On 5/30/2014 5:53 PM, Mark J. Blair wrote:
I have this vague memory that back in the day, any
well-equipped computer operator would have a tool in the desk drawer which trims the end
of a mangled magtape to a nice, neat curve. Do I actually remember that, or did I make it
up? As I get older, my imagination is getting better than my memory, and it's getting
a lot easier to vividly remember things that never happened.
If such a tool exists, I want one!
I don't know if wright line made it, but
there was a hard plastic (i
think) device that cut a very nice curved end on the tape.
one would also have an xacto knife or such for mid tape cuts when you
had a real situation and just a cleanup of the end was not enough.
also you would have a 3m roll or dispenser of BOT / EOT markers.
A few write rings.
I recall another little tool (and I think I still have
one somewhere) that was a give-away from the Sun User's Group. It was a little
pocket-clip screwdriver with a flat blade on one end, a hex key for VME card mounting
screws on the other, and "SUGtool" or something like that marked on the side.
One of our printers in the computer room that I worked in at UCI in the late 1980s had a
tool sitting about for punching the carriage control tapes for one of our old line
printers. We had separate printer queues for letter sized and wide format paper, both
pointing at the same printer. One of the operator's jobs was to frequently stop one
queue, change the control tape loop and the paper in the printer, then enable the other
There were rulers made up for measuring various line spacing, etc, and
line counts to make the carriage tapes.
our UMR data center also had a dedicated 029 to make up the occasional
card. They had both a small card reader actually open to the public to
enter jobs, and a 2540 reader punch that could do 3 or 4 decks at a time.
I don't recall how the interpreted the cards. the 2540 did not put the
human readable bit on the cards. I think it was another unit similar
to the 029, and you didn't get any joy if you asked for a 2000 card deck
to be interpreted, since you could only feed about 3 or 4" at a time
stack of cards.
Write rings were littered all over the place,
naturally. And then there was the suction-cup tool for lifting the raised floor tiles.
What else might be found in the operator's desk drawer or sitting around the computer
List of phone numbers of who to wake up when the thing crashed at night.