Working Daze by John Zakour and Scott Roberts

Working Daze

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  1. KenTheCoffinDweller

    KenTheCoffinDweller said, almost 4 years ago

    I wouldn’t even ask “Why?”. COBOL 65 and FORTRAN IV were where I started out in programming.

  2. x_Tech

    x_Tech GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    I started learning FORTRAN but just before I went nuts a guy in the computer center told me about RatFor. Now I can’t blame FORTRAN.

  3. x_Tech

    x_Tech GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    Why not Ada? It’s named after a woman.

  4. Pharmakeus Ubik

    Pharmakeus Ubik said, almost 4 years ago


    Roll out the card punch!

  5. ToborRedrum

    ToborRedrum said, almost 4 years ago

    Been there, done that. COBOL will still be around when the sun is a burned-out lump of carbon.

  6. vwdualnomand

    vwdualnomand said, almost 4 years ago

    wasn’t cobol used to submarine torpedo guidance and the moon landings? the sad thing is that some universities have it as a requirement to get a diploma in computer science.

  7. StoicLion

    StoicLion said, almost 4 years ago

    I would have thought Rita’s reason would have to do with the business and finance roots of COBOL. As for her stated reasons, hooray for the sideways reference to RADM Grace Hopper, the mother of Navy computing! She is on par with ADM Rickover on her influence to today’s Navy!

  8. sbwertz

    sbwertz said, almost 4 years ago

    My husband was on the team that wrote the first ANSI standard COBOL compiler back in the 60s.

  9. johnzakour

    johnzakour GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    Okay that is cool. Did he know Grace? I saw her talk a couple of times. She called me “son” once.

  10. contralto2b

    contralto2b said, almost 4 years ago

    Hey, anyone here ever program in EBCDIC (I think) for the IBM Mini computers? That was about 30 years ago. They used to use the minis in submarines.

  11. Digital Frog

    Digital Frog GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    If they don’t do it, she’ll give them WATFOR!

  12. PoodleGroomer

    PoodleGroomer said, almost 4 years ago

    COBOL is a little behind on its standard libraries. I don’t think anyone has standardized calls to JAVA or .NET.

  13. Burnside217

    Burnside217 said, almost 4 years ago

    But COBAL is so good for writing desktop widgets…

  14. Burnside217

    Burnside217 said, almost 4 years ago

    To quote Edsger Dijkstra: “The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.” I did enjoy the language, way back when.

  15. pschearer

    pschearer GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    The week before I was scheduled to meet Grace Hopper I was cleaning out the desk of a recently retired Sperry Univac employee whose employee number was 000006. He had left behind a programming manual for Hopper’s Flow-Matic language, the first compiler language with English sentences ending with a period, which would become the Procedure DIvision in COBOL. (Honeywell supplied the Data Division layout and IBM did the PICTURE clause.)

    When I finally met her I showed her the manual and she was happy to autograph it for me. Then she said she had something that would interest me, and she pulled out of an overstuffed briefcase a xerographic copy of a mimeograph of the report in which she designed the language.

    But besides a sample program in English, she included programming examples in French and Spanish. She told me it was the biggest mistake in her career because Univac management sat on her project for months because no computer built in the good-old U.S. of A. was going to speak anything but good-old American.

    I also read somewhere that she worked with Eckert and Mauchly on the Eniac where she was tasked with building a black box to accelerate trigonometric calculations. As a result she has been credited as the inventor of the SUBROUTINE!! That’s like being the inventor of the brick! What a grand old dame she was.

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