List of Archived Posts

2017 Newsgroup Postings (07/28 - )

Census processing, 1950
OT: book: "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"
Trump is taking the wrong approach to China on tech, says ex-Reagan official who helped beat Soviets
chip card
IBM System/360
Initialized paged memory without a hard commit

Census processing, 1950

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: Re: Census processing, 1950
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.computers
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:02:45 -0700

hancock4 writes:

Article in P/S about census punched card processing for 151 million people
in 1950.  Looks like a mix of IBM and Univac machines based on the photos.

we worked essentially for free on 2000 census on selection of backend
systems ... census was paying a consultant, and we technically worked
for the consultant but effectively for free (although when census was
audited, I was the one they asked to stand up in front of the room
all day answering questions).

their backend systems from late 70s used for 1980 census ... were being
moved out March 1997 and new stuff would then be immediately moved in
... to start the testing preparing for 2000 census (all the selection
for backend systems had to be done & finished & ordered ... for deliver
spring 1997 as soon as moving vans took away the old stuff).

this reference mentions Univac mainframes in Oct1979 for 1980 census

misc. past posts mentioning 2000 census Why are Mainframe Computers really still in use at all? Methods of payment Methods of payment was: 1975 movie "Three Days of the Condor" tech stuff Billion-dollar IT failure at Census Bureau The 2010 Census Handling multicore CPUs; what the competition is thinking What's the most interesting thing you do in your non-work life? Cultural attitudes towards failure What Makes a Tax System Bizarre? ACA (Obamacare) website problems--article OT this guy salary one dollar George W. Bush: Still the worst; A new study ranks Bush near the very bottom in history Failure as a Way of Life; The logic of lost wars and military-industrial boondoggles Qbasic - lies about Medicare FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook Why a Single-Payer Health Care System is Inevitable Misc. Success of Failure GLBA & Glass-Steagall ComputerWorld Says: Cobol plays major role in U.S. government breaches The head of the Census Bureau just quit, and the consequences are huge

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

OT: book: "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: Re: OT:  book:  "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.computers
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 16:36:05 -0700

hancock4 writes:

This book, by Thomas Piketty, is a detailed economic analysis of
today's finances.  It includes historical discussions of the
concentration of wealth during the industrial revolution, the
spread of wealth in the U.S. after WW II, and the concentration
of wealth today.

While it is a somewhat of a heavy read, with lots of charts and data,
it does provide excellent insights into the problem of the 1% and
possible ways to remedy the situation.

shorter flavor ... The Limping Middle Class
slouching towards 3rd world country status and return of the robber barons.

reply to post here a couple months ago [CM] What was your first computer?

this also has reference to 2011 NYT graphic above, updated through 2014

How GE, GM, Coca-Cola And Kodak Put Shareholders Ahead Of Employees
from here

in this recent post Shareholders Ahead Of Employees

also references this

Bad Ideas; Reknowned economist James K. Galbraith, one of our expert
panelists, pulls no punches in talking about the damage wrought by
financial innovation

other recent post Why CEO pay structures harm companies

inequality posts

past posts mentioning Piketty These Two Charts Show How The Priorities Of US Companies Have Gotten Screwed Up Before the Internet: The golden age of online services Before the Internet: The golden age of online services Before the Internet: The golden age of online services Why IBM Is Tumbling: BRIC Sales Plunge, Total Revenue Lowest Since 2009 Thomas Piketty Is Right About the Past and Wrong About the Future Piketty Shreds Marginal Productivity as Neoclassical Justification for Supersized Pay LEO Qbasic A call for revolution

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

Trump is taking the wrong approach to China on tech, says ex-Reagan official who helped beat Soviets

Refed: **, - **, - **
From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: Trump is taking the wrong approach to China on tech, says ex-Reagan official who helped beat Soviets
Date: 29 June 2017
Blog: Facebook

Trump is taking the wrong approach to China on tech, says ex-Reagan
official who helped beat Soviets

... Volcker talking to civil engineering professor about money has
been diverted from infrastructure spending for so long ... there
aren't civil engineering jobs, lack of jobs, students stop taking
classes, w/o students, univ. start shutting down programs and dropping
professors ... Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the
Education of a President


Well, I said, 'The trouble with the United States recently is we spent
several decades not producing many civil engineers and producing a
huge number of financial engineers. And the result is s**tty bridges
and a s**tty financial system!'

... snip ...

A few years ago with the shovel ready, infrastructure stimulus funding
... projects were having to hire Chinese companies to get civil

AMEX was in competition with KKR for private equity take-over of RJR
and KKR wins. KKR runs into trouble and hires away the president of
AMEX to turn it around.

IBM has gone into the red and was being reorganized into the 13 "baby
blues" in preparation for breaking up the company. The board then
hires away the former president of AMEX who reverses the breakup and
resurrects the company ... using some of the same techniques used at

trivia: about same time that IBM has gone into the red, AMEX spins off
much of its mainframe dataprocessing outsourcing business in the
largest IPO up until that time as FDC. In the late 90s, FDC as part of
merger, acquires ailing Western Union (and has to spin off
MoneyGram). However after the start of the century, there is an
enormous explosion in the number of illegal workers being brought across
the border, and WU revenue also starts exploding. by 2005, the
(ailing) WU had become half FDC total bottom line (from the huge
influx of new illegal workers 2001-2005). President of Mexico invites
the FDC executives to Mexico to be thrown in jail (for how much WU is
making off of sending payments home) ... likely contributing to
spinning off of WU in 2005. KKR then does the largest (up until that
time) private-equity reverse-IPO take-over of FDC (15yrs after being
the largest IPO).

more trivia: former president of AMEX leaves IBM to

Lou Gerstner, former ceo of ibm, now heads the Carlyle Group, a
Washington-based global private equity firm whose 2006 revenues of $87
billion were just a few billion below ibm's. Carlyle has boasted
George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and former Secretary of State James
Baker III on its employee roster

... snip ...

and gets them into the economic mess, when it crashes, he is replaced

Lou Gerstner, former chairman and CEO of IBM and Nabisco, was
appointed chairman of Carlyle in January 2003, replacing Frank
Carlucci. Gerstner would serve in that position through October

... snip ...

... also had acquired the beltway bandit that will employ Snowden:
helping accelerate the rapidly spreading success of failure

disclaimer: 1999 I was asked to try and help prevent the economic mess
... wasn't very successful. Then Jan2009 (ten yrs later), I was asked
to HTML'ize Pecora Hearings (senate hearings into '29 crash, resulted
in Glass-Seagall and criminal convictions with jail time), with lots
of internal HREFs and URLs between what happened then and what
happened this time (comments that the new congress might have appetite
to do something). I work on it for awhile and then get call that it
won't be needed after all (references to capital totally buried under
enormous mountains of wallstreet money).

VP and former CIA director repeatedly claims no knowledge of
because he was fulltime administration point person deregulating
financial industry ... creating S&L crisis
along with other members of his family
and another

another family member then presides over the economic mess last
decade, 70 times larger than the S&L crises. S&L crisis had 1000
criminal convictions with jailtime, proportionally the economic mess
should have 70,000.

private equity posts
gerstner posts
Pecora Hearings and/or Glass-Steagall posts
S&L crises posts
and "economic mess"

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970


Refed: **, - **, - **, - **, - **, - **, - **, - **
From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: Dunkirk
Date: 30 June 2017
Blog: Facebook

Panzer Leader (Heinz Guderian) loc1783-85:

On this day (the 24th) the Supreme Command intervened in the
operations in progress, with results which were to have a most
disastrous influence on the whole future course of the war. Hitler
ordered the left wing to stop on the Aa. It was forbidden to cross
that stream. We were not informed of the reasons for this. The order
contained the words: 'Dunkirk is to be left to the Luftwaffe.


Churchill's guess that Rundstedt may have himself decided to hold up
the armor is also wide of the mark. As the commander on the spot I am
able, more-over, definitely to state that the heroic defense of
Calais, although worthy of the highest praise, yet had no influence on
the development of events outside Dunkirk. Churchill assumes, quite
correctly, that Hitler, and above all Goering, believed German air
supremacy to be strong enough to prevent the evacuation of the British
forces by sea. This belief was a mistake pregnant with consequence,
for only the capture of the British Expeditionary Force could have
influenced the English towards making peace with Hitler or could have
created the conditions necessary for a successful German invasion of
Great Britain.

... snip ...

somewhat similar to US Army Air Corp claims that strategic bombing
would win the war w/o US having to invade France. A problem was that
from 5-6 miles up, strategic bombing had difficult hitting
targets. John Foster Dulles was major force behind rebuilding German
industry and military in the 20s through the early 40s, supporting
Hitler and the Nazis. From the law of unintended consequences, 1943 US
strategic bombing program needed location of German industry and
military targets, it got the coordinates and plans from
wallstreet. Later McNamara was LeMay's staff planning fire bombing
German and Japanese cities, it was hard to miss a whole city (even
from 5-6 miles up). European Campaign: Its Originas and Conduct


The bomber preparation of Omaha Beach was a total failure, and German
defenses on Omaha Beach were intact as American troops came ashore. At
Utah Beach, the bombers were a little more effective because the IXth
Bomber Command was using B-26 medium bombers. Wisely, in preparation
for supporting the invasion, maintenance crews removed Norden
bombsights from the bombers and installed the more effective low-level
altitude sights.

... snip ...

Germany somewhat had its own Dunkirk with the battle of the
bulge. Patton had suggested just let Germans advance to the outskirts
of Paris, they would then have outrun their supplies and it would be
possible to roll them all up with no problem. Eisenhower said that
wouldn't be politically correct/acceptable. Patton was then to attack
one side of the base of the bulge while montgomery attacks the other
side, cutting them off ... and rolling them up. Montgomery never got
into position, so the Germans managed to escape through the gap
... although leaving most of their equipment.

recent mention of Dunkirk Dunkirk The Real Reason You Should See Dunkirk: Hitler Lost World War II There

other recent posts mentioning strategic bombing One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America Godwin's Law should force us to remember & fear our shared heritage with Nazi Germany Imperial Hubris Should America Have Entered World War I? Ironic old "fortune" The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I The knives are out for Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster 5 Naval Battles That Changed History Forever [CM] What was your first home computer? [CM] What was your first home computer?

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

chip card

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: chip card
Date: 30 June 2017
Blog: Facebook

The chip card transition in the US has been a disaster

Very early part of century there was large US pilot, but it was during
the "Yes Card" exploit period. They proceeded even when I gave them
detailed description of the problems. Afterwards, all evidence of the
pilot appeared to disappear w/o a trace and conjecture that it would
be a long time before it was tried again in the US (letting other
jurisdictions work out the bugs). At the end of this Cartes2002 trip
report, there is discussion of "Yes Card" presentation, gone 404, but
lives on at the wayback machine (the softcopy of the presentation is
labeled "confidential").

At 2003 ATM Integrity Task Force meeting, a Federal LEO gave a details
of "Yes Card" exploits ... and somebody in the audience loadly
observed that they managed to spend billions of dollars to prove chips
are less secure than magstripe.

disclaimer: late 90s, I did chip w/o any of the vulnerabilities, much
more secure, and could do a transaction in 1/10th second with
contactless RF power (could even be used for transit gate
operation). Had booths at 1999 world-wide BAI retail banking show
... old post:

trivia: the CEO of one of the security companies in the booths, had
previously done stints as head of IBM mainframe POK and IBM PC Boca.

past posts

old reference to article The chip card transition in the US has been a disaster The chip card transition in the US has been a disaster The chip card transition in the US has been a disaster

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

IBM System/360

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: IBM System/360
Date: 30 June 2017
Blog: Facebook

IBM System/360

trivia: 1052-7/console ... paper feed up the bottom back has paper
sensor ... when the sensor doesn't detect any paper, all I/O
operations are unit check, intervention required. OS/360 stops and
just sits there and periodically rings the bell. There can be enough
friction that the paper doesn't fall off the top. If you are just
sitting at the console, you will have no indication why everything has
died and the bell periodically rings. I got so frustrated that I slam
my fist into the keyboard ... that jiggles the console and the paper
falls off the top. Of course somebody has to be called in to replace
the 1052-7. past ref Paper tape

After I graduate and join the science center ... I find that the CE
keeps a couple spare 1052-7 on site ... because it happens frequently

At the univ, they closed the datacenter on the weekends and let me
have it all to myself from 8am monday until 8am monday ... 48hrs w/o
sleep made monday morning classes hard

At the IBM science center i would rarely get more than 2weekend
shifts. One weekend something was wrong and I needed the backup tapes
for restore. The room that had backups was locked and I couldn't find
the keys. The doors were thick solid fir and I gave it a little
kick. The wood completely split from top to bottom where I kicked. It
turns out they had moved backup tapes to another room and moved in
personnel records. They moved the door to conference room laid across
two 2drawer file cabinets as table ... it was there for years

This was back when IBM rented computers and datacenters would recover
money by charging for time used (even internally when it was funny
money) at one point I was asked if I could do something because I used
more time than whole rest of the organization put together. I said I
could work less. The subject was never mentioned again

computer renting trivia: 360s had system clock that ran whenever cpu
and/or channels were busy ... that IBM used to base its lease/rental
fees. The science center did a lot of work on CP67 for it to be
available 7x24 ... but system clock would stop when nothing was going
on. The system clock would still keep running for 400ms after
everything had stopped running. However, long after IBM had switched
to selling computers ... MVS still had a timer task that woke up every
400ms ... making sure that system clock never stopped.

posts mentioning science center

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

Initialized paged memory without a hard commit

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <>
Subject: Re: Initialized paged memory without a hard commit
Newsgroups: comp.arch
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2017 14:49:53 -0700

Richard Damon <> writes:

My understanding is that some OSes will have a single dedicated page
of all zeros which they will map into the application space as a
read-only page until the application writes to it, then they will
create a dedicated page for that application. This isn't quite what
you are asking for, but close. This is done more to save swap space
than to try to speed up the program.

Something is going to need to create the real page of memory with the
values, and I suspect let that be the OS rather than something
automagically in the processor will be more efficient. (If the
processor can do this automatically on the write, then the OS is going
to need to pre-allocate a real page of memory for it to do so, which
may tie up a lot of physical memory, if the write triggers a request
for the OS to allocate the page, it is a trivial bit of extra work to
fill it with the right value).

The other things is that I can't see real programs being able to
utilize this for much of a speed up, as you are unlikely to need to do
a lot of reads on memory that you haven't written yet. If it does give
you a speedup, you can probably get more by keeping better track of
how much you have written and just not processing the uninitialized

CP/67 (virtual machine, virtual memory, precursor to vm/370, done at
science center) delivered to university Jan1968 ... had a specially
formated page of all zeros on disk for unallocated, never before
referenced page ... first time referenced the zeros page would be
brought in and if changed and needed to be written out, it would go to
new location.

I almost immediately changed it to instruction sequence, ten registers
all zeroed and STM/BCLE loop (avoiding the page read of the zeros page).

past posts mentioning science center

some of the CTSS people

had gone to the 5th flr of 545 tech sq to do multics

others went to the science center on the 4th flr, did virtual machines,
cp40, cp67, cms

internal network ... some posts

... technology also used for bitnet
some posts

and a bunch of online applications, performance optimization and
monitoring, capacity planning, etc

also invented GML in 1969 (letters chosen for three inventors
initials) ... after decade, morphs into ISO standard SGML, after
another decade morphs into HTML at CERN. some posts

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

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