(Preliminary specifications, 960306)


[Editorial note: The use of indefinite personal pronouns in the masculine gender shall be construed to include humans of both sexes.]

  The criteria for identifying a genuine Compusaurus are as follows:

In so far as possible, the he should have received his education, or at least his BA/BS before his institution established a computer science department.

Even better -- "Computer Science" had not yet been coined.


2. Experience:

Programming: He entered a program from the main console and made it operational. The computer in question must have had a console whose primary mode of entry was (in order of precedence) binary switches, decimal keypad, octal keypad, hex keypad or keyboard of a type-bar typewriter. The input must have been in absolute machine code and the input must not have been software-assisted.


Equipment: He must have used real computing machinery which was: a) heavier than himself, b) larger than a desk, c) did not use solid-state memories, d) used 6-bit codes to represent alphanumeric characters. The system must currently be out of production.

Even better: He used systems that included vacuum tube circuits.


Software: He must have used systems that had little or nothing in the way of operating systems. His early software tools may include non-macro assemblers, or compilers that did not support subroutines.


Media: He used 80-column punched cards, punched paper tape, or just notebook paper to record his programs. He may have used systems with 7-track tape.


Operations: He operated the computer personally, working into & through the night. He punched his own cards or tapes.


Management: He need not have managed anything other than himself. However, a management person whose subordinates included people with the above attributes may be included if he worked equally long hours and actually understood what the machine was really doing.


3. Membership (optional):

He was a member of the ACM or IRE-computer group (predecessor of IEEE-CS) prior to 1964.



May also be known as a Compusaur or even "computer lizard".

This page last updated 1998 September 14. It appears best when viewed with human eyes.