From: (unknown)
Subject: [telecom] TELECOM Digest V22 #135
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 19:26:49 -0500 (EST)

TELECOM Digest     Wed, 20 Nov 2002 19:27:00 EST    Volume 22 : Issue 135

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers Do? (R Dover)
    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers Do? (Greenberg)
    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers Do? (H Stein)
    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers Do? (J Adams)
    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers (j debert)
    Re: This is Why I Read Digest - was Re: What Auth Centers (F Whittington)
    Re: [telecom] TELECOM Digest V22 #134 (Paul Coxwell)
    Credit Cards (Charles G Gray)
    Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? was Re: Debit vs. Credit Cards (L Madison)
    BASIC/FORTRAN/COBOL (Joey Lindstrom)
    Programming Languages (John Beaman)

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From: Robert Dover <> Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 10:14:25 -0600 Organization: Nortel TELECOM Digest Editor asked: > Does anyone here remember what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for Common Business-Oriented Language and FORmula TRANslator. -BD, another Olde Farte
From: (Rich Greenberg) Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? Date: 20 Nov 2002 11:14:43 -0500 Organization: Organized? Me? > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: > here remember what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for? Anyway, Paul watched COBOL = COmmon Business Oriented Language FORTRAN = FORmula TRANslation Rich Greenberg Work: Rich.Greenberg atsign +1 770-563-6656 N6LRT Marietta, GA, USA Play: richgr atsign +1 770-321-6507 Eastern time zone. I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM'er since CP-67 Canines:Val(Chinook,CGC,TT), Red & Shasta(Husky,(RIP)) Owner:Chinook-L Atlanta Siberian Husky Rescue. Asst Owner:Sibernet-L
From: Herb Stein <> Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 09:29:30 -0600 jt <> wrote in message > Pat - you are a guy with GREAT stories. Keep 'em coming ... I love that > "ee, when I were a lad" stuff >> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Remember, for those of you who wish to >> read NY Times articles who do not have an account of your own, you can >> always use 'telecomdigest' as the user name and password. For next in >> this thread, my own experience with authorization centers goes back to >> the late 1960's / early 1970's when I worked for the Amoco/Diner's >> Club credit card office in Chicago, in what was called the Sales >> Authorization area. When I started working there, the office was >> entirely manual. No computers at all. > [snip] >> ... And sure enough, about >> three days later here was the cut up card. Accounts Payable cut a >> check for fifty dollars to the kid, who was thrilled when he saw it >> of course, but Amoco/Diners credit card gave *me* five hundred dollars >> and later Al Bloomingdale called me from his office in New York to >> say thank you. This is just a memory I had of those days long ago. PAT] > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thank you for your kind message. What > happens it seems is that as you progress in life to the point of being > an Olde Farte like myself, you get an accumulation of stories from > your younger years. I think since I grew up in the (generally) > pre-computer era and then in middle-age passed into the computer era > and now in my old age am seeing computers becoming sort of passe, my > pre-computer era stories are of interest to some readers, especially > the younger ones who haven't the foggiest idea of how we managed to do > business, etc without computers, but in the 1950-60's time frame we > managed to do without. > When I was in high school (1956-60) there was no such things as > computers, or hand held calculators. My high school math teacher, Paul > Wilkinson taught us the 'hard way' (i.e. using brain power) how to do > things like square roots and algebra and geometry. Seventeen years > later when I first 'got into' home computers with an OSI-C1P (Ohio > Scientific model C-1-P) and learned BASIC I began teaching it and one > of my 'pupils' was my old high school math teacher. Since he lived > only a couple blocks from my home at the time, I was more than happy > to walk over there every day or two and teach him BASIC. (By the way, > BASIC = Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.) Does anyone > here remember what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for? Anyway, Paul watched COmmon Business Oriented Language and FORmula TRANslation respectively, if memory serves. > the speed with which the OSI would 'crunch numbers' and produce in a > half-second what took *him* fifteen minutes to do at a blackboard with > chalk and an eraser, and he marveled at how it happened. I remember > asking him, "Paul, don't you wish we would have had these machines > when I was in class with you? We would have had such a wild time." > After 40 years as a high school algebra/geometry teacher, you see, he > had retired just a couple years before. If he were alive today (he was > *very old* in the late 1970's) I think he would be totally freaked out > by more 'modern' computers. He had purchased a Tandy/Radio Shack Model > 1 computer after suggestions by younger friends of his. Does anyone > remember those, long, long before even Windows version 3? PAT] Herb Stein The Herb Stein Group 314 952-4601
From: Jack Adams <> Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 11:21:04 -0500 Organization: Lucent Technologies, Indian Hill Being an "Olde Farte" myself having graduated high school in the same year as Pat, allow me to offer what I recall of the COBOL and FORTRAN acronyms: COmmon Business Oriented Language (COBOL) and FORmula TRANslation (FORTRAN). Did I get it right? I'm sure Al Varney, assuming he's lurking about here will also offer some clever bits of historical trivia!
From: j debert <> Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 09:40:10 -0800 Organization: Posted via Supernews, > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: ... Does anyone > remember those, long, long before even Windows version 3? PAT] O ya! HP65 programmable calculator, CompuCorp 7400 series programmable desktop calculator with the lunar lander program, HP-1000 C/F w/ option 205 and cryptanalysis, HP2000, PDP-8 and "Life", BTI-1000 and login trojans, Control Data 3400(?) and rude noises, TRS-80 model 1, TRS-80 pocket PC model 2, IBM keypunch, Teletype KSR-23, ASR-23, KSR-33, ASR-33, huge stacks of cards and 12-inch rolls of punched tape, dumping tape chaff on unsuspecting people in school, TI Silent-700 terminals, Hazeltine 1500's, Imsai's, Apples, CBM PET & VIC, ZX-80's... Those were fun! And then Windows came along. Made masochists of everyone. j d e b e r t < a t > g a r l i c < d o t > c o m
From: Fritz Whittington <> Subject: Re: This is Why I Read the Digest - was Re: What Do Auth Centers Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 19:47:17 GMT Organization: AT&T Worldnet jt wrote: > Pat - you are a guy with GREAT stories. Keep 'em coming ... I love > that "ee, when I were a lad" stuff [snip] BASIC = Beginner's > All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.) Does anyone here remember > what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for? [snip] COmmon Business-Oriented Language FORmula TRANslation
From: Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 13:43:44 EST Subject: Re: Why I Read Digest > (By the way, BASIC = Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.) > Does anyone here remember what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for? Pat, COBOL = COmmon Business Oriented Language FORTRAN = FORmula TRANslation Many other languages were around back in the 1960s too, such as SNOBOL (StriNg Oriented symBOlic Language) and ALGOL (ALGOrithmic Language). The latter evolved into the now-popular Pascal programming language.
Subject: Credit Cards From: Charles G Gray <> Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 08:09:10 -0600 Pat, thanks for your ruminations on history - keep it up, lest some of the "younger pups" lose out on your experiences. I was a student at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK in 1964-66 when First National Bank of Tulsa started issuing the Bankamericard (later Visa). Since I was in the Army and had a regular income, they sent me one -- I had trouble (not enough income) getting a Texaco card, but the credit card came without any problem. Interestingly, the year I graduated I got six gas company cards in the mail. There were so few merchants that accepted the Bankamericard at first that they used to send a mimeographed (remember those??) list every month with the statement telling us which new merchants in Tulsa had been added. I don't think anybody in Stillwater accepted the cards for several years. Service stations (remember them?) didn't accept the card, since they were making too much money using their own branded cards. When they went international I think (personal opinion) they wanted to get away from the idea that the "Bank of America" was in control of the world, so they probably spent a barrel of money with some image consultant to come up with "Visa". About the same time, Mastercharge (original name) decided that the "charge" part of the name bore negative connotations, so they came up with what we now know and love as Mastercard. However, some things take a long time to die. I was in Venice, Italy last year and saw a lot of the little door/window signs that merchants use that still say "Bankamericard". Best regards. Charles G. Gray Senior Lecturer, Telecommunications Oklahoma State University - Tulsa (918)594-8433 [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yes, I remember mimeograph machines! I also remember 'mimeograhed' announcements from the credit card offices to the field. I also remember 'mimeographed' hot lists of stolen or over limit credit cards to be declined. All those things were pre- computers or just in the early days of mainstream computers in offices. People have asked me 'how in the world did you have credit cards before there were computers to process them?' Well, it wasn't easy to be sure and as the sixties came into being, it was becoming painfully obvious to everyone that there had to be some sort of automation lest everything get so confusing. Do you remember how in the early sixties people would brag as they said 'our office is now computerized, and *everything* has to be done perfectly or the computer will kick it out at us?' But they were talking about large mainframe computers; the smaller desktop units would yet be a few years in showing up. PAT]
From: Linc Madison <> Subject: Re: What Do Auth Centers Do? was Re: Debit vs. Credit Cards Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 03:56:31 -0800 Organization: Consulting Reply-To: In article <>, PAT wrote: [story about getting a young mechanic to return a stolen credit card that was presented for car repairs] I had an experience of a very different sort, about six months ago. My car was broken into, while sitting inside the garage of my apartment building, and one of the items stolen was my checkbook. I filed a police report, even though the police have an EXPLICIT policy of doing absolutely no investigation on small property-only crimes. Then, about 11 a.m. two days later, my phone rang. It was a clerk at a check- cashing service downtown, asking if I had written a check for $183.77 to "Paul J. Hernandez." I told the clerk very clearly, "No, I did not write that check. My checkbook was stolen. Please call 911 immediately." The clerk said she would have to hand me off to her supervisor. I told the supervisor, "The check is stolen. Please call 911 immediately." The supervisor explained that, since welfare checks had just come out that morning (it was the 15th), it might be a while before they could get around to calling 911 to report a crime in progress on their premises, but I was free to call 911 myself if I wanted to. I did indeed call 911 (thankfully having had the presence of mind to ask the name and address of the check-cashing service). The 911 operator was incredulous that the clerk and supervisor had both refused to report the matter, but she had me remain on the line while a police officer walked over from the police station (three blocks away) and apprehended the suspect. (Ironically enough, the police station, the court, and the scene of the crime are all within a mile of one another.) He was prosecuted, convicted, and sent to jail for his trouble. He may already be out again, but at least he got to have a few months of free room and board in lieu of my $183.77 in cash. So anyway, if you ever want to pass a stolen, forged check, I would have to recommend Money Mart at 1101 Market Street in San Francisco. They may verify the check and not give you the money, but they won't lift a finger to throw you in jail. They have three other locations in the immediate vicinity, but the other shops may have different policies. Of course, be sure to go on the 1st or 15th of the month. Just in case you need a little more cash, they also offer loans -- you can probably use the bicycle that Paul Hernandez claims to have sold me as your collateral. www dot LincMad dot com / Telecom at LincMad dot com Linc Madison * San Francisco, California [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: There is/was (I don't remember any longer having not been around there in years) a very large currency exchange called 'Howard Clark' on the corner of the streets by that name in Chicago. Even with *five* cashiers on duty all the time, there was still a long line (out the door and around the corner) on welfare check payday. And on the occassion every two or three months when they had 'doubles' on the same day (for example, welfare payday was once per month on the third day of each month; but if the third happened to also be the first Friday of the month then they also had food stamp card day, thus a 'double' and the lines went out the door and down the street. The gas company and telco also used Howard Clark as their collection agent, and on the three or four times per month that telco or gas cut off service to non-payers that qualified as a triple, if it also happened to be the third of the month and a food stamp day. Then the lines were longer than ever. The cashiers were very bored with their work, but efficient. If you approached a window and sat your money on the window, you got to see the old adage about the hand being quicker than the eye. The clerk would reach over and grab that money faster than you could blink your eyes. Maybe you were still looking for your ID or the slip you had to fill out. All the cashiers wore telephone headsets and since much or most of their job was reporting payments on service that had been cut off as soon as you muttered the word 'gas' or 'phone' as soon as you got the payment coupon out and laid it on the counter, the clerk/ cashier had already pressed a button on their five line headset phone thing, and sat there with a bored look on their face until the line was answered: "Howard Rogers cashier twelve reporting a payment on (phone number). Paid fifty dollars in cash on account. Thanks." Click, and they were off the line. Cashier/clerk would write down the transaction number the other end recited, then use a large rubber stamp to mark the number on your copy of the payment coupon, hand it back to you with out even looking up, saying, "Your phone will be turned back on later today." By the time you picked up your copy of the receipt and started to walk away, the next person was pushing up at the window with her money in hand to do the same thing. Her money disappeared into the cash drawer as fast as yours had. A sign on the wall told about the services offered there, and concluded with a rather ominous message in italics: "If you want to discuss any of our employees with us, call 800-xxx-xxxx. Your call will be anonymous." I guess not all the cashiers were as honest as they would have liked at the main office. PAT]
From: Joey Lindstrom <> Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 10:34:45 -0700 Subject: BASIC/FORTRAN/COBOL Reply-To: On Wed, 20 Nov 2002 02:06:29 -0500 (EST), wrote: > By the way, > BASIC = Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.) Does anyone > here remember what COBOL and FORTRAN stood for? COBOL = Common Business-Oriented Language (or Compiles Only By Odd Luck, or Completely Obsolete Burdensome Old Language) FORTRAN = Formula Translation (or Translator) Joey Lindstrom - Laird's Flooring
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 09:00:35 -0600 From: "John Beaman" <> Subject: Programming languages Pat, Interesting story. Coming from a younger generation, I had programming in high school. We used BASIC on Commodore Pets. They were all "networked " together so we could all print to one shared printer, and load/save our files from/to one big honking dual 5 1/4" floppy drive. In addtion to the programming assignments, we had to learn about the different languages available for programming. So: COBOL COmmon Business Oriented Language (We still use it here at work). FORTRAN FORmula TRANslator Pascal Named after the mathematician, Blaise Pascal (I had a hard time giving up line numbers when I switched to Pascal from BASIC. I read somewhere not too long ago that BASIC was still the most widely used language for programming. John Beaman Telecom Specialist Voice Telecommunications Services Department. Good Samaritan National Campus 605-362-3331
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