Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Feb 19 21:14:32 CST 2015

On 02/19/2015 06:46 PM, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:

> But I am so much smarter than the rest.  I have an account on the
> university Amdahl/470, with both Fortran G *and* H!  So I will just
> write and debug my code there, then punch a deck and submit it in the
> mail.  Am I cool or what?!?

CDC management so detested programmers punching their own cards that 
they made it really inconvenient.  There was a keypunch located at each 
corner of the building,*on a timer*--one of those clickety-click ones 
with a knob.  I recall that you could get about 10 minutes per twist.

I mean, why waste your time keypunching, when you could submit it to the 
gals in keypunch to mis-type your stuff?  Of course, real terminals were 
kept from the programmers as well.  When we finally managed to talk 
management into installing real video terminals, they took about 15 of 
them and put them all on tables in *one* room.  Heaven forfend that 
anyone should have one on their desk!

It didn't really matter much to me--being in systems software, I used 
lots of committed block time usually during the wee hours of the night 
where there were keypunch machines available all over an essentially 
empty building.  If I needed a patch card while I was on the machine, I 
could always run the o26 PPU program on the DD60 operator's console.

The way to be productive back then was to be invisible.


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