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Programming on the Engineering Prototype
From Dick Perkins - dickperkins @ sbcglobal . net
I had the "privilege?" of programming the 1401 in machine language for a sales project in the fall of 1959 while the machine was at the Glendale Lab near Endicott. The engineers were still hard at work on it but they let me get on it a few times each day to complete the project which was to see how fast we could print labels from punched cards. I was doing it for a firm called Donnellys that at that time maintained the largest mailing list in the country. It was all on punched cards and they used 407s to do the printing of the labels.
I was told at the time that I was the first person from the field to get access to the machine.
I would be happy to write up something about this three week "adventure" to add to your history of the machine if you think it would be interesting to have.
You bet! Most folks love a good story. (Even better if you have a photo of the fish to back it up ;-))
Sending 'em to the [1401_software] list or Robert Garner or Ed Thelen will get 'em here :-)) I even have a spell checker ;-)))
Gary Mokotoff commented
"You certainly were one of the first users of the 1401 if it was in the Fall of 1959. I donít think that SPS even existed at that time.
"I would be interested in reading your experiences.
Sacrifice a small slam ;-))
Jack Palmer, David Macklin and I will be having lunch in New York City this Monday for a "reunion." Jack was manager of the General Products Division Applied Programming Department (1401/1620) until it was transferred to Endicott in about 1962. David was Project Manager of various 1401 projects. I was a humble programmer. I have not seen Jack in 35-40 years.
I will take notes and maybe the three of us can recreate the history of that department,
Another quick story:
A bunch of us were in the habit of playing contract bridge during lunchtime in the employee lounge. One day we all got a memo from Jack, the gist of which was a reminder that IBM policy was that each employee was entitled to up to .75 hours for lunch and he would appreciate it if we limited ourselves to that time allotment "even at the sacrifice of a small slam"!
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