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Old 9th July 2020, 08:48 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Several years ago I acquired a couple boxes of these. I use them as bookmarks for larger books. I've been leaving a few in the Little Free Libraries around the neighborhood.


(picture of 80-column punched cards)


I should probably look at selling some batches on eBay as they look to fetch a nice price.

Reminds me: I had to self-finance 1 year of my Computer Science degree course because I had switched universities and courses (Chemistry at University of Newcastle -> Computer Science at University of Edinburgh), so it took me 5 years instead of 4 to complete.


In order to generate money I would, ahem, "acquire" lots of discarded line printer paper and punched cards from the user access building (this was before interactive terminals were commonly available). I guess it could be called stealing, but I needed some form of income. I filled about 50% of my brother's Ford Transit van (that really is a lot of paper/card), and managed to sell it to a scrap-paper merchant - can't remember for how much, but it was sufficient to finance the whole year (would have been 1976/77 or thereabouts).



And to come back on-topic, those were the years getting a good grounding in an operating system that was light years ahead of all the rest (and certainly way in advance of Unix) - EMAS (Edinburgh Multiple Access SystemWP).


Quote:
Such features led EMAS supporters to claim that their system was superior to Unix for the first 20 years of the latter's existence.
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Old 9th July 2020, 08:48 AM   #42
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My first real exposure to UNIX came via SCO XENIX, when I worked technical support at an IBM and Compaq reseller.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:29 AM   #43
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Mine was BSD Unix on a Vax 11/750 (iirc) 1983. Glasgow Uni Post Grad Diploma in CS using green screens - as post grads we had keys so could grab lab time when we wanted, mainly Pascal. The next terminal I used was in 1984 an IBM 3279 with 3 coloured cathode ray tubes and writing assembler. I had to regularly go through the screen calibration process.
When I joined HBSC in 1999 many of this critical programming team were using 3277s and stuff.
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Old 9th July 2020, 11:11 AM   #44
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Anyone recall the Santa Cruz Operation?
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Old 9th July 2020, 11:22 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
My first real exposure to UNIX came via SCO XENIX, when I worked technical support at an IBM and Compaq reseller.
I think my very first use of UNIX was on a Three Rivers Perq system that ICL was selling for a short while. I went on to work on a System 5 based version on ICL hardware (DRS 300); a modular, A4 sized Intel 386 system that could run either UNIX (DRS/NX) or C-DOS (multi-user DOS). Thereafter, I moved to HP and worked on and supported HP-UX (as well as software running on Linux, AIX and Solaris).

Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Anyone recall the Santa Cruz Operation?
Darat just did.
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Old 9th July 2020, 11:28 AM   #46
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My first experience with Unix was AIX on the IBM RS/6000 systems, followed by by HP/UX running on HP 9000 ES systems. I still have three old IBM POWERStation 220 systems and an old HP 9000 E25 computer, but sadly none of them have an OS installed.

There was also AIX for the PS/2 (IBM's Personal System 2, not the Playstation 2!) It was such an oddball system that I rather suspect if you asked IBM about it these days they'd deny they ever sold it.

These days I run almost exclusively Linux, usually systems descended from Red Hat and Fedora. Although I'm reminded of the quip "BSD is for people who love Unix; Linux is for people who hate Windows." Sometimes I think it's more true than I would like it to be. Certainly the BSDs have remained closer to the original Unix systems, such as a rather monolithic startup rc script (someone's sure to correct me if I'm wrong) and the command line system tools.
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Old 9th July 2020, 12:34 PM   #47
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Totally forgot about AIX! Or rather had submerged the memories....
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Old 9th July 2020, 02:53 PM   #48
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I used to run a cluster of RS6000s running AIX testing various IBM products as well as various Sun and HP. I found it pretty solid. The one dismal part was one product relied on somwg- distributed system object model, which was a nightmare.
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Old 9th July 2020, 04:43 PM   #49
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I tried using Linux once. It worked great, until something went wrong and it stopped working and I had no freaking clue how to get it working again.

Windows has its flaws, but at least I know it. On the other hand, my MacBook Pro has been chugging along for almost ten years with no issues whatsoever.
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Old 10th July 2020, 08:51 AM   #50
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Another NT 4.0 post, or how I managed to trash a PC by setting the wrong file permissions: This was some time in the late '90's, IIRC. My work computer had been recently upgraded from Windows 95 to NT 4.0. I think it was a new computer, but it may have been just an OS upgrade. Anyway, unlike Windows 95, and other early "consumer" versions of Windows, NT 4.0 actually had file permissions. I was familiar with the concept of file permissions from UNIX. NT 4.0 Workstation by default had mostly wide open file permissions. As I recall, damn near evertying except a few system directories allowed any user to do anything they wanted. I had admin rights on the PC and decided I was going to tighten up those permissions so that only my accounts were able to write most of the files. However, in the process of doing this, I removed the SYSTEM "user" from the permissions of C:\, the root folder of the boot drive. The result of this was that the first time I rebooted, it immediately bluescreened. Service desk ended up reformatting/reinstalling (or reimaging. I'm not sure if they were doing it that way at the time). Fortunately, the thing had been set up with 2 partitions, a C: drive that was the boot drive, and a much larger D: drive. Most data files I had stored locally were on the D: partition, so they were able to initially just reformat C: and reinstall Windows so I could recover those files before they did the complete reformat. It was the only time I was ever "that guy" who wrecks his PC because he knows just enough to be dangerous (well, not the hardware, but functionally wrecked). I don't know if it's still possible to render more recent versions of Windows unbootable by setting the wrong file permissions, as I've never wanted to risk it. I suppose I could try it on a VM or junker PC if I really wanted to know badly enough to make the effort, but I'm not quite that curious.

Last edited by CORed; 10th July 2020 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 10th July 2020, 09:03 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I tried using Linux once. It worked great, until something went wrong and it stopped working and I had no freaking clue how to get it working again.

Windows has its flaws, but at least I know it. On the other hand, my MacBook Pro has been chugging along for almost ten years with no issues whatsoever.
If you know what you are doing, you can fix damn near anything on a Linux or UNIX system if you can get a shell (command prompt) and a text editor working. Not that those fixes are necessarily obvious or easy, but the GUI for Linux is not as deeply embedded in the OS as it is for Windows, and most of the configuration lives in text files. In fact, it is not unusual for admins to not even bother to installing a GUI on servers.
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Old 11th July 2020, 12:15 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
Some years back there was a stink among geeks that MS had ripped off the BSD TP/IP stack for NT. Someone found some clear identification of BSD in a debug dump IIRC. This was never really contested, and of course this explains why the net on NT worked reasonably well.

It wouldn't surprise me if much of the working code in MS products has been stolen from Unix.
It would me. NT is based more on VAX VMS than Unix.

As for the Windows TCP stack being based on BSD Sockets: I thought it was well known that that was the case. I think Microsoft licensed it perfectly legally.
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Old 11th July 2020, 12:22 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Mine was BSD Unix on a Vax 11/750 (iirc) 1983. Glasgow Uni Post Grad Diploma in CS using green screens - as post grads we had keys so could grab lab time when we wanted, mainly Pascal. The next terminal I used was in 1984 an IBM 3279 with 3 coloured cathode ray tubes and writing assembler. I had to regularly go through the screen calibration process.
When I joined HBSC in 1999 many of this critical programming team were using 3277s and stuff.
Bsd 4.2 on the University of York CS department VAX 11/750 With 6mb RAM. I had a friend whose first year project never bothered to free any of its heap space. You knew when the scheduler decided it was time her process got to run because everybody else’s terminal sessions froze while it swapped in her address space.
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Old 11th July 2020, 01:48 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Nobody else had the harrowing experience of trying to learn Commodore DOS? Eventually I gave it up and just used it as a games machine (for which it was excellent).
Why would anybody do that? MS-BASIC v2.0 was THE operating system for the C64. Once you learned all of the POKE commands, you had all you needed.
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Old 11th July 2020, 04:53 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I tried using Linux once. It worked great, until something went wrong and it stopped working and I had no freaking clue how to get it working again.
"Linux is user friendly. It's just picky about who its friends are."

Do you know how many years ago that was? Linux has come a long way since 2010.

My main complaint these days is proprietary software in general. A friend of mine invested money and time in learning how to use Corel Draw and Photoshop. But the update treadmill on those products is expensive. She was all right until her increasingly creaky install of Windows XP finally gave out. I set her up with a Windows 10 system. Now if she wants to use either program again she has to buy all new versions. It's at least $650 for Draw and I don't know how much for Photoshop. And Adobe's moved to a rental model: you have to pay every year to be able to use it.

My friend? She's over 60 and is on disability. She simply cannot afford to buy the new versions. The old ones don't work on Windows 7 (I know; I got a copy of Windows 7 tried to install them.)

I'm going to recommend she learn Inkscape , which apparently is a decent alternative to Draw and works on Windows. And there are lots of open source photo enhancing programs for Windows out there, which is all she was using Photoshop for.
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Old 11th July 2020, 06:00 PM   #56
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Anyone else amazed at how often the same ideas are reinvented? I lost track of how many times I’ve told people “yeah it’s called a concentrator network”.
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Old 11th July 2020, 10:52 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Anyone else amazed at how often the same ideas are reinvented? I lost track of how many times I’ve told people “yeah it’s called a concentrator network”.
Dumb terminals, sorry ChromeOS machines are quite popular these days....
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:21 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
My first real exposure to UNIX came via SCO XENIX, when I worked technical support at an IBM and Compaq reseller.
Ewwww, Xenix.
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:22 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Anyone recall the Santa Cruz Operation?
Unfortunately.
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:24 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Totally forgot about AIX! Or rather had submerged the memories....
Didn't we all.

Minix, Solaris, AIX and Ultrix at college.
And then OSF-1 on DEC Alpha.
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Old 12th July 2020, 06:05 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
I'm going to recommend she learn Inkscape , which apparently is a decent alternative to Draw and works on Windows. And there are lots of open source photo enhancing programs for Windows out there, which is all she was using Photoshop for.
OT: Try LibreOffice Draw, depending on what she needs. Inkscape is, AFIK, primarily for producing SVGs; LibreOffice Draw is a generic drawing program.
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Old 12th July 2020, 09:27 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Anyone recall the Santa Cruz Operation?
Unfortunately.
I hope you're not confusing the Santa Cruz Operation (makers of multiple acceptable niche Unix variants) with The SCO Group (patent and copyright trolls that tried to sue Linux out of existence, a renamed Caldera International funded by Microsoft). The latter did constantly refer to themselves as simply "SCO" in court documents (thus causing a similar misnaming by news outlets) for the likely purpose of connecting themselves to the former's legacy, in spite of no actual connection, so such confusion is understandable.
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Old 12th July 2020, 11:51 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by grmcdorman View Post
OT: Try LibreOffice Draw, depending on what she needs. Inkscape is, AFIK, primarily for producing SVGs; LibreOffice Draw is a generic drawing program.
Thanks. I'm leaning toward Inkscape because apparently it can import CDR files directly, which LibreOffice Draw can't. My friend has a large collection of CDR files she'd like to be able to work with. Alternatively, she could use Inkscape for import from CDR and export to a format LibreOfffice Draw can use, but that complicates the workflow.
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:36 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
I set her up with a Windows 10 system.

Cruel. Why?
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:48 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why would anybody do that? MS-BASIC v2.0 was THE operating system for the C64. Once you learned all of the POKE commands, you had all you needed.
You had to learn DOS if you wanted to do anything serious with the disk drives. The D stands for disk.

Commodore DOS was unusual in that it resided on the disk drive itself and you used it by opening a channel on the IEEE interface or serial interface and sending commands to it using the print# command.
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:28 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
If you know what you are doing, you can fix damn near anything on a Linux or UNIX system if you can get a shell (command prompt) and a text editor working. Not that those fixes are necessarily obvious or easy, but the GUI for Linux is not as deeply embedded in the OS as it is for Windows, and most of the configuration lives in text files. In fact, it is not unusual for admins to not even bother to installing a GUI on servers.
Yep. I know a bunch of Linux guys - one of them set this box up for me. But when it broke, I was utterly clueless. The last time I worked in a command line was DOS.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Do you know how many years ago that was? Linux has come a long way since 2010.
It was 2018.

I worked in an office once where we had a large and powerful rare-earth magnet, with a label on it that read "unformat.exe".

I once pinned a floppy disk to the side of a metal cabinet with it and left it there for six months. After prying it off, I put the disk into a computer and it was 100% readable.
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:40 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
My understanding is that much of the original NT was derived from VMS, but I'm sure there was plenty of UNIX stuff in their also.
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Old 12th July 2020, 09:03 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Cruel. Why?
Because Windows 8 is crap and Windows 7 is out of support.

As it turned out, all her software was for Windows XP. When I couldn't get Corel Draw 12 to run on Windows 7 I said "to hell with it" and gave up. Sure, she'd be better off on Linux, but some people aren't very comfortable with making that leap.
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Old 12th July 2020, 09:04 PM   #69
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Speaking of DOS, anyone here use 4DOS, QEdit, PC-Write, or TSE (The Semware Editor)?
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Old 12th July 2020, 09:19 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Because Windows 8 is crap and Windows 7 is out of support.
Also because Windows 10 is, largely, functional.
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Old 13th July 2020, 01:06 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
You had to learn DOS if you wanted to do anything serious with the disk drives. The D stands for disk.

Commodore DOS was unusual in that it resided on the disk drive itself and you used it by opening a channel on the IEEE interface or serial interface and sending commands to it using the print# command.
I didn't interpret that as being about the 1541 drive.

I found the commands primitive yet powerful - the exact opposite of GUI.
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Old 13th July 2020, 02:06 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Speaking of DOS, anyone here use 4DOS, QEdit, PC-Write, or TSE (The Semware Editor)?
There was an internal-to-IBM editor called (iirc) E that was available on internal forums that eventually became the editor shipped with OS/2. It was one of the editors that the very day after IBM announced its new measure of programmer productivity would kloc had new profiles that generated shedloads of code. Calls to APIs blossomed with all the optional and default values appearing as if by magic in the code. Xedit for VM was the other one.
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Old 13th July 2020, 02:37 AM   #73
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My memory is getting hazy but my MSc project was coded in Prolog (that I'm certain of) running on Ultrix on a VAX (it was certainly UNIX in some shape or form). The dissertation itself was written in vi and formatted with nroff and troff, which gives you some idea of my vintage.
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Old 13th July 2020, 03:34 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Speaking of DOS, anyone here use 4DOS, QEdit, PC-Write, or TSE (The Semware Editor)?
Ahhh, QEDIT. Spent most of my COBOL programming time using that.
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Old 13th July 2020, 03:45 AM   #75
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I recall that the "operating system" for my first computer occupied 256 bytes (bytes, not kilobytes or megabytes) of ROM. It booted up the computer and provided a monitor allowing you to enter and run a program through a hexadecimal keyboard. The computer had 1K of RAM.

My second computer had 2K of ROM and a whopping 4K of RAM (of which just 2K was available for programs). When I upgraded to 16K (14K available!) I had a hard time believing I could ever find a use for that much memory.
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Old 13th July 2020, 03:49 AM   #76
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Among the first computers I worked on after college was the MicroVAX. We supported a battlefield simulation used to train commanders. When we hosted an exercise, hundreds of MicroVAXes were networked together in a huge building on a Navy base. About 10 years ago at a trade show, I saw the same software running on a laptop.

Edit: Oh, that wasn't on the topic of operating systems. .Okay ... At the time of one of the huge exercises involving hundreds of MicroVAXes and hundred of operators and trainees, VMS on the MicroVAX had a bug. If you overran the keyboard buffer, the computer would crash. During the big exercise, a Colonel or General came in to see it. He dropped a notebook on a desk and it landed on the corner of a MicroVAX's keyboard. After a few seconds that computer crashed bring down the whole game. It took hours to recover back to the previous checkpoint.

Last edited by jadebox; 13th July 2020 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 14th July 2020, 07:53 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Speaking of DOS, anyone here use 4DOS, QEdit, PC-Write, or TSE (The Semware Editor)?

I recall PC-Write with great fondness. It was a remarkably well-designed program and highly customizable.
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Old 15th July 2020, 03:36 AM   #78
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Are you trying to give me PTSD? I was a systems programmer on an MVS 370/XA system. There were two schools of thought back in the day. One was that you didn't run your sever into the ground and always had spare capacity so that throughput and reliability were good. The other was that you maxed it out so that you get maximum return on the the dollar. I worked for a place with the latter philosophy. So there was always something that wasn't going as well as people wanted it to.


We got a fancy "email" system installed on the mainframe, that worked on a 3270 terminal. Of course someone had to send out an email to the General Manager asking him "just who do you think you are", and copy in everyone else.



There was no way of working out who sent it.
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Old 15th July 2020, 03:41 AM   #79
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My first experience of Unix was mind boggling. The security wasn't yet people were snapping it up as fast as they could.
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Old 15th July 2020, 04:13 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
We got a fancy "email" system installed on the mainframe, that worked on a 3270 terminal. Of course someone had to send out an email to the General Manager asking him "just who do you think you are", and copy in everyone else.

There was no way of working out who sent it.
If it was PROFS on VM/CMS that was a train wreck. OfficeVision wasn't much better.
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