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Google circa 1960.
December 11, 2012 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Google circa 1960.
posted by marxchivist (25 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Quota error?!? Awwww ....
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:38 AM on December 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Betty Grable's upskirts are scandalous!
posted by ColdChef at 7:39 AM on December 11, 2012


Today I learned that the internet used to be very very loud.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:47 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, you couldn't hear any of that over the sound of the underfloor air conditioning.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:49 AM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


also the Google BBS Terminal
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:50 AM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doesn't work on my iPhone for some reason.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:51 AM on December 11, 2012


Search for the term "hollerith code" and select "image search", and it gets meta.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:53 AM on December 11, 2012


The 1960 one was kind of a mix of realistic and unrealistic.
The BBS Terminal, though, that looked so much like a 3279 screen it was scary.
I'm having 4-bit color flashbacks.
posted by MtDewd at 7:57 AM on December 11, 2012


. CHANNEL ERROR (VERBOUS)
RECEIVED MESSAGE "Quota Exceeded. Please see http://code.google.com/apis/websearch".
HUMAN READABLE: "Mountain View, we have a problem."
ADVICE: A quota error indicates a temporary overload due to high demand. Please retry later.


I think we broke it.
posted by JHarris at 8:04 AM on December 11, 2012


Cool, though the bit about 'heroism in user interfaces' is a little high-falutin'.
posted by Mister_A at 8:07 AM on December 11, 2012


Yeah that big "google" ASCII banner would last all of about two seconds in the real world because baby you don't waste TTY paper like that.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:22 AM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Loved this...in the early 1960s my dad was working for the Canada LIfe Assurance Company in Toronto on a data processing team. He described to me all the search routines they had to write to sort through all the life insurance records to keep everything straight. They were pfaffing around with all kinds of logic algorithms to get the mainframes to do what they needed them to do. It was cool hearing this 50 year old oral history of search.

When I mentioned to him that he might have invented Google, he just shrugged like the engineer he was. "As long as the solution worked, that's what we were interested in."

Growing up, I was often a guest in the computer rooms, with punch cards, and grey terminals and the underfloor air conditioning and tape drives whirling away on a Saturday morning. The smell of heated, off-gassing coaxial cable still lingers in my nostrils.

This brought it back a little...cheers!
posted by salishsea at 8:33 AM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I used a terminal like that in 1980 at my high school. I was supposed to be searching for colleges that would allow early entry, and I did that, to the tune of a printout about an inch and a half thick (each college entry took up about 1/3 of a page, there were about a dozen data fields). After that I got bored and started playing HAMURABI.
posted by dhartung at 9:05 AM on December 11, 2012


This hits both my MadMen nerd and my web nerd sensors simultaneously. Awesome.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2012


Aw, this made me feel just like one of the research ladies in Desk Set
posted by Mchelly at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is cracking me up and making me happy. I searched for images of cats and it returned what I was expecting, except for this one, which actually comes up first on the web search.
posted by PuppyCat at 11:42 AM on December 11, 2012


That was awesome. Thanks.
posted by yerfatma at 12:08 PM on December 11, 2012


The "Christina Hendricks" image search was ASCIIrific! ;D
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:32 PM on December 11, 2012


It's a mix of authentic and mixed up. The sound is a model 33 Teletype, which did not hide the line it was printing and generally wasn't fitted with tractor fed paper. The wide tractor paper was usually used by line printers, which had a wheel for each character position and would hammer out a whole line at a time WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP. Those printers are the reason for the "printer on fire" error which can still be found in some Unix source code.

At my Uni we had DecWriters, which acted like the output printer but actually had dot matrix printheads. In general printing they sounded like normal dot matrix printers, but they could also be used as terminals where they would print a character at a time then move the head away so you could see what you typed. Those made a very distinctive sound when being used as terminals BRIP BRIP ... BRIP BRIP BRIP ... BRRiiiIIIiiiiIIIIIiiiiIIIIP

2.7 seconds of CPU usage was actually not out of line for a job this size in the 1970's when most mainframe computers ran at a few hundred kilohertz.
posted by localroger at 2:11 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you loved this 60s tech porn as much as I did, then I recommend going to watch the following movies: The Andromeda Strain, and Colossus: The Forbin Project.
posted by hanoixan at 6:16 PM on December 11, 2012


The output sounds just like the messages I used to get from The Chief when I caught one of Carmen Sandiego's thugs.
posted by vytae at 6:25 PM on December 11, 2012


This makes me nostalgic for the days when computers weren't any kind of deluxe media machine, and everyone worked much closer to the metal, where systems were timeshares and output was on teletypes.

Wait a sec -- that's from before my time. I'm nostalgic for experiences I never experienced! It probably has to do with the hours I poured through David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games.
posted by JHarris at 6:46 PM on December 11, 2012


Yeah JHarris all the stuff we metal programmers hate was being inventd in the late 70's and got ported by the VAX guys Microsoft hired to create Windows NT, which is all now the basis of Win 2000 and beyond. Meanwhile to-the-metal has gotten impossible unless you go embedded, and those play boards are rapidly approaching (and many cases well beyond) what an expensive desktop system could have done in 1987. And hey, those ca. 197x or 198x computers weren't useless. They ran the fucking world in their day. Maybe the reign of the PC will dissolve into a cloud of Arduinos.
posted by localroger at 7:15 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pushed the white button, selected list games, and picked #4. Now I'm getting ready to play "Global Thermonuclear War".

Cute, it said, Greetings Dr. Falken.
posted by mardybum at 9:38 PM on December 11, 2012


Amazing.
posted by Akidwithgreatambition.org at 11:08 AM on December 12, 2012


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