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When time stood still

July 11, 2008

I believe it was Spring of 1978.

We used to submit programs via keypunched cards, and anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later, you would retrieve your printouts. (Keep in mind we were all sharing the same CDC mainframe computer). I don’t recall who was doing it (maybe Physics), but someone was running some massive research data analysis and the turnaround time for programs escalated in some cases to 24 hours or more. I recall several outcomes from this:

  1. There were a lot of very cranky CPS students trying to get their projects done,
  2. We made a lot of new friends as we all had one very common point of misery to share, and
  3. We all got very good at “desk-checking” our programs before we submitted them!

— Kevin Ohl, 1978 & 1981 MSU alumnus

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