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  #41  
Old 06-02-2010, 07:16 AM
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Time share story. I was briefly in a role where we used time-share service over the phone line. One day the computer phone rang. The person who picked it up said, "Sorry, you have the wrong number." Caller was somewhat surprised that we hadn't even waited to find out who they wanted.
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  #42  
Old 06-02-2010, 07:57 AM
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I remember Cobol. Waaay to wordy for me and it didn't do square roots. I once had to give the Cobol guys an approximation formula for square roots because someone wanted them to fit points to a regression line.

Just before the Y2K scare, a friend of my husband's (age 62 at the time) was aggressively recruited by PayLess because they had legacy systems in Cobol and he'd been plodding along working for the state using Cobol programs. Shortly after he updated everything so it wouldn't blow up on January 1, 2000, of course, they dropped him like a hot potato.

Last edited by Salzmann; 06-02-2010 at 09:14 AM..
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  #43  
Old 06-02-2010, 08:06 AM
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Yes, COBOL was notorious for excess wordiness. When I coded up a COBOL subroutine, my first page of keypunch instructions had just the standard stuff that had to be there - photocopied multiple times so it was available every time I needed to do this. All I filled in on that sheet was the name of the program. Page 2 had all the actual programming logic.

OK, I confess - there were several blank lines on page 1.
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Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
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JMO is right
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I agree with JMO.
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And def agree w/ JMO.
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This. And everything else JMO wrote.
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I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
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  #44  
Old 06-02-2010, 10:14 AM
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Not sure it was mentioned but this was also not just before e-mail, but before faxes.

The original fax paper was on a role, so the paper never layed flat and was of a strange consistency that was hard to copy.

We also kept most of our records on microfilm (long roles) or on micro-fiche (square pieces of film) where the records were basically photgraphed one by one into minature onto the fiche or film (film was somewhat easier as it was linear, but used sprockets which tended to break, the fiche lasted pretty much forever)

Also, post fax, pre-e-mail - we had a device called a FISK. Where you could put a floppy disk into the machine which was connected to the fax and transmit the data to a similar machine on the other end. Very revolutionary. Most people never heard of it because there was such a short window between companies getting faxes and getting PCs and Lotus Notes (or e-mail) in general - 5 years at most
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  #45  
Old 06-02-2010, 10:16 AM
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Yes, COBOL was notorious for excess wordiness. When I coded up a COBOL subroutine, my first page of keypunch instructions had just the standard stuff that had to be there - photocopied multiple times so it was available every time I needed to do this. All I filled in on that sheet was the name of the program. Page 2 had all the actual programming logic.

OK, I confess - there were several blank lines on page 1.
my biggest problem was the inability to properly spell environment (that middle "n" always seemed to go missing). and there was nothing worse than waiting on the compiler to find you made a simple spelling error that invalidated the whole program.

As for the programmibng that never bothered me, I found it rather easy
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  #46  
Old 06-02-2010, 12:57 PM
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My first "real world" job (which lasted .5days BTW) was trainee systems analyst/programmer, where I was required to do RPG programming. I was told it is COBOL made easy. Recently, I met one of those guys working as a consultant and he drives a BMW and have a bigger house; oh well may be he gets yelled by his wife a lot. .
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  #47  
Old 06-02-2010, 01:06 PM
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Oh, yeah, RPG. One of the people in my dept. was the only person who knew how to code RPG. When he had a bug in his program, he would bring it to me, although I had no clue on RPG (COBOL made easy??). He would explain what the program was supposed to be doing. At some point he would break off the explanation and go back to his desk to fix the bug.
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Carol Marler, "Just My Opinion"

Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MG View Post
This. And everything else JMO wrote.
And this all purpose permanent quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yup, it is always someone else's fault.
MORE:
All purpose response for careers forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
Depends upon the employer and the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Actuario View Post
Therapists should ask the right questions, not give the right answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
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  #48  
Old 06-02-2010, 02:04 PM
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Anyone remember the name of that Lotus123 add-on that allowed you to change the color, put in borders, etc.? This was for the DOS version, mind you. I don't think I'm referring to WYSIWYG. I think there was a non-Lotus company that made this. It was all the rage for a few months, until we were dragged kicking and screaming into Excel.

Then there was the evolution of the HP laser printer. Laser Jet I, II, III, IV, then 5. Someone decided roman numerals were too confusing, I guess. I think it the 5 that we got was the one over 100 pounds. We went through paper pretty fast back then.

Found this online:
http://books.google.com/books?id=z1A...page&q&f=false

Like, 100 pages of pure entertainment and nostagia.
Page 102: "Reports of Next's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated." Pure comedy gold.
Page 97: ooh the new 486!!!
Reminds me of "16 Candles," and Farmer Ted talking about how valuable floppy discs are.
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Last edited by Dr T Non-Fan; 06-02-2010 at 02:12 PM..
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  #49  
Old 06-02-2010, 02:13 PM
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The pictures in that book is priceless, those smart looking lap tops! One of my co-workers paid close to $7000 for a NEC laptop not so long ago.
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  #50  
Old 06-02-2010, 02:32 PM
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Hey, I had a 486 in high school.

Oh man, I have some of my dad's old computer mags from the 80s somewhere. I really need to dig them up. And then there were all my old issues of Games magazine, Scientific American, and Omni, all of which had a lot of computer/software ads. I love old ads in general.
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