Thursday, January 22, 2009

Building Computers part 1

I remember the good old days, back when I was in Elementary school- we went on a field trip to the bank and saw their computer!!
-by the way almost everyone my age can tell you about field trips, and perhaps seeing big 1960's computers.

And so of course I remember this happening that evening when I got home.

Hey Dad, guess what? We went on a field trip to the bank downtown and saw their computer!
Oh, hmm
It was great! I want to learn more about computers!
When I hear one of our competitors is using a computer to do their calculations, I figure we have them beat, slide rules are much faster.
Oh, so when to Red Sox come on the radio tonight?

- Actually that is longer than any conversation I had with my father at that age.

Computers were huge, took up much space in static free, dust free, air conditioned rooms. The cost of these early computers were well beyond one year salary for most people out there, more expensive than houses. On can imagine how much electricity it took to run. For most businesses, if you wanted to use a computer, you bought time from a University or large business, and communicated using some old modems, punch cards or some typing, but typing took time and time is money. Now that I think of it, the phone company did not like anyone using unauthorized equipment on their lines. What a Mess.

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