Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog
wdonzelli at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 20:14:15 CST 2010
> 11 years ago, I pointed this very fact out to "journalists" who were
> convinced that Y2K was all a scam to pad IT budgets because "nobody
> would have gone to that much trouble to save 4 bits (00-99 fits in 7
> bits, 2000 fits in 11 bits) even in the 1950s.
While it was not a scam, it certainly was used to pad IT budgets.
We lost a great many old machines because of it.
> I pointed out that ...
> that one of the most easily exhausted resources was 80 columns on a
> punch card. If you encode the due-date of a utility bill onto the
> card for later processing, that's two columns less you have for
> account number or other pertinent information (I don't recall what
> punch-card bills specifically had on them
Just to nitpick - this would have been tiny. The unit record equipment
could have been wired up to prepunch the 19 if need be (it wasn't), so
the operators would still only have to key in the last two digits. And
tape was really, really cheap.
The problem was that disks turned from being used as temporary storage
to full, online storage - then those two character started costing big
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