[TUHS] Early non-Unix filesystems?

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Tue Mar 22 00:11:07 AEST 2016

On Fri, 18 Mar 2016, scj at yaccman.com wrote:

> At least in my experience, editing the "deck of cards" (and certainly, 
> editing anything on magnetic tape) was really painful -- there was no 
> way to move blocks of text around -- you started at the beginning of the 
> file and had to edit lines in order (one shot per line) until you got to 
> the end.  You could add lines or delete them, but only when you came to 
> them. The editor copied the edited file into an output file, and then 
> you had to do another step to copy the new version back over the 
> original one.

Memories of IEBUPDTE come to me...  A very useful program, when it came to 
doing things, ahem, not allowed by the computer centre, by us Comp Sci 

Ah, the time I got SPITBOL to work beyond its use-by date, for example; 
the thing was riddled with date checks (the first one was obvious, but the 
rest not so much; its endearing habit was to jump to whatever was in R0 at 
the time).  I wrote something that searched for that particular date 
string, and after inspecting the surrounding binary code I patched it...

> The first time I tried to edit the deck on disc, I specified the output
> file to be equal to the input file.  The program did not check this, and I
> ended by nuking about 20% of the card images!  Luckily I had a listing... 
> I punched out the trash on the disc and spent an entire weekend
> rearranging and repunching the cards to get back to where I had been...


And who here hasn't done "cat file ... > file"?

> It just goes to show that I should have taken my mother's advice -- 
> before you throw out a deck of cards, put a rubber band around it!

Walking down the corridors of Comp Sci, a student in front of me dropped 
his entire deck of approx 2000 cards, all over the floor...  I have no 
idea whether he got them sorted, but I sure as hell used rubber bands 
after that!

Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will suffer."

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