[TUHS] Early non-Unix filesystems?

scj at yaccman.com scj at yaccman.com
Tue Mar 22 08:57:24 AEST 2016

> On Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at  1:11:07 +1100, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>> 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!
> But that's what the sequence numbers in columns 73 to 80 are for!
> Greg

Actually, a Magic Marker drawing a diagonal stripe down the top of the
cards worked almost as well, and didn't require repunching the deck with
every change...

Hmm.  I recall walking into the computing center to see an amazing cascade
of cards arcing 20 feet across the room.  The operator hadn't set up the
card reader correctly....  Panic ensued...

In another case, I had written a FORTRAN program that produced a page
header on the printer with a page number.  The first time I tried to print
200 pages, when I hit 100 the printer decided that I wanted one line per
page!  The printer was not a happy camper.  Neither were the operators.

But the closest I came to being murdered was when I submitted a job before
lunch, and the sign said the turnaround time was an hour.  When I got
back, the job was not done, and the wait was 2 hours.  Each hour, the wait
grew by an hour.  At about 4:30, four extremely angry operators and
managers came into my office with murder in their eyes and accused me of
trying to "be funny" (sic) with the computer.  I had no idea what they
were talking about.  It turns out that the operating system had been
upgraded, so that it automatically started pending jobs when it came up
after a crash.  It also turned out that I had made a common FORTRAN
error--I had "called" a labeled common region instead of a similarly-named
function.  And it turned out that the first data value was a -.25
floating-point value.  And it also turned out that the computer's idea of
instruction decode was to pick up the first few bits of the word and use
it as an index into the microcode.  And it also turned out that when -.25
was so "executed", it took the CPU into the power down sequence, and it
turned the machine off!  And, thanks to the software upgrade, when they
rebooted, it turned itself off again.  And again...  I was happy to escape
with my skin...



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