Back in the good old days before the chip and the mouse, real programmers worked on big computers and used cards the way God intended!

NOTE: This card for the IBM 650 was designed for only one machine language instruction, and you place a hand written instruction on the right to indicate what you were trying to do.

The first IBM 650 was available in December of 1954. By 1956 when I first saw one there were over 500 making it at the time the most available computer from IBM.

In 1956 the rental price for the CPU and power supply was $3,200/month.
{This was about the complete price of a fully loaded Cadillac.}

The CPU was 5ft by 3ft by 6ft and weighed 1966 lbs

The power unit was 5ft by 3ft by 6ft and weighed 2972 lbs.

The system required 22 KVA. {a shirt pocket HP-100 will run on 2 AA cells and is much faster}

A card reader/punch was the I/O unit weighing 1295 lbs and rented for $550/month.

The probable operating ratio was 80% -- not guaranteed. {reminds me of windows today}.

The estimated cost of spare parts was $4000/year.

The 650 could add or subtract in 1.63 mill-seconds, multiply in 12.96 ms, and divide in 16.90 ms. Speed per Gill calculation is 27.6 ms

The memory on most systems was magnetic drum with 2000 word {10 digits and sign} capacity and random access time of 2.496 ms. {my HP-100 has 2 MBytes and is timed in nanoseconds}

For an additional $1,500/month you could add magnetic core memory of 60 words with access time of .096ms.

One neat feature about a IBM 650 program was the use of three addresses. {the 3rd for the address of the next instruction} This means you could drop your deck and as long as you got the first card in front your program would load. While at Univ of Kansas this writer figured out a way to remove one instruction from the load card. -- can't recall what it was now.

While the IBM 650 was not a super-hot machine, it did have one feature that made it sell -- Namely lots of blinking lights. With that anyone could tell something was going on. Some authors attribute the success of IBM to these blinking lights and the fact the computer used the same cards as the other unit record equipment of IBM. {Actually the output of your 650 program was punched on cards and you would take the deck over to a 402 Accounting Machine to get a print out.}

It used an interesting system of bi-quinary lights to represent values. With a little training anyone could learn how to read the values. This system was definitely superior to the binary CRT display of the Royal McBee LGP-30.

There are not many of us old programmers who can claim 650 experience hence we are a rare lot.