Display-less computing was Re: TOP POSTING

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Sat Dec 12 18:45:39 CST 2015

>> you could feed the cards through an INTERPRETER, which printed the card
>> content on the card.
> [snip]
>> For many years, I kept around a plug-board labelled "COBOL INTERPRETER",
>> just to prove that a COBOL interpreter was possible :-)

On Sat, 12 Dec 2015, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> Are you using "interpreter" in two senses here, or just one? That is to
> say, I'm not sure if you're saying the "COBOL interpreter" was just a
> program that printed COBOL source on a punched card, or if you mean it
> actually ran the program.

Yes, I was deliberately conflating two disparate meanings of the word. 
When a friend was discussing compilers V interpreters, I pointed to the 
plug-board, and said, "SEE! There IS a COBOL interpreter!"

The board was itself not a COBOL interpreter, nor even intended to be 
labelled as such.  The ladelling was intended to identify that it was a 
plug-board FOR the Interpreter (not BEING an interpeter), and that it was 
plug-wire programmed for doing decks of cards containing COBOL code. 
"COBOL" and "INTERPRETER" should have been two separate labels. I kept the 
board around for years, just for the sake of making that ridiculous 

I don't know where it is now.  After I retired (after 30 years), I took 
too long to move my stuff out, and about a week later found that a college 
administrator had ordered the remaining contents of my office dumpstered, 
rather than wait an additional week for me to finish the task.  (They were 
fully aware of my planned schedule, and had implied that my timeframe was 
I had also been promised verbally a month to forward content from my email 
account there, notify contacts, etc.  Verbal promises, particularly from 
college administrators, are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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