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Mainframe Computer

Computers that can crush you!

Tuesday 1st of December 2009 08:36:01 PM By: Chris Robertson

Once upon a time I worked on a mainframe computer older than me with some arcane technology patched together to make it all work. Cobol, JCL, reel to reel data tapes, a printer the size of a refrigerator...

All these crazy keystrokes and key commands that are nonstandard in todays world... a whole set of commands just to print (spool) from the mainframe, tons of old commands to remember... none of it I use now but it was really interesting technology to learn, just a pain... One of the guys replaced a gig memory chip out of one of the mainframes and it was the size of a 17 inch laptop computer... no joke... I didn't ask how much the new memory chip costs...

These computers where enormous huge beasts...It was a frighting feeling knowing you take care of this old gorilla for the week and weekend... There was a list of stuff we had to do to the mainframe every night. It was insane, the place was practically a museum. I actually miss working close to a mini data center though, nice cold place to hide from the chaos haha.

I enjoy working with modern technology now though so happy for that, luckily I survived that job... banks always have the oldest technology, go figure. The underground basement storage area all the crazy security access craziness and safe codes and secret places. Oh yea and the thing was I was the first one in every morning at 4am to make sure everything was working. It was really terrible when you forgot your badge that early or you have an issue like your sink exploding and apartment flooding at 4am. I think they where just happy that I would learn that old technology, met some cool old people though. Just thought I would tell a little story from the past. Definitely don't regret the experience but maybe I am stronger now because of it.