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The period 1983 - 1986:
New computer room; end of the punch card era

In February 1984, the newly built part of the FEL was nearly completed. We could relocate to the new computer room.
In preparing this relocation, it was also planned to end the punch card service on January 1, 1984. The last users of the card reader were ... the Systems Programmers. The Systems Programmers still used cards for the tenfold of jobs to install new software levels. Jobs, who were run two to three times a year when the installation of a new level was prepared. Saving a set of cards was much easier (we told ourselves) as saving the file contents on the system itself. In order to maintain these files, the "indirect permanent file" system written by the University of Adelaide, Australia was installed. The reader of these pages could have remarked that the FEL often used "public domain" software in the beginning of the seventies.

There was a stringent "no trespassing policy" for the new part of the FEL building. The design of the computer room was only discussed at the level of requirements. It was only a month before the relocation to the new computer room took place that we were allowed to visit the new computer room. Several problems were found, including a very major one: there were no water cooling facilities. The CYBER required water cooling to get rid of over half of its generated heat.
The new computer room, however, was equipped with an air treatment and air conditioning system that was designed for two CYBER's, many PDP's, VAXes and I/O equipment. As a safety factor was taken into account, a factor 5 overcapacity in air cooling was available.... The construction department had a tough couple of weeks to go, in order to get water cooling into that room, otherwise the whole relocation scheme had to be changed. They were able to finish that job in time. Relocation went smoothless except for another problem. The computer floor was lower than the corridor level in order to have a raised floor for running all cables. The designer had overlooked that we required a raised floor as well in the adjacent communications room. Actually, the constructures had put extra concrete in to remove the raised floor there. The only solution was to build a raised floor, add a ramp and make a hole in the wall to run the cables from the under the one raised floor to under the other.



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