Friday, 1 August 2014

07:54 – We managed to beat last July’s numbers, if only by a little. August is starting out well, with overnight orders already queued up to ship. We’ve had a run on forensic science kits over the last week, so we need to get more of those built in the next couple of days. We’re in reasonably good shape on biology and chemistry kits, with additional batches of both in progress.


23 thoughts on “Friday, 1 August 2014”

  1. Here is some very interesting nooz:

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9250087/HP_gives_OpenVMS_new_life

    If they port this successfully in the next couple of years to various chipsets, including the x86 family, I’m gonna be all over it. Some of the original team are involved, too; I wonder if Dave Cutler out in M$-Seattle is gonna do sumthin. Still used heavily in Europe, and in the West in general with nuke plants and banks. It has long had a very active and vocal user community in the northwest Euro countries, esp. Germany and the Netherlands.

    I have a VMS eumulator around here somewhere and I kept my old system manager’s manual.

    http://h71000.www7.hp.com/

  2. Yes, July was nice. We closed the books at 104% of July 2013. But not our best July ever unfortunately.

    This Ebola thing is getting very real. The doctor that they are bringing back to the USA from Liberia is the brother-in-law of one of my fellow church members.

  3. Dude, VMS has left the stage! I never was a big fan of the file system either.

    “runs and ducks for cover”.

    I’ll bet you miss those old eight inch two speed hard drives too. I admit that I used to hang around during the 30 minute boot just to listen to that hard drive shift gears during it’s spin up.

  4. VMS ain’t even down, let alone out. We thought the count was going long a few months ago when HP said they were done, but guess what?

    I started with VAX/VMS 3.5 and got that site up to 4.0; also ran a PDP-11 with RSX CAD/CAM apps for the engineers, a couple of whom I am still in contact with on Linked-In, dating from 1986 when I left cop work. My last contact with it in the workplace on a regular basis was seven years ago down in Woostuh, MA, where they had both VAX/VMS on an old machine and OpenVMS on an Alpha, both running COBOL apps for financial services. It was 7.1 at that point and is now at 8.4 and has come a long way since the days of those hard drives.

    I’d love to work with that again and kiss all the other stuff buh-bye for my last few years in IT.

  5. I just wish Control Data, Cybers, NOS/BE and NOS/VE were still around. I think there’s a PC emulator for NOS/BE.

    VMS was a toy OS.

    All hail Seymour Cray!

  6. I used to feed a PDP-11 with punched paper tape. Then it was punched cards for the Cyber 74. Outside if that, I’m a newbie!

  7. You had paper tape? We used to have to make marks in the ears of goats and then herd the goats through the ear reader. In proper order! And we were grateful!

  8. “VMS was a toy OS.”

    A toy OS that runs nuke plants, banks and huge financial services worldwide. Some toy.

    “Krauthammer on Lurch’s fuck up negotiation for Middle East peace.”

    I gave up trying to read that as the Post’s page kept reloading itself repeatedly; can’t stand neocon Krauthammer anyway. Basically all the sides over there laugh at U.S. attempts to interfere or do anything at all. Complete waste of time and taxpayer money. And as the Oil Age winds down and the “Palestinian” and Arab populations swell hugely, the demographics alone will sink the Israelis, unless they go to the nuke option, but that would result in major blowback from such wonderful Murkan buddies as Pakistan or even North Korea. So it will eventually just boil down to several groups of fanatic assholes fighting over a pile of rocks and sand; good riddance to them all.

  9. “We used to have make marks in the ears of goats…”

    You had goats? We used to have to coax ants with honeycomb to march in accounting patterns to compile our data, and alternately do it under a broiling sun or bitter icy cold and we counted ourselves damned lucky, sonny.

  10. You had ants? We had to push grains of pepper around. If we sneezed, all our data were lost. And the only thing we had to push them around with was toenail clippings. And we were grateful!

  11. CowboySlim wrote:

    “I used to feed a PDP-11 with punched paper tape. Then it was punched cards for the Cyber 74.”

    I’m old enough to have used punch cards but not old enough to have used paper tape, ya old fogie.

  12. I’m not as ancient as Mr. Slim but my first IT workplace gig was with the PDP-11; it ran RSX, a CAD/CAM graphics program for the engineers at Simplex Time Recorder, in lovely Gardner, Maffachufetts, where they designed and manufactured fire suppression systems back then. They also had a microVAX running 3.5 VMS. I left there after a year to go work directly for DEC in Marlborough, MA, where they had multiple data centers full of VAX machines spread across former farmland adjacent to Routes 20 and 495, all now overgrown with grass and weeds, the buildings empty.

    DEC and VMS pioneered a lotta interesting stuff, which evolved into the present day; sad that Ken Olsen never really grasped that computers would, indeed, be in peoples’ homes, RIP, Ken. And they let Dave Cutler split for Microsoft, where he developed Windows NT and later, Azure. Now he’s working on something to do with the Xbox; I’m not real clear on it.

    Here’s the maniac right here:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/DavidCutler_WindowsAzure.JPG

  13. In 1983 I told my boss that it wouldn’t be long before we had Vax 11-780 power computers on the desktops.

    He laughed.

    I bet he’s not laughing now.

  14. And I bet Ken stopped laughing at some point, too.

    I can’t wait to see it ported to x86. Shoulda been done LONG ago.

  15. “You had paper tape? We used to have to make marks in the ears of goats and then herd the goats through the ear reader. In proper order! And we were grateful!”

    Surprised no one said “All we had were rocks.”

  16. Not rocks but:

    Circa 1967, in college: IBM 1620 with 40,000 decimal digits of memory, 1311 disk drive, 1402 card reader/punch, paper tape reader/punch, 409 plugboard-controlled accounting machine for printing, and an IBM Selectric for console input. Later superseded by a DECSystem-10, accessed via ASR-33 teletypes.

    Fast forward to 1979: Burroughs B6800 Large System with MT 983 terminals, writing WFL, COBOL and Algol. Pure heaven!

    1983-1999: A succession of IBM mainframes: JCL and COBOL; it paid the bills.

    1990 -2000: Amiga 2500; another little taste of heaven.

    2000-present: a series of PCs. Currently running Win 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Still writing code, mostly for my own amusement, but also more in an effort to keep the brain from dissolving into gray goo than in hopes of gainful employment.

  17. I worked in a CDC Cyber shop in the Eighties. Loved it. In 1989 we “upgraded” to Amdahl mainframes running MVS/XA and its successors. I hated it and the hate grew. Clueless management kept buying software that didn’t work well and needed more and more higher level management types to “run”. By May last year I was delighted to be in a position financially to retire and say goodbye to it all. Managerialism turned a wonderful workplace in to a hellhole.

  18. Ah, the good ole days. I missed out on working with those machines professionally, but we had a CDC Cyber 72 in college. And in high school I was so privileged as to submit card decks to an IBM 360 with 64k of main memory. The only thing I miss from those days was playing “Trek” (or whatever it was call), where you moved around on a grid map and shot Klingons. Give me a modern PC any day 🙂

    The only think I dislike about today’s IT is the proliferation of frameworks. Maybe these are actually useful if you program full-time. For the part-time programmer, it just isn’t worth the overhead to learn 23 complicated frameworks for every new project.

  19. Fast forward to 1979: Burroughs B6800 Large System with MT 983 terminals, writing WFL, COBOL and Algol. Pure heaven!

    Yep, loved that B-6700 that the USAF used. Cut my teeth on the B-3500 and eventually worked my way to the B-4900 at a bank holding company. We used TD-820 and TD-830 (I think) terminals. Then moved on to the desktop environment.

    Wrote a custom language compiler with full arithmetic expressions, conditional expressions, flow control and formatted output specifications. Compiler was written on a B-6700 and generated B-3500 executable machine code. Compiler was about 45,000 line of Algol code. This was all for the USAF and the language for which I wrote the compiler was a true 4th generation language in 1975, long before the term became popular. We also solved the Y2K problem in 1974.

  20. You had rocks?

    We had sticks and had yet learned to manipulate rocks. Building a binary adder was difficult especially when the rest of the tribe would build their fire too close to a work in progress. Damned knuckle draggers, no vision of the future.

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