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Snippets about IBM and Other Mainframe systems:
"We were on the old IBM 1401. Someone had a program that would
make the printer sing 'Anchors Away' as it printed."
"I remember when Wes Peterson was the Computing Center director
and he used to work in a dark office with John Davidson, Charley
Bass, and Alan Kam. They were building a time sharing system for
"These are the facts as well as I can remember them. It was in
the fall, 1970, almost 30 years ago, about the time when Walter
Yee took over the job of Computing Center director from me. The
Computing Center was located on the second floor of HIG over the
"Back in the IBM 360/370 mainframe days we had removable disk
drives where you could mount your own disk packs: the IBM 2314
and IBM 3330 disk drives. My predecessors even had disk volumes
named after themselves (DLEONG belonged to Diantha Leong, JAMESK
belonged to James Kotaka, etc.)."
"I used to work with hundred and hundreds of pounds of computer
tab cards. These tab cards came in heavy 60-pound cases. The Center
once had a job that had about a hundred of these 60 pound cases
of cards (or 1,000,000 cards) to read into the system for a tuna
catch study project. This card to tape job took two 24 hour days
"Keller 105 (the site of the current ITS Help Desk) used to be
a room full of keypunch machines. You had to wait in line to use
a machine and it took forever to type out a 200 line PL/I program.
I always had trouble with the spacing for those nested loops.
Of course there was no such thing as a backspace... as soon as
you made a typo, you had to throw the card away and start again."
"I remember when you could buy punch cards from a vending machine
near the consulting area in the Keller Lobby for 35 cents. I personally
liked the ones with blue or pink tops so they wouldn't get mixed
up with other people's yellow cards."
"I remember trying to get around batch queues by changing from
CLASS=A to CLASS=B just because there were a lot less jobs in
"I remember when the IBM 3081 came
I said Oh, we got this new
machine! The University's never going to have to get a bigger
mainframe than this. It will last forever! By the mid- 80s we
ran out of gas."
"When I was a student assistant, I remember being taught the fine
art of prepping your punch cards for input into the card reader
hopper. I thought the guy who taught me could have been a Las
Vegas card dealer.
"Yes, I remember that Football on TSO game quite fondly. You typed
in the plays you wanted to call (SP for short pass, LP for long
pass) and the computer would respond with the play results. My
favorite was the SP for a first down, West Coast offense ala 49ers."
the one thing is that we would always be busy with something
something new and different
every year. That's what made it so
interesting. It's been a fun trip."
"Way back in the 60s, Population Genetics had its own CDC 3100
with a card reader, four tape drives, 16K of memory, and no disk
storage. I had to write a program to calculate the coefficient
of inbreeding of an isolated Alpine village by 'mating' every
person in the village with every other person in the village.
Since the sexes of the pairings were irrelevant, the result was
several million 'matings.' After several hours and when the job
was almost done, the tape fell off the drive. Too many rewinds
had loosened the tape from the drive. The operator who had been
tending to the job then asked me to add his name to the data on
the tape before rerunning the job."
Snippets about Interactive and Timesharing Systems:
"It was my first day as a student assistant. Helen Carey was introducing
me to the UHCC staff members. When I was introduced to David (Lassner),
he showed me a dumb terminal that someone had shot during finals
"I remember the Harris and when we had to 'vulcanize' our programs."
|"I remember when we all had dumb terminals at MSO and word processing
was done on the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) VAX systems.
The output was routed to a very noisy DEC Spinwriter that was
so loud that it had to be housed in a sound insulated box."
"I also remember the old DEC VAX 750 Systems. They took up an entire 25' x 50' make-shift computer room. Today, a single desktop PC has more speed, power, and disk space than that entire room full of 750s."
-Darrel Enoki, ITS Operations
Snippets about desktop systems:
"The first PC was brought into the computing center in 1981 by
Dan Arashiro. I looked at it and said
this thing is a toy!
didn't even want to go touch it! And then I got involved with
the PC so then I said eh, this stuff is pretty good!"
"I remember being a student help at Campus Operations and we got
the 'new' IBM AT. We were so impressed with the 'speed' and advanced
"Back in 1984 when (at that time) the UH Computing Center conducted
its first IBM PC sale, I remember going to Kapiolani CC to help
set up the PCs. Walter Yee, director then, anticipated sales of
about 500; but sales were closer to 1000 units. It was almost
assembly line testing each monitor and cpu. I also got in on the
terrific sale...an IBM XT with 256KB RAM (that's kilobytes, not
megabytes!) and 10MB hard disk (wow, would we ever fully utilize
such a spacious disk? (ha!) All of that for the discounted price
(40% off current IBM prices) of $3500! That system lasted me for
almost 10 years though, unlike the fast paced industry of today..."
"I remember when we converted the classrooms in Keller 213 and
214 into the PC Lab. We set up the lab's 20 IBM PC's, all with
640K of memory. The PC Lab also had printers, including an Okidata
" February 1986 was the first time I was exposed to a graphical
user interface. I was hired as a student monitor for the then
brand new Macintosh lab. My jaw dropped when I used MacWrite,
MacPaint and MacDraw for the first time."
|Snippets about Distance Learning:
"On June 10, 1990, the University was to broadcast the first statewide two-way video class on the Hawaii Interactive Television System (HITS), and we weren't receiving video from Maui Community College. Fortunately, they were connected five minutes into the class making the course truly statewide - connecting UHM, Kauai CC, Maui CC, UHH, Molokai Education Center, and Lanai Education Center."
-Hae Okimoto, ITS Distance Learning and Instructional Technology
|"On January 17, 1999, ITS successfully webcast its first event,
the 1999 Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Conference.
Anyone with Internet access and a Web browser could view the conference
in real time."
"In the following month, on February 3, the ITS monthly cable show High Tech Hawaii was delivered via webcast, due to lack of cable programming time slots. Since that date, each show has been simultaneously presented on TV and the Web."
-Kenwrick Chan, ITS Distance Learning and Instructional Technology
|Snippets about Network and Telephone Systems:
"I remember working one weekend and seeing a bunch of guys digging a trench and pulling a yellow cable through my office. It was David Lassner, Jeff Blomberg, and Torben Nielsen. They were pulling the cable for the first ethernet network on campus."
-Lee Ann M. Lee, ITS Information Services
|"I started as a campus phone operator in 1974 on the University
of Hawaii's main telephone exchange. Two other operators and I
were stationed in front of an old plug in cord switchboard in
the basement of Hawaii Hall. When a call came in, one of the free
lines would light up. We would plug a cord into the line to receive
the call, then connect the call by plugging another cord into
the right extension. I believe the switchboard could handle a
maximum of 25 simultaneous calls."
"Organizationally, telephone operations were a part of Auxiliary Services. Les Murakami was our manager and also the baseball coach. Our office was affiliated with Campus Security and the Parking Office, and we had a radio dispatcher to contact them for on-campus emergencies. There was no 911 service at the time so campus callers would dial '0' in case of emergencies. We would contact the police, fire department, and ambulance for campus callers."
-Jackie Wong, ITS Telecommunications
"I remember sending out a mass voice mail message regarding Hurricane Iwa. There were so many people calling in or checking their voice mail messages that the voice mail system actually shut down and had to be re-enabled. That was the last time we sent out a UHM systemwide message via voice mail. Thank goodness for e-mail!"
-Ralph Yoshioka, ITS Telecommunications
Snippets on Student Registration:
"I still remember that I had to psych myself out during registration
time: as I entered Klum gym, I would run to the tables of the
courses that didn't offer too many sections of that course, or
didn't offer many sections that started later in the day. After
receiving an IBM punched card, which tells me I'm enrolled in
the class, I would scramble onto the next table and so on. You
really needed a pair of good sneakers in those days. Then came
the days of Building 37. Everyone would wait in long lines until
your scheduled time arrived. When it was my turn, I sat next to
a staff person who punched in my courses on a terminal. If a course
was already closed or you are missing some type of approval, you
would need to run over to the department or thumb quickly through
the Schedule of Classes for an alternate course. Nowadays students
can register and pay by phone or over the Web thanks to PAE.
They also can do much more, such as check the status of a course,
view grades, request for parking, etc. Can you imagine if we had
to do the Klum Gym routine again?"
| Snippets on How Technology has Changed How We Work:
"Remember back in those old days when secretaries had to do their jobs using typewriters? I remember having to type drafts of the same lengthy report over and over again. No such thing as pointing the mouse to highlight, click, delete, insert, or cut and paste."
"Setting up meetings with a group of people have been made easier and faster too. I remember calling a group of people only to find out that the last one couldn't make the meeting on a specific day and time and having to start calling everyone all over again."
"I also remember getting lots of exercise walking all over campus to hand deliver rushes. Faxing is wonderful."
-Doreen Taga, Secretary, Director's Office
"The greatest technological advance in the last 35 years? It wasn't a computer. In my opinion, it was the photocopier! Xeroxing sure beats using carbon paper, ditto masters, or stencils!"
-Shirley Yee, ITS Information Services
"I remember when, at the end of our meetings at MSO, everyone would open up their Franklin planners to record important deadlines and to schedule subsequent meetings. These days, we use Meeting Maker and the trendier people whip out their palm pilots."
-Mike Sahara, ITS Systems
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