Alumni Memories

Share Your Computing[MTU] Memories!

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Univac 1110

A recent LinkedIn social media post about the Univac 1110 mainframe computer used by students in the 1970s and 1980s prompted a number of alumni to share their memories of using the machine and about early computing at Michigan Tech. Here are a few of them.

"Even into the early 1980s, the primary academic computer was a Univac 1100/80, and many students were still using punch cards. Later in the 80s the switch was made to an IBM 4341/4381."

"I remember those days well... late nights working in computer services. And the agony suffered when a collision occurred between two grad students with their trays of punched IBM cards..... hopelessly scattered about the raised sub floor..... While the wide format green bar drum printers pounded away at the cases of z fold paper..... Those were some early days of computing for sure!"

"Less computing power than the iPhone I’m using to write this post. Still, for the time, it was glorious."

"From the ever-frustrating typos in the dreaded punch cards in freshman ME orientation (‘76) to the analysis, modeling and documentation work of my MSME (‘82), operations improved significantly, and though it was primitive by modern standards, it served the university well in its day."

"Impossible for the youngsters of today to appreciate the joy of programming using punch cards. All output came on 132 character green bar paper off the state of the art dot matrix printer."

"I remember waiting 20 min at the batch station in Fisher, only to find out one of your cards fell out of the pack back in the dorm."

View the popular LinkedIn post and the memories and comments it prompted.

More Memories

From David Becker '80 (BSME): I remember many a night spent in the EE building waiting for an output. Sometimes it took hours to get it back and yes often some simple error in the program would mean you got nothing.  There is a computing museum here in Seattle and its fun to see all the old equipment, they even have a punch card machine you can play with and old mainframes in running condition.  Brings back many memories of work as well.

From Merle C. Potter ’58 (ME BS), ’61 (EM MS):  Mr. Potter noted that Prof. Byers of the Math department was busy researching computers prior to the period of history shared on this website.

Share Your Memories

Do you have Michigan Tech Computer Science or Applied Computing memories to share? We'd love to hear from you! Please complete the form below and we'll include your memories on our website.

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