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Cobol Anecdotes

Literary criticism meets COBOL

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Cobol Anecdotes A team of American scholars have performed a detailed computer analysis and they confirm that the language COBOL was invented by William Shakespeare (and not by Bacon, Elizabeth I, Walter Raleigh, Marlowe, Ben Johnson, or Don Knuth.) Taking a large sample of known COBOL programs, and works by the above authors, they performed a detailed analysis and confirm that COBOL matched the Shakespearean style almost perfectly. It also enabled them to identify various other works as COBOL programs which were previously thought to be poetry. For example the following is now known to be a genuine COBOL program.

Don't waste nanoSeconds

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Cobol Anecdotes The nanosecond metaphor of Mrs. Hopper became famous by her twisting argument. She calculated that electricity could travel about 11.8 inches in a nanosecond.

Well, a nanosecond is hard to imagine. So, she took a microsecond into the example, which reaches a length of 984 feet. And she proposed to equip any programmer with a necklace consisting of one wire of that length, in order to emphasize what wasting a microsecond was all about.

Read the article and have a look at the video.

COBOL Programmer vs Y2K

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Cobol Anecdotes There was once a COBOL programmer in the mid to late 1990s. For the sake of this story, we'll call him Jack. After years of being taken for granted and treated as a technological dinosaur by all the UNIX programmers and Client/Server programmers and website developers, Jack was finally getting some respect. He'd become a private consultant specializing in Year 2000 conversions. He was working short-term assignments for prestige companies, traveling all over the world on different assignments, and making more money than he'd ever dreamed of.

The origin of the verb "to debug".

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Cobol Anecdotes It's a hot room where we work on one of the first computing devices ever. The windows are left open to get some fresh air.
Than a moth flies by and flutters into the hardware relays, which are exposed in the open. The machine shuts down on that very occasion.
Well, removing that bug was not so difficult and the work went on.