Computing Folklore [Was: Re: ICL1501 Cobol manual available]

Classic CMP classiccmp at
Fri Apr 17 11:21:15 CDT 2020

> On 17 Apr 2020, at 17:06, Mark Linimon via cctalk <cctalk at <mailto:cctalk at>> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 09:35:09AM +0100, Dave Wade via cctalk wrote:
>> "If a DSORT6 job fails try running in a larger partition. If it still
>> fails try it a smaller partition"
> I love the old tales like this.  Folks, please keep 'em coming!
> mcl

I very much agree.  I was born in 1977 so I missed the era of really big iron (certainly during my working life), and the anecdotes from people on this list who were there and used vintage mainframes, mini’s and supercomputers is the real value in the list for me.

That said, I don’t think that an email list (even with the HTML archives) is the best repository for such tales, anecdotes and folklore.

I suspect that most of you will have spent at least a little time on Andy Herzfeld’s Folklore - <>

Like or loathe Apple (and Mr Jobs in particular) it’s an interesting read, and the way the site links the stories together based on author, topics and characters is very reminiscent of an old Hypercard stack.  I wonder if there would be any mileage in setting up something similar (using a Wiki, perhaps?) to capture some of the tales to be told, by the people able to tell them whilst they’re still willing to tell them?

Just one of many idle lockdown musings.

I hope that you’re all well, and taking the extra time at home to keep those vintage computers running as nature intended.


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