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Joe Bottomlee
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I worked on a computer for over 12 years before I knew it was a computer. You see I was a Central Office Tech. for SW Bell in 1969. The telephone switching equipment was being changes over from an electro-mechanical system (SxS) to an electronic switching system (ESS). Twelve years later (1981), when I bought my first personal computer (TRS-80) is when, I discovered that I had been working on a computer all those years. The software and data was stored on memory cards stored in modules called Program Store (PS). The memory cards were sheets of aluminum about 18 inches by 12 inches and had 64 by 16 bits on each card. The memory bits where little blocks of magnetic material that could only be change by over writing using a Memory Card Writer (MCW). The cards were physically remove from the PS and taken to the MCW. The RAM was stored in Call Store (CS) they were 8KB each and our switch had six of them in redundant mode, which mean the whole system was running on 24KB of RAM.
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Oct 13, 2010