Display-less computing was Re: TOP POSTING

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Sat Dec 12 22:52:43 CST 2015

On 12/12/2015 06:13 PM, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2015, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> you could feed the cards through an INTERPRETER, which printed the card
>> content on the card.
> [snip]
>> For many years, I kept around a plug-board labelled "COBOL INTERPRETER",
>> just to prove that a COBOL interpreter was possible :-)
> Are you using "interpreter" in two senses here, or just one? That is to
> say, I'm not sure if you're saying the "COBOL interpreter" was just a
> program that printed COBOL source on a punched card, or if you mean it
> actually ran the program.
I'm pretty sure this was a joke based on the meaning of the 
word interpreter.  If he could have actually run an 
arbitrary COBOL program, with named variables and 
conditional branching on a plugboard-based accounting 
machine, I think IBM would have been VERY interested in 
hiring him!  (Or possibly having him dumped in a nearby body 
of water with concrete overshoes.)


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