Missing posters (was RE: How Moore's law stabbed us in the back)

Rodent of Unusual Size Ken.Coar@Golux.Com
Fri, 04 Jan 2002 09:06:00 -0500

"Mr. FoRK" wrote:
> >
> > Heh.  *My* first one (all right, it was the school's) was
> > a Wang 2200A with a whopping 4K.
> With the big 14" floppy disks? huh, huh, those were kewl...

No, no disks -- persistent storage was on a cassette (and
I mean AUDIO cassette) drive, in 1Ki chunks.  And you had to
save manually.  Among other things, the machine was used
to manage the rota of which students had waiter and scullery
duty in the dining hall each week.  Re-organising the data
on the cassette was fun; to remove a student it would seek
forward to the record (four students per block), space forward
one record, and then begin iterating: read, backspace, backspace,
write.  Adding someone in the middle was even more fun.  Memory
was so tight that you couldn't have more than two records
in it at once, hence the gymnastics.  (Roughly 500 students.)

The bloody drive was incredibly sensitive to power perturbations,
alas; it would halt if someone toggled power on any of the deskstop
calculators in the room.  Recovery was a PITA! (that's factorial,
not emphasis).
#ken	P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini  http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist      http://Apache-Server.Com/

"All right everyone!  Step away from the glowing hamburger!"