[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Aim High: Air Force

January 16th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

United States Air Force Computer Programming Advertisement - 1987A U.S. Airman types in coordinates while designing a weaponized golf course.

[ From Family and Home Office Computing, November 1987, p.39 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you served in the military (any country)? If so, did you use computers as part of your service?

6 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Aim High: Air Force”

  1. Matt Says:

    US Navy, 1997-2001. We used a special pack of Microsoft Flight Simulator to learn the local course rules in Corpus Christi, TX, when I was learning to be a pilot. After that, basically just had to use MS Access a lot to maintain budget data for my unit.

  2. Braybett Says:

    One time I got drunk and was tricked into signing a 3-year contract to be a mercenary fighter pilot for some weird middle eastern guys. They usually used Power Point for our mission briefings.

  3. Matt Says:

    This is the story of the development of that package, it actually saved a lot of money. http://www.baseops.net/flightsimulators/

  4. Bruce Says:

    20 years in the U.S. Air Force, 1981-2001. Used computerized test stations to diagnose and repair aircraft electronics. Used desktop computers to maintain component history databases. Later used a networked MS Access database to track aircraft status and locations. Also PCs for email communications as well as writing reports. In the early 80s computers were scarce, maybe just a handful per squadron. Our supply had them as well as the orderly room. By the late 90s there was a computer on nearly every desk.

  5. Jack Says:

    26 years and counting. Used Univacs and Sperrys (UTS-40s, Sperry 1100, UTS700, MARTs/MATEs), ran a Banyan VINES LAN (even got certified as a BCA). Hung up Synoptic switches, powered on DPC-40s ($1000 for a used 1MB memory module), used/maintained SARAH AUTODIN terminals, installed/maintain Zenith Z-100s, Z-248s, Unisys 3256s (16 SIMM slots!).

    Ah, the good ol’ days…

  6. Dan Says:

    Been in both the Army National Guard and worked as a Navy contractor.

    Army-side, everything is comparable to civilian-side. Windows workstations and servers, lot of VMWare, Cisco and HP networking gear. Only thing really military-specific is mostly your WAN link (whether satellite connections using FDMA and TDMA modems running embedded QNX OS or high capacity line-of-site radio links using more esoteric legacy hardware).

    Navy was much the same. Only weird and wonky thing I ever encountered was a box made to emulate a DEC PDP-11. Unfortunately, only heard of it in a meeting with an engineering group but never got to lay hands on it.

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