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Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
The last time they were looking for people with programming experience in COBOL was back when they were all worried about Y2K and how some older, and in particular, financial programs, were going to make the transition, but now it appears to have become relevant again. That being said, it's been over 20 years and I'm sure the pool of knowledgeable people has dwindled somewhat over those years. Anyway, if you know COBOL, there might be some work out there for you, and it probably could be done from home:

Wanted urgently: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/business/coronaviru...

Sorry, this story is a bit late, but...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

What? Nothing for us old FORTRAN guys?

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

JAE - you didn't learn COBOL while learning Fortran?

My father does know COBOL. Back at the beginning April, I let him know that New Jersey was looking for COBOL programmers. He said they'd have to pay him in 1000 rolls of toilet paper a month. I get the feeling he really doesn't want to un-retire.

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
The last time I wrote any FORTRAN, we were still using punched cards and line printers.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

I could always slip past the waiting line for a key punch machine by going straight to one that nobody was using, cleaning out the chad-jam and then had a working machine with no waiting.

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

COBOL was old when my buddy was working it at my second job, and that was in 1983.

Note that a lot of the problems isn't the COBOL programs, per se, but the fact that the programs are running on 30-yr old computers.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

<chuckle> Yeah, the Cobol virtual machines/simulators of today run those programs orders of magnitude faster than the native Cobol did on the original machines.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

We used to nurse a microVAX well past it's expiry date because it had the last working copy of an Ada compiler running on a Greenleaf single board computer. The product the Ada ran on eventually expired as well, so the microVAX went to its just desserts.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

I learned FORTRAN IV in '66 on IBM 360's.

Never went to business school, so I never learned COBOL.

After school, I learned BASIC and went on from there...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA, HI)


RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Up until recently the patch code for my cosims (takes outputs from one sim and feeds them into a subsystem sim, and then hands results back) could be, and usually was, written in Fortran.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
Yes, I learned FORTRAN IV - WATFIV. I know that's technically redundant, but that's how we were told to say it back in school, and NO, I didn't go to school in Canada, but since we were a big hockey school, we had lots of Canadians on campus, and besides, Canada was just a long, cold swim across the lake winky smile And yes, it was also on an IBM 360 but the classes I took were in 1969/70 and then we used it in my senior level design classes the following academic year.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

I learned FORTRAN IN 1962. I nominally had access to Clarkson's lone IBM 360(?), but so did the entire student body. The queue for actual time was months long, so I learned it the Elbonian way, and decided not to pursue computing as a career.


Mike Halloran
Corinth, NY, USA

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Does bring back some memories. Thesis on punch cards, one mistake, punch cards again. Fortran, IBM360, late nights.

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

I was about 10 cards into a punch deck for the IBM 370 at school when someone whispered in my ear that there was a better way; that was Remote Job Entry (RJE), in which one could use TECO on the PDP10 to create the entire deck electronically, and submit the job electronically. So Sweet! I never ran an actual physical card deck, ever.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

When we were running large batch Fortran jobs at school we would try to steal the account cards from someone in the Ag department, they had higher priority.
In fact the Ag school had a few hours each night just for their jobs. Mostly early climate model work (mid-70's).
I had some programs that ran 2 or 3 boxes of cards. I have one single card left.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Actually FORTRAN is still alive and well, which is amazing.
Yes I also went through the IBM360 - punch card time: waiting for a long time for hundreds of cards to be read and then the #$@% process stop because of an error.

Andries

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

WATFIV.
I have always heard that pronounced;
"WATFOR?"
Not WAT-IV but Waterloo Fortran.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
WATFIV was for Waterloo Fortran IV. That's why I said it was a technically redundant.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Yes John. I get it.
My point is that I have heard WATFOR many times, but this is the first time I have heard it called WATFIV.
Different circles I guess.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

I had a box of cards with Fortran Hollerith formatted lines that would print Snoopy sitting on his doghouse with bullet holes in the roof saying "Curse you Red Baron" and the current year calendar printed below. It took some special control characters to tell the printer to not print the page breaks but print all 66 lines on a page as Snoopy took up 3 pages and the calendar was a forth page.
First Fortran class is in the fall of 1970 on a CDC-3300 at Northeastern. Used Fortran up to the mid-80's but by then we were on terminals.
Used a lot of punch cards when I was a NC programmer at Corning Glass writing IBM APT-Ac programs to cut stainless steel and Inconel molds for glass products. The heat of the glass would eventually cause the molds to crack as they went through the heat and cooling process.

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Ooh, I forgot; even though I never completed a punch card deck, I did program a Mcrodata MD-104 memory tester using PAPER TAPE! We had a dedicated ASR33 teletype terminal with a paper tape reader/puncher that we used to create the tapes for the MD-104. Otherwise, we had a bunch of neon-lit pushbuttons for manual programming or patching of an already uploaded paper tape program. At some point in time, we got a standalone paper tape unit that we could run from our network computers. Don't remember whether we did much splicing of paper tapes.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
For those who many not be familiar with paper tape, it was used for years to transfer not only computer programs, but more often, NC toolpath data for machine tools:

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

paper tape was used for telex too

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

(OP)
Hence the inclusion of the punch/reader in teletype terminals, which were often used as the master control console with early computer systems, as seen below as part of a General Automation SPC-16 set-up, an early (circa 1973-76) 16-bit minicomputer designed for commercial use by small businesses:



The first system that I was allowed to actually use hands-on had a teletype as the master console and that was where any system-level error messages would be sent, and it was so loud that when it did start 'typing' out a message, everyone would freeze as it would invoke a moment of fear since that sound was often a precursor to a system crash.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

The ASR-33 had a blindingly fast 330 baud link, which probably as fast as the print head could handle. Of course, a few years later, I got a Hayes modem that ran at a smoking 1200 baud

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

With both cards and tape when you thought it was ready the first thing that you did was put it through a reader and then proof the output. Don't waste time submitting a job that won't run.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

The Navy's SSN688 Submarine sonar/fire control "computers" had a paper tape reader in the Sonar Spaces to "reload" their sonar programs and contact detection, tracking and fire control programs "if" the magnetic hard drives ever really failed at sea. Didn't have the huge paper tapes on board to reload the programs from, but the hardware (tape reader) was there!

I too learned programming on IBM 80 character (2000 Florida Palm Beach County) voting punch cards. We were told that, in the basement of the engineering building, for graduate students only, there was ONE computer with a cathode ray screen where you could actually type in commands and see them executed.

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...


Here is my college CNC project, complete with the punched paper tape.

--
JHG

RE: Anyone with any old skills that they might want to dust off...

Ah, memories.
At Cal Poly, first Fortran class was punch cards, second I found out about the terminals and TECO.
At Amada, all our CNCs were punched paper tape. We had various primitive program prep systems, I think most of them were developed in some form of BASIC at first.
I created my first training materials using Wordstar on a CPM machine, output to a dot matrix printer.
The first CNC machine I ran that didn't use paper tape was the Prima Optimo system, in 78-ish. That was a whole 'nother adventure.

Jay Maechtlen
http://www.laserpubs.com/techcomm

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