On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 23:44 +0100, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
> The typical session started with bootstrapping RIM into the PDP 8e and
> loading the BIN loader off paper tape. Assuming you didn't make a
> hand-loading the 30odd 12 bit instructions in the RIM loader and the
> tape didn't jam/fall out of the reader/stop for no apparent reason, you
> in business and could then load another paper tape with something more
> interesting on it, like BASIC or Algol or an assembler (subject to the
> jams/falls/stops noted before). If the optical paper tape reader (300 or
> cps) failed then we had to resort to the old teletype reader which was
> at 10 cps, but always seemed slower. Even with only 8k core memory, it
> took a long time to load a big programme.
> Ah, how the younger ones on the list must be enjoying reading about the
> of the when-we's.
Who've never had the displeasure of trying to load programs from audio
cassette tape on a personal computer from the 1980s... On a friend's
C64, it was almost guaranteed that anything that took longer than two
minutes to load would foul up and require multiple attempts. Even
without screw-ups, it was awfully slow.
Especially when you forgot to clean the heads. The same problem would
occur on some older floppy drives and tape drives. (Ever see what RPG
programs would do on an IBM 360 if the tape heads were dirty? It would
make things up. And with RPG it was hard to tell the difference.) I
found that vodka worked in an emergency for cleaning drive and/or tape
Now, with these kids and their Windows box, they still get to
something like that (even if applications are quick to start), with
prolonged boot-ups, and all those reboots... :-p
"You have moved your mouse. To make change permanent please reboot."