Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4633 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Re: memories?
  • From: James Knott <james.knott@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 16:36:55 -0500
  • Message-id: <459195F7.1000503@xxxxxxxxxx>
Stevens wrote:
> On Tuesday 26 December 2006 13:55, James Knott wrote:
>> The oldest "computer" I worked on didn't even have a display. It was
>> a special purpose machine, made by Teleregister and installed at the
>> Toronto Stock Exchange in 1952. It used vacuum tubes, relays and a
>> memory drum. It was older than me!
> Does a long distance telephone switch/router system qualify as a
> "computer"? If so, AT&T had some downright ancient stuff that stayed in
> service until the maintenance costs forced them to upgrade. Stuff that
> used perforated rectangular metal plates for programming. After working
> there a while, one could tell how well the system was performing by the
> background noise made by all those relays (and those damned plates
> getting shuffled in and out). Now all you hear is the air flowing
> through the vents. Take it from one who had to learn solid state
> electronics after graduating: I wouldn't trade those experiences, but I
> wouldn't go back, either.
I also used to work on an Phillips DS714, which actually had a monitor
speaker, that you could switch to different points, so you could listen
to how the computer was running. The speaker is located in the top left
corner of the control panel, above the man's left hand.

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