Monday, November 21, 2016

Who remembers these? Print charts

who remembers rpg print charts

I could not resist posting pictures of a find I made in a box at home, a pad of IBM 132/10/8 print charts. The numbers denote that the chart is 132 characters wide, with 10 characters per inch and 8 lines per inch. These were used to assist programmers designing reports, and make it easier to translate the desired layout to Output specifications.

My wife had acquired the pad of charts in a previous job many years ago, and had put it in a "safe place" in case she needed them in the future. The charts had been stuffed into box of other old computer items during one of our moves, only to be rediscovered yesterday during one of those "I wonder what's in that box?" moments.

I have not used these in my programming career. Have you?

Click on images below to open a larger version


  1. Time to create the world's biggest Sudoku/Kakuro :)

  2. In my younger days, I used these. I even used something like them for designing / laying out screens.
    I think at one point, I ran out and created my own in word processor and printed that out.

  3. I still have a pad that predates the bar code. I have used them in the past but I just use plain paper these days. I have never used Report Layout Utility as I despise the cruft it puts in the DDS source.

    1. While I hate what RLU does to the code it does produce I do use it. After using it I always edit the source member afterwards to remove all the rubbish it adds.

      It has always surprised me that IBM could design something as simple and easy to use as SDA, and then create RLU.

    2. I disliked RLU. To me it was not as easy to use as SDA. I would use SDA to do the lay-out and then go into the source and reportize it.

      Luckily CODE/400 came along and made them both obsolete in a hurry.

  4. Why do you care what the DDS code actually contains? I almost never look at that code. I always use RLU and find it quite handy. Absolutely hate O-specs!

  5. I used them when I started on the System/38. Never really got the hang of RLU, although I worked with someone who really liked it. I would design reports via 132 column SDA, and wrote a program as a hobby that would take the DDS and turn it into O specs or a printer file. Wish I still had that! There was a 3rd party package that worked really well, I can't remember what it was. Then again, these days I rarely work on reports, everyone wants an Excel now.
    A lady I worked with had a pad of these into the 2000's and still used them sometimes!


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