IBM 1620 in Computer Lab

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    This IBM 1620 was where most of us learned to program a computer. Under the tutelage of Professor Nimitz, we wrote code in Fortran on punch cards, which the computer compiled into an enormous stack of cards, which held the commands in machine language. To execute the program, you fed the big stack into the computer, and if there was a single error, you had to throw out the entire stack and start over. An entire corner of the computer lab was fenced off as a disposal area for the waste cards.

    The computer had only two forms of output, punch cards and teletype. There were no CRT monitors.

    Marcin Wichary, Kate Sherrill, and 10 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. eyebo 85 months ago | reply

      Fantastic photo. Love the DoF. Makes me wonder what the gentlemen in the background are discussing.

    2. jprosenfeld 28 months ago | reply

      That's Chip Eastman in the background, a mathematician. This was my first computer, too. I think it was Chip who showed me how to write programs so you could use a radio to pick up music made by the "core". The card reader was always eating cards. Peter Rosenfeld, '76

    3. eyebo 27 months ago | reply

      Wow, thanks for your insights.

    4. dorestecmsn 9 months ago | reply

      The I/O typewriter was an IBM Model B. This typewriter model goes back to at least 1956 when the Bendix G-15 was designed and built. The M.A.R.C.H. museum at infoage in Wall Township, NJ has a G-15 on display, not functioning.

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