[emblem text] Stories From Our History

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Weldwood of Canada

I started in January, 1972. It was an IBM 360 shop. I was given the Payroll system to maintain. It was written in Assembler.
That year, significant changes to the Unemployment rules had come into effect. And I found that the old software
was not following the new rules.

After discussions with my boss, I was given the go ahead to rewrite the payroll in Cobol. It took me six months, working
weekends for the last six or seven weeks to do testing. I installed it on January 1, 1973.

I got to know the IBM pretty well. All the lights tell you something. If the operator was running payroll, and I wandered
into the computer room, I would look at the CPU lights, the Disk Drive Cylinder lights, listen for the printer, and
then tell the operator what mill it was in, how long it would be before the printer would start up, etc.
And when it happened that way (plus/minus a minute or so), the operator would get mad, saying you can't know it that well,
and throw me out of the computer room.

There are times when you need to watch and listen. I wrote a plywood shipment analysis report. For testing, I had all the
required files on one disk pack. Running the report was like watching a CE Diagnostic on the drive, and it took an hour
to run one month of data.After moving the files around, balanced across three or four drives, it took 20 minutes to process
the data for one year.

Yes,you must learn to be quiet, watch, and listen so you can learn.

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