[nSLUG] Cleaning out my desk...

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Sun Nov 11 20:41:29 AST 2007


A relative of mine worked in Dome Petroleum in Calgary
in the 70's.  It was when I saw a large computer room
with dozens of those dishwasher sized drives
that I decided I wanted to work in that environment.
I didn't know what I would do - but at that point even
the job of bundling up line printer jobs in elastics
seemed it would satisfy me.

The first job I had where I was paid to work with
a computer was in Churchill Falls, Labrador.  The
only computer in town aside from my TRS-80
was the huge analog Westinghouse computer
located amidst an underground transformer galley.
It had tubes and switches I could actually see,
which took inputs of remote water levels, and automated
tasks such as adjusting the control structure water gates.
My job was to enter in edits to the code.  There were
2 paper tape units - one read and the other wrote.
I would edit an 80 character buffer on the VT100, and
when I hit return, the high speed paper tape writer
would whirl like a table saw.  It must have been
fairly loud because it was very audible over the hum
of the transformers in the area (5000 MW generated
at this one plant).

The closest I've come to the jet engine sound is
starting up a 20 something node Sun cluster
in one rack, touching the power buttons
a few seconds apart.

--Donald

On Nov 11, 2007 10:15 AM, Robin Murray <subscriptions at robinandmariette.com>
wrote:

> I remember booting (IPL'ing) IBM mainframes back when these large disk
> arrays were still around. It was like standing among a dozen jet
> engines, each spooling up about 10 seconds apart. That's when computers
> were COMPUTERS.
>
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