[Beowulf] Parallel Development Tools

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 09:47:39 PDT 2007

I implemented "Chomp" (a nim-like game from Martin Gardner's description) in
basic with paper-punch around '74. At that time I had no concepts for "OS"
or "development environment" but I learned "acoustic coupler" and
"teletype" and was confused by "duplex". Later I briefly used a keypunch to
learn FORTRAN.

But my dad tells a droll story. He was sitting at a keypunch machine
distraught about the random number generation algorithms they used for monte
carlo simulation for neutrons that thought they were in a pinball machine
(this would have been at Savannah River). Hanging his head in frustration,
he noticed the wastebasket that every keypunch machine has in the same
place, to collect the huge pile of little punched out bits of paper with

He thought, "hmmm".

Nothing came of it.

Years ..a generation ...later, I was frustrated by the random number library
on the Slackware on my 486, and rolled up my own (replaced days later by
porting to SunOS which had a better library). But I was reminded of the
wastebasket and thought, "hmmm".

Nothing came of that either :-)

If someone had thought of a way to queue up and read tiny bits of paper
science would have advanced a decade :-)


> > Sorry guys, I came into existence just about the time the internet was
> > opened up from just NSF to commercial interest, so punch cards are a
> > little out of my league.  I must say though, this certainly beats the
> > heck out of a history of computing languages class any day!
> >
> > Ellis
> >
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