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FORTRAN - All your problems will be solved.

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Alien babies of course

When going through engineering school back in the mid-70's I bought boxes and boxes of 80-column IBM punch cards for batch processing at the university computing center. Wrote FORTRAN programs by hand on tablets of paper with the 80-column layout, then transcribed those onto cards using one of the punch machines that stood in rows at the center - one line of code per card (although I think you could put a "C" in a particular column on the card to indicate it was a continuation of the expression on the previous card). Had to make sure you numbered the cards, because boxes of cards invariably got dumped on the floor :'( and it made it easier to put things back in order.

In our process control lab we had a DEC PDP-11. I/O was on a teletype device with a long continuous roll of paper. Programs were stored on a hole-punched paper strip - like ticker-tape.

Boy, those were the days.  Punch cards, punched tape, K&E slide rules and $400 HP-35 calculators!

Boy, those were the days.  Punch cards, punched tape, K&E slide rules and $400 HP-35 calculators!
-dspelley (May 14, 2012, 09:10 PM)
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Haha. Looks like I sparked off some reminiscing here!
Your comment reminded me that my first handheld electronic calculator was an alternative based on the HP-35 design  - the Sinclair Scientific. I assembled and soldered it together from a kit. You could only use it in reverse Polish notation (RPN), and it only displayed in scientific notation - 5 digit mantissa, 2 digit exponent.
I used it a lot. I recall that I compared its calculation of Pi to several decimal places with that of a Dec PDP 15/30. The Sinclair was off by quite a bit - a bug in its Texas processor chip, I think.

But Fortran: "...should virtually eliminate coding and debugging..."
Heh. I liked that. Pretty optimistic enthusiasm there.

Boy, those were the days.  Punch cards, punched tape, K&E slide rules and $400 HP-35 calculators!
-dspelley (May 14, 2012, 09:10 PM)
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I asked my daughter's third grade math teacher when they would be teaching about slide rules, and she said "slide what?"  :D

The next year I asked her new fourth grade teacher, and he said "I would have to learn it first!"  ;D

I had a decent simulator from but it appears it doesn't like 64-bit Win 7... hmm, have to find some other way to torture my daughter's brain  :P

Come visit the ISRM exhibit 'Slide Rule' Calculators (1972-1977) the 40th Anniversary of the HP-35 at the Boulder Valley Public Library, Boulder, Colorado, during the month of May 2012.
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We say, without fear of being proved wrong, that every individual who has to make calculations can, at times, use a slide rule to great advantage, and this statement applies to the commercial man. The slide rule costs but a few shillings, and takes little time to master. To refuse to investigate the potentialities of the instrument is to adopt a non-possumus attitude.
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FORTRAN - All your problems will be solved.


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