The New Computer Center

As I said previously, this was one of the early years of computing. In those days, any organisation that had a computer wouldn't hide it in a windowless basement room. Not windowless anyway.

Some time after Day 4, the Computer Center had been moved into the newly built Science Building, and occupied a major part of its second floor, right between the main entrance, and a side entrance that led to a bridge hallway connecting the new Science Building with the old Science Building. The main Computer Room was maybe 900 square feet, with a glass window across the entire front side, broken only by a single door (no man-trap either).

In the middle of the Computer Room stood the IBM 1800:


  • A large console with card reader and system typewriter.
  • A large Line Printer.
  • The central processor, memory, and disk drives were three separate cabinets, each the size of a very large refrigerator.


This was a well-displayed exhibit, and frequently the College President or a Dean would escort a distinguished alumnus thru the New Science Building, and proudly point out The College Computer Center, and the Computer inside. When this happened during evening hours, the Student Assistants inside would invite the guests into the Computer Room, and would give an impromptu tour. We eventually even worked up a suite of programs to run, showing how useful the Computer was; some programs would even produce some printout or other artifact which we would present to the Alumnus as a Souvenir. This, of course, made the College Administrator quite proud, so we were encouraged to do this. After a while, we would even be warned when a tour was to take place, so we could be sure and make ourselves available.

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2 comments:

Chris S. said...

In the middle of the Computer Room stood the IBM 1800:

# A large console with card reader and system typewriter.
# A large Line Printer.
# The central processor, memory, and disk drives were three separate cabinets, each the size of a very large refrigerator.

-----

> Take printer.

The printer is too big to fit in your pocket.

> Put cards in reader.

You do not have any cards.

> Turn on console.

The computer is already on.

> Type on the typewriter.

What would you type?

> Stupid video game.

There's no need to get angry.

> Shut up!

I don't understand.

~~~~~

Sorry, that description just sounded too much like a text-based video game, like Zork or something.

Chuck said...

LOL.

We called it "Adventure" when we played it.

And it was more fun than "Zelda" or "Myst" or "WOW", because it required us to see the game in our heads.

Thanks for the laugh.