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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

COBOL the Original BI?

My dad, Gordon, was in BI before me, it had a different name but it was definitely BI.  I remember him telling  me that in 1964  he had this English Electric mainframe with 2k RAM that took up the whole building and it didn’t have a divide function.  He was working on statistics for the Ministry of Works and needed to compute standard deviation which not only uses division but also square roots.

In the  seventies he upgraded like we all do and was using COBOL on ICT (International Computers and Tabulators) hardware which became ICL which became Fujitsu which merged with Siemens etc.  The hardware has long gone but I am sure he will be pleased that his beloved COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) is still alive in its .net guise. 

For all you geeks out here here’s hello world in COBOL:






DISPLAY 'Hello, world.'.


It did have critics .. “The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense“. Edgar Dijkstra which kind of reminds of Socrates crticising the written word.  However COBOL was the dominant BI language for twenty years and shows no sign of dying just yet. 

As for my Dad, cancer beat him a couple of years ago. Hopefully he’s laughing at this blog and telling me I’m a bl**dy fool!

If you are interested in more on what COBOL.Net does then check this

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