


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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Terry R.
In reply to this post by PhillipJones
On 12/13/2007 4:06 PM On a whim, Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T pounded out on
the keyboard

> In other words about 9 month after I bought my PB 17" they came out with
> the MacBook 17" (Intel machine).

Did that make your PB obsolete? No.

>
> and about 9 months after I bought my SE/30 Brand new from apple (through
> an Apple dealer They came out with the 6100/7100/8100 series. Then when
> I bought the 7100/6 in nine months They came out with first the G3 then
> the g4 series.  By the time I get around to getting the latest tower
> with the latest version of the xenon processor something will come out
> 10 times stronger.
>
> You just can win. One thing though Windows PC's have it worse there
> machines become obsolete about three months after hitting the market.

Phillip, once again you down talk PC's without any facts.  Why would a
PC become obsolete after 3 months?  I've been using this workstation for
over 3 years. It's an AMD 2800+ and it runs everything fine.  FAR from
obsolete.  I know a few people still running 266 MHz machines still on
Win98. It does what they need done and they're happy.

>
> At least with a Mac you can average about 7 years service out of them.
>

Right. Try running Leopard on a 7 year old Mac and let me know how that
works for you.  I have one client with about 6 Mac's and the oldest ones
are about 3 years and they run so slow even on (Jaguar?) it's not worth it.

--
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Anti-spam measures are included in my email address.
Delete NOSPAM from the email address after clicking Reply.
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Robert Blair-2
On 12/13/2007 5:03 PM, Terry R. wrote [in part]:
> On 12/13/2007 4:06 PM On a whim, Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T pounded out on
> the keyboard [also in part]

>> You just can win. One thing though Windows PC's have it worse there
>> machines become obsolete about three months after hitting the market.

(can't win??)
    ^^

> Phillip, once again you down talk PC's without any facts.  Why would a
> PC become obsolete after 3 months?  I've been using this workstation for
> over 3 years. It's an AMD 2800+ and it runs everything fine.  FAR from
> obsolete.  I know a few people still running 266 MHz machines still on
> Win98. It does what they need done and they're happy.

A computer is obsolete when it can no longer perform the tasks for which
it was obtained.

Software seems to become obsolete much more quickly than hardware.
That's because media formats change with new software and because bugs
in the old software are fixed only in the new.

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Go to Mozdev at <http://www.mozdev.org/> for quick access to
extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and other
Mozilla-related applications.  You can access Mozdev much
more quickly than you can Mozilla Add-Ons.
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Terry R.
On 12/13/2007 5:40 PM On a whim, David E. Ross pounded out on the keyboard

> On 12/13/2007 5:03 PM, Terry R. wrote [in part]:
>> On 12/13/2007 4:06 PM On a whim, Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T pounded out on
>> the keyboard [also in part]
>
>>> You just can win. One thing though Windows PC's have it worse there
>>> machines become obsolete about three months after hitting the market.
>
> (can't win??)
>     ^^
>

I didn't type that, Phillip did. I wrote what was below, and yes I knew
his statement had errors, but answered it anyway without criticizing.

>> Phillip, once again you down talk PC's without any facts.  Why would a
>> PC become obsolete after 3 months?  I've been using this workstation for
>> over 3 years. It's an AMD 2800+ and it runs everything fine.  FAR from
>> obsolete.  I know a few people still running 266 MHz machines still on
>> Win98. It does what they need done and they're happy.
>
> A computer is obsolete when it can no longer perform the tasks for which
> it was obtained.

Didn't I say that?

>
> Software seems to become obsolete much more quickly than hardware.
> That's because media formats change with new software and because bugs
> in the old software are fixed only in the new.
>

Disagree.  I have software that hasn't been made for over 10 years and
it runs fine.  Besides, you replied to my rebuttal to Phillip when you
should have replied to him, since he is the one who made the statements.

--
Terry R.
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

Blinky the Shark
In reply to this post by Robert Blair-2
David E. Ross wrote:

> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>
>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>
>> reg
>
> Children!
>
> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
> client-server systems and desktop computers.

CDC 3600; Fortran; 1965.

--
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

The Real Bev
In reply to this post by BeeNeR
BeeNeR wrote:

> On or about 12/13/2007 6:11 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>> On 12/13/2007 1:19 PM, BeeNeR wrote:
>>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>>
>>>> Children!
>>>>
>>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.

I learned to punch cards and wrote accounting programs in Fortran (now
there's a painful endeavor!) for the Univac 1108 (I think).  I claimed I
could make drum cards, but I never had to prove it.

Our (personal, not business) first micro was an 8080 built by Computer
Power and Light in Studio City in 1977.  My 10-year-old son got his
first programming experience on that machine and his first paid
programming was writing a joystick interface for Compal in exchange for
the joystick itself.

Later on we got a free trip to Europe because a French company was
having problems getting their machines ready for the first-ever Parisian
computer show.  My son was one of the few people in the room who could
actually make a computer do something.  He was idly writing BASIC
programs on one of the machines and looked up to see that he'd gathered
a crowd.  He went to find some food...

We narrowly escaped buying an Imsai (with switches) because The Byte
Shop gave the computer we ordered to somebody else and then lied about
it.  The local Byte Shop was run by an enterprising group of Sikhs.  We
asked one of them why he always carried a dagger.  He said it was
because they were supposed to be ready to fight for their God at all times.

Heh.  After 3 weeks of lies my husband told the Head Guy that the order
was canceled and if we didn't get a refund check right then and there
something or somebody was going through their front window.  We cashed
the check within 15 minutes.  Maybe the knife was rubber but the check
wasn't.

Those were the days...

Husband wrote assemblers and sold them by mail order -- same thing that
Avocet did, but better and cheaper -- and taught people how to do
assembly-language programming over the phone for free.  Anybody ever use
something called PDS back then?  That was him.  The North Star BASIC
compiler was my son and him.  How many 12-year-olds do you know who
wrote compilers in assembly language?

>>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>>> B8500 and B8700.
>>
>> Oooh.  Starting in 1969, I worked System Development Corporation (SDC),
>> which was bought by Burroughs, which became Unisys.  I left the year
>> before you retired.  But then I worked for SAIC and TRW before I retired.
>>
>> Did you feel as I did, that Unisys became an abusive employer?  See my
>> <http://www.rossde.com/retired.html>.

Very interesting.  Did you know Alex M.....o?  PhD, can't remember what
he did.  He went to school with my son.  People used to ask me if I
knoew <person> at JPL.  8,000 people maximum.  Still...

> Abusive?  Well, yes, there was the Insurance problem and of course the
> hours worked without pay.  For a while badges had "E" and "NE" on them.
> Exempt and non-exempt.  Exempt didn't get overtime because they were
> considered professionals (?).  Never did understand that.  

"Exempt" people were exempt from the rules that required overtime for
common laborers because they were thought to be highly-paid management
types.  At some time they were, but not by the 70s.  Working on
cost-plus-fixed-fee government contracts does weird things to companies
-- everything is driven by the contract, and unless you play fast and
loose the way to make money is in overhead and G&A.

CSC (ultimate purchaser of Unisys) had a contract to supply tech people
to JPL -- familiarly known as a body shop contract.  Pay
grades/experience levels/functions each had a different fixed fee
attached -- if you paid a guy too much the effective fee ("profit") went
to zero, or even negative.  Accordingly, you scrimped on the salaries of
the highly-paid, presumably most competent, staff members and rejoiced
when lowly peons were able to do high-level work (as was generally the
case), thereby sucking in large fees in proportion to what they were
actually paid.

Clearly it was not a system designed to make competent people happy, but
they stayed because of the glamour and the hope that they might be
canonized as REAL JPL employees.  Ooooh, space exploration!  OOOOH!

Anyway, I was the underpaid (hey, I started out as a secretary and fell
into project "management" because my boss quit, it's not like I was a
REAL technical person) procureress and regularly went to bat for the
good people -- WITH THE COMPANY.  Needless to say this did not engender
much love for me from upper management, who set MY salary.  Ultimately
the bastards fired me because they didn't like my filing system and
loyalty to the proles.  If only I'd felt like suing the bastards for age
discrimination (if you ever want to really screw over your company, file
a complaint with the EEO) but I realized just how glad I was that I
didn't have to work there any more.

I can't blame JPL for the shittiness of CSC management, but I can
certainly blame them for profiting from the system by trading on JPL
glamour and the hope that lowly contractors would prove to be good
enough to become real JPL employees.

Bitter?  Moi?  Surely not!

Oh yeah.  During proposals most of the work was done by the exempt
executives who didn't have to be paid extra for the 24-hour days they
were putting in.  Not enough payback if you ask me.  I too was exempt
and worked longer than they did!

I needed to rant.  Thanks for listening.  Don't get me started about
their 401K -- most of that was due to my own laziness!

> But we did
> get $5.60 to spend on dinner if we worked through the evening hours.

Well, it's all OK then!

> Yes, and in addition to SDC Burroughs also absorbed Electrodata back in
> the '50s and later on a Canadian firm Paramax.  I worked in Paoli, PA as
> a Field Engineer while involved with Air Force Contracts and later as a
> Customer Service Rep on the large systems.  Did installations,
> refurbishing, updating, software, engineering, and wore a fire hat for a
> while in the Technical Support Group.

Cat herder, then.

Gee, this has been fun.  We should do it again some time...

--
Cheers, Bev (Happy Linux User #85683, Slackware 11.0)
==================================================================
"Don't sweat it -- it's not real life. It's only ones and zeroes."
                                                   -- spaf (1988?)
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

JoeS-3
In reply to this post by PhillipJones
Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T wrote:

> BeeNeR wrote:
>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>
>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>
>>>> reg
>>> Children!
>>>
>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>
>>
>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>> B8500 and B8700.
>>
>
> was That one of those machine that had a a core that looked like a stack
> of humongous wax records about 3 foot wide and 5 foot tall?  Like though
> you use to see in the old superman tv series (with George Reeves as
> Superman).
>
I think they were about 18 inches wide, and they were what eventually became they "hard drive" that you know today.
"winchester technology" They came in several variations, one with an actual hydraulic head advance mechanism and
also a voice coil type. (stepping motors weren't around yet) Before that mass storage was a lot of fixed heads on
movable media. These were called "drums"
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

BeeNeR
On or about 12/14/2007 12:21 AM, JoeS penned the following:

> Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T wrote:
>> BeeNeR wrote:
>>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>>
>>>>> reg
>>>> Children!
>>>>
>>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>>> B8500 and B8700.
>>>
>>
>> was That one of those machine that had a a core that looked like a
>> stack of humongous wax records about 3 foot wide and 5 foot tall?
>> Like though you use to see in the old superman tv series (with George
>> Reeves as Superman).
>>
> I think they were about 18 inches wide, and they were what eventually
> became they "hard drive" that you know today.
> "winchester technology" They came in several variations, one with an
> actual hydraulic head advance mechanism and
> also a voice coil type. (stepping motors weren't around yet) Before that
> mass storage was a lot of fixed heads on
> movable media. These were called "drums"

Remember them well.  We even had 'truncated drums".  The drums were
vertical, with bases larger than the tops.  The heads were fixed and the
drum was mounted on a centrifugal mount.  As the drum rotated and picked
up speed it would rise to meet the heads.  The way to adjust them was to
adjust just until you could hear the squeal of the head on the drum and
then back off 1/2 turn.


--
Ed, W3BNR
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1zhwu/

"It's not that I'm afraid to die; I just don't
want to be there when it happens."   -Woody Allen
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

squaredancer
In reply to this post by Robert Blair-2
On 14.12.2007 00:11, CET - what odd quirk of fate caused  David E. Ross
to generate the following:? :

> On 12/13/2007 1:19 PM, BeeNeR wrote:
>  
>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>    
>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>      
>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>
>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>
>>>> reg
>>>>        
>>> Children!
>>>
>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>
>>>      
>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>> B8500 and B8700.
>>
>>    
>
> Oooh.  Starting in 1969, I worked System Development Corporation (SDC),
> which was bought by Burroughs, which became Unisys.  I left the year
> before you retired.  But then I worked for SAIC and TRW before I retired.
>
> Did you feel as I did, that Unisys became an abusive employer?  See my
> <http://www.rossde.com/retired.html>.
>
>  

busted link to:  http://archive.cpsr.net/cpsr/privacy/ssn/ssn.faq.html
on your page:  http://www.rossde.com/unemployed/unempl_recruitmistakes.html

at "Give us your Social Security Number"

reg
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Re: computer history for you older gals and guys

squaredancer
In reply to this post by The Real Bev
On 14.12.2007 06:12, CET - what odd quirk of fate caused  The Real Bev
to generate the following:? :

> BeeNeR wrote:
>
>  
>> On or about 12/13/2007 6:11 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>    
>>> On 12/13/2007 1:19 PM, BeeNeR wrote:
>>>      
>>>> On or about 12/13/2007 1:58 PM, David E. Ross penned the following:
>>>>        
>>>>> On 12/13/2007 4:43 AM, squaredancer wrote:
>>>>>          
>>>>>> interesting collection of old machines...
>>>>>>
>>>>>> http://www.news.com/2300-1042_3-6213000.html?tag=ne.gall.rbcs
>>>>>>
>>>>>>            
>>>>> Children!
>>>>>
>>>>> The first computer I worked on was the SWAC ([National Bureau of]
>>>>> Standards Western Automatic Computer) at UCLA.  This was built in the
>>>>> late 1950s, but it was in the early 1960s that I used it in an
>>>>> undergraduate computer class.  I also used IBM 1440, 7090, and 7094 and
>>>>> attended the initial public presentation of the IBM 360.  Since then, I
>>>>> used CDC 3800 and 6600.  All of these were main-frames, long before
>>>>> client-server systems and desktop computers.
>>>>>          
>
> I learned to punch cards and wrote accounting programs in Fortran (now
> there's a painful endeavor!) for the Univac 1108 (I think).  I claimed I
> could make drum cards, but I never had to prove it.
>
> Our (personal, not business) first micro was an 8080 built by Computer
> Power and Light in Studio City in 1977.  My 10-year-old son got his
> first programming experience on that machine and his first paid
> programming was writing a joystick interface for Compal in exchange for
> the joystick itself.
>
> Later on we got a free trip to Europe because a French company was
> having problems getting their machines ready for the first-ever Parisian
> computer show.  My son was one of the few people in the room who could
> actually make a computer do something.  He was idly writing BASIC
> programs on one of the machines and looked up to see that he'd gathered
> a crowd.  He went to find some food...
>
> We narrowly escaped buying an Imsai (with switches) because The Byte
> Shop gave the computer we ordered to somebody else and then lied about
> it.  The local Byte Shop was run by an enterprising group of Sikhs.  We
> asked one of them why he always carried a dagger.  He said it was
> because they were supposed to be ready to fight for their God at all times.
>
> Heh.  After 3 weeks of lies my husband told the Head Guy that the order
> was canceled and if we didn't get a refund check right then and there
> something or somebody was going through their front window.  We cashed
> the check within 15 minutes.  Maybe the knife was rubber but the check
> wasn't.
>
> Those were the days...
>
> Husband wrote assemblers and sold them by mail order -- same thing that
> Avocet did, but better and cheaper -- and taught people how to do
> assembly-language programming over the phone for free.  Anybody ever use
> something called PDS back then?  That was him.  The North Star BASIC
> compiler was my son and him.  How many 12-year-olds do you know who
> wrote compilers in assembly language?
>
>  
>>>> I too worked with main-frames, but for Burroughs Corporation from 1959
>>>> to 1994 when I retired.  From the military AN/FST-2, AN/GYK-3, D825, and
>>>> D830, to the large systems B5000, B5500, B5700, B6500, B6700, B6900,
>>>> B8500 and B8700.
>>>>        
>>> Oooh.  Starting in 1969, I worked System Development Corporation (SDC),
>>> which was bought by Burroughs, which became Unisys.  I left the year
>>> before you retired.  But then I worked for SAIC and TRW before I retired.
>>>
>>> Did you feel as I did, that Unisys became an abusive employer?  See my
>>> <http://www.rossde.com/retired.html>.
>>>      
>
> Very interesting.  Did you know Alex M.....o?  PhD, can't remember what
> he did.  He went to school with my son.  People used to ask me if I
> knoew <person> at JPL.  8,000 people maximum.  Still...
>
>  
>> Abusive?  Well, yes, there was the Insurance problem and of course the
>> hours worked without pay.  For a while badges had "E" and "NE" on them.
>> Exempt and non-exempt.  Exempt didn't get overtime because they were
>> considered professionals (?).  Never did understand that.  
>>    
>
> "Exempt" people were exempt from the rules that required overtime for
> common laborers because they were thought to be highly-paid management
> types.  At some time they were, but not by the 70s.  Working on
> cost-plus-fixed-fee government contracts does weird things to companies
> -- everything is driven by the contract, and unless you play fast and
> loose the way to make money is in overhead and G&A.
>
> CSC (ultimate purchaser of Unisys) had a contract to supply tech people
> to JPL -- familiarly known as a body shop contract.  Pay
> grades/experience levels/functions each had a different fixed fee
> attached -- if you paid a guy too much the effective fee ("profit") went
> to zero, or even negative.  Accordingly, you scrimped on the salaries of
> the highly-paid, presumably most competent, staff members and rejoiced
> when lowly peons were able to do high-level work (as was generally the
> case), thereby sucking in large fees in proportion to what they were
> actually paid.
>
> Clearly it was not a system designed to make competent people happy, but
> they stayed because of the glamour and the hope that they might be
> canonized as REAL JPL employees.  Ooooh, space exploration!  OOOOH!
>
> Anyway, I was the underpaid (hey, I started out as a secretary and fell
> into project "management" because my boss quit, it's not like I was a
> REAL technical person) procureress and regularly went to bat for the
> good people -- WITH THE COMPANY.  Needless to say this did not engender
> much love for me from upper management, who set MY salary.  Ultimately
> the bastards fired me because they didn't like my filing system and
> loyalty to the proles.  If only I'd felt like suing the bastards for age
> discrimination (if you ever want to really screw over your company, file
> a complaint with the EEO) but I realized just how glad I was that I
> didn't have to work there any more.
>
> I can't blame JPL for the shittiness of CSC management, but I can
> certainly blame them for profiting from the system by trading on JPL
> glamour and the hope that lowly contractors would prove to be good
> enough to become real JPL employees.
>
> Bitter?  Moi?  Surely not!
>
> Oh yeah.  During proposals most of the work was done by the exempt
> executives who didn't have to be paid extra for the 24-hour days they
> were putting in.  Not enough payback if you ask me.  I too was exempt
> and worked longer than they did!
>
> I needed to rant.  Thanks for listening.  Don't get me started about
> their 401K -- most of that was due to my own laziness!
>
>  
>> But we did
>> get $5.60 to spend on dinner if we worked through the evening hours.
>>    
>
> Well, it's all OK then!
>
>  
>> Yes, and in addition to SDC Burroughs also absorbed Electrodata back in
>> the '50s and later on a Canadian firm Paramax.  I worked in Paoli, PA as
>> a Field Engineer while involved with Air Force Contracts and later as a
>> Customer Service Rep on the large systems.  Did installations,
>> refurbishing, updating, software, engineering, and wore a fire hat for a
>> while in the Technical Support Group.
>>    
>
> Cat herder, then.
>
> Gee, this has been fun.  We should do it again some time...
>
>  


well Bev - we often had this kind of speak over in the MTMM (lately
sabotaged and murdered by Chris Ilias), so I did reckon that a lively
discussion would emerge *lol*

reg
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