Little IT Shop of Horrors III: The eyes! The eyes!

Flashback to the mid-1960s, when the Control Data 6600 computer was the fastest thing going, according to this IT pilot fish who remembers it well.

"It was about 1 megaFLOPS," says fish. "The operator console, manned 24/7 of course, had two large, circular CRT screens, side-by-side, that almost always displayed operator messages scrolling up the screens. As long as those messages were scrolling, the operator seldom had to pay attention to them.

"But the CRTs were actually vector displays, capable of more, under program control.

"It's 2 o'clock in the morning. Halloween. Suddenly, the two screens go blank. Then two closed eyes appear. Slowly open. Eyeballs look slowly to the left, then slowly to the right -- then slowly stare straight ahead. Then eyelids slowly close, the two displays blank, and go back to scrolling plain text.

"Of course, nobody is going to believe the operator..."

Sharky's not watching you this Halloween. Of course not. Don't be paranoid. But I would like to see your true tale of IT life -- send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales like this one from the Sharkives.

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