And you thought Microsoft invented the BSoD

Flashback to the era when computing means room-size machines, and this pilot fish and his co-workers are trying to get a spooling program running on one of them.

"In those days, a fatal error would trigger a dump of everything in RAM, a whooping 65K that needed to be waded through to find the problem," says fish.

"After days of complaining to the manufacturer that the spooler kept crashing, we received new versions of both the operating system and the spooling program.

"We installed both, did an IPL -- we rebooted the machine -- and it ran for a few seconds. Then all the lights dimmed amid utter silence in the computer room.

"Suddenly, the typewriter console came alive and printed ABORT ABEND. NO ABEND OUTPUT.

"Which, translated, means 'You're on your own, buddy...'"

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