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I ran across this article in which it has become apparent that there are some computer systems out there requiring upgrades/modification that need a significant number of people who can program in COBOL language. I'm old enough to know what it is, but not old enough that it was ever taught in my age group. That alone is fascinating and/or perplexing, depending upon your point of view. However, what I found more interesting is the picture accompanying the story. It was a different time. I highly doubt there were any guys in the office wearing heels, though.

COBOLTraining.png

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There are quite a few large legacy systems that run COBOL with emulators on modern hardware. Systems (banks, motor vehicles registration, ect) had many thousands of users using various types of equipment to access them so major upgrades are basically impossible. When I worked in public safety communications, we had computers in the police cars that could run a license plate in a few seconds while there was still a Teletype in the office interfaced to the same database so they could get bulletins printed automatically.

To keep this on topic... IBM had a strict dress code and corporate culture. If that code had required heels, then every man would have worn them without question.

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FORTRAN is also used to run many, if not all, mathematical calculations.  Back then your code had to extremely efficient because memory was EXPENSIVE and limited. That's not the case in today's codes.

I remember I put 16 megs of RAM into a computer (when 1 meg was common) and told I'll never ever need that much RAM.  Now terabyte RAMs are common.

Edited by Cali
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I don't know if I believe this, but I've been told by a reasonably reliable source that some British banking software still runs in pre-decimal Pounds, Shillings and Pence. It's wrapped around with heaven know how many layers of abstraction to use in modern systems. There are some bits of code in older systems that nobody wants or dares to touch. Even if they still have the source code which isn't a given.

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The first 'computer' I worked on and used was a Mk 114 fire control computer. The switch board alone weighed 3 tons.  All dials, gears, servos and synchro's.  Transistors the size of quarters.   

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In 1982 I owned a Datapoint computer running on  Databus (cobol alike).I purchased extra ram so that I had 32 .. K! on it. And this worked very fast... Price for the whole system running on 2 floppy disks 250K and the cheapest Centronics printer: 10.000 €. I stil own the machine.

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On 4/16/2020 at 5:22 PM, pebblesf said:

Wish I wasn't old enough to remember fortran and cobol

But do you remember ANSI and Machine codes.  I had a glorified calculator at work in the 70's that I had to program with dip switches, only one in our division who could.  We processed our data from planetary probes through that machine and another one that used paper tape to program,. And then there's 8080 architecture.

@pebblesf you are a youngster!

Edited by Cali
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22 hours ago, Cali said:

But do you remember ANSI and Machine codes.  I had a glorified calculator at work in the 70's that I had to program with dip switches, only one in our division who could.  We processed our data from planetary probes through that machine and another one that used paper tape to program,. And then there's 8080 architecture.

@pebblesf you are a youngster!

How about Baudot? Some of us dinosaurs still use it in ham radio and some fools like myself still send and receive it mechanically.

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Sorry, I only go back to Fortran cards of the early 70's.

4 hours ago, norcalheeler said:

How about Baudot? Some of us dinosaurs still use it in ham radio and some fools like myself still send and receive it mechanically.

 

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Yes I do remember Cobal and Fortran and I did a course on machine code programing in my early days when I was taught how computers work. When I left college I worked for the GPO on a radio station and I was taught about valves all there was back then, transistors came later. as I am a radio ham still like my valves etc. sadly I have not kept up with modern tech and no nothing about mobile phones and programing and the like, I do own one but it is an old nokia about 10 years old, and it still works when I bother to turn it on, don't need one at my age. All I have is an old laptop running windows 7.

life is not a rehearsal

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6 hours ago, dww said:

Yes I do remember Cobal and Fortran and I did a course on machine code programing in my early days when I was taught how computers work. When I left college I worked for the GPO on a radio station and I was taught about valves all there was back then, transistors came later. as I am a radio ham still like my valves etc. sadly I have not kept up with modern tech and no nothing about mobile phones and programing and the like, I do own one but it is an old nokia about 10 years old, and it still works when I bother to turn it on, don't need one at my age. All I have is an old laptop running windows 7.

I am a ham that also likes radio that glow in the dark, encouraged by a friend who was an engineer at Eimac. Same here on not keeping up with modern tech. Funny thing is I do a lot of bit banging, to make commercial gear useful on the ham bands, but do it all on a Windows XP computer. Computer for the internet is new with Linux that the company bought me. Never had a smart phone and never want one either.

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  • 7 months later...
On 12/12/2020 at 8:28 AM, Tech said:

No idea why this was posted in "High Heel Discussions > Your Favourite High Heel Pictures" but have now relocatd it.

I don't know why, but upon closer examination, perhaps it was the *picture* in the very first post, showing a computer person all dressed up in heels? Something they definitely don't do nowadays.

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