Old School Computer Programming

computer programming made simple

Computer Programming Made Simple

Aside from the moldy smell of this book, it was actually quite a good book for the time. It was probably used as a text. I found it very readable (unlike most technical materials). It also had 2 pretty detailed sections on FORTRAN and COBOL, which I haven’t heard in normal conversation in eons. Of course I remember the punch cards (I actually did some keypunch back in the day!) Compared to today’s computer technology this almost seems quaint. The pictures and diagrams throughout the book were good. (I love a good flow chart.)

I think this is probably one of the best of the old computer texts we have come across since we started this 2 bit dog and pony show 9 years ago.


computer room 1960s

data processing



  1. Oh, man, I remember that IBM line printer from my university days (about the same time this book was published). In my programming courses we used “PL/I” (actually a student version called “PL/C”) which is probably even more obscure nowadays than FORTRAN and COBOL!

  2. Oh Lord! I remember the vast rooms with the huge tape drives. I also remember using the keypunch machines. Then there was learning Fortran.

    This certainly deserves to be kept in a collection dealing with the history of technology. It’s a shame that public libraries rarely have the ability to mount exhibitions of material like this. Such a show would be a hoot for children and make the rest of us feel very, very old.

  3. Our local library has a really big display case that they change monthly (it includes books and artifacts that people will bring in just for the display and then take back home), and something like this would definitely go into a display about computers. I realize, though, that most libraries don’t have a space to hang on to books just to display them every few years. Definitely will be a wonderful find for a computer buff though.

    1. I went to one in Germany, operated by Nixdorf (then Wincor Nixdorf, now Diebold Nixdorf) in Paderborn. It covered everything, from the dawn of computing through punch card systems and into cell phones. It was fascinating.

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  5. That was the first third of my career. FORTRAN, COBOL, PL/1, PL/S. 1403 line printers. Ah, the good old days!

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