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29220More about MOBIDIC

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  • ekoblentz
    Feb 11, 2013
      A few weeks ago, a man named Bob Kirn visited InfoAge, and told Jeff B. / Steve that he was stationed nearby at Ft. Monmouth and trained people on how to use MOBIDIC. Yesterday I interviewed him by phone.

      I learned a lot. I've interviewed several people who helped design MOBIDIC but I've only read about the operators and trainers.

      Highlights:

      - Bob worked on the Sealand company's IBM 305 Ramac. When he joined the Army, he was accepted into the MOBIDIC program "...because I could spell 'computer'."

      - Ft. Monmouth used a simulator to teach MOBIDIC programming, because the real computer (they had one of six) was needed for daily use.

      - His students (in the early/mid-1960s) were taught COBOL to see if that would work out. Makes sense: I previously read that by the later 1960s there was a COBOL compiler for this machine.

      - The students were a mix of enlisted personnel and officers, and sometimes included foreign officers. Countries represented included the U.K., India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Kirn said a Pakistani general was there.