Re: Fun with punch cards
Durham, where I was at university (1978-1981) used the same computing facility as Newcastle, called NUMAC (Northumbrian Universities Multiple Access Computer), and I used punch cards for my first year, learning PL/1. There was quite a scrum for the card punches, which did sterling work considering the battering they were given.
We had HASP running down a leased line to Newcastle for batch submission, which allows a self-service jub sumbission, but there were PDP/11s running as terminal concentrators to allow serial terminals to be connected to the IBM 360 and also the 370 which was running MTS rather than any IBM supplied operating system. The terminals were a mix of Newbury, Mellordata, Tektronix and IBM golfball terminals.
Because I was on the Main computing course (courses were modular, and designated as Subsidiary, Main and Principal) we were also taught APL, which is a totally interactive language, we were given special access to a number of the terminals which could display the APL character set. This marked the end of my card punching at university, although my first job after leaving was in a batch environment on a Sperry Univac system.
A year after graduating from Durham, I got a job at Newcastle Polytechnic (also a member of NUMAC), and I was working there when the IBM 370 was replaced by an Amdahl 5860, and Durham got an IBM 4381, and then an Amdahl 470/V8. They ran MTS until about 1989, which was after I left.