Fun with Punchcards
Lecture on the First COBOL Compilers
After searching some topics w.r.t. Mainframes, YouTube suggested a video about Punchcards to me (that suggestion in and of itself is quite devastating for mainframes, isn’t it?). It was informative, but left me wondering about the encoding of the punchcards: which combination of holes in a column encodes which character? Luckily, the video mentioned that […]
COBOL Conference with Senior-Citizen Discount
Another finding on YouTube: a lecture at the Computer Museum History Center, given by some of the programmers of the first COBOL Compilers. This lecture was given in 1997 and – even back then – COBOL was already seen as antiquated. This was also around the time when CODASYL (the organisation behind the COBOL-Standard) ceased […]
How readable are COBOL Programs, really?
We’ve googled about Cobol Conferences and the very first result (from 2009) is seriously advertised for with a senior citizen discount. Reality being more absurd than your joke-suggestions in the martketing brainstorming… priceless.
Is Platform-Migration enough?
Maybe you think that the COBOL Developer-shortage is not so bad, because you can hire non-COBOL Developers and train them in COBOL. This sounds reasonable, because after all, COBOL is supposed to be so very „readable“. But why, then, do 70% of COBOL programmers utterly hate it? Even I have a hard time making sense […]
COBOLs „superior“ performance
Some companies (whom you could consider our competitors – so feel free to take this article with a grain of salt) offer the service of migrating your code to a different platform – some of them into the cloud. So if you accept that offer, then you would still have (nearly) the same code, but […]
Is Java „the next COBOL“?
COBOL / Mainframes have the reputation of having superior performance – „Workhorse“ is a term often associated with them. The well-known COBOL brain drain survey from 2009 revealed that 87% of COBOL users still believed that COBOL had much better – or at least about the same – performance than other languages. I do believe that […]
Are there 200 times more COBOL transactions than Google searches?
I have seen some (not so many) COBOL advocates claiming it was futile to migrate to other languages, because these other languages might one day be obsolete, too – and then you’ll have to migrate again. „They are just moving to the next COBOL“ was a catchy sentence I have read. First of all: this […]
COBOL is 5 times more vulnerable than other programming languages
To this day, COBOL advocates claim that there were 200 times more COBOL transactions than google searches per day. Even IBM and microfocus claim this. It makes COBOL sound extremely relevant, but this number doesn’t sound very plausible to me. So I dived into the topic and found some interesting facts that make this number […]
FORTRAN II on an IBM 1401
Mainframes / COBOL have the reputation of being stable and secure. The well-known COBOL brain drain survey from 2009 revealed that 77% of COBOL users believed that COBOL had much better – or at least about the same – security than other languages. This presumption probably comes from a time before the internet, when these computers were […]
I have a soft spot for everything that is Turing Complete. Whether it is built in LEGO, Minecraft or Conways Game of Life – I just love the perfectly choreographed dance of the bits and bytes. Because of that, I also enjoy seeing an IBM 1401 from 1959 run FORTRAN in this YouTube video.