ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Did My Brother Invent E-Mail With Tom Van Vleck? [] – [Errol Morris' series is a fascinating. personal history of computer technology.] Batch processing…was like taking your clothes to the laundromat. You’d take your job in, and leave it in the input bins. The staff people would prerecord it onto these magnetic tapes, they would be run by the computer. The output would be printed. This cycle would take at best, several hours. It was maddening, because when you’re working on a complicated program, you can make a trivial slip-up ­ you left out a comma or something ­ and the program would crash. You would try very hard to be careful, but you didn’t always make it…A process that could take a week, weeks, months. People began to advocate a different tactic called time-sharing. Have people at typewriter-like terminals. It certainly seemed feasible. But no manufacturer knew how to do it. And the vendors were not terribly interested, because it was like suggesting to an automobile manufacturer that they go into the airplane business.


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