Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Google in the old days

Google in oldie-timey computing.

Very funny. I imagine it must be doubly funny for people who have experienced such machines.

Here's an image search:


Bert said...

Fail to see what's funny about this. Still feels like it was only yesterday! ;-P

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah, I just flashed back to that time, I made almost the same sound with my baby rattle on the bars of the playpen.

ttl said...

Funny? That's beautiful! Brings back wonderful memories.

This is a version of IBM OS/360 they are emulating. I was most impressed by the line printer font and vertical wobbles of the asterixes. They got that exactly right.

This is the system I started my computing career on. Lovely!

ttl said...

By the way, this is a good example of how screwed up our current thinking about computing is.

As if the user looking up millions of records (interactively!) from an indexed database is something advanced!

Switch the example to making a query from Wolfram|Alpha and the slow output speed of the line printer becomes a non-issue.

The irony is that people see the UI, rather than the application (Google Search), as outdated! Sigh.

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Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well, the idea of rendering the logo, and the acronym are definitely funny.

When did you use this? Late sixties?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

BTW, I'm proud to have such powerful and older minds as TTL and Bert read my likkle blog. Love you guys.

ttl said...

This is the way the system printed the batch job owner's name on the cover sheet of the printout. What's funny about it is how well the animation mimics the output of the physical line printer, with the exact same typeface and other minor quirks. That's what I laffed about anyway.

I used a 360 in the early 1980's.

The true irony of this example is that during the 30 years that the hardware industry has brought us nice monitors, keyboards and laser printers, software hasn't progressed hardly at all.

Google Search is nothing more than an electronic version of the old library card index. Fast yes, and big, but a remarkably dummy one at that.

Now, Wolfram|Alpha is finally taking a step forward, and actually making the machine compute something (what a novel idea!), instead of just shoveling data from one place to another. But you gotta ask: what took us so long? Why have we been resting on our laurels since the 1970s?

It is this embarrassing fact the this parody website again so painfully highlights. At least to those of us who were around back in the day when there still was true progress in the field of software.

Bert said...

When did you use this? Late sixties?

ROFL!! I'm not that old, ya know! Some mainframe computers running batch processing operating systems are still in use today, believe it or not.

I started using such computers around 1976, up until about the mid-'80s, when the ever increasing hassle(1) and the advent of more powerful PCs made the transition natural. Never looked back, and never ever regretted the move! Not having to defer to the mainframe priests anymore was truly liberating! ;-P

Those were very different times for computer users, and I am glad I have seen them. Kinda gives me a real sense of the progress that just whizzed by in the past 35 years...

And then, some things never change. My first hard disk, a Seagate ST-225, held 20MB of data, which meant constantly having to juggle with what to keep, archive or discard. Today, I have some 6TB (300,000 times more!) of online storage attached to my confuser, and I still manage to run out of space!

(1) After the introduction of the IBM PC in the workplace, the operating budgets for mainframes and super-minis were seriously being crippled by PC acquisitions, making available computing time quite scarce. You really had to get into serious begging mode to get any personal stuff done.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I didn't think you were that old, that's what was confusing. But that page said "Google 60, Search Mad Men style", which clearly is the sixties.

Glad youse'll be around a decade longer, all else being equal.

Monsieur Beep! said...

so cool!
we used those punch cards for decades, i had to mark them every day with the data i had collected in the field....

thanks for sharing, Eo.