Ctrl-G to access menus doesn't work

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:02 pm Post

Astaff wrote:Something like this?

People now bitch if our computer isn't 'instant on' - we used to spend half an hour just getting it ready to run a couple of lines.

Try running Scrivener on that!

My second computer was a Z80 TRS80 compatible. Every component hand soldered.

Exactly like that. :D. I forgot the brand name but I can't forget that face...

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:40 pm Post

80 character punch cards. Yeah, I remember those.

My first day, my first IT job, just out of school. For my very first assignment, my boss hands me a thick deck of punch cards wrapped with a rubber band. JCL program calls intermixed with a few different data sets (the latest bond valuation tables, a list of ticker symbols, that sort of thing). He briefly explained the sequence of programs that would run, what each did, and how at the end of it a big paper report would be generated that would tell us what the bank's Muni investments were worth.

"Take 'em down to the 12th floor. That's Operations. Go to the window, get a form from the guy, fill it out, wrap it around the deck, hand everything to the guy. Wait there. He'll run it and give you the report. Make sure you get the deck back."

I get on the elevator and we start heading down. There's a certain bounce to my step. I'm smiling. I'm submitting a job! I'm really doing computers now! Soon they'll give me a program to write, Life is good.

The elevator stops at the 12th and the doors open. As I'm exiting the rubber band breaks and punch cards go flying all over the place. I'm half in and half out of the elevator, blocking the doors as needed with parts of my body, trying to snag all the ones that landed inside the elevator, before the doors slam shut, The people waiting to continue their journey down are patient with me, more or less. Eventually a nice lady in a suit holds the Open button for me until I get all the cards collected.

I stand outside the Operations window, right there by the elevator, frantically putting the deck of cards back together. Trying to remember the program sequence my boss had explained, It takes a while, but I get the JCL for the programs done. As least, I think I do. Then I move on to putting the data sets back together. First figure out which cards belonged to which set, then sort them by hand. (Turns out sorting them by hand wasn't necessary, but I didn't know that at the time. It was only my first day.)

All told, this entire process probably takes an hour, and every time the elevator bell goes 'ding!' and the doors slide open, I'm certain my boss will come striding out, wondering where the hell I'd disappeared to.

Finally, after double and triple-checking, I think I'm done with the deck, I go to the window, get a form from the guy, fill it out with shaking hands, wrap it around the deck and hand everything over through the window. And wait, sweating and praying that the thing is right and all the programs run correctly. A while later--a long while--the guy returns to the window and slides through a big paper report and the deck of cards.

"What took you so long?" my boss asks, when I drop it on his desk

"There was a line."

He looks at me. "Hmm. Okay. Anyway, let's have a look at that program we need you to write."
Last edited by JimRac on Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:04 pm Post

I'm a Scrivener user, not an L&L employee.

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Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:34 am Post

JimRac wrote:
drmajorbob wrote:HOWEVER, on a related note, the manual twice mentions View->Show Invisibles, but there's no such menu item. Not at my machine.
In v1, it's Format > Options > Show Invisibles.

I found that later, but the v1 MANUAL mentions View->Invisibles, and that's not where it is.

(It's too late to worry much about it, of course.)

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Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:21 am Post

Console toggle switches? Punch cards? Magnetic memory cores?

Back in my day, we had to knap our own ones and zeroes out of flint. If we wanted a memory, we had to find our own lodestone. Now that was programming!

Seriously, though, the punch card story reminds me of one of my professors who took to writing code so that there was a GOTO at the end of every card...so you could drop the card deck, reassemble it in any order, feed it in, and the resulting program would still run.
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Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:02 pm Post

DavidR wrote:Well, I keypunched entries for a research index of periodical articles (with stopword list to attend to, etc.) onto IBM cards. 80 characters max per index entry, while including all significant people and facts, made newspaper "headline style" sound like Shakespeare. And make a typo (typing Arabic and Hebrew names), redo the card.

"Oops, I dropped the cards..." (Keeping it G-rated for the home audience.)
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Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:56 pm Post

JimRac, that's a great story. I hope you tell it to the young'uns when they gripe about an app being slow to load. I'm sure they appreciate it. :D

Did you ever wonder whether the boss purposely sabotaged the rubber band to find out if you could resort the cards correctly?
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