[vcf-midatlantic] apple /// cobol

Dean Notarnicola dnotarnicola at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 11:08:56 EST 2017

Not 8-bit, but I had a copy Microsoft COBOL back in '84, so I could work on
school projects at home, as the college's VAX didn't have remote access.
Syntax and structure were close enough (COBOL '74).
Later, I used it to do some ports from minicomputer systems, but I don't
recall many shops running COBOL exclusively on micros.

On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 10:50 AM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

>  > Bill Degnan:
> > It seems like both the SuperPET and Apple /// Cobol were more for
> > prototyping and testing syntax, one would upload their code to a
> mainframe
> > to put into production.  This is for obvious reasons (to me).   I worked
> in
> > a Cobol environment in my early days employed out of college.
> >
> > What I was asking specifically was, did anyone use Apple /// Cobol back
> > when it was new?  I did not get any replies that said, "yup me..".
> Bill, I don't quite "buy" the notion you suggest. I'm not hammering you
> in my reply: I"m providing background to answer the implied "what's up
> here?" question.
> I don't know anything about Commodore Business Machines (CBM) products.
> But they seem to have been marketed to businesses and
> schools-for-business, in the 1980's. I am aware, Apple IIs were sold for
> business use, look at the sales to buy VisiCalc, which was
> early-implemented on that platform. tandy sold to businesses, look at
> their Model 16 in particular with the 68000 co-processor; even the z80
> models had many business packages. I'm sure Tandy had COBOL but I
> haven't checked.
> What I'm saying, is that there was a substantial and significant
> "business market" served by early microcomputers. Thus, they supported
> mainframe computer languages of the day: FORTRAN and COBOL. BASIC has
> its own history, both as a microcomputing language, and as a language
> used on timesharing mainframe systems.
> But over time, microcomputing for business was done with interactive
> applications - spreadsheets, database products, word-processing. Users
> stopped becoming their own "programmers", but everyone used a
> spreadsheet. In fact, it's an interesting question - when did
> microcomputer owners STOP becoming "programmers" and simply became
> end-users? (I think it's interesting....)
> But there's no doubt, microcomputers were used for business. Moreso,
> after and on the IBM PC. Thus it's plausible that microcomputer COBOL
> was used for business programming on microcomputers. You'd not see those
> results decades later, except in old advertising of COBOL packages, or
> among individual old disks from an old collection from some business use
> (car dealership, accountant, tax preparer, etc.) For business security,
> those files may have been deleted long ago.
> As for "a show of hands". My experience in the 21st century, as a
> supporter of vintage microcomputing, is that the current (21st C. ,
> Millennial, etc.) hobby microcomputing audience, does not have many
> people that are 1) from the day in question and 2) were business users
> in the day. and so, that's one reason why I spent time today,
> considering the question not answered.
> Herb
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_Silver_Blaze
> --
> Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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