ARPANET Reaches the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE, Malvern)

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Tue Feb 27 23:10:05 CST 2018

On 2/23/2018 11:45 AM, Paul Birkel via cctalk wrote:

> The following extract comes from a History of Programming Languages (HOPL)
> retrospective on the development of the Ada programming language written by
> the individual who was the government lead at DARPA for much of the time of
> its development (Colonel William A. Whitaker).  I found it humorous.
> Perhaps you will too.
> -----
> The ARPANET connection was inaugurated during a visit to RSRE by Her Royal
> Highness Queen Elizabeth II.  Her Majesty sent a message of greetings to the
> members of the HOLWG from her net account, EIIR, by pressing a red velvet
> Royal carriage return.  Because the address list was long, it took about 45
> seconds for the confirmation to come back, 45 seconds of dead air.  Prince
> Philip remarked, joking respectfully, that it looked like she broke it.
> -----
> I suspect that we've "all been there" at one time or another!
> paul

Speaking of lonnnnnng response times....

In the 1970s, during the development of a home-grown database system
where I used to work (developed shortly before I started there in the
mid 1970s) - that lasted over 40 years - on an IBM 360/65 MP, they were
used to having the nascent DBMS and/or the application crash, so they
got used to pressing Enter, waiting a minute or so, then heading down to
the computer room to pick up the core dump.

Well one day they got down to the computer room, but the DBMS was still
running, so they headed back upstairs (one floor up).  After about FIVE
MINUTES the application they were using to test came back with the
correct results.  Mixed emotions: yeah, it worked, but whoa, performance
was clearly going to be a problem.  ;)

By the time the thing was in production it had its own memory manager
instead of using the OS/360 GETMAIN SVC, KORMAN (or "Harvey" for short
;)).  Then it got its own task manager / threading to use instead of the
OS/360 task management - TASKMAN (they really should have called it
TAXMAN  ;)).  Then it got its own subsystem for loading the application
programs, aka content management - yup - KONMAN.  ;)  So, in the end, it
was almost an OS unto itself.  [I served as the DBA for 7 years during
that time.]

Starting out under OS/360 MVT, it survived moves and garnered
enhancements under MVS, MVS/SP, MVS/XA, MVS/ESA, OS/390 and finally z/OS
before it was finally retired.

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