What did computers without screens do?
csquared3 at tx.rr.com
Mon Dec 14 11:17:10 CST 2015
On 12/12/2015 6:11 PM, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2015, Mike wrote:
>> The one question I do have for the older gentlemen on here is what in the world did the computers without a screen to look at do? Now I know about the tape, cassette tape's and even the paper with the hole punches in them but what kind of applications were they use for? Mathematics or? ? ?
I think that's a very inviting question for those of us who view those
years with a good bit of fond nostalgia!
The first ones I personally encountered all read and punched 80-column
cards. Some read and wrote to physically rather huge disk drives which
could store all of 5MB, but most of them read and wrote 7-track 1/2"
wide magnetic tape. The "display" was a line printer. These were
strictly business systems used to maintain the needed data for insurance
companies, banks, General Services Administration, and a local daily
Later, rather more interesting ones to me, read and punched 1" wide
paper tape. Their primary output was to 1/2" magnetic tape, and their
operator consoles were an I/O Selectric typewriter. Some of them also
had line printers. They were more interesting to me because they were
interfaced to optical character readers, and their main role was to
control certain parameters in the OCR system but mostly to receive the
characters which were read and write them to the mag tape. The mag
tapes were further processed on much larger computer systems as desired
by the customers.
All text, no graphics at all. Well, I did once write a graph plotting
program that could plot data to a line printer. It could even plot
multiple graphs overlaid, and kept the curves separated by using a
different text character for each input data set. That was fun. :-)
Please note that I did change the subject on you so folks would know
this is not part of the abominable thread.
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