What did computers without screens do?

Huw Davies huw.davies at kerberos.davies.net.au
Wed Dec 16 01:04:08 CST 2015

On Sat, Dec 12, 2015, Mike wrote:

> The one question I do have for the older gentlemen on here is what in the world did the computers without a screen to look at do? Now I know about the tape, cassette tape's and even the paper with the hole punches in them but what kind of applications were they use for? Mathematics or? ? ?

My recollections.

I started programming (in FORTRAN) in 1972 whilst in my last year at secondary school. One of the Melbourne Universities (Monash) had developed MONECS (Monash Educational Computing System) which (I presume) ran on one of their Burroughs systems (it was later ported to a PDP-11 and rebranded DECMON?). This used  pre-punched cards which you ‘punched’ by using a paper clip - beware the hanging chads…

We used to get one run a week and sent in our jobs via snail mail. Output was on a line printer.

The following year at Uni I had access to a PDP-15 and a real IBM 029 card punch. If you sweet talked the operators you might get two runs a day!

After that it was all downhill on our DECsystem-10 :-)

Huw Davies           | e-mail: Huw.Davies at kerberos.davies.net.au
Melbourne            | "If soccer was meant to be played in the
Australia            | air, the sky would be painted green" 

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