[emblem text] Stories From Our History

[emblem text]

Weldwood of Canada

When the IBM 370 was released, they had a demo machine in Vancouver, that was used to demonstrate
virtual memory and running multiple jobs in separate partitions. The machine had 256k of real RAM.
They invited us to come down and have a ook, and, by the way, we could bring a 'hot job' to run in its own
partition. So I crafted a small program in Cobol to 'exercise the machine'. It first created a 120k binary table,
loaded with all the odd numbers from 3 up to 60,001, and then I started dividing to find out which ones
were prime. No, we did not stop at the sqare root, because the exercise was to flog the memory.
And a note: when you do division, it ties up the arithmetic unit which ties up the WHOLE computer
until it is finished.

The operator started the program, all the while saying that he had never seen the machine go over 300k virtual.

Bonk - 303k, bonk - 320k virtual. Hmmmm. Then he noticed that the CPU lights seemed to be stuck in one place.
My program. So, he asked, "OK if I changed its priority?". I replied, "Sure".

He pressed the big, blue 'Request' button on the front panel and NOTHING happeened. So, he pressed the
'Request' button again. The machine replied that the program did not have interrupt linkage and you will have
to try again! So, he pressed the 'Request' button again, and waited . It took about 40 seconds for the request to be cknowledged.

So, he changed the priority, and magically, his other programs started to run again. Then he asked "OK if I cancelled the job?"
I replied, "Sure". So, he cancelled my job. This generated an invalid dick address in the systeem spooler, and it took
EVERY PARTITION WITH IT, So, now we have a dead IBM 370, the poor guy is saying it is a pre-release of this and
a pre-release of that, and we are trying very hard not to laugh hysterically. It was really funny.

He asked if he could keep the cards for the program, which I said, "Sure."

And I've never been invited back to IBM. I can't imagine why.

Always nice to have a good laugh now and again. Just not at someones expense.

[emblem text]

Back Home


Send Mail to: bobmckeever@mac.com