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Got Any News? Not Much!   24 comments

Posted at 12:10 am in commentary

Appropos to a discussion on the future of newspapers that I was part of in an online newsgroup, I was moved to take the following photos.

As Al Stewart said:

In the village where I grew up
Nothing seems the same
Still you never see the change from day to day
And no-one notices the customs slip away

p1070637_tn.jpg

p1070638_tn.jpg

Written by ted on June 21st, 2012

Tagged with , , , ,

24 Responses to 'Got Any News? Not Much!'

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  1. We have the blizzard of 73 issue of the Sumter Item. It is amazing to look at the ads.

    tonkatoy

    21 Jun 12 at 7:01 am

  2. What's become of "The State" has depressed me for years, even more so since McClatchy acquired it. 'nuff sed.

    Alaska Jill

    21 Jun 12 at 8:34 am

  3. "The Incredible Shrinking State" thanks for putting the pics up, it's amazing how much less of a newspaper the State has become in the last few years. I know many people will blame the internet, but newspapers like the Sun Times seem to have plenty of content.

    ED

    21 Jun 12 at 11:50 am

  4. I though Knight Ridder was bad, but McClatchy has been downright horrible.

    tonkatoy

    21 Jun 12 at 1:41 pm

  5. I couldn't believe today's issue. 80% of the above-the-fold space devoted to a picture of the baseball rain delay.

    Eddie In Irmo

    21 Jun 12 at 7:38 pm

  6. Eddie, my grandmother used to get frustrated with how the paper would spend a gargantuan part of the page talking about SC's performance in football the preceding day during football season. She almost submitted a letter to let them know it's too excessive but someone else submitted something comparable so she didn't.

    I occasionally enjoy saving pics from wedding announcements featuring friends of mine. Typically I enjoy scanning the newspaper announcement moreso. When The State was Knight Ridder paper, they had the actaul couple's name in the finlename when you saved it off TheState.com. Now with McClatchy, it seems as if they're using a generic photo_######## which seems a little too impersonal for me. It's not unlike how I sense WIS using Raycom cookie cutter graphics.

    Andrew

    21 Jun 12 at 9:07 pm

  7. I ended my subscription that I had been getting for years just a few weeks ago because I could no longer tolerate the lack of news and the ads. I have never seen another newspaper this bad. I just get it all on the Internet now. Not to mention the poorly written articles by the local writers (Otis Taylor to mention off the top of my head. I felt his were unreadable just to mention one.)

    MB

    21 Jun 12 at 10:55 pm

  8. The State really does suck. My parents still subscribe to it because that's what old folks do....:^) I'm trying to remember - when was the change made from the large format news print? I remember how unwieldy the old, large papers were but that's just how it should be!!

    Which snow storm is being reported in the old paper? Is it the one from '78 or '79? That one left me stranded at work for 72 hours!! The one in '73 was much better. We were out of school for a week!!!

    Homer

    22 Jun 12 at 12:07 am

  9. If you click on the picture, you should be able to read the story, but for the record, that's the paper from 19 February 1979.

    As I recall it, our power was off for two weeks.

    ted

    22 Jun 12 at 12:33 am

  10. I'm an idiot! I didn't even try to click on the image!! That's the one that left me stranded at work. I was working at the old South Carolina National Bank on Greystone. I was one of the few people in the building; we had no power except for emergency lights and in the computer room (where I worked). Slept in conference room chairs for two nights and broke into the cafeteria to find food. Worst thing was, I had two cases of beer in the trunk of my car but couldn't get to it because it was frozen shut!!!

    Homer

    22 Jun 12 at 12:52 am

  11. I forget if it was this storm or the ice storm two weeks before (mentioned in the lead article) I remember so vividly, or if I remember them both and mashed them together in my mind since they bumped together so closely. We lived in the upstate and were snowed/frozen in, and I remember us all sleeping in the den in front of the fireplace because that provided the only heat in the house. Our power was out for several days. We only had one sleeping bag and it belonged to my brother, so one day we very carefully drove to the nearest town and my parents cashed in some S&H Green Stamps to get a sleeping bag for me.

    BTW, the February 18, 1979 storm was a factor in why that day's Daytona 500 broadcast on CBS, shown live flag-to-flag for the first time and ending with the Yarborough-Allison wrestling match in Turn 3, drew high ratings. It was much easier to do when you had only three major networks and a snowed-in audience on a Sunday afternoon. (How the times change!)

    Alaska Jill

    22 Jun 12 at 5:42 am

  12. When Fish Wrpa jacked the yearly subscription rate from $110 to $154, and started demanding a credit card number to get the TV weekly, that's when I bailed.

    Still go out and buy the Saturday and Sunday paper, so, yeah, I pay more, but it was the principal of the thing.

    We got lucky in that ice storm and only lost power a couple of hours. I remember listening to the pine limbs snap and break off in the forest.

    tonkatoy

    22 Jun 12 at 6:41 am

  13. @Andrew. Right click, save as, name file whatever you want.

    Its truly amazing what people come up with these days to complain about. They no longer name the photo file with the couples names?? Too impersonal??? Its doubtful they are even considered someone out there has a folder full of old wedding photos saved off there website.

    It puts the lotion on.....

    Peter

    22 Jun 12 at 8:51 am

  14. Homer, I wasn't around in 1979, but your post makes me wonder if you were working on a computer that was the size of a full room.

    In fairness to McClatchy, they do put a border that decorates the online version of the article in a manner I do like...it's just I find myself scanning the paper version of it more often than not.

    Andrew

    22 Jun 12 at 12:03 pm

  15. Andrew, if I remember right the SCNB data center had a false floor under the IBM tape drives that was a cooling duct about 18" high that contained a lot of the cabling. All data centers were built like this in the 70s. Between the whirring and clicking of the tape drives and the rumbling of the air handlers these rooms were anything but quiet.

    Terry

    22 Jun 12 at 6:55 pm

  16. Andrew & Terry - I started working with the old IBM System370's at SCNB back in '78. They were huge, hot, noisy and had WAY less computing power than the PC I'm using right now. The false floor was in the entire computer room. It was required for cooling these beasts and to conceal the cabling. Most cables were about 1 inch in diameter (no such thing as fiber optics back then). Plus it was a great place to stash a case of beer to keep it cold. I still work with mainframes at BCBSSC but they are, mechanically. totally different animals than they used to be. In the mid 90's they changed from the old proprietary bi-polar design to CMOS making them more like PC/server based systems (except way more powerful). You can even run Linux on the mainframe. And IBM is still in talks with Microsoft to try to get Windows servers ported to mainframe virtual machines. If you guys are bored you can look at this article that traces the history of IBM 'big iron'. It's not a chronological history but it's easy enough to follow. Plus there are some great pics of just how big these systems used to be. And the pictures of the people are pretty funny as well.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/mainframe/mainframe_profiles.html

    Homer

    23 Jun 12 at 2:06 am

  17. I remember my high school got a tour of the USC CSD facility round about 1978 or 1979. I remember being very impressed the raised flooring and total science-ficiton movie feel of the place. The best part though was the robot tape storage unit that had this arm that moved around in a library of tape units where each one looked like an old edison phono cylinder, and would take them out of storage, move them over to the drive and put them back. It was awesome. I think they kept the tape robot, but by the time I started using the mainframe for programming classes, the IBM370 had been replaced by an Amdahl (which everyone agreed was underpowered) because of some sort of procurement irregularity with the IBM device.

    When we installed our VAX 11/780 at work, we had the raised flooring in part of the room, and when we had VIPs coming in, we would mount tapes (regular reel tapes) on the drives and have them spin back and forth so it looked impressive. (We almost never used them in day to day work).

    ted

    23 Jun 12 at 2:30 am

  18. Ted - that is too funny! We used to do the same thing at PMSC when we had tours coming in. We would dim the lights in the computer room so everyone could see all of the flashing lights on all of the equipment as well as to watch the tape reels spin back and forth. We also had a tape of old computer art that was made by sending data to an impact printer that created the picture by doing multiple overtypes while printing. We used to print Mr. Spock holding and Enterprise model for the tours (I still have the tape at home and a picture of a cat, printed in 1990, hanging in my cube at work). The school kids ate this stuff up!! lI actually wrote a program that did nothing but send channel commands to the tape drives to make them go into an 'insanity' mode just for sh!ts and giggles to impress visitors. Now everything is so self contained that all you see are power lights. How boring can you get...hahaha!!

    Homer

    23 Jun 12 at 2:47 am

  19. Ted - I just reread your message. You are referring to the IBM 3850 Mass Storage Unit. The 'Edison' comment clued me in. I have never seen one but I do have (somewhere) one of the little tape cartridges (where I got it, I have no clue). You would put data on the cartridges that did not need the speed of disk access but needed to be available quicker that waiting on a human to mount a tape. I think there was a file on disk that kept track of what data was stored on each cartridge and what cell the cartridge resided in. I am continually amazed at how they did so much with the limited computing power they had at the time!! Take a look at this link and let me know if this is what you saw at USC....

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/mss.html

    Homer

    23 Jun 12 at 3:06 am

  20. Yes--what Ted saw at USC was an IBM 3850 Mass Storage System. I worked there from 1974 to 2007. The MSS was installed in 1975 and was operational until the mid-'80s. Each data cartridge held 50 megabytes of data and a pair of them made up a "virtual volume" which could be loaded for program access onto a real disk drive and then offloaded back to the cartridges when the program terminated. Nowadays the disk subsystems we use now have capacities that are measured in terabytes and we use robotic tape libraries to automate operations.

    Mike

    23 Jun 12 at 7:46 am

  21. Yep guys, that's it. The honeycomb shape of the tape cells is very distinctive though I forgot to mention it.

    50 megabytes! Wow :-)

    ted

    23 Jun 12 at 9:36 am

  22. This is a thread about The State newspaper, right?

    Although the previous posts are waaay more interesting to me.
    Speaking of massive storage....in the early 80s I installed a Winchester hard drive (30MB) that was the size of a card table and weighed about 70 pounds at Williams-Brice Stadium. We were using a DEC PDP-11 processor to drive the boards located over each end zone. The hard drive had to be stored in an air conditioned/heated area because the operating parameters were something like 50-80 degrees. It is hard to believe now but this was leading edge stuff.

    Terry

    23 Jun 12 at 5:26 pm

  23. Terry, I'd say this is a discussion about the way things change over time, and The State was the anchor for it...

    I can tell you that change is about the only constant in the airline industry and apparently, the airline industry isn't the only one like that.

    Andrew

    23 Jun 12 at 7:50 pm

  24. I remember the snowstorm of '79 vividly. We lived in a cul-de-sac, and our house was one of the only five in the neighborhood with power. Practically everyone came to our house to get warm, bathe, and eat meals.

    I kinda enjoyed it. To me, it was like a party that went on for several days. However, my parents couldn't wait for the snow to melt. They were exhausted by the third day.

    Mike M.

    9 Nov 12 at 1:50 am

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