You were around well before the days of the commercial Desktop PC.The days when the computing power of today's average Mobile was only achieved by a huge machine housed in an air-conditioned room the size of a small warehouse.You can recall the pioneering days of the 'small' 1401, S/360 and the early System 3.
Interactive Data EntryYou knew how to use the roll keys on a 5250 terminal ....You have done the majority of your programming on a 5250 green screen or even maybe still program on a 5250 device and also have a newfangled PC to 'check email'.
RPG ProgrammingYou know what RPG stands for (Report Program Generator) and IBM originally intending forms to be completed by the company executive's P.A. with no need for specialist programmers.
StorageMemories of the 'candy floss machine style' removable drives …...The larger IBM 2311 disks had 6 platters introduced for the S/360 computer. Remember the big storage cabinets and system backups consisting of copy/rotating the disk packs and reel-to-reel tapes ……You also remember S/34, S/36 and S/38 and the diskette 'magazines' that would hold 10 x 8" floppy diskettes. Some machines even had two magazines!
PrintersYou remember the deafening clatter of the printer chain when you accidentally opened the cover of the printer.The most generally used stationary was sprocket punched at the edges, green ‘music’ ruled, and came in single and up to 4-part copies.There was a special ‘A’ frame machine to de-collate out the carbon interleaves from multi-part stationery to enable the individual copies to be circulated.Printers, like the IBM 5225, produced up to 500 lines per minute.
IBM 5225 Printer connected to S/34
Punch cards and 8” DiskettesYou remember 80 and 96 column punch cards and maybe punch tape. Machines had huge hoppers to enable decks of punched cards to be loaded by the computer operator.
1960s IBM 1401 Installation (@CHM)
You know you're an 'old programmer' when:-You could still be quite comfortable with early forms of communication. Use of a GPO telephone box, coin operated and perhaps remembering pressing button A, or B to get your money back!Letters were sent long distance by mail train or boat to island locations. They were sorted en route so correspondence arrived next day even in most remote locations. City locations had up to three deliveries per day. Not texts or emails in those days. If a message was urgent it was sent by telegram and delivered by a telegraph boy on a two wheels!
Image Postal Museum Wordpress
Memories of 'data entry' stations come to mind: Large grey or blue enamelled desks with a keyboard, A slot for a punch card or an eight inch diskette, the latter with a tiny monitor. The desk was of heavy construction probably manufactured out of a recycled army tank.
Remember, back in those days when smoking was good for you, the data entry operators were either overly eccentric in some way, or struck fear of verbal abuse if you dared tell them about an typo!
Card Sorter and Interpreter
Diskette Data Entry (@CHM)
You knew RPG logic and what what matching records are (even worse, you still use them!)You actually recognize the simple elegance of the RPG cycle - detail and total time level break cycle processing.You know what look-ahead fields are.You used most of the 99 available RPG indicators in one program!
Removable Disk Pack
IBM 2311 Disk Units and Tape Drives
RPG Debugging Templates
S/34 Workstation Utility (WSU) Debugging Template
Example of S/34 Control Commands
Examples from AS/400 Templates and Reference Summaries: