Real Old School Programming (was: Re: Where to buy a Selectric?)

Nico de Jong nico at
Sat Dec 31 01:45:55 CST 2005

From: "Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner" <spc at>
To: <cctalk at>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: Real Old School Programming (was: Re: Where to buy a

> It was thus said that the Great Bryan Pope once stated:
> >
> > > 3.  Code up your task using a no. 2 pencil on a pile of coding forms.
> >
> > What do these coding forms look like?
>   The coding forms I've seen (and used!) were for BASIC for the Color
> Computer.  Looked quite a bit like graph paper, but for the Coco, it was
> broken up into 32-column width "chunks" (for lack of a better term) to
> the width of the screen, and one would write each letter of the program
> a single square.  I think I got it more for the novelty than actual use.
The layout depended greatly on which language they were to be used for.
The most "structured" one I know, is RPG, where everything had to be written
in specific columns. Other forms would normally be 80 columns wide, but
vertically divided. For Cobol, you could see e.g. that the first 3 columns
were blank, the next 3 numbered from 010 to 300 or so, then a divider
between between 15 and 16 (IIRC), and again "around" col. 73 (marking for
Continuation Line).
We would also use special program cards for the card punch (IBM 029 etc); so
we could skip to specific columns
Oh yeah, those were the times...


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