Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Aron Charad sent this article to the Computer & System Services (C&SS) YUL retirees, which we hope will bring back memories for those who worked in the computer rooms of the company.

There is a group on Facebook called Vintage Mainframe Enthusiasts.

This was a recent post, and a few of the comments. It did bring back memories of the 70's.

POST: "I’m young. My dad used to take me to work with him in downtown LA. He worked an IBM 360/370. I miss the smell of IBM cards and oil and isopropyl alcohol and tapes.

The smell of a computer room from the 70's....... I’m only 56. I was like 5 or so when dad used to take me to work. I will always remember the smell of the IBM 129 Keypunch. He made sure I was kept busy or else I would be on the console. The sounds of the computer room....the tape vacuums. Watching the paper get misaligned and paper all over the floor. LOL! "

COMMENT 1: "I have very fond memories of my many hours in computer rooms. Those were millions-dollars machines and to be trusted with them was a very heady experience. Combination locks on the doors and then electronic badge access way before that was commonplace, special air conditioning and fire suppression systems, and the constant activity of tapes and printers was always exciting. Even at 04:30 in the morning!"

COMMENT 2: "There was a lot more physicality to computing... card decks, tape reels, disk packs. I miss the smell of a machine room in the morning."

Doug Olson: "This person must have been one of us. My memories exactly."

Peter Webster: "I remember taking a whole box of 5081 (is that the right number?) cards to feed into the model 20 just when Don Maple, the boss, came by and sure enough, I flubbed it and the cards went everywhere! Don just smiled and went on. Seems like centuries ago. "

Peter Bayfield: "Oh, those wonderful memories. The sound of the ‘burster’ and the ‘waterfall collator’ at 4 AM……or the sound of a card jam on the 083 - 1000 card/minute sorter."