[ih] Fwd: History of "accounts"

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Sun Feb 9 04:54:41 PST 2014

Older than that.  Just found a list of instructions for the IBM 1401 
that includes:

Modifiers for five-character Branch on Indicator (B) instruction:

	1419 	valid account-number field

John R. Levine wrote:
>>> It's much older than that.  When I was using an OS/360 batch system in
>>> the mid 1960s, the first card in each job had to identify an account
>>> so they knew who to charge it to.
>> It looks as if the first citation for IBSYS/IBJOB is Noble, A.S, 
>> Design of an
>> integrated programming and operating system, IBM Systems Journal 
>> 2(2), 1963.
>> That's behind the IEEE paywall. But that publication date would make it
>> contemporary with CTSS.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBSYS
> IBSYS happened to be the immediate predecessor to OS.  Here's the 
> manual for the slightly earlier Fortran Monitor System in 1961:
> http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102663112
> On page 64 it says:
>   The first record of the Monitor is the "Sign-On" record. This
>   may be programmed by the installation to handle accounting or
>   other identifying information pertaining to a job.
> I expect that if we poked around more, we'd find more, earlier stuff.  
> In the 1950s computers were phenomenally expensive, and I find it hard 
> to believe many of them were run without provision to charge back the 
> costs to the users.  Unless there is some arcane kind of bookkeeping I 
> never heard of, the way you do that is with accounts, maybe done in 
> software, or more likely done with pen and paper.
> Regards,
> John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for 
> Dummies",
> Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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